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Yesterday CNN published a story about the Karen Read case, which ended up being the most popular article on CNN.com, and was displayed prominently on their front page.
Although I am not personally a fan of CNN, the fact of the matter is that they are the #1 news outlet in the world as far as web traffic, with an average of 166 million unique monthly visitors. Millions of people now know the story of Karen Read, who didn’t know it before, and Turtleboy was mentioned in the article.
Some turtle riders and FKR supporters have complained that the article didn’t mention a lot of important points that show readers just how corrupt the investigation into Karen Read has been. Although I agree with the overall sentiment that the mainstream media coverage on this case has been extremely lazy, the fact of the matter is that millions of people will be exposed to this story for the first time, and this story will be more likely to convince them that Karen is innocent. A large number of them may search for it and find our coverage of the case afterwards.
Let’s review some of the article.
Reporter Faith Karimi begins by giving an outline of the case and the effect it has had on dividing the Canton community. She gets a couple things wrong, like this:
About six hours later, O’Keefe’s body was spotted in the front yard of the house, covered in snow.
John’s body wasn’t covered in snow. Saying that it was gives readers the illusion that it had snowed more than it actually did by 6 AM, and gives credence to why Jennifer McCabe could pretend not to see him when they arrived.
Residents have stormed city council meetings, demanding answers. Some have accused the local police of a cover-up to protect those at the party on Fairview Road. Others have visited Facebook group pages and local blogs to discuss intricacies of that fateful night, turning what began as a local homicide case into a broader sensation.
Canton doesn’t have a City Council because Canton is a town, not a city. The Canton Police Department’s role in the coverup is minimal compared to the State Police and Norfolk County DA’s Office. Suggesting that “local blogs” have been the source of information is also inaccurate, not only because Turtleboy isn’t a blog, but because it’s not supposed to plural.
Statements like these are also misleading:
The women called 911. It was so dark, officers who responded to the scene said they needed to use a spotlight attached to a police cruiser to find the women, court documents said.
McCabe and the other woman in the car told investigators that as they neared the Fairview Road house, Read cried that she could see O’Keefe lying in the yard, despite the near white-out conditions and a cluster of trees obstructing the view.
That gives the reader the impression that Karen Read must have known his body would be lying on the front lawn of Brian Albert’s house. In fact, the first arriving officer immediately spotted the three women, and there is a street light between 34 and 36 Fairview Road. There was also no “cluster of trees” obstructing the view of John’s body. It was wide open and impossible to miss on the lawn.
The article does point out that the home belonged to Brian Albert, and statements like this…
The owner of the house at the time, Brian Albert, has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment.
McCabe has not been charged with a crime and did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
…are helpful. An unbiased reader will see that and assume that Brian Albert and Jennifer McCabe are hiding something. Since they are not suspects in the murder of John O’Keefe, and are allegedly innocent witnesses, there is no reason for them not to comment.
The article mentions Alan Jackson’s theory about what happened:
Jackson told CNN that he believes O’Keefe entered the Fairview Road house that night and got into an altercation with someone inside.
But they don’t mention why he believes that – John’s Apple Health data shows him ascending and descending stairs between 12:21 and 12:24 AM. Without mentioning that it sounds like Jackson could be pulling that out of his ass to save his client.
They got this part wrong as well:
They say evidence suggests a drunken Read struck him with her vehicle as she made a three-point turn, leaving him to die in the snowy cold.
The reporter shouldn’t be completely faulted for this statement because she was correct – for the first 18 months the Commonwealth claimed in court filings that O’Keefe was killed via a three point turn. But turtle riders proved that this wouldn’t work.
It wasn’t until three months ago when they suddenly decided to change their narrative and claim that Read dropped O’Keefe off at the corner of 34 Fairview Road, pulled up 62 foot in front of 32 Fairview Road, then accelerated to 24.2 mph in reverse in the snow while legally drunk and borderline comatose, struck O’Keefe with her car while he stood aimlessly in the street, and drove off without Ryan Nagel and his two friends seeing it happen despite being right behind them. We recreated their new theory and discovered that it didn’t make sense either.
This part was helpful to the defense:
Read’s attorneys have said they believe McCabe, who is Albert’s sister-in-law, is part of a coverup to protect the people inside the house and frame Read for the crime. A forensic search of McCabe’s phone revealed a Google search for the phrase, “Ho(w) long to die in cold” hours before Read called McCabe, looking for O’Keefe, according to court documents. Prosecutors dispute the timing and reason for the search.
The average unbiased reader will see “forensic search for McCabe’s phone” and rightfully believe that the 2:27 Google search happened. The prosecution’s response simply “disputes the timing and reason for the search,” because nobody can understand the made up word salad they use to explain why it didn’t happen.
This part was bad:
Canton police officers said they searched the area by O’Keefe’s body and found pieces from a broken cocktail glass and patches of blood in the snow. State police later found pieces of a taillight at the scene that appeared similar to a broken right taillight on Read’s vehicle, court documents said.
It’s missing the most important part – the Canton Police didn’t find any pieces of tail light, but the State Police found 4 pieces after it snowed more than a foot 12 hours later, and found 31 more pieces in 5 undocumented visits to the scene in the weeks afterwards. It also fails to mention that Michael Proctor lied about what time he towed the car from Karen Read’s parent’s house, brought the car to the Canton Police Department instead of the nearby State Police barracks, and had 1 hour and 18 minutes of unaccounted time with the vehicle, which would have given them plenty of time to plant tail light evidence.
In fact, at no point in the entire story do they ever mention Michael Proctor, despite the fact that his conflicts with the Alberts and McCabes are the most important evidence in proving there was a coverup.
The story quotes Morrissey’s absurd August 25 press release, but doesn’t point out the obvious lies:
In a video statement in August, Michael Morrissey, the Norfolk County district attorney, said location data from O’Keefe’s phone showed he never entered the Fairview Road house.
The Apple Health data showing O’Keefe inside the house was never mentioned in the story, and disproves that lie from Morrissey.
Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty, whose department has nothing to do with the investigation, nevertheless stated as a fact that there is no evidence of a coverup.
In a statement to CNN, Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty said investigators found “absolutely no evidence of a cover up in the tragic death of John O’Keefe.”
Then she offered up this hilarious contradiction:
“However, I do acknowledge that it is there, and I hear you,” she said. “I believe the first step in bridging that trust gap is effective and healthy communication.” She did not respond to further questions from CNN on the root of the mistrust.
She believes in healthy communication but has no further comment to CNN. Funny how none of these people, who are all allegedly innocent, want to speak at all, but the woman they’re all saying is guilty has no problem going on 20/20 and Dateline to tell her story to millions of people.
The article mentions Turtleboy, and has a great quote from my historic courthouse steps speech on October 11:
Aidan Kearney, a Massachusetts blogger nicknamed Turtleboy, has fed the ongoing debate with numerous posts alleging a murder coverup by law enforcement and local politicians. But he’s also made his own headlines. In October, Kearney pleaded not guilty to charges of witness intimidation and conspiracy after he allegedly called and sent messages to witnesses and investigators in Read’s case, CNN affiliate WBZ reported.
“I will not be silenced,” Kearney, wearing a “Free Karen Read” sweatshirt, told a crowd gathered outside the courthouse after his release. “I will be steadfast in keeping on with this mission to expose the real killers of John O’Keefe.”
It would’ve been nice of them to include more, but to the unbiased reader it will sound suspect that a “blogger” who was accusing the police of corruption was arrested by those same police officers, and then vowed to never stop exposing them on the courthouse steps.
The Halloween party got a shoutout, and luckily they linked to Tom Derosier’s stream, not Twisted Tragedies.
In nearby Malden, a group of Read’s supporters hosted a Halloween Day fundraiser for her defense. Some attendees wore “Free Karen Read” T-shirts and FBI hats or wrapped themselves in yellow crime-scene tape.
So clearly this reporter did a decent amount of research. She also got ahold of one of my former guests, retired DEA agent Sean McDonough.
Sean McDonough, a former Canton resident and retired DEA agent, said the deep divisions surrounding the case do not surprise him. He attended high school in Canton, knows the town’s culture and politics, and said there’s long been a deep mistrust of the police department.
“A lot of questions have come up that that basically divide the town … And there’s answers that have not been given yet,” said McDonough, who now lives in Naples, Florida. “It was a beautiful town to live in and still is. It’s just this is a very big cloud that’s hanging over them, and it’s getting worse.”
The article also mentions the following:
- The vote to audit of the police department, which to the unbiased reader will suggest that this isn’t some fringe conspiracy theory.
- The FBI investigation into the NCDAO, which almost never happens and will immediately lead the reader to believe that the conspiracy claims are legitimate. Most CNN readers lean left and trust the FBI.
- Chris Albert is on the Board of Selectmen, which to the unbiased reader will give them the correct impression that the Albert’s have institutional power. It is disappointing that they don’t mention that Kevin Albert is a Canton Police Detective, and Brian Albert is a Boston Police Sergeant.
Those are all good things for the Free Karen Read side. So although this article was lacking in many areas, it’s significantly better than any article published by the Boston Globe or other mainstream media outlets. Most importantly, unbiased readers will be more likely to believe a coverup occurred, and continue to research the story on their own.