NEEDHAM, Mass. (WHDH) – A man pleaded not guilty to murdering his girlfriend in Needham Saturday night before stabbing his parents at a family birthday party in Millis.
Twenty-four-year-old Benjamin Walsh, chained to his hospital bed, was held without bail Monday in the murder of his girlfriend and in the attempted murders of his parents.
The Norfolk County District Attorney’s office said a knife attack at Primavera Restaurant in Millis led them to Walsh’s apartment in Needham, where officials found his 20-year-old girlfriend Olivia Bergstrom dead. Investigators said she had been stabbed more than 20 times.
“I was just shocked. I felt sorry for her. She’s so young. She’s 20 years old. It’s a tragedy,” said Molly Cleveland, a neighbor of Walsh’s.
Millis police initially responded to the restaurant, where a family member said they were there to celebrate a 70th birthday when Walsh allegedly stabbed his mother and father.
“A number of family members were able to subdue him, tie him up after the initial stabbing,” said Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.
Police said Walsh’s mother, Laura, suffered stab wounds to the abdomen and his father, Michael, suffered lacerations to his right hand. Witnesses told police that Walsh made his way through the restaurant’s function room holding a large knife and screaming profanities.
According to court documents, Walsh was “heavily resisting” when officers tried to escort him into a police cruiser. Walsh also repeatedly yelled “I’m going to kill you all,” according to police.
Soon after, police conducted a welfare check at Walsh’s multi-family home in Needham, where he and Bergstrom reportedly lived together. Officials said Walsh stabbed Bergstrom to death before driving to Millis.
A vigil was held Monday night at the Church of Christ Congregational in Millis to pray for Walsh’s parents, as well as Bergstrom.
“They are the people caring for others all the time and now they need our care, as well as Olivia’s family,” said Pastor Jim Longhurst.
Bergstrom’s grandfather, Paul, issued the following statement:
“Devastated does not even begin to describe how we feel about losing our Olivia. Olivia was a smart, vibrant, beautiful young woman with a bright future ahead of her. She was a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, and friend. Olivia was a lover of animals who never met a horse she couldn’t win over. She was passionate about living a healthy life. She had a dog named Scarlett. She loved her family fiercely.
“Our hearts are broken at the thought of Olivia not being in our lives, taken from us and her future in a way we cannot comprehend. We know her spirit remains with us and we will do everything in our power to keep her memory alive and celebrate the short time we had the privilege of having her in our lives. We ask for our privacy and your respect at this time as our family begins the long journey of rebuilding our lives.”
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