Butt-dials and other Canton oddities in the Karen Read trial

It was not a good day for “Honest” Jen McCabe, the dentally challenged witness who faced the traditional “grueling” cross-examination in Dedham Superior Court from defense attorney Alan Jackson.

Canton, Massachusetts is the butt-dial capital of the world.

That’s my first takeaway from the testimony yesterday in the Karen Read murder case.

Another takeaway is the more often you say “Honestly” or “To be honest,” the more likely it is that you’re not. Honest, that is.

It was not a good day for “Honest” Jen McCabe, the dentally challenged witness who faced the traditional “grueling” cross-examination in Dedham Superior Court from defense attorney Alan Jackson.

Jen, among others, is trying to railroad Karen Read into prison for allegedly running over her Boston cop boyfriend. And so Honest Jen somberly informed Jackson early in her testimony that after the body was found, she distinctly heard Karen Read say, “I hit him! I hit him! I hit him!”

Honest Jen McCabe not only recalls hearing those chilling words, but she added, “I can tell you today with 100 percent clarity that she said it.”

Which leads to another trial takeaway:

If you remember any horrible statement “with 100 percent clarity,” perhaps it would behoove you to have mentioned it at least once during the first 12 times you were asked what Karen Read said on the morning of Jan. 29, 2022.

After McCabe repeated Karen Read’s three alleged questions, attorney Jackson handed her the 223-page record of her (state, as opposed to federal) grand jury testimony.

On page 190, she quoted Read as asking her, “Did I hit him?”

On page 192, “Can I have hit him?

On page 193, “Could I have hit him?”

On page 202, “What if I hit him and could I have hit him?”

On page 208, “Did I hit him? Could I have hit him?”

Jackson asked her if Karen Read had perhaps said it to a Canton cop. Maybe, she answered. And what that cop’s name? Sadly, she couldn’t recall. Maybe it was a female EMT, she suggested. But no, that wasn’t what she said to the female EMT either.

The butt dials came up at the very end of the half day. Apparently she was calling the late John O’Keefe’s phone after he disappeared. She did so six times – six times! – in 19 minutes.

“The phone was in my pocket,” she said, glancing over at the jury – a tell for Honest Jen, the way when Biden says, “Not a joke!” or “I’m not kidding!” you know he’s pulling another Grandpa Simpson.

Butt dialing seems to be quite the problem in what the townies call Can-UHN. Earlier, it was brought out that shortly after Jennifer McCabe’s six butt-dials, two of the other “McAlberts” had been butt-dialing one another while they were asleep.

That was the testimony, anyway. Under oath.

Those were male McAlberts, as the townies are called. One had his phone on the nightstand when it mysteriously butt-dialed, and the other one had his in the bed while he was servicing his middle-aged wife after a night of epic drinking.

When it comes to mysterious failings in the new technology, the town of Can-UHN is sort of a Bermuda Triangle, it seems.

In addition to the epidemic of butt-dialing, otherwise indisputable data about, say, GPS and phone-call completions is notoriously inaccurate.

As one tweeter put it yesterday:

“Canton – where data lie but Jen McCabe doesn’t.”

Is there GPS data that contradicts the whereabouts of your daughter, whom you have just testified under oath was home at 12:30, when the data says she was cruising Can-UHN at 1:30 a.m.?

Who you gonna believe, a McAlbert or that lying GPS data?

Then there are the records say Jen called her sister at 6:07 and 6:08 a.m., and that the phone calls were in fact answered.

Surely some mistake, Jennifer McCabe testily testified.

Canton – where texts randomly delete themselves, over and over again. But it’s just a coincidence.

“A lot of coincidence here,” Jackson observed at one point.

When they aren’t butt dialing, the McAlberts are wildly deleting records of texts and cell phone calls. Or not.

Early yesterday, Jen McCabe testified, “I didn’t delete any phone calls.”

A few minutes later, that statement evolved into “I don’t recall deleting any phone calls.”

When you’re engaged in a conspiracy, everybody must stick to the same story. This is RICO 101. And one of the leading characters is this tawdry tale is another Can-UHN clown, state trooper Michael Proctor, currently under investigation by the Internal Affairs unit.

Jackson read from one of his reports, and she huffed that she didn’t say that. Jackson asked, Did he get it wrong?

“You’d have to ask Proctor Trooper,” she said. Not Trooper Proctor, but Proctor Trooper.

“I will,” Jackson said.

Okay, we’ve learned a lot about Can-UHN in these last few days. They get hammered all the time, with their kids no less, night after night. And then, when they’re loaded, at a local dive bar called the Waterfall, the men grab each other’s derrieres – “grab ass,” as one witness described it.

The puzzled defense lawyer asked, “They grab each other’s asses?”

“It’s a figure of speech,” Jennifer McCabe’s husband elaborated.

A figure of speech – like butt dials.

This trial needs a soundtrack. Given the Kennedy-esque amount of alcohol that these Can-UHN townies consume, it would have to include some reworked old country standards.

“What made Milwaukee Famous, Has Made Losers Out of the McAlberts.”

Or, “Drinking Doubles Don’t Make a Party, Even If They Are Fireballs.”

The cross-examination resumes this morning. One obvious question for all these Can-UHN witnesses is, “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”

But we all know what today’s testimony will boil down to:

“Ms. McCabe, what did you mean when asked the question, apparently at 2:27 a.m., ‘Hos (sic) long to die in cold?’”

I know, she must have butt dialed it. It’s a Can-UHN thing.

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