Karen Read, a 'convenient outsider' accused of killing her Boston police boyfriend

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — The woman accused of ramming her luxury SUV into her boyfriend and callously leaving him on the ground before a snowstorm had dated the future Boston police officer briefly in her 20s. They reconnected during the pandemic.

Her father described her as a resilient woman who battled through health problems and has her family's support.

Long before she was charged with murder in the death of John O’Keefe, Karen Read had a successful career as a financial analyst and adjunct professor at Bentley College. Now 44, she grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia, and in Taunton, Massachusetts. She attended Coyle & Cassidy, a now-closed private Roman Catholic school, and earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in finance at Bentley, a private university in Waltham.

When she reconnected with O'Keefe, he had moved to suburban Canton to take care of his niece and nephew after their parents died. She told ABC News before the trial that she admired him for stepping up for his family, and she helped with the kids, staying over frequently.

But their relationship soured. The niece and nephew testified about their verbal fights. And what should have been a fun-filled trip to Aruba in December 2021 was marred by animosity with angry words and an accusation of cheating.

Prosecutors suggested O'Keefe was looking for a way out before their last night bar-hopping together. And moments after she allegedly reversed her SUV into him on the front lawn of another officer's house on Jan. 29, 2022, she left him a voicemail that was replayed for the jurors, saying, “John, I (expletive) hate you.”

Read, whose defense said she was framed as “a convenient outsider” to protect a circle of law enforcers, has been supported by friends and family including William Read, a former dean at Bentley who put up $50,000 bail for his daughter. He sits behind her each day in the courtroom, and said they have faith in her innocence.

She has battled adversity before, undergoing multiple surgeries for Crohn’s disease before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and her father told the Boston Globe, “Karen will never break down and she will never lose her resolve.”