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Brian Walshe, the Massachusetts dad charged in his wife’s disappearance, enrolled in life-coaching groups that promised to “inspire loyalty, trust, and love and compassion in all your relationships.”

Those who attended the sessions of the Boston Breakthrough Academy remember Walshe, 47, as a born leader who was nicknamed “Head and Shoulders” for his luxurious locks and “cool guy” persona.

The academy, which merged with another life-coaching organization last year, offered other services and tutorials, sharing on its website a podcast on “Steps to Ending a Toxic Relationship.”

Members of Walshe’s 30-person cohort told The Post they were aghast by recent headlines implicating their former classmate in the disappearance of his wife, Ana.

“This whole situation he finds himself in comes as a complete shock to me,” said Ali Ozdemir, 31. He said Walshe “was someone you wanted to hang out with or be around.”

Ana Walshe and husband Brian Walshe
The life-coaching classes that the Walshes attended promised to “inspire loyalty, trust, and love and compassion in all your relationships.”
ana.ljubicic/Facebook

Walshe enrolled in the four-month program in January 2020, paying $2,997 for 16 sessions across five weekends, which often lasted more than 12 hours a day, according to the organization’s website.

He was convinced to join by his wife, Ana, who had attended one of the courses in late 2019 and suggested it could turn his life around.

Walshe rose to the organization’s “elite” Mastering Leadership Program by 2021 — and was seen as a natural role model. Another participant who requested anonymity praised him as leading their group in raising $180,000 for a nonprofit, which provided food to the hungry in the early days of the pandemic.

Investigators sorting through trash at a transfer station in Peabody, Mass.
Walshe has been charged in connection to his wife’s disappearance.
7News Boston

“He was incredibly giving of his time, he was a good listener, he was kind,” recalled the participant, her voice quivering.

Ozdemir noted that Walshe, with his real estate executive wife Ana and three children, seemed to have “the perfect family.”

Latest on missing mother of three Ana Walshe

“You looked at them and said, ‘This is something I want: a beautiful wife with kids, learning together, being a team.’”

The group, however, was unaware of Brian’s legal troubles over the years, including his arrest for selling fake Andy Warhol paintings, and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his late father’s home.

Ana seemed to be convinced that her husband made great personal progress through the program.

Brian and Ana Walshe
Ana had attended the same leadership courses and thought they could help Brian turn his life around.

“I experienced the transformation first hand, and all I thought about was how supportive this program would be for Brian,” Ana gushed in a September 2021 letter to a federal judge in the Warhol case, obtained by The Post. “During this program, he established what integrity was all about, as well as accountability, responsibility and clear communication.” 

The facade of Walshe’s picturesque life crumbled at the start of the year, after Ana was reported missing on Jan. 4. Walshe told police he hadn’t seen his wife since New Year’s Day, claiming she had left for DC for a “work emergency.” 

Around this time, Walshe allegedly searched online for “how to dispose of a 115-pound woman’s body,” according to court records. Police found no evidence of Ana calling a ride share service or boarding a flight. They did find a bloody, broken knife in the basement of the couple’s Cohasset home; evidence Walshe purchased of $450 worth of cleaning supplies from Home Depot; and a hatchet, hacksaw, trash bags, used cleaning supplies and a rug at a transfer station in Peabody, Mass., just five miles from Brian Walshe’s mother’s home in Swampscott. 

Aerial photo of Brian and Ana Walshe's Cohasset home.
Police found blood and a bloody, damaged knife in the basement of the couple’s Cohasset, Mass., home.
NY Post

Walshe is currently being held on $500,000 bond for interfering in investigators’ search for his missing wife. He has pleaded not guilty.

A real estate agent who had previously worked with the couple to sell a one-bedroom, one-bath condo in suburban Revere, Mass., recalled being creeped out by Brian Walshe’s “socially awkward” behavior.

Particularly jarring was a December 2019 lunch meeting at the Encore Boston Harbor casino to discuss real estate ventures, where he kept his head down while staring at the agent across the table.

“He was just a weird guy,” the agent said.

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