Vigil Held for Girlfriend Killed, Parents Stabbed as Community Tries to Make Sense of Tragedy

Authorities say Benjamin Walsh allegedly stabbed his parents in a Millis restaurant after the incident

More than 75 people gathered Monday night, packing a church in Millis, Massachusetts, to mourn the loss of 20-year-old Olivia Bergstrom and to pray for healing for the parents of Benjamin Walsh.

Pastor Jim Longhurst was at the vigil Monday, and he was also at the Primavera restaurant in Millis Saturday night when Walsh allegedly stabbed both of his parents.

Many are still reeling, unable to make sense of the tragedy that unfolded over the weekend.

Walsh, 24, is charged with killing his girlfriend in the apartment they shared before he stabbed his parents in the restaurant.

The suspect broke down in tears as details of his case were read at his arraignment on Monday.

Bruised and bandaged, he was arraigned in his bed at Milford Hospital on charges related to the stabbing of his parents. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held without bail.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Millis police officers responded to a report of a stabbing at the restaurant and found Walsh's parents suffering from stab wounds.

Jerry Gaita, the owner of Primavera, said Walsh's family was celebrating a birthday at the restaurant when Walsh showed up and suddenly attacked, stabbing his mother and father until family members pulled him off.

"I went over to where Benjamin was laying down on the floor, they had him down and Millis police arrived with EMTs," Gaita said.

Walsh's mother was hospitalized in serious condition; her current condition is unclear. His father was treated and later released.

After taking Walsh into custody, officers learned they had to do a well-being check at his girlfriend's Marshall Street apartment in Needham. When they arrived, 20-year-old Olivia Bergstrom was found fatally stabbed, according to Morrissey.

Prosecutors said that on the night of the murder, Walsh told his family he was going to kill all of them. But he was in tears as he faced a judge on Monday and was forced to listen to the gruesome details.

When police found Bergstrom, prosecutors said she was only partially dressed and covered in blood, with stab wounds all over her body. She had suffered 13 stab wounds to her back and three to her abdomen.

After that, prosecutors said Walsh went to Primavera Restaurant and attacked his parents, stabbing them both repeatedly until he was restrained.

Walsh has not yet been charged with Bergstrom's death. He is expected to be arraigned in Dedham District Court next month in connection with that case.

His grandfather did not want to go on camera Monday but told NBC10 Boston that Walsh was being treated for mental health issues daily and that Bergstrom and his parents were trying to help him.

Walsh's father told The Boston Globe that his son has struggled with mental health and substance abuse issues, and called the situation a "nightmare."

Walsh's attorney would not elaborate on his client's condition on Monday, but police records show that on the night of the killing, Walsh was suspected of using alcohol and drugs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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