Controversy and Conspiracy in Canton: The Murder of John O’Keefe


On the morning of January 29, 2022, Boston Police officer John O'Keefe was tragically found dead in the snow outside of a Canton home. The previous night, O'Keefe, his girlfriend Karen Read, and several others went to Waterfall Bar & Grill, a local bar in Canton, to get drinks for about an hour. They were invited back to a party at the Canton home of Brian Albert, a surveillance expert credited with solving the Boston Strangler mystery. O'Keefe's girlfriend, Karen Read of Mansfield, dropped O'Keefe off at the party shortly after midnight and claimed to not stay because of "stomach issues." 

Read returned to the home the next day after O'Keefe did not respond to her calls and texts, which is when they shockingly discovered his body unresponsive outside the home amid blizzard-like conditions. An autopsy of O'Keefe's body revealed that he had several abrasions to his right forearm, two black eyes, a cut to his nose, a two inch laceration to the back of his head and multiple skull fractures. Hypothermia was also believed to have played a role in his death. 

Evidently, this was no accident. Karen Read was arrested three days after O'Keefe's body was discovered, and initially charged with manslaughter, However, she pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.

The Prosecution's Case Against Read

Norfolk County Prosecutors have said that Read told friends and paramedics on the scene that she believed she hit O'Keefe with her SUV. One of Read's friends claims that at 5 a.m, the morning of O'Keefe's death, Read called her frantically saying, "John's dead, I wonder if he's dead. It's snowing, he got hit by a plow." She also allegedly told a paramedic, "I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him." 

After hearing witness claims, investigators seized Read's SUV from her parents house and discovered that it had a shattered right rear taillight and several scratches on its rear bumper. Prosecutors also say that there were shards of glass found embedded in the bumper, which is consistent with the glass cup O'Keefe was earlier seen holding. 

Pieces of Read's taillight were found in the snow outside of Albert's home as well. Preceding O'Keefe's death, the couple had been arguing frequently for weeks before. It even alleged that on one occasion O'Keefe attempted to break up with Read and had asked her to leave his home but she refused to do so. Prosecutors allege that Karen was drunk behind the wheel when she hit O'Keefe while trying to execute a three-point turn in the driveway.

The Defense's Claims of a Coverup

Read's defense team has alleged a coverup of the murder of John O'Keefe. They claim that the evidence found on O'Keefe's body and the incriminating google searches from attendees at the party suggest foul play. The defense is also suggesting that corruption was involved in the case because the state police investigator in charge of the case had ties to the homeowner, Brian Albert. Read's attorneys argue that the wounds found on O'Keefe's arm after his death were not consistent with a car crash but an animal attack. They pointed to the Albert's German Shepard that was at the residence at the time of his murder, but since then, they have decided to suspiciously rehome the dog. 

Alan Jackson, one of the attorneys representing Karen Read, argues, "If that dog was inside the house that night — not on the front lawn, not in the front yard, but inside the house — and these injuries were suffered or sustained at the time John O'Keefe was killed, then that means that John O'Keefe was inside the house when he was killed, and it also means that his body was moved." More evidence from O'Keefe's cell phone data shows movement up and down stairs after Read dropped him off, proving that he was inside the home.

Local citizens speculate that the movement upstairs from O'Keefe's phone could suggest a struggle, as if he was trying to avoid something or someone in the house by going upstairs. Arguably, one of the most damning pieces of evidence was the google search from the home at 2:27 a.m. by Brian Albert's sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe, which reads, "[H]ow long to die in cold." The defense overall claims that O'Keefe entered the home, where party attendees beat him up, covered up his resulting death, and left him outside in the snow. 

Neither Albert nor McCabe or any witnesses from the party have been charged with a crime at the moment.

Community Impact

This case has left the Canton community torn. Aidan Kearney, better known as Turtle Boy News, has been a prominent figure in fighting for Karen Read's innocence in the case. He has held multiple protests in the town and at the courthouse with hundreds of supporters in the community and even surrounding towns rallying together to support these efforts. 

Not only has this case exposed corruption within Canton and Boston's law enforcement departments, it has also exposed Canton's low-life citizens such as the "Canton Egg Thrower'' who threw eggs at one of the local protests this summer, even hitting a five year old boy, and also Canton's selectmen who shut down a meeting after citizens refused to be silent about the coverup and openly cursed out those speaking out against the Albert's and Canton Police.

Once a respected union, the Canton Police Department is now greatly feared and distrusted by the public. At the end of the day, people are still devastated by the untimely loss of John O'Keefe and only hope for justice to come in the near future.

Karen Read's Trial

Currently, Karen Read is set to go to trial on March 12, 2024. Bail for Read is currently set at $80,000 after previously being set as high as $100,000, but her team is asking for bail to be dropped entirely.