A Boston Cop Was Found Dead in the Snow. His Girlfriend Is Accused

Karen Read's trial is underway
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2024 3:30 AM CDT
A Boston Cop Was Found Dead in the Snow. His Girlfriend Is Accused
This undated photograph provided by the Boston Police Department shows officer John O'Keefe, 46, of Canton, Mass.   (Boston Police Department via AP)

On January 28, 2022, Boston police officer John O'Keefe and his girlfriend, Karen Read, went out to a couple bars and met up with friends, including one of O'Keefe's fellow officers. They ended up at that officer's house after midnight for an after-party. The next morning, O'Keefe was found dead in the snow in front of that house. Read says she'd left him there the night prior and then gone home because she wasn't feeling well, and went out looking for him the next morning when she realized he'd never come home—only to find his body in the snow. Authorities, however, say a fight between the couple during their night out ended with Read fatally striking O'Keefe with her car, then fleeing the scene. Now she's on trial facing charges of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of a collision. The case has had a lot of twists and turns:

  • CNN, in its long look at the case, notes that leading up to the trial there were "many months of courtroom showdowns, conspiracy theories, and accusations of a cover-up," and that locals have debated what they think really happened, some of them staging protests at city council meetings to accuse authorities of a scheme to frame Read and cover up for someone inside the home outside of which O'Keefe was found.
  • What they think happened, and what Read's defense team alleges, is that O'Keefe got into an altercation with someone inside the house, where he was beaten before being thrown out into the cold.
  • One of two female acquaintances who went out with Read on the morning of January 29 to look for O'Keefe was the sister-in-law of the owner of the home outside of which his body was ultimately found. Read's lawyers allege she is part of the cover-up, saying that hours before O'Keefe was found dead, she Googled "Ho(w) long to die in cold."
  • How the Norfolk County district attorney feels about the cover-up idea? "The idea that multiple police departments, EMTs, fire personnel, the medical examiner, and prosecuting agencies are joining in … a vast conspiracy should be seen for what it is—completely contrary to the evidence and a desperate attempt to reassign guilt."

  • WCVB lays out the prosecution's timeline of events, including the prosecution's argument that Read and O'Keefe's relationship was on the rocks at the time of his death. CBS News also offers a timeline.
  • Jury selection, which could take days, is underway, and WJAR reports the judge ordered a 200-foot "buffer zone" around the courthouse, inside of which no one is allowed to demonstrate.
  • Boston.com describes the first day of jury selection, during which only four jurors were seated.
  • Boston 25 News offers a guide to the case's "key players."
  • It could be tricky to seat an impartial jury, reports CBS News in its explainer on the trial.
  • Who is Turtleboy? The Telegram & Gazette reports on the blogger and takes a look at how he has influenced local opinion on the case.
(More Boston stories.)

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