Karen Read murder case: Former Boston Police Sgt. Brian Albert earning generous pension (2024)

The former Boston cop central to the defense’s third-party killer theory in the Karen Read murder case is earning more than $8,000 a month in pension, according to payroll records the city released to the Herald.

Brian Albert retired last September from the Boston Police Department following a 30-year career with the force, months after Read’s defense attorneys alleged the sergeant was culpable in John O’Keefe’s murder.

In retirement, Albert has received a monthly pension of $8,483.11, or $101,797.32 annually, Boston payroll records indicate. Albert earned $223,954.04 in total pay in 2022 and $156,400.47 last year.

While his pension is generous, 194 city retirees are earning more than $10,000 a month, with the top four earners raking in north of $16,000 a month, around $200,000 a year. More than 12,000 retirees are taking in money, city records show.

Albert retired on Sept. 4, 2023, months after he and his wife, Nicole, sold their home, 34 Fairview Road in Canton, for $905,000, records indicate. The sale took place that April, around the time Read’s attorneys named the Boston cop as a potential culprit in O’Keefe’s death.

Karen Read trial

Capping a dramatic nine-week trial, Judge Beverly Cannone declared a mistrial last Monday, with the jury saying it was deadlocked beyond resolution. Jurors deliberated for more than 20 hours behind closed doors.

Read and two other women, Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts, found O’Keefe’s bloody body covered in snow on Albert’s front lawn, a little after 6 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022. O’Keefe was pronounced dead later that morning.

Prosecutors say after a night out drinking with friends, Read and O’Keefe got an invite to an after-party at the Albert’s, but the couple never made it inside the home.

The Mansfield woman is accused of killing her boyfriend of two years, a 16-year Boston Police officer, by backing her Lexus SUV into him at high speed, leaving him to die in the cold during a major snowstorm.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death

The defense has alleged a massive frame-up job to ensnare Read, arguing that O’Keefe was beaten to death inside 34 Fairview Road before his body was dragged to the front yard.

Specifically, defense attorneys Alan Jackson and David Yannetti first argued in April 2023 that a Google search on McCabe’s phone – “hos (sic) long to die in cold” – “decisively implicates” McCabe and Albert, her brother-in-law, in O’Keefe’s murder.

The search, which the defense argued was made at 2:27 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, hours before O’Keefe’s body was found, was hotly contested during the trial.

Albert testified in May he had met O’Keefe a few times before he died and that he “considered him a co-worker, even though we never worked together.”

“John never came into my house that night,” Albert said on the stand. “He and the defendant would have been welcomed with open arms if they did. I wish they had.”

The defense argued that the Alberts’ dog, a 70-pound German Shepherd mix named Chloe, also played a part in O’Keefe’s killing. They pointed to the family later rehoming Chloe and what they believe to be dog bites on O’Keefe’s arm as evidence of a cover-up.

Nicole Albert, however, testified the family rehomed the dog in Vermont after Chloe bit a woman who tried to break up a fight between the German Shepherd mix and another dog.

Brian Albert, his nephew, Colin Albert, and Jennifer McCabe sat with the O’Keefe’s for closing arguments at Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham on June 25 — a move that some Read supporters accused was a form of jury intimidation.

Paul O’Keefe, John’s brother, told WCVB in an interview this week after deliberations ended that he invited the trio on behalf of the family.

“It was just our way of saying, you know, we don’t believe any of this stuff,” he said.

Albert’s career

During his 30-year career with the Boston Police Department, Albert had a hand in high-level murder cases, leading the Fugitive Apprehension Team during his last assignment.

Boston city employee pensions: Your Tax Dollars at Work

The former Marine helped solve the Boston Strangler case in 2013, ending a nearly 50-year mystery in which no one was ever charged for the murders of 13 women during the 1960s.

A water bottle that Albert received from a construction site ultimately led police to close the case, with DNA evidence matching samples collected in a 1964 Beacon Hill murder. It also pointed to Albert DeSalvo — a convicted rapist and self-proclaimed Boston Strangler — with near certainty as the man responsible, ABC News reported at the time.

In 2009, Albert helped capture Craigslist killer Philip Markoff, a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine who robbed girls for hire and murdered an exotic masseuse.

Karen Read murder case: Former Boston Police Sgt. Brian Albert earning generous pension (2024)

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