We have 3 months until the next Karen Read court date, so during that time we will be reviewing and revisiting the thousands of pages of documents entered into evidence to pick up on things that we missed, and review lies and inconsistencies coming from the Commonwealth’s witnesses. Today we’ll be focusing on Jennifer McCabe, one of the key architects in the murder of John O’Keefe, to see what we missed in our initial reporting on her.
Here’s what is indisputable about Jen McCabe:
- She and her husband Matt McCabe went to the Waterfall Bar to meet up with the Alberts at 9 PM on January 28.
- At closing time Jen invited John O’Keefe to Brian Alberts for an after party, and the two of them texted and called each other to get directions.
- Jen claims that John never went in the house.
- Jen left the house at 1:47 with Matt, Julie Nagel, and Sarah Levinson.
- When Jen arrived home she stayed up all night after a night of drinking, and Googled “hos long to die in cold” at 2:27.
- Jen later deleted that search, along with all phone calls made from 5-9 AM.
- At 4:53 AM Karen Read called Jen McCabe from John’s niece’s cell phone, frantically looking for him.
- Karen Read drove to Jen’s house at 5 AM, bumping into John’s car and breaking her tail light as she left the house.
- Jen McCabe drove Karen’s car back to John’s house (because Karen was too hysterical to drive) where they met up with Kerry Roberts.
- Jen and Karen parked Karen’s car inside John’s garage and got into Kerry Robert’s car.
- Kerry Roberts eventually drove them to Fairview Road where Karen, and Karen alone, saw John’s body lying feet from the curb in less than 2 inches of snow.
- Kerry Roberts and Karen Read attempted to perform CPR on John while Jen called 911, staying on the line for almost 4 minutes.
- Jen called her sister Nicole at 6:07 and 6:08, and both calls were answered and lasted less than 10 seconds.
- Jen made sure to speak with every police officer on scene, and told them different versions of the same story about statements Karen made, all of which were designed to make Karen Read the prime suspect.
It’s important to point out that the 5 responding Canton Police Officers, the only firefighter who gave a statement, and the lead investigator from the Massachusetts State Police, all graduated from Canton High School and lived in town. They knew the Alberts and McCabes for decades, but none of them knew Karen Read. Jen McCabe knew this, which is why she needed to be there to speak with them first. She had to be the cool and composed one who could set the narrative with friendly cops who knew her family.
The first two officers on the scene were Steven Saraf and Stephen Mullaney. Mullaney is a 2014 Canton High School graduate, and was a classmate of Caitlin Albert and firefighter Katie McLaughlin. Saraf is a 1989 Canton High School graduate who has known the older generation of Alberts and McCabes since he was a child. Saraf’s report said very little, other than that Karen Read was very distraught and too emotional to communicate what happened. Nowhere in his report does he mention anything about Karen Read yelling any sort of variation of “I hit him.”
Mullaney got there after Saraf and saw Karen Read performing CPR. He witnessed John being put on a stretcher and into an ambulance. Jen McCabe sought out this much younger officer to immediately tell her story that John never came inside 34 Fairview Road. She was cool, composed, and focused, while Karen was hysterical, distraught, and screaming. According to Mullaney Karen screamed “is he dead?”, but never yelled anything similar to “I hit him.” He remained on scene as 3 other senior officers arrived, but never reported hearing yell what Jen McCabe claimed she was yelling repeatedly.
Sgt. Sean Goode was the patrol supervisor that night, tasked with dispatching officers to the scene. Goode is a 1998 Canton High School graduate. Here he is in a recent picture with his fellow high school classmates Jill Daniels, Kati Brown, and Courtney Proctor.
Goode sent Saraf and Mullaney to the house, and notified Lt. Paul Gallagher (class of 1984) and Sgt Michael Lank (class of 1990). He went to 34 Fairview Road shortly thereafter. The first person who came up to him was Jen McCabe. She immediately began telling him the same story she told everyone about being at the Waterfall and inviting John over to Brian Albert’s house afterwards. However, Jen told Goode something she didn’t tell any other cop – that she saw John O’Keefe open the passenger side door. She also said that she saw the car drive off, and assumed John had gone home, which makes it more suspicious that she would Google “hos long to die in cold” at 2:27 AM if she thought he was at home in bed.
According to Goode’s report Karen was hysterical and was yelling “is he dead?” When Goode asked Karen how John ended up on the lawn she said, “I don’t know,” but he never reports that she said anything similar to “Did I hit him?” Like the other cops, Goode was having no luck with Karen because her state of trauma and hysteria prevented her from answering questions clearly.
Goode’s report goes on to say that when Canton Fire arrived Karen was sitting in Kerry Roberts’ car and was yelling “is he dead?” This is in direct conflict with Michael Proctor’s version of firefighter Katie McLaughlin’s statement that Karen was yelling “I hit him,” and with Jen McCabe’s claims that she was yelling “Could I have hit him?”
Most interestingly it was Goode who ordered Karen to be driven home because she was not needed anymore.
This proves that the Canton Police Department did not suspect a motor vehicle homicide, and didn’t believe Karen Read was a suspect. If they believed that there was any chance that she was responsible for murdering a cop they would not have allowed her to leave the scene of the crime and retrieve the murder weapon. Up until this time no one had heard Karen Read mention anything about hitting John.
Sgt. Lank arrived at 6:24, right when Jen McCabe was Googling “hos long to die in cold” for a second time, in the hopes that it would mask the first deleted search. The ambulance left shortly after he got there. As usual, Jen McCabe made sure that she was the first person to speak with the Sergeant who ran in her social circles in order to set the narrative. Lank was the fourth officer she spoke with, and she had much of her story memorized by this point. However, she told Lank things that she hadn’t told the other cops:
- She observed Karen’s car outside of the house for several minutes
- Karen’s car remained outside for at least 15 minutes.
- She gave Julie Nagel a ride home at 1:30 AM.
This is interesting because she deliberately chose not to mention that she also gave a ride home to nurse Sarah Levinson. Nor did she mention that her daughter Allie allegedly came over to pick up Colin Albert. The less people you introduce into a conspiracy the easier it is to keep your stories straight. Levinson’s presence at the party was not mentioned in any reports until 9 months later, and police made no effort to interview her or Julie Nagel until that time.
Sgt Lank’s report goes on to say that Michael Proctor was in contact with them by 6:38 AM. He confirmed the same story the other officers reported about Karen Read – she was hysterical and difficult to control. He also stated that there was no sign of any missing shoe, or red piece of tail light, despite 35 pieces of tail light and a missing shoe being found by State Police 12 hours later at the same exact location.
Lank was the only officer to step foot inside 34 Fairview Road where he spoke with Brian and Nicole Albert, who graduated 2 years ahead of him at Canton High School. He interviewed Brian Albert and Matt McCabe, who must have recently arrived. He asked questions about what happened at the Waterfall, but didn’t ask any questions about what the atmosphere was like inside 34 Fairview Road, where the murder took place.
McCabe told Lank that he saw Karen’s car pull up to the house but didn’t see anyone get out. He asked the Alberts who else was there that night and they told him, 1) Brian Albert Jr, 2) Caitlin Albert, 3) Julie Nagel, and 4) Brian Higgins. They never mentioned Sarah Levinson, Colin Albert, or Allie McCabe, all of whom were there. He also said that Caitlin Albert left at 12:15 after being picked up by her boyfriend Tristin Morris.
The less people involved in a conspiracy the less people can get the story wrong. Almost the entire narrative came from Jen McCabe, with some corroboration from Brian, Nicole, and Matt.
It’s hard to believe that Caitlin Albert actually left at 12:15. For starters, she has has been grand juried, which leads us to believe that the FBI has cell phone data putting her inside the house for much longer. Secondly, why would she go out to the bar with her parents, only to go back to Fairview Road and get picked up by Tristin Morris? According to Nicole Albert during an interview with Yuriy Bukhenik, Tristin and Caitlin had met up with her for dinner at the Waterfall.
So where did Tristin go? Are we to believe that he went out to dinner with his girlfriend and her mother, went off and did his own thing for a few hours, then drove back to 34 Fairview Road during a blizzard to pick up Caitlin when he could’ve just gone to the Waterfall and left with her from there?
At 9 AM Jen decided to change her story, and specifically requested that Sgt. Lank be the one to take her report, despite the fact that the State Police had assumed control of the investigation at that point. She called him back to 34 Fairview Road to tell him something that she hadn’t told any other officer up until that point – that Karen Read yelled “I hope I didn’t hit him” right after discovering John O’Keefe’s body.
Keep in mind, she had been at her sister’s house for 2.5 hours at that point alone with them – plenty of time to review what she had told police, and what she could still tell them to put it in their heads that Karen Read was responsible. She did this while Karen Read was in the hospital and couldn’t deny it.
Jen McCabe wants the public to believe that Karen Read, who according to every police officer on scene was in an incoherent state of hysteria, yelled “I hope I didn’t hit him” the moment she found John O’Keefe’s body. When the 911 tape and police dash cam videos come out it will show whether or not these statements were ever made. But all four officers who submitted reports said that Karen never said that.
Nicole Albert claims that she wasn’t awoken by the two phone calls she answered from her sister, nor was she awoken by a barking dog, a hysterical woman, and dozens of first responders trying to save the life of a dead cop on her front lawn. Instead she was woken up by Jen McCabe, who walked into her unlocked house at an unknown time and told her about what had happened.
Jen McCabe did two interviews with State Police. The first was with Trooper Kathleen Prince on February 1 at her house. She told Prince that “someone” told her that there was a car outside 34 Fairview Road, and that she looked outside and saw it. She said she didn’t know what kind of car it was, and that she texted John at 12:21 to ask if he was there. He didn’t respond, but she called him at 12:29 and someone answered the phone, according to his call logs. Jen told police that was a butt dial. She said that she texted him again at 12:31, then looked out the window and noticed Karen’s car had moved forward to where John’s body was later discovered. She said she texted him again at 12:40, and that the next time she looked out the window the car was gone. She also said that she drove two people home, not just Julie Nagel, as she had told Canton Police.
There’s a couple problems with this:
- Jen left the Waterfall at the same time as John, so she shouldn’t have gotten there that much earlier than him. Jen arrived at 34 Fairview Road at 12:18, so John getting there at 12:20 is plausible. John getting there at 12:31 is not.
- He story conflicts with the new Commonwealth narrative that John was hit by Karen at 12:25 AM, and that she immediately fled the scene after that. According to this report she saw Karen’s car outside at 12:40 but did not see it leave. Both cannot be true.
Jen did not tell any of the Canton Police officers on scene that Karen was saying “could I have hit him” while driving around looking for John. She only began saying this after Karen was in the hospital and unable to deny it. She told this same story to Trooper Prince on February 1.
Jen went on to say that she somehow saw John O’Keefe’s phone underneath his body, she lied about how much snow had fallen, and claimed that in a state of hysteria Karen asked Jen to Google “hos long to die in cold,” instead of asking the trained first responders. Jen made sure to tell Trooper Prince that Karen made statements that John’s kids caused fights between her and John, in order to make her look cruel and jealous.
By April it was clear that Karen Read was not going to plead guilty to manslaughter, so the DA’s Office began to pursue murder charges in the hopes that it would force her into accepting a plea. The last thing they ever wanted was a trial where all the facts would come out. So they convened a grand jury and began getting statements from witnesses that they could use to indict Karen for murder. On April 6 Trooper Proctor interviewed Jen McCabe at her home, but did not record the interview. Instead of asking her questions Proctor appeared to let her dictate what happened with zero pushback. Her story once again changed:
This story differs from the story she told Trooper Prince because:
- “Someone” didn’t alert her to Karen’s car being there, she just looked out the window and saw it.
- She says she texted John “pull up behind me” at 12:31 because she saw his car outside. This is in direct conflict with the Commonwealth’s new theory that Karen Read hit John at 12:25 and immediately fled. His car could not have been there at 12:31 if that was true.
- In this version of her story she sees the car leave at 12:45. In the version she told Trooper Prince she last saw the car at 12:40 but didn’t see the car leave. Both conflict with the state’s narrative that John was killed at 12:25.
Jen McCabe also told Proctor and other officers that she didn’t see John because his body was under 6 inches of snow, but there was less than 2 inches that had fallen by 6 AM. She once again stated that Karen yelled “Oh my God did I hit him” while performing CPR – something that no officer witnessed, and would be audible on the 911 tape.
At no point did Michael Proctor, or any officer, ask Jen McCabe, or anyone inside the house, what the atmosphere of the house was like. Was there music? Where was the booze? Were people loud? What rooms was everyone standing in? Why were the McCabes looking out the windows but not the Alberts? were they not in the same place? Whey didn’t anyone report seeing Ryan Nagel pull up in a truck, or Julie Nagel going outside to speak to him? How could no one hear a car going 24 mph in reverse, in the snow, and not hear it crashing into John’s body?
Jen McCabe’s story constantly changed, and if real police were investigating John O’Keefe’s murder they would’ve pushed her on those lies and she would have crumbled. But instead she sought out a bunch of her old high school friends in uniform and made sure to plant the seed in their heads that Karen Read alone was responsible for her boyfriend’s death.