Who Killed John O'Keefe? Understanding the latest claims in the legal saga (2023)

The legal battle over the murder of John O'Keefe, a Boston police officer found dead outside a Canton, Massachusetts, home last winter, drew a lot of attention before the trial even began.

Lawyers for the Mansfield woman charged with second-degree murder in the death of her boyfriend O'Keefe continued to argue in court that authorities charged the wrong person. They claim he was seriously injured, presumably inside the house, which belonged to a colleague, and left for dead in the snow.

As the case against Karen Redd makes its way through the court system, with new complaints filed in court this week, differences between the prosecution and defense over what happened to O'Keefe, a 16-year veteran of the police force since Boston. at the time of his death, they attracted a lot of attention.

That's what both sides came up with, including at this week's hearing where the data behind a cryptic Google search was discussed.

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Death of Officer O'Keefe and Capture of Read

O'Keefe was found in the snow outside the Canton home on the morning of January 29, 2022 and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Read was arrested a few days later on suspicion of running her truck over him and leaving him for dead.

Earlier in the day, O'Keefe and Read were drinking at a bar with a group of friends.


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Prosecutors said they were in C.F. McCarthy's bar in Canton with several friends on the evening of January 28th, then went to Waterfall Bar & Grille across the street at 11pm. m., where they remained for about an hour. They left and were invited to a party on Fairview Road, where O'Keefe would be fatally wounded.

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Read told police that he dropped O'Keefe off shortly after midnight and went home because he had stomach problems. Read returned home with two friends in the early hours of the morning after failing to get O'Keefe to return his calls and texts and was found unconscious outside his Fairview Road home in the snow amid similar conditions. in blizzard conditions.

An autopsy was foundmultiple lacerations to O'Keefe's right forearm, two black eyes, a cut nose, a two-inch laceration to the back of the head, and multiple skull fractures. Hypothermia is also believed to have contributed to his death.

Read was arrested three days after O'Keefe's body was found.. Initially charged with manslaughter, he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The prosecution's allegations against Read

Norfolk County prosecutors said Reed suggested that friends who were with him, as well as a Canton firefighter/paramedic at the scene, believed he hit O'Keefe with his truck.

One of the friends told police at the time that Read called her at 5 am. and he said to him, "John is dead, I wonder if he is dead. It is snowing, he was hit by a plow".

"I hit him, hit him, hit him, hit him," he told the paramedic.

Investigators found the van at his parents' home and impounded it. The black 2021 Lexus SUV had a broken right tail light and multiple scratches on the rear bumper, and prosecutors said there was shards of glass embedded in the bumper, consistent with the glass O'Keefe was seen holding earlier.

Pieces of the taillight were also found in the snow outside the house on Fairview Road, prosecutors said.

“The victim and the accused had been arguing for some time. Several times in the weeks leading up to this, on one occasion the victim tried to break up with the defendant, he asked her to leave the house and she refused to do so. , “Norfolk Deputy District Attorney Adam Lallyhe told the court in June.

Cover-up defense claims

Since last year,Read's team claimed a full-scale cover-upin the case, showing evidence on O'Keefe's body and a search they did on a cell phone belonging to someone else at the party. They say the state police investigator handling the case had ties to the home's owner, and they say people at the party coordinated to falsely blame Read.

Lally characterized the dog search as a fishing expedition, arguing that the defense had failed to establish the "relevance or probative value" of the requested records.

(Video) Karen Read pleads not guilty to murder charge in death of Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe

The defense developed its allegations in a court filing on May 3. your lawyershe said he was denied access to the evidence, but the evidence you've seen suggests that O'Keefe actually died inside Brian Albert's home.

Alan Jackson, one of the attorneys representing Read, argued that the injuries found on O'Keefe's hand after his death were not from a car accident, but from an animal attack. He pointed to the German Shepherd formerly owned by Albert, who has since been transferred.

According to Jackson, Albert told a grand jury that his dog was inside the night of O'Keefe's death.

"If that dog was inside the house that night, not on the front lawn, not on the front lawn, but inside the house, and those injuries were sustained or sustained at the time John O'Keefe was killed, that means the John O'Keefe was inside the house when he was killed, and that also means his body was removed," Jackson argued.

He also pointed to cellphone data suggesting O'Keefe went up and down the stairs after Reed left him, though prosecutors said the health information was unreliable.

Jackson said the defense needs records of the dog's location, if it is still alive, as well as a saliva sample and a hair sample. The judge in the case later granted the defense's request for any information the city had about the dog, a victory for Read's team.

NBC10 Boston reached out to two of the people whose actions Read's lawyers questioned, Albert and Albert's sister-in-law Jennifer McCabe, and did not hear back.

Neither Albert nor McCabe have been charged with any crime, and lawyers for both successfully argued this week that they should not be called as witnesses at a pretrial hearing in the case.

"How long to die in the cold"

April 12thIn a motion seeking access to Albert's phone records, Read's lawyers said that McCabe's newly discovered phone records showed that she had Googled the phrase "How long to freeze to death" hours before calling the 911 to report O'Keefe. found in the snow.

In a statement at the time, Jackson and David R. Yanetti, another defense attorney, said the evidence proved that others "knew John was dying in the snow before Karen knew he was gone".

Read's lawyers say she began frantically calling her friends, including McCabe, after becoming concerned that O'Keefe had not returned home with her children.

(Video) The Boston Legal Saga | How Long to Die In Cold?

Read's attorneys said in court documents that McCabe "entered the 'search'" for O'Keefe, doing everything possible to delay Read's return to the Albert Residence to look for him. The defense said he "insisted" that Read's car be driven back to the O'Keefe home, where Read had already unsuccessfully searched for it.

Read and McCabe arrived together at 6 am, where Read found O'Keefe unconscious, his lawyers said. McCabe called 911.

"Immediately after disconnecting with the dispatch to 9-1-1," Read's lawyers say McCabe made two calls at 6:07 am and 6:08 am to a cell phone belonging to his sister, Albert's wife, who also dated the group. last night. – and deleted them from your phone. He also placed a missed call to Albert at 6:23 am, which has also been deleted, Read's lawyers say.

Less than a minute after that call, the lawyers also allege that McCabe opened an article entitled "How Long Does It Take to Digest Food?", which the defense links to the digestive process that researchers often use to calculate time of death.

The lawyers add that Albert and his wife "were among the first people to be alerted that O'Keefe was unconscious a few feet away on the front lawn and, despite being so close, made no attempt to get out and help." . . or else to investigate the emergency unfolding at your door'.

Hours later, McCabe allegedly tried to "sanitize" his phone contact with Albert by removing his contact details, which had been saved as "Uncle Brian a".

Furthermore, on Feb. 1, Read's attorneys say McCabe made "a transparent (and unsuccessful) attempt to hide his own wrongdoing and shift the blame to Ms. Read," telling police that after the two arrived at the site of O'Keefe's death, "Karen immediately Googled me twice: 'How long do you have to be outside to die of hypothermia?'".

At a hearing on Wednesday, the prosecution and defense had different interpretations of the data and what it meant, both citing medical examiners. Lally said evidence shows McCabe conducted the search minutes after O'Keefe's body was found.

After both sides of the case exchanged explanations, the judge rejected the defense's request for more access to cellphone data.

What was said about the case

After Wednesday's hearing, Read spoke briefly with reporters outside the courtroom.

"It seems we are the only ones fighting for the truth about what happened to John O'Keefe and I, my family, my lawyers and my team have pooled all our resources to get to the truth. It seems like no one else wants that," he said.

(Video) Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe Dies After Being Found Outside Canton Home

When asked by a reporter if he killed O'Keefe, he said, "We know who did." One of his attorneys, Alan Jackson, stepped in to say, "No, she didn't. No, she didn't. This is an innocent woman. She didn't."

And Reed added that when her body was found outside her home early on Jan. 29, "I was the only one trying to save her life."


Who Killed John O'Keefe? Understanding the latest claims in the legal saga? ›

Karen Read has been charged with second-degree murder in the January 2022 death of her boyfriend, Boston Police

Boston Police
The Boston Police Department (BPD), dating back to 1838, holds the primary responsibility for law enforcement and investigation within the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest municipal police department in the United States. The BPD is also the 20th largest law enforcement agency in the country.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Boston_Police_Department
officer John O'Keefe; her attorneys believe he was actually killed inside the Canton home of a fellow officer, claiming a large-scale coverup.

Who is Karen Read? ›

Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of murder in the death of her boyfriend, a Boston police officer, spoke directly to reporters Wednesday after her defense tried to argue in court in favor of evidence they said would implicate others in the crime.

What happened to Karen Reed? ›

Prosecutors have said Read ran over her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, with her SUV back in January, 2022 after a night of drinking. Read, prosecutors said, then left the scene. Read's lawyers, though, have maintained O'Keefe was attacked by a dog and beaten inside a Canton home after Reed dropped him off and drove away.

Who is Karen Read's attorney? ›

Cannone's filing was a ruling on motions Read's defense attorneys David Yannetti and Alan Jackson argued before her at the last hearing date of May 3 — a win for the defense team.

What was Karen Read's blood alcohol content? ›

9:08 a.m. - Read's blood is drawn at Good Samaritan Medical Center. A forensic toxicologist said it revealed her blood alcohol content was . 07% - . 08% and opined that around the time of 12:45 a.m., her BAC would have been between .

Who is Karen Read accused of killing boyfriend in Canton? ›

Karen Read, of Mansfield, has been charged with hitting Officer Brian O'Keefe, her boyfriend, with her SUV and leaving him to die in the snow in January 2022 after a night of drinking with friends.

Where was Karen read a professor? ›

Karen Read at Bentley University | Rate My Professors.

What is the highest alcohol reading ever? ›

1.480 BAC. After a car crash that resulted in serious injuries, a Polish man's BAC was taken and it was 1.480%. That's the highest BAC ever recorded in known history.

What is the highest blood alcohol level ever recorded living person? ›

An individual in Ukraine in 2010 had a blood alcohol concentration of 1.320%, the highest in the world. He had been drinking for several days when he was seen unattentive on the street. A blood alcohol of 0.4% or above means a high risk of death, so the individual was fortunate to survive with such a high BAC.

What drinking alcohol has the highest alcohol content? ›

Spirytus, a 96% alcohol by volume vodka created in Poland, is the strongest alcoholic beverage in the world (ABV).

Who was the judge in the Karen Read case? ›

Norfolk Superior Court Judge Beverly J. Cannone quashed defense subpoenas to witnesses Brian Albert and Albert's sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe, and took under advisement a third defense request to examine Albert's phone and McCabe's phone records. Cannone didn't indicate when she may rule on that motion.

What is the podcast about Karen Read? ›

The Case Against Karen Read.

What is the capital of massachusetts? ›

Boston, the capital of Massachusetts since its founding, dates from 1630. Nickname: The BAY STATE or the OLD BAY STATE is the nickname most commonly attached to Massachusetts.

What was Mazza blood alcohol level? ›

Mazza had been drinking and his blood-alcohol level was close to twice the legal limit of . 08 in New Hampshire, the defense attorney claimed. Federal investigators found that some of the bikers and passengers were impaired by alcohol, but claim it wasn't the reason for the crash.

What alcohol percentage is 130 proof? ›

Not surprisingly, it smells like ethanol — 130 proof is 65% alcohol — but not overpoweringly so. You can still smell a lot of sweetness, along with tropical fruits like bananas.

What is 0.05% blood alcohol? ›

0.01% - 0.05% = feelings of happiness and loosening of muscles. May feel like talking more and being more social. 0.05% - 0.08% = Less alert, trouble thinking clearly to make decisions, and acting differently.

What BAC is vodka? ›

Alcohol Content
Alcohol Content (in Percent) of Selected Beverages
BeverageAlcohol Content (%)
Vodkas40.0 - 50.0
Gin40.0 - 48.5
Rum40.0 - 95.0
13 more rows
Sep 7, 2017


1. Karen Read Free On $50,000 Bail In Death Of Boyfriend Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe
(CBS Boston)
2. Attorney: John O'Keefe Was Inside the House When He Was Killed
3. 'He Was Well-Loved': Wake Held For Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe
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4. Officer Down - The Case of Karen Read | True Crime 2023
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