Michael Walker Hawaii returned home to a shocking scene. His wife Catherine lay dead in their bed, having been brutally killed overnight while Walker worked at an Army medical center in Honolulu. An intruder had entered through the back door, taken possession of a long knife from their kitchen cabinet, and stabbed Walker as she slept.
Walker had prepared for this moment – calling 911 as planned
On November 16, 2014, Walker and Ailsa Jackson completed their elaborate plan, which had been devised in text messages, emails and secret meetings over two months prior. Ailsa had initially met Walker online two months prior and began an affair soon afterward; their plans came together that evening in November 2014.
On Monday in federal court in Honolulu, Jackson and Walker’s brief relationship spawned a long criminal case that exposed an intense love triangle in vivid detail and led to charges of child pornography, abuse and murder. On charges related to child pornography and abuse, Walker was sentenced to 30 years for stabbing while Jackson received 35 years for aiding and abetting — a longer term due to his role in orchestrating the killing.
“The sentences handed down in this case hold defendants Michael Walker Hawaii and Ailsa Jackson accountable for their truly horrific conduct, bringing to a close this tragedy,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price told The Washington Post. “We hope that the judgment entered into this case will provide some closure to those most affected by these defendants’ egregious actions.”
At their first weeks together, Jackson confided in Walker about her struggles with mental illness. Walker then told Jackson he wished her “gone,” which Jackson would later reveal was Walker’s intention: He wanted Jackson to kill his wife.
Court records reveal that Walker told Jackson it was the only way they could stay together, since divorce was impossible and he’d receive $400,000 in life insurance if his wife died. According to court records, Walker described this desire as his “deepest desire,” and it became code for them both.
Prosecutors released text exchanges between the men that detailed their desire to meet up and the person who stood in their way. In these exchanges, they often expressed desire for a casual encounter and lamented having someone “in the way.”
“I need you so badly,” Jackson wrote to Walker one month prior to her murder.
“Yes,” she replied. “And me too,” he added. “Now if only someone would just move out of the way!”
“Yeah,” Jackson replied.
In November 2014, Walker, now a former Army medic, began working the night shift at Tripler Army Medical Center from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. — ideal timing for Jackson to commit the crime since his wife would be alone and he could use an alibi, according to court records.
On Nov. 4, Walker sent Jackson an email granting her permission to kill Catherine Walker that night; however, the records show the doors were locked and she couldn’t enter.
Michael Walker texted her the next day to express his need: “I need my desire taken care of soon. I’m going crazy.”
“Yes,” Jackson replied. “I was going to but ran into some difficulties.”
She replied cryptically that she encountered “an access issue.”
“Oh,” she responded. “I can help.”
On November 14th, Catherine Walker’s last day alive, Michael Walker Hawaii and Jackson met in the parking lot of their “usual meeting place” – the gym on the military reservation. Court documents state they agreed then that Jackson would murder Walker’s wife that evening.
They came up with more code. Walker said she could text him the word “good” if she could enter through an open window, while sending the opposite message if she needed to use a key hidden in gravel to unlock the back door.
Later that day, Walker texted “bad.” Just before midnight, Jackson arrived at his house and found the key; she opened the door after passing through the laundry room and into the kitchen, picking up a knife as she went. She then proceeded upstairs where Catherine Walker was fast asleep.
According to an autopsy conducted on Catherine Walker by a medical examiner, she was stabbed multiple times in the neck and torso and Jackson told investigators she waited at the house for 30 minutes after learning she was dead, as reported by The Associated Press at the time.
On Monday in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Brady related for the first time Catherine Walker’s final words — words of forgiveness.
“On the night she was killed, Jackson asked Catherine if she forgives him,” Brady recounted. “As she was being cut down, Catherine answered yes.”
Douglas Plotz, the father of Catherine Walker’s brother Michael Walker, stated his family’s support for a lower sentence for Jackson after she avoided life in prison by cooperating with prosecutors to convict him, the Associated Press reported.
“We humbly forgive her,” he said. “I want Ms. Jackson to know that.”
In court, Walker professed his sorrow over his wife’s passing and promised that he would do anything to bring her back.
At least his third criminal proceeding had come to a conclusion within five years: In 2016, a military court found him guilty of having and viewing child pornography – charges brought to light by the murder investigation – along with 92 photos and 19 videos found on Walker’s laptop, according to AP at the time. He was further accused of soliciting men for sex in exchange for money; later that year he was convicted for sexually abusing and physically assaulting a child.
According to the Associated Press account of the hearing this week, U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway painted Walker as a deceitful man who planned to have his wife killed, according to an account in court this week.
Mollway told Walker as she administered his sentence: “Ms. Jackson wielded the knife that killed your wife – and that was a terrible, terrible deed – but it does appear to me that you were in control.”