– Framed – Video for Full Background on Canton Cover-Up Story
– Donate to the Karen Read Legal Defense Fund
– See all parts of the Canton Cover-Up Series
– Watch the Live Shows and Videos
– Join ”Justice for John O’Keefe and Karen Read” FB Group
The first time I ever really looked into the Karen Read case was on April 17, 2023. I had seen a NBC 10 headline about a Google search for “how long to die in cold,” and saw that an Attorney named Alan Jackson said that the case against his client Karen Read should be dismissed as a result of that exculpatory search.
Until then I had forgotten about the Karen Read case, and didn’t remember her name. I remember the headlines in February of 2022 when she was arrested and charged with manslaughter for accidentally hitting her boyfriend John O’Keefe and leaving him to die in the snow. I remember feeling bad for John’s family, but also for her because she had to live with it. When police officers are killed it’s usually the type of story I look into, but after a brief background search into Karen Read it looked to be a horrible accident, and I didn’t have a strong take on it.
But news of the Google search sent me down a rabbit hole. I began to consume the court filings, and the more I read the more shocked I became. I realized that I was sitting on potentially the biggest story I had ever written, and prepared myself for a long night of research and writing. At around 6 PM I made an announcement that I was working on the story, and the feedback the post elicited indicated that many had seen the headlines and wanted to know more.
After the post went up and was viewed thousands of times I was contacted by a turtle rider named Jen Altman. Jen is rather vocal on social media, and had voiced skepticism about the state’s narrative from the beginning. On April 13 she was contacted on Facebook by a woman from Los Angeles named Natalie Berschneider Wiweke, who claimed to be a close friend of Karen from Bentley University, and wanted to thank Altman for her support of her friend.
Shortly after that Altman got me in touch with Natalie to help me with background research on the case. Although I had the court documents in front of me, all the names were confusing me and I didn’t have pictures for a lot of them. Natalie helped fill in the blanks I was missing as I began to write the story. She appeared to be very close to Karen Read.
Karen Read would not speak with me, so Natalie became my source of information, and she seemed to have answers to all of my questions. Effectively she was acting as an intermediary between the reporter and the subject of his reporting, passing messages along, but not really knowing the answers herself.
Natalie and I spoke on a daily basis and became buddies rather quickly. She seemed like a resourceful, caring woman, who simply wanted to help her good friend. Her seeming devotion to Karen’s cause from 3,000 miles away made me think that her goals were altruistic.
Boy was I wrong.
I don’t have access to my phones, so I can’t reproduce our text conversations. But Natalie would message me all hours of the day about the case, as well as her personal life. She sent me videos of herself screaming like a lunatic at other drivers during LA rush hour traffic, and another video of her 5 year old daughter locked in the bathroom. When I would speak to her on the phone she would be rude and dismissive towards her husband Mark, who she would complain to me about constantly. I had no interest in that sort of conversation, but I didn’t mind talking to her about the Karen Read case because I was consumed with the story. However, I could see how others would find her smothering.
In mid June I was contacted by a couple documentary producers from southern California. Natalie had told me that she had rubbed elbows with a lot of famous people from her time running her mother’s high end furniture company, and believed that my reporting on the story had potential to be a Netflix level documentary. When I gave her the name of one of the companies I had been in talks with Natalie got in contact with the company’s President within an hour, and had inserted herself into it. She claimed that she wasn’t looking for fame or recognition, but clearly she wanted to be part of the story.
Shortly after that Natalie messaged me to complain about a text that Karen Read had sent her, asking for space. She copy and pasted the message in its entirety.
Based on what Karen sent her it seemed like a reasonable request. I knew that Natalie could be overwhelming, but I also was under the impression that Natalie was Karen’s best friend, who had done more for her cause than anyone. Because that’s what Natalie had made their relationship out to be.
Boy was I wrong.
As it turned out Karen Read barely knew Natalie, and the two of them did not run in the same social circles at Bentley. Natalie just saw Karen’s story in the news and wanted to be a part of it. I’m assuming that Karen was in a position where she would take whatever kind of help she could get, so for her to be so stern with Natalie about blowing up her phone I knew that Natalie had likely gone too far.
I couldn’t imagine being in Karen Read’s position, and having to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes along with being framed for murder. Quite frankly, if she was upset and asked for space, I thought her request should have been honored. I’m sure dealing with Natalie’s Daddy issues was the last thing she needed on her mind.
But instead of respecting Karen and giving her a week to cool off Natalie complained to me about what a bad friend Karen was, and how Natalie was just texting Karen 12 times in a row to let her know about her 5 time Emmy winner client. She sounded vengeful when she said that she could be a “son of a bitch” too.
Through my experience with women I’ve learned that the last thing you should ever do when they act like this is keep prodding them. I urged Natalie to focus on the case, reminded her that Karen had experienced trauma, and that she shouldn’t take anything Karen said personally. But all Natalie wanted to do was feel bad for herself by calling it a “low blow” and complaining that she was devastated and humiliated by Karen’s request for space.
I didn’t end up signing with that documentary company, and I assume Natalie scared them off.
Natalie began to say wild stuff like “it’s show time folks,” hinting that she was going to do something explosive.
She then told me she was going to meet with the documentary producer herself in order to spite Karen.
She continually spoke about what a great friend she was, and how Karen treated her like shit for asking her not to text her a million times in a row with gossip.
I told her that Karen would come around, even though I knew it was likely she wouldn’t. The problem was that Natalie was sitting by her phone, anxiously awaiting an apology from Karen that any rational person knew wasn’t going to come.
I would imagine that the last thing that’s on your mind while being framed for murder is to issue an apology to the woman you “humiliated” by privately asking her not to text you a million times.
Natalie said some pretty awful things to me about Karen, including how her mother told her that there was something wrong with any woman over 40 who isn’t married or had kids. This was shocking to hear because Karen was supposedly her good friend. She was 41 when her boyfriend was murdered, and Karen had effectively acted as his niece and nephew’s stepmother. I couldn’t understand why someone who was supposedly such a good friend of Karen Read would cast judgement the way Natalie did. But more than anything I had no interest in being involved because I was just interested in writing the stories.
I realized something was wrong with Natalie when she asked me, a person she really didn’t know very well, to act as an intermediary with Karen and repair their friendship. Since Karen was no longer speaking with Natalie I was using a different intermediary, which would’ve created a lot of work for both of us. I had no time for this and politely told Natalie I wasn’t going to involve myself with their personal issues, but she refused to take no for an answer. She felt she had done nothing wrong, and that Karen was indebted to her for all that she had done.
But all Natalie had done was just pass along messages – something Karen’s brother or other friends would gladly do for me. She was easily replaceable. The fact that she would press me, a stranger in real life, to do this for her, after I told her that I was uncomfortable doing it, was a red flag for me.
After that Natalie began to send screenshots of people “acknowledging her efforts,” and complained that she wasn’t being properly thanked a lot for her copy and paste skills. She said she was going to tell the documentary guy that things between her and Karen went sour, as if he gave a shit.
She wouldn’t stop messaging me about how Karen wasn’t thanking her enough. It was all she wanted to talk about.
I thought my responses to her were fair, but Natalie does not have the mind of an adult. She immediately began complaining to random turtle riders in group chats about what a bad person I was for not playing therapist, and how Karen was such a horrible friend to her. Here are a small sampling of messages she sent to multiple people, hoping that someone would be interested in gossiping with her about how horrible Turtleboy and Karen were.
She messaged one of my admins and told her that one day the admin would learn who Natalie was, and that she alone was the reason I was able to write the stories I did about the Canton coverup. She attempted to convince the admin that she was undervalued and used by me, in an attempt to sew chaos.
When the admin wouldn’t engage with her in gossip she went to complain about her in other groups.
Clearly the only normal person was Natalie.
Natalie claimed that she didn’t want credit, but yet she constantly felt the need to message dozens of people to remind them how much money she had donated, and how she was my biggest donor (which isn’t true).
Everyone in the Turtleboy community eventually realized what a psychopath Natalie was, and they began to cut ties. But she couldn’t just move on with her life and spend time with her two children and husband. She had to be part of the story somehow, so she quickly switched teams after suddenly realizing that ACTUALLY Karen Read was guilty due to the fact that Karen didn’t want to be friends with her anymore.
Recently Jennifer Coffindaffer and other Twitter trolls have begun posting screenshots of my messages with Natalie, taken completely out of context, in order to prove…..something. It’s obvious that Natalie is giving these screenshots of our messages to the same people she claimed to detest a few months ago. In some of the messages I strongly questioned if Colin Albert was inside the house when John O’Keefe arrived, and if John’s body was placed outside before or after the 2:27 Google search. What the messages don’t show is that all of my questions were eventually answered. If anything, the messages show that I did not blindly believe anything Natalie was telling me about the defense, and I demanded to see evidence. In other words, Natalie proved that I was a thorough journalist, beholden to no one.
After I was arrested Natalie claimed to be in contact with the State Police, and said that they gave her “immunity” in exchange for information. She indicated her new found belief that Karen was guilty, and that Nick and Jenna Rocco would be charged for raising money for her legal defense fund.
Of course there was no immunity deal, because Natalie hadn’t committed any crimes. She also didn’t have anything of value to give to the State Police, since neither Karen Read or I had committed any crimes. This was just Natalie’s way of staying involved in the story in any way she could, even if it meant aligning with evil. More than anything, Natalie just wanted to feel important and valued. She wanted someone to thank her for her service, and was willing to befriend people she knew murdered John O’Keefe in order to get the recognition she felt she had earned.
Natalie’s “mother” is furniture magnate Gina Berschneider.
According to this link she and her husband Rolf hired Natalie to be there manager in 2012.
Editor’s note – we have confirmed that these are 2 different Natalies.
According to a LA Times engagement announcement Mark Wiweke married a woman named Natalie Weisiger. The article lists Natalie’s parents as William and Rita Weisiger, and says that she grew up in Champaign, IL. As it turns out Natalie Weisiger is not Natalie Berschneider. It’s his ex-wife who he divorced in 2009. He apparently has a thing for German women named Natalie.
Either way, Natalie’s goal was to be part of this story and now she is. It’s just not for the reasons she hoped it would be.