Karen Read Murder Trial: Alleged Text Messages From Lead Investigator Reveal Bias Against Her

Michael Proctor allegedly took Karen Read's cell phone and searched for naked pictures of her while in possession of her phone.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Apr. 30 2024, Published 1:24 p.m. ET

Karen Read during her trial
Source: Getty Images

Karen Read

January is a brutally cold month for the residents of Canton, Mass., who regularly experience temperatures dipping down into the teens. In late January 2022, a blizzard hit that area leaving behind around 21 inches of snow. Of course if you're used to that kind of weather, very little will stop you from going about your regular life. For Karen Read and her boyfriend, Boston police Officer John O'Keefe, the January 2022 snowstorm meant heading out to a bar for the night with friends.

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After spending the evening drinking on Jan. 28, Read dropped O'Keefe off at a mutual friend's house and headed home. In the early hours of Jan. 29, she awoke to find O'Keefe was not home and soon discovered his lifeless body in the snow outside of the house where he was supposed to be hanging out. Lead investigator Michael Proctor immediately zeroed in on Read, who has since accused the local police of framing her. Alleged text messages from Proctor could support her claim. Here's what we know.

Michael Proctor, lead investigator in the John O'Keefe murder, stands by a brick wall
Source: YouTube/Boston 25 News (video still)

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor

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Michael Proctor's alleged text messages are pretty damning.

On April 29, 2024, Read's trial began with the opening statement from her attorney. According to NBC Boston, defense attorney David Yannetti said his client was framed. He went on to say that Michael Proctor had "deep ties" to the Albert family, who own the house outside of which O'Keefe's body was discovered. He also said that the investigation was not handled properly. It all began the night O'Keefe died.

Yannetti argued that from the moment Proctor arrived at the scene of the crime, he was solely focused on Read; he never went into the home of the Albert family, nor did he look for any evidence of a struggle. Yannetti said that Proctor also failed to contact crime scene investigators so they could check the house for blood or other trace evidence. A search warrant for the Albert home was never obtained, which means a search inside was never conducted. It was all about Read from the beginning.

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This supports the theory that Read was being framed by the local Canton police, which was further bolstered by alleged text messages from Proctor sent as early as the day O'Keefe's body was discovered. "He called Karen Read names you would reserve only for your worst enemies," said Yannetti. "He told his friends that he hoped she would kill herself, he told his friends he had seized her cellphone." Evidently after taking possession of Read's phone, Proctor allegedly told friends he searched for nude photos of her.

NBC Boston also reported that as of March 2024, Proctor was the subject of an internal investigation for a "potential violation of department policy but they [state police] would not comment on what caused them to probe one of their own." This began a day after information was revealed during Read's hearing. Alleged texts from the Albert family to Proctor claim that he would be receiving a thank-you gift "when this is all over."

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