Flirty Text Messages Between Brian Higgins and Karen Read Suggest Something Was Going On

In the weeks leading up to John O'Keefe's death, Karen Read and Brian Higgins exchanged several flirtatious texts.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jul. 9 2024, Published 4:09 p.m. ET

(L-R): Karen Read during her trial; Brian Higgins testifies at Karen Read trial
Source: Getty Images; YouTube/NBC 10 Boston (video still)

The Karen Read trial should have been like any other. A story of a woman accused of murdering her boyfriend would fit snugly into any episode of Snapped. However, this one took a unique turn when Read claimed that local police in her Massachusetts town murdered her partner, who was also a cop. Text messages played a huge role in this case. Some of the more shocking exchanges occurred between Read and an ATF agent. Let's take a look at the Brian Higgins texts sent to Karen Read.

Article continues below advertisement

The texts between Brian Higgins and Karen Read were not initiated by the ATF agent.

Higgins took the stand about a month into Read's trial to elaborate on his relationship with the financial analyst. CBS News reported that Higgins was at the house where Read's boyfriend John O'Keefe was supposed to be the night he was killed. His body was found in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2022, lying in the snow in front of said house. Along with two other men, Read's lawyers believe Higgins was actually responsible for O'Keefe's death.

Article continues below advertisement

Part of the defense's argument is hinged on text messages between Higgins and Read, which were categorized as "flirty." Perhaps Read wasn't willing to go beyond these messages, which could be a motive for framing her. This could somewhat be supported by surveillance video from the night O'Keefe died. In it, he and Higgins are seen play-fighting. Higgins said it was just that, but the defense suggested it could have been more serious.

Higgins knew the couple for about a year and thought of them both as friends. He testified that Read asked for his phone number and started texting him first. At one point, seemingly out of nowhere, Read texted Higgins, "You're hot." He didn't believe her, but she doubled down by saying she was serious. One night in January 2022 while watching football at O'Keefe's, Higgins said Read kissed him firmly on the mouth. "Not like a friend," he testified.

Article continues below advertisement

Brian Higgins and Karen Read spent weeks texting like a pair of star-crossed lovers.

Higgins and Read spent several weeks exchanging texts that made them sound like two lovers kept apart by their warring families. The fickle Read said she used to be happy with O'Keefe, but things had fallen apart. Much of that had to do with his niece and nephew, who lived with O'Keefe. Read never wanted children. Several times throughout their conversations, Higgins would ask Read what she was looking for. She never really answered the question.

Their last exchange was one sentence from Read. It read, "John died." She and Higgins never spoke again. While on the stand, he expressed shame over what he'd done. "I'm not proud of these text messages, it is what it is, I take responsibility for them. But John was a friend at the same time," said Higgins. In his mind, if O'Keefe and Read were done, there was nothing wrong with shooting his shot. At the end of the day, Higgins felt like he was being used by Read, and called it a "very weird experience."

More from Distractify

Latest Human Interest News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.