Parents of Karen Read, woman charged in Boston officer’s death: ‘My daughter will be free’

DEDHAM, Mass. — The parents of a woman charged in a Boston Police officer’s death say they’re confident in their daughter’s innocence as her legal fight continues.

Karen Read, the girlfriend of late Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, has been accused of backing over her boyfriend in Canton, MA, and leaving him to die in a January 2022 blizzard.

She was charged with second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a collision in connection with O’Keefe’s death. The case has drawn national attention over claims of a cover-up. A Facebook page called, Justice For John O’Keefe & Karen Read (Mass corruption) has more than 18 thousand followers.

In Massachusetts, second-degree murder includes when a person intentionally kills another without premeditation.

“We’ll resolve these issues,” William Read, father of Karen Read, told Investigative Reporter Ted Daniel. “My daughter will be free. That’s what I believe.”

William Read says his daughter told him she thought she “struck something” while she was at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton, where O’Keefe was pronounced dead.

The father denied that Karen Read thought she struck O’Keefe.

“No, no, no,” William Read said. “She felt she struck something. She said: ‘Dad, I think I struck something.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ This was in the hospital, she says, ‘I remember backing up and hitting something, but I can’t say what it was’ and at this point, she’s frantic.”


Karen Read’s parents say she and O’Keefe became serious in 2019 right before the Covid pandemic.

“They just seemed to be in a happy place, you know,” Karen’s mother Janet Read said.

The Reads shared multiple pictures of the smiling couple at family events and on vacation.

Daniel also reviewed surveillance video showing Read and O’Keefe laughing and embracing at C.F. McCarthy’s, a restaurant and bar in Canton.

According to police, Karen Read would back over O’Keefe and leave him for dead in a snowstorm less than 3 hours after the bar video was recorded. In court documents, police estimated that Read’s blood alcohol level would have been between .13% - .29%. at 12:45 a.m., the time they believe O’Keefe was struck.

Police determined Read backed over O’Keefe after dropping him at 34 Fairview Road where a party was taking place. At the time, the home was owned by another Boston police officer named Brian Albert.


William Read told Daniel he believes O’Keefe was lured to the late-night gathering and quickly ended up in the basement.

“I think John O’Keefe entered that house, was sucker punched, a fight ensued, and he was overwhelmed,” he said.

William Read suggested O’Keefe was dragged out of the house through a basement bulkhead, taken around the side of the house, and placed near the road where he was found unresponsive in a snowstorm later in the morning.

Hospital medical records detailed O’Keefe’s injuries: including his eyes swollen shut black and blue, a cut on his right eyelid, a cut to the left side of his nose, a two-inch laceration on the back of his head, multiple skull fractures, and six bloody cuts of varied length on his right forearm from his forearm to bicep.

Read’s defense team has argued that police failed to seriously consider any of the party attendees as potential suspects.

According to the Norfolk County DA’s office, eight people inside the home and three more outside testified that O’Keefe never entered, and the office states that GPS data from O’Keefe’s phone supports that.

William Read suggested that the alleged attack was kept secret from most of the people inside the Albert home, including teenagers celebrating a birthday, and only a limited number of adults were aware of it.

Ted Daniel asked Read’s parents: “if the events happen the way Karen’s attorneys say they did, how many people would have to be involved in the cover-up?”

Read’s father said: “My sense is that there are a handful of people, influential people, who know what happened.”

The Norfolk DA’s Office tells Daniel, “There was no conspiracy or cover-up,” and “such claims have been systematically refuted by evidence submitted to Norfolk Superior Court and provided to the defense.”


Police found damage to the passenger side taillight of Karen’s Lexus LX-570. How the damage occurred is disputed by Read’s legal team.

A party attendee who helped Read search for O’Keefe on the morning of January 29 said Read had shown her a cracked right rear taillight on her vehicle and questioned if she could have hit O’Keefe.

The Reads believe the damage occurred when Karen Read backed out of O’Keefe’s driveway to look for him – hours after she is accused of striking him. A Ring camera at John O’Keefe’s home shows Karen Read back out of his garage and directly towards O’Keefe’s vehicle parked in the driveway.

“Look at it frame-by-frame,” William Read said. “And you tell me whether or not the O’Keefe vehicle, the left rear wheel, does not jettison forward upon impact and return to its previous position.”

According to court documents filed by the prosecution, the video only shows Read “coming close” to O’Keefe’s car.

Police say they didn’t find any damage to O’Keefe’s car or garage doors, or any fragments or pieces of broken taillight in his driveway.

According to prosecutors, a state police team discovered two red plastic pieces and one clear plastic piece of a taillight in the area they believe O’Keefe was struck outside 34 Fairview Rd.

“The SERT team discovered these items after digging through the still-falling snow,” reads a prosecution memorandum.

The Reads say that wasn’t until after Karen’s SUV was in the custody of law enforcement.

“They confiscate Karen’s car at my parents’ residence .. at 4:16 P.M. and somewhere in the neighborhood of 5:30, 5:45, Mass State Police SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) comes back to the scene,” Karen’s older brother Nathan said, “They search the scene then with two feet of snow, pieces of a taillight are found on top of the snow.”

In court filings, the prosecution says that state police found the pieces of taillight while digging through the snow.


Karen Read’s defense team have raised several concerns about the prosecution’s evidence – evidence that prosecutors say is backed by medical examiner analysis.

The Reads question the injuries seen in John’s autopsy photos. They say he appears to have dog bites on his right arm.

The defense theory is that O’Keefe was beaten inside the Albert home and attacked by Albert’s German Shephard, but the medical examiner says those markings are “scratches caused by a blunt object” – not animal bites.

Medical examiner Irini Scordi-Bello testified that skull fractures caused O’Keefe’s eyes and face to swell and grow discolored and she stated she saw no signs of an altercation or fight.


William and Janet Read say they have mortgaged their home and dipped into their retirement savings to help pay for Karen’s defense. The family says Karen is confident she will be cleared of all charges.

“This is a watershed moment. And I think as it continues to gather momentum and national exposure, it will lead to changes and more transparency,” William Read said.

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