Cops: Ohio woman with a history of prostitution arrested in teacher’s murder
By STEVE METSCH AND BECKY SCHLIKERMAN January 24, 2014 4:36PM
Alisha Walker | Facebook image
Updated: February 27, 2014 6:45AM
An Ohio woman with a history of prostitution was charged Saturday with allegedly stabbing Brother Rice High School business teacher Alan Filan to death in his home.
Alisha Walker, of Akron, Ohio, is currently being held at the Allen County Jail in Fort Wayne, Ind. and is expected to appear in court there on Monday, officials said. Walker was ordered held on a no-bond warrant by Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr., Orland Park police said in a news release.
It was not yet known when the 20-year-old Walker would appear in court in Cook County.
Officers found Filan, 61, dead on the kitchen floor about 10:35 a.m. Tuesday. He had been stabbed multiple times and also had what were described as “incise wounds,” according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“Walker confessed to being at the home of the victim on Jan. 18 after Filan contacted her via the Internet site Backpage,” police said. “The investigation revealed that Walker and Filan argued over money, a struggle ensued which resulted in Walker stabbing Filan multiple times.”
Walker — who has a history of prostitution, drugs and battery — then allegedly fled the scene in her car. She had previously met Filan on at least two other occasions, police said.
Filan’s family declined comment Saturday.
Walker’s uncle, Ed Hensley of rural Winchester, Ky., said he and his wife — the sister of Walker’s mother — are “sickened” and “heartbroken” over the situation his niece is in.
“I can’t eat or sleep,” he said.
Hensley said he talked to his niece Friday evening in a phone call from the Allen County Jail. In that phone call, she told him that she and another woman, who also worked for an escort service, had gone to Filan’s home last weekend.
“They had some sort of 2-for-1 special and went over there,” Hensley said. “This guy got upset because it wasn’t what the Internet suggested, or whatever. My understanding is the guy wielded a knife at the other girl and then my niece freaked out, took the knife from him and then stabbed him with it to keep (the other girl) from getting stabbed.”
Police did not return calls seeking to verify the uncle’s information.
“Why wouldn’t you stop and call the police and say ‘This guy tried to kill me and this is what went down.’ But think about it. It’s pretty traumatic. You don’t know how you’ll react. A lot of things play tricks on your mind,” Hensley said. “She should have called the police and waited there ‘til they came.”
Walker, he said, “had some family problems growing up,” so he and his wife Dawna took Walker into their home when she was in the ninth grade and “we brought her up to be a good girl,” he said. “She got good grades in school.”
Even then, however, “there was always drama,” often involving “conflict was between her mom and us and whether Alisha was happy,” Hensley said.
“I helped her with her school work. I think if you do well in school you have a lot better shot in life. We had rules for her. If she went out, we wanted to know who she was out with. We’re a little country town and that’s the way we were raised. We go to church on Sunday and we know what right and wrong is,” Hensley, 43, said.
Things were okay until Walker turned 17 and decided to drop out of school and return to Ohio, where she “started running around with the wrong people,” he said.
Walker said his niece was crying during their recent conversation and told him she was “afraid” she disappointed him.
“I told her, ‘I’m disappointed, but I love you. I’ll always love you no matter what happens,’” Hensley said.
Meanwhile, a neighbor of Filan’s said a woman matching Walker’s description came to her front door around 10:15 p.m. on Jan. 18. The woman asked that her name be withheld for fear of retribution.
“When I opened the door, she said, ‘Oh, I’ve got the wrong address.’”
The woman returned to a car driven by another person which was last seen in front of Filan’s home, the neighbor said.
Police were called and asked to make a check on Filan after he failed to report for work.
Although he did not give details, a spokesman for the Fort Wayne, Ind. Police Department said Orland Park police had asked for assistance when they went to an Indiana hotel to conduct some interview for the investigation.
Neighbors on Friday evening were reluctant to comment on someone being arrested in Filan’s killing. Two did not want to talk to a reporter, while a third did not want to be identified but did say, “I’m glad they’ve got somebody. It’s a terrible situation.”
Filan taught at Brother Rice, in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, for nearly 40 years and was chairman of the school’s business studies department. He also coached soccer at Andrew High School in Tinley Park for more than 10 years through the 2009-10 school year.
Filan was a member of a politically active family. His older brother is longtime lobbyist William Filan, whose clients include the city of Chicago, and his younger sister, Denise Filan, is a Cook County judge assigned to the Bridgeview courthouse. He’s also a cousin of former state budget director John Filan.
Arrangements for Filan are pending at Curley Funeral Home, 6116 W. 111th St., Chicago Ridge, a funeral home employee said Friday evening.
Contributing: Mike Nolan