Who Killed Sister Cathy?

            From the BALTIMORE SUN/CITY PAPER


            Who Killed Sister Cathy?

45 Years Later, the Search for Answers Goes On.

sr cathy






bud roemer


YEARBOOK: (from top) Photographs of Sister Catherine Cesnik, Father A. Joseph Maskell, Joyce Malecki, and Baltimore County Police Capt. Bud Roemer dating from around the time Cesnik and Malecki were murdered

 By Tom Nugent

The old man sat on a metal folding chair in his Essex garage. His big right hand reached out to a wooden table, to a faded police autopsy photo lying there.“Do you see that hole in the back of her skull?” asked Louis George “Bud” Roemer, a retired homicide detective formerly with the Baltimore County Police Department. Wrinkled and white-haired, he pointed to one side of the yellowing photograph he had dug out of a box of files. “That hole is perfectly round, and about the size of a quarter.“I’ve studied that photo over and over again, trying to imagine how she might have died,” he said. “A hole like that—it looks to me like it could’ve been made with a ball-peen hammer.”He paused for a moment, as he recalled the still unsolved murder of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik, whose body was discovered 35 years ago this month.

“It might have been a hammer,” Roemer continued. “Or maybe a tire iron. Or maybe it was a priest’s ring—one of those heavy gold rings a lot of Catholic priests wear. A priest’s ring would make a hole like that, if he hit her hard enough.”

He fell silent, and leaned back in his chair. He was struggling with diabetes, he said, and talking about the Cesnik case always left him feeling fatigued, and frustrated.

“Every homicide cop has one case that haunts him to the end of his career, and Sister Cathy is mine,” Roemer said. “I sure do wish we could close this one out, before I kick the bucket.”

The body of the 26-year-old nun was found Jan. 3, 1970, in southwest Baltimore County. The circumstances surrounding the case were mysterious and disturbing at the time; in the wake of a City Paper investigation, those circumstances seem even more disturbing now. Years after Cesnik’s murder, a lawsuit documented numerous findings of sexual abuse at the Catholic high school for girls where Cesnik taught shortly before her death. City Paper’s investigation also reveals that a second young murder victim (killed only four days after Cesnik vanished, and only a few miles from where the nun died) attended the same Catholic church where the alleged sex-abuser had been serving as parish priest.

The baffling crimes both remain unsolved to this day. And yet the FBI and Baltimore County Police Department—both of which have recently opened formal reinvestigations into the killings—say they haven’t attempted to make any connection between them.

Roemer helped to solve more than 150 murders during his 23 years as a county cop before retiring as a major in 1975. But he never found the killer of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik; he died of complications from diabetes on June 10, at age 79. But in interviews conducted before his death, he found these so-far-unexamined connections deeply upsetting. “The more you look at the Cesnik murder case, the more it looks like somebody was trying to cover something up,” he said.

“There was something wrong at the Catholic high school where Sister Cathy taught,” Roemer said while reviewing evidence previously unknown to him. “What you had there was a whole lot of sex going on among priests and students. Can you imagine the scandal, in 1970, if that stuff had ever come out in a trial? Hell, it could have blown the lid right off the Church!

“It doesn’t make any sense to me. Never did. No, there was something going on at that school, and it all came to a head. And when it did, Sister Cathy wound up on the garbage dump with her skull caved in.”

Bud Roemer always drank his coffee black. He was in the middle of his third or fourth cup on the morning of Jan. 3, 1970—a Saturday—when the telephone rang: “Captain Roemer, it’s for you. Halethorpe Precinct.”

Roemer picked up the phone. As the commander of the “M Squad”—the Major Crimes Investigative Unit at Baltimore County Police headquarters in Towson—he was in charge of all criminal investigations involving murder, rape, and armed robbery.

It had been a busy week. Along with their usual caseload of tavern stabbings and liquor store holdups, the dozen officers in the M Squad had been doing their best to help out with a continuing Baltimore City Police investigation into the strange disappearance of youthful teaching nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik, two months before.

In heavily Catholic Baltimore, the apparent abduction of a well-liked, attractive member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame was big news. Day after day, The Sun and News-American had been giving the story prominent play, while running one dramatic headline after the next: “City Police Search for Missing Nun: 26 Officers Combing Area With K-9 Corps Dogs.”

Described by students and fellow teachers alike as a dedicated, enthusiastic English and drama teacher, Cesnik had vanished on Nov. 7 during a brief, early evening trip to a shopping center about a mile from the Westgate apartment she shared with another Notre Dame nun, Sister Helen Russell Phillips. For almost two months, state and local police investigators had been unable to find a trace of her.

The caller was an excited uniformed police officer in the Halethorpe Precinct of the county police department. Talking fast, the officer told the M Squad captain that two hunters had just called to report what looked like a “woman’s body” lying near a garbage dump off Monumental Avenue, in an isolated, wooded area in the southwest Baltimore County community of Lansdowne.

Moments later, Roemer and several members of the M Squad climbed into one of the department’s unmarked black Plymouths for the 20-mile ride to Lansdowne.

“It was snowing when we got to the dump, and cold as a sonofabitch,” the detective recalled in the spring of 2004. “The body was pretty much covered by snow, but it didn’t take us long to figure out who she was. When I walked up on that dump, I said, ‘Hello, Cathy Cesnik.’

“She was lying on her back, on the slope of a little hill, with her purse and one shoe a few feet away. As soon as we opened the purse, we found a prescription bottle with her name printed on it.

“We worked that crime scene all day long. We called in the medical examiner and we asked for an autopsy right away. We went through our standard procedure, that’s all. I guess we spent four or five hours out there, and it was nearly dark when we finally sent the body off to the morgue.”

Like Roemer, retired Baltimore County Police Capt. James L. Scannell says he has never forgotten finding the nun’s body on the frozen field that day. “I remember her blue coat, and the purse nearby,” says the 74-year-old Scannell, who spent 37 years as a county police officer before retiring in 1992.

“You gotta remember, she’d been laying out on the dump all this time, and the varmints had gotten to her,” Roemer added. “So whether she was raped or sexually molested, I don’t know. And I don’t think anybody ever will know, because the [Baltimore County] medical examiner reported [in his autopsy] that it was impossible to determine if the nun had been sexually assaulted.”

Although the grisly scene would trouble some of the investigators for years, Roemer remained unfazed. “I was used to it by then,” he recalled. “I’d seen a lot of violence during my years as a detective, and after a while you realize it’s just part of the job.

“But I took my job to heart, and I put everything I had into it. When we were working a murder case like the one with Sister Cathy, a 12-hour day was strictly routine.”

The next morning, a Sunday, Capt. Roemer and his M Squad detectives threw themselves into what would become a fruitless five-year quest to identify Sister Cathy Cesnik’s murderer.

They started with the Maryland Medical Examiner’s autopsy report, which stated that the teaching sister from Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School for Girls had been beaten to death. The nun had died of blunt-force trauma to one side of her head—along with a blow that had left a round hole in the back of her skull.

Mulling the autopsy, Roemer soon found himself contemplating a likely scenario: A stranger had probably abducted Cesnik from the Edmondson Village Shopping Center on Edmondson Avenue near her apartment, where she’d gone to cash a check and buy some dinner rolls at about 7 p.m. on the evening of Friday, Nov. 7. In all likelihood, the unknown assailant had then killed the nun and dumped her body about five miles away, in Lansdowne.

But his hypothesis was contradicted by one troubling fact: The nun’s car, a green 1969 Ford Maverick, had been parked near her Carriage House apartment complex only a few hours after she drove off to the shopping center.

“I’d been working homicide for about 10 years when Sister Cathy was killed,” Roemer said, “and I’d never heard of a ‘random killing’ where the stranger who kills you carefully returns your car to your apartment house. In that situation, the killer usually wants to get the hell away from there. The last thing he wants is to return to the area, where he might be spotted driving the victim’s car.”

How had the dead woman’s Ford gotten back to her apartment complex? In an effort to solve the puzzle, Roemer sat down with two Baltimore City detectives—Harry Bannon and Tony Glover, now both retired—who had directed the search for the missing nun during the previous two months. What Roemer learned from the city detectives was also deeply troubling.

For starters, Roemer was surprised to discover that the nun’s roommate—Sister Helen Russell Phillips—had not called the police after becoming alarmed when Cesnik failed to return from the brief shopping trip by 11 p.m. Instead, Phillips had phoned a Catholic priest living in a Jesuit community known as Manresa, located near Annapolis. Within a few minutes, Jesuit Father Gerard J. (“Gerry”) Koob—accompanied by a second Catholic brother, Peter McKeon—climbed into his car and drove to the Carriage House Apartments.

Koob and McKeon questioned Phillips about Cesnik’s shopping trip, and somewhere between midnight and 1 a.m. the three of them called the police and gave them a telephone report describing the nun’s disappearance. After several more hours of conversation, they later told detectives, they decided to take a walk around the neighborhood in order to calm their nerves. Around 4 a.m., while walking, they spotted Cesnik’s green Ford Maverick, parked at an odd angle, directly adjacent to the Carriage House parking lot.

Roemer listened carefully to all of this and quickly decided that he didn’t like it. “We made the decision that it was time to ‘put the heat on Koob,’” he said in the spring of 2004. During the many hours of interrogation that followed, Roemer asked the Jesuit priest again and again: “What, exactly, was the nature of your relationship with Sister Cathy Cesnik?”

At first, Roemer recalled, Father Koob insisted that the two were simply good friends who enjoyed a great deal of purely “platonic affection” for each other. “That’s fine,” he told the priest. “But why would Sister Russell have called you instead of the police after Cathy disappeared that night?”

Roemer understood the reason better a few days later, after visiting Father Koob’s residence at the Manresa Jesuit community. There, he said, he came across a letter Cesnik had written to the priest on Nov. 3, only a few days before she disappeared. (In an interview, Koob told City Paper he willingly gave the letter to the detective, in order to help the police with their investigation.)

Roemer read the letter, which did not reach Koob until after the nun’s murder, and concluded that the actual relationship between nun and priest had been far from platonic.

Interestingly enough, the letter begins with a reference to a song about what might happen if the nun suddenly vanished:

My very dearest Gerry,

“If Ever I Should Leave You’ is playing on the radio. I’m all curled up in bed. My ‘period’ has finally arrived, ten days late. . . . So you might say I’m moody. . . . My heart aches so for you.

The letter goes on to outline Cesnik’s struggle with her relationship with Koob:

I must wait on you—your time and your need—even more than I had before. . . . I think I can begin to live with that more easily now than I did two months ago, just loving you . . . within myself. . . .

Regardless, Cesnik had a future outside the church with the priest firmly in mind: “I must tell you, I want you within me. I want to have your children. . . .”

When Roemer showed the priest the letter, the detective later recalled, Koob “quickly broke down and admitted he was having sex with the nun. That didn’t make any difference to me, of course—that was their business. But it did put me on guard, because it told me that the Catholic Church would have a whole lot to lose, if that letter should ever get out.”

But Koob, today a 63-year-old married Methodist minister living in another state, has insists that he never had a physical relationship of any kind with Sister Cathy Cesnik.

She lies buried on the side of a steep hill in Sharpsburg, Pa., a threadbare suburban town directly across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. Her granite headstone offers the eye only four stone-carved words: sister catherine cesnik ssnd 1942-1969.

Her father, Joseph Cesnik, a former Pittsburgh postal worker, rests a few feet higher up the slope, along with several of his Slovenian-American ancestors.

Cathy Cesnik’s cousin Gregory Cesnik, now 46, attended his aunt’s burial service in January 1970. “I was only 12 years old at the time,” recalls Gregory Cesnik, today a certified public accountant. “But I’ve never forgotten the sorrow everybody felt or the look of anguish on her father’s face.”

Shrouded in snow on a recent winter morning, St. Mary’s Cemetery could be seen only dimly from the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, on the other side of the slate-gray river. It was here, in a crowded neighborhood punctuated by half a dozen clattering steel mills, that Catherine Ann Cesnik lived out her 1950s childhood.

Early each morning during the school year, Cathy and her sisters left their family’s modest bungalow at 1023 Downlook St. and walked half a mile to the tiny parochial school that adjoined St. Mary’s Assumption on 57th Street. There she absorbed a thoroughly typical 1950s Catholic grade-school education—the kind of prayer-laced, deeply reverent tutelage provided in that era by the School Sisters of Notre Dame teaching order of nuns, who operated the school during Cathy’s childhood.

Intensely religious, Cathy was deeply impressed by some of her dedicated Notre Dame teachers—so impressed that by the time she moved on to St. Augustine Catholic High School in 1956 she was already thinking about entering the Notre Dame convent and becoming a School Sister herself. After graduating, Cathy entered the Baltimore Province convent of the School Sisters of Notre Dame on Sept. 29, 1960, as a “postulant,” or candidate for the sisterhood. After seven years of study, she professed her “final vows” on July 21, 1967.

The youthful nun had already begun her teaching career in 1965 at the newly opened Archbishop Keough High School on Caton Avenue in Southwest Baltimore. During the next four years, she would teach English and drama to several hundred students from the mostly working- class, Irish-American community nearby.

Gemma Hoskins, who would later enjoy a 30-year career as a public-school teacher—she was “Maryland Teacher of the Year” in 1992—remembers Cesnik as a deeply inspirational figure and a “terrific” teacher. “Catherine Cesnik is the reason I became a teacher,” says Hoskins, 52, today. “I still regard her as the finest teacher I ever had.”

More than a dozen other former Keough students described Cesnik as an outstanding teacher. “She was our ‘Pied Piper,’” said one, “the kind of teacher you never forget.”

Although Cesnik loved teaching, she appeared to be struggling with some inner turmoil during the spring of 1969. “To me, she seemed stressed out, perhaps even on the edge of a nervous breakdown,” one former student who asked not to be identified says. “She was exhausted and extremely nervous, and she missed a lot of school during the spring months.”

One of the possible reasons behind Cesnik’s apparent stress became clearer in June of that year, when she asked permission from her Notre Dame superiors to enter a period of “exclaustration,” an experiment in which she would live outside the convent, while also substituting civilian dress—skirts, blouses, dresses—for the traditional nun’s habit.

Permission was granted and Cesnik moved into a two-bedroom apartment at the Carriage House on North Bend Road. At the same time, the nun decided on a second experiment: Instead of teaching at Keough during the 1969-’70 school year, she would serve as a “missionary” teacher at a public school, Western High.

During the first few months of that school year, Cesnik shared her Carriage House apartment with a friend and fellow nun, Sister Helen Russell Phillips, who had also stopped wearing the habit and was also teaching at Western.

In interviews with City Paper, two former Keough students remembered their frequent visits to Cesnik at her Carriage House apartment, only a few months before she died. “I was also friends with Sister Russell, her friend and roommate, when they moved to the apartment on North Bend Road,” Kathey Payne of Ellicott City recalls. “I visited them there during that summer and I did some sewing for Sister Russell.”

Did one or more of the students who were visiting Cesnik’s apartment in the summer and fall of 1969 tell her about the sexual abuse that was taking place at the school? One former student later recounted in a City Paperinterview how she had gone to Cesnik for help after being abused by a priest at Keough, but the most startling evidence comes from now-retired Sister Mary Florita, a former School Sisters of Notre Dame teaching nun.

“I knew several of the kids at Keough,” says Marian Weller of Harrisburg, Pa., the former Sister Mary Florita. “And one of them described to me how three or four girls who were being abused by this priest had gone to Sister Cathy for help. There’s no question but that she knew about the abuse that was taking place during the months leading up to her death.”

Interviewed at length by City Paper, Koob essentially repeated what he’d told Roemer 35 years ago. He says he and Brother Peter McKeon immediately drove to the Carriage House. He says they talked with Sister Helen and then phoned the police to report Cesnik as a “missing person” somewhere between midnight and 1 a.m. A few hours later, around 4 a.m., Father Koob took a walk with the other priest and blundered into Cesnik’s car near the Carriage House.

Koob says that there were no indications that a struggle had taken place in the Ford.

“When we discovered the car, I was careful and I told [McKeon] to be careful,” Koob tells City Paper. “I think we both saw a little wastebasket spilled over—but that did not suggest a struggle to me. I believe Cathy would have frozen up and not struggled.”

For his part, Roemer was convinced that the absence of signs of struggle in the car clearly suggested that “whoever killed Sister Cathy had to be someone who knew her. That’s the only thing that makes sense, once you remember that her car was returned to her apartment complex after she was killed.”

Koob passed two separate lie-detector tests soon after the murder. His alibi—he had eaten dinner and taken in the movie Easy Rider with his priest friend in Annapolis before the call from Sister Helen—proved airtight. According to Baltimore County Police investigators then and now, Koob has never been a suspect in the murder. But some former police detectives continue to believe Koob knows more about what happened that night than he has told investigators.

Even more troubling, two retired investigators tell City Paper that while they were “putting the heat” on Koob, Catholic Church officials conferred with high-ranking police officials about the case. “We thought Koob was about to break,” retired Baltimore City homicide investigator Harry Bannon says. “And then the church lawyers stepped in and they talked to the higher-ups at the police department. And we were told, ‘Either charge Koob with a crime or let him go. Stop harassing him.’

“After that, we had to break away from him,” Bannon continues. “And that was a shame, because I’m sure Koob knew more than he was telling. We never did solve the case, and I think part of the reason was that we had to back away from Koob.”

Roemer agreed that his murder investigation “seemed to dry up” after Koob was allowed to walk away from the case. “Nobody ever told me to back off the investigation in order to protect the Catholic Church,” Roemer said. “And if they had, I wouldn’t have done it. But the word did come down from higher levels of the police department that we had to lay off Koob. And I couldn’t help wondering if maybe one of the Catholic officials had gotten to somebody high up in the police.”

For his part, Koob continues to insist that he gave the police everything he knew about Cesnik. He also says she never told him about sexual abuse at Keough, or about any alleged threats against students or teachers who spoke out publicly against the abuse.

In 1994, former Archdiocese of Baltimore spokesman William Blaul told reporters from The Sun that the church didn’t send lawyers to the Baltimore County Police Department to demand Koob be left alone. Current Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine confirms that the Archdiocese did not interfere in the investigation.

By the time Bud Roemer retired from the Baltimore County Police Department in 1975, the Cesnik murder case had gone completely cold. For the next 20 years, the files and the evidence in the sensational killing would gather dust in a back room at police headquarters in Towson.

And then the case suddenly flared up again in 1994 after more than 30 men and women with firsthand knowledge of alleged abuse came forward to offer testimony in a shocking $40 million lawsuit. The suit sought damages for two former Keough students who claimed to have been injured by rampant sexual abuse at the school. According to the lawsuit, the abuser had been the school chaplain, a Diocesan priest named A. (Anthony) Joseph Maskell.

As listed in the plaintiffs’ formal complaint, the abuse included “vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, vaginal penetration with a vibrator, administration of enemas, . . . hypnosis, threats of physical violence, coerced prostitution and other lewd acts, physically striking Plaintiff, and forcing Plaintiff to perform sexual acts with a police officer.”

The list of charges troubled many Catholics in Baltimore. But those dramatic charges were soon eclipsed by testimony from one of the plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane Doe” for her protection, in which she claimed to have been taken to the Lansdowne garbage dump by Father Maskell in late November 1969 and shown the body of a dead nun, as a warning that she should say nothing public about the sexual abuse.

The sensational allegations of “Jane Doe” stunned Baltimore, and no one was more shocked than Roemer, who years later still reacted with amazement: “When I heard about the woman who was supposed to have been shown the nun’s body by Maskell, I could hardly believe my ears. If that was true, it meant the priest would have been involved in this thing up to his eyeballs!”

Until the lawsuit in 1994, Roemer said, he had never heard of Father Joseph Maskell or of the alleged abuse at Keough. His team of sleuths had completely missed this aspect of the investigation.

Although the abuse lawsuit brought in Baltimore County Circuit Court by the two former Keough students (“Jane Doe” and “Jane Roe”) was eventually dismissed on a technicality involving the courtroom admissibility of “recovered memory” evidence in Maryland, the testimony and depositions were so compelling that the Archdiocese conducted its own investigation of Maskell. After reviewing the evidence, church officials formally “revoked the faculties” of the priest and relieved him of his administrative duties as the pastor of St. Augustine’s parish in Elkridge.

Maskell, meanwhile, insisted he was completely innocent of all charges, then died at age 62 from the effects of a major stroke on May 7, 2001. The Archdiocese of Baltimore never reinstated him, after finding the evidence against him to be “credible,” according to archdiocesan spokesman Caine. The Archdiocese also confirmed for City Paper longstanding reports that Father Maskell had kept handguns at the parish rectory where he lived: “After his departure from St. Augustine’s in 1994, guns were found in the residence.”

Shortly before the lawsuit (Jane Doe et al. v. A. Joseph Maskell, et al.) was filed in 1994, “Doe” began telling police and newspaper reporters alike about her alleged trip with Father Maskell to the garbage dump to view the body of the dead nun. As The Sun reported on June 19, 1994, “in interviews with the police and Sun, [Jane Doe] provided details about the body that were known only to investigators at the time, and detectives have not dismissed her claims.”

Former priest Gerry Koob also recalls that investigators of Father Maskell in the mid-1990s told him that Doe had remembered the garbage dump accurately. “I heard nothing about this [the alleged abuse by Maskell and Doe’s trip to the dump] until the mid-1990s,” he says. “It seemed credible when I heard it, because the [police investigator] who told me about it said that the woman who was reporting the sexual abuse said that her abusers had taken her to see Cathy’s body, and that she knew details that had never been publicized.”

Although the preponderance of evidence suggests that Father Maskell committed acts of sexual abuse at Keough, many of his former parishioners, family members, and friends continue to defend him—including former police officers.

“I knew him for many years, and for about 10 of them he was the Baltimore County Police Department chaplain,” says former Baltimore County Police Capt. James B. Scannell, now 73 and retired. “Father Maskell loved to ride around in our police cars, and more than once he rode with me. He was a wonderful priest and a loyal friend.”

Retired Maryland State Police Lt. Col. Jim Jones, former director of personnel, says that Maskell had “done a terrific job” as the chaplain for the State Police for more than decade: “He was a wonderful priest, and he counseled many of our troopers and helped them a great deal.”

Other friends and family members point to the fact that Father Maskell’s brother, Lt. Tommy Maskell, had served with distinction as a member of the Baltimore City Police from 1946 to ’66.

But that same information—that Father Maskell maintained close connections with high-ranking state, county, and city police officials throughout his career as a Catholic priest—troubles several former students at Keough.

“He used to ride around at night in an unmarked patrol car with a cop,” says one woman who told City Papershe’d been abused. “They had a portable flasher they could stick on top of the car, and they would sneak up on kids who were making out and harass them. I remember feeling very frightened and very angry when I saw how Father Maskell and the police were getting away with that.”

On Nov. 13, 1969, six days after Sister Cathy Cesnik vanished, not to be found murdered for two long months, a second young woman—20-year-old Joyce Malecki—was found strangled and stabbed to death in a small creek located on the U.S. Army’s Fort Meade military base in Anne Arundel County, only a few miles from where Cesnik’s body would later turn up. That crime also has never been solved.

Malecki, a secretary for a liquor distributor in the Baltimore area, had been abducted from the parking lot of an E.J. Korvette’s department store in Glen Burnie. After disappearing around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Malecki resurfaced the following morning with her hands tied behind her back, lying face down in the Little Patuxent River at the military base. According to the autopsy, she had been strangled and stabbed several times in the throat; cause of death was strangulation.

Understandably, police investigators and newspaper reporters were intensely interested in the possibility that there might be some connection between the two killings, and their speculations were often reported on the front page in Baltimore. But no such link between the murders has ever been established, according to FBI and Baltimore police officials today. (The FBI held the original jurisdiction on the Malecki case because the body was found on a “government reservation.”)

A four-month investigation by City Paper did find some disturbing links between the two crimes:

  • An examination of the 1968-’69 Keough yearbook, The Aurora, shows that a gift was made to the school during that year by “The Malecki Family,” the name of which appears on the “Patrons” page.
  • Interviews with remaining family members reveal that the Malecki family, which lived in Lansdowne (less than a mile from where Cesnik’s body was found), attended the nearby St. Clement Church. The Malecki siblings, including Joyce, also attended week-long “retreats” as high school students—during which they spent entire days engaged in religious instruction with priests.
  • Baltimore Archdiocesan records confirm that alleged abuser-priest A. Joseph Maskell served “at St. Clement (Lansdowne) from 1966 to 1968 and at Our Lady of Victory [located on nearby Wilkens Avenue, about three miles distant] from 1968 to 1970.” The official Archdiocesan record continues: “[Father Maskell] lived and assisted at St. Clement (Lansdowne) while serving at Archbishop Keough High School from 1970 to 1975.”
  • Clement Church is located less than a mile from where Cesnik’s body was found, in a very remote area. Says one former high-ranking Baltimore County Police investigator who preferred not to be identified: “Whoever dumped the nun’s body there had to know the area well. That dump was difficult to get to, if you didn’t know your way around, and the nun did not vanish until after dark.”

Archdiocesan records make clear that Father Maskell was Joyce Malecki’s parish priest during a two-year period shortly before she was killed. Meanwhile, Archdiocesan records and the Keough yearbook show that he was also serving as a chaplain at Keough from the mid-1960s until 1975.

Says Joyce Malecki’s older brother Donald Malecki today: “One thing I can’t understand is why no law-enforcement officials have ever made this connection or asked us about it.”

When asked about the possible connection between the killings, Baltimore-based FBI Special Agent Barry Maddox tells City Paper that the Bureau “didn’t actually do the investigation” into Joyce Malecki’s death, but turned all of its information over to the nearby Anne Arundel County Police Department. But a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Police insists that no investigation of any kind had ever been conducted by his police department and referred the inquiry back to the FBI.

For his part, a totally mystified Bud Roemer said he couldn’t understand why “they haven’t all gotten together and run down these leads. If it was me, I’d sure as hell want to check everything out!”

Donald Malecki says he visited the FBI’s Baltimore office three years ago and was told only that “‘we conduct a periodic review of the case, we we’ll contact you if we find anything new.’” He added: “They kept me in the lobby and sent down two 25-year-old kids who tried to reassure me, but they wouldn’t show me the files or talk to me about the case. Instead, they told me that my best chance of finding the killer was to talk to the producers of Unsolved Mysteries on television and try to get them interested in the case.”

After reviewing the new information uncovered by City Paper, FBI spokesman Maddox concluded : “All of these coincidences certainly rise to the level of possible significance for solving both killings. We haven’t ruled anything out, including Father Maskell, and we have gone back to reinvestigate the Malecki killing and possible links to the Cesnik case.”

And 35 years after Sister Cathy Cesnik’s body was found on the garbage dump at Lansdowne, the Baltimore County Police Department’s Cold Case Squad is once again investigating her murder. During a December 2003 interview with City Paper, two detectives on the squad provided a sketchy account of their latest findings.

The two detectives, who preferred not to be identified, acknowledged, “We don’t know what happened to Sister Cathy.” But they go on to say that, having initially reopened the case as part of a periodic review, they don’t consider Father Maskell to be a suspect, based on “early interviews with witnesses” and “signs of struggle” in her car. They said they were operating on a theory that Cesnik was abducted by “a stranger or maybe by someone who knew her” on the night she disappeared. They said they were exploring a theory that an intruder forced his way into her car, drove her to the dump and killed her, then simply returned the car to her apartment complex because he needed transportation in order to get back home.

They said they didn’t believe Father Maskell was involved because of earlier interviews by other investigators with him in 1994 (after “Jane Doe” came forward), although they gave no specifics about those interviews, and because “Jane Doe got some of the details wrong” when she described her alleged visit to Cesnik’s body at the dump. But they cannot account for the fact that Baltimore County Police officials in 1994 were quoted as saying that “Doe” had described details about the dump that had never been made public before.

They also confirmed that they had called Bud Roemer in October 2003 and discussed the case with him. They describe Roemer as a “fine detective, reliable and trustworthy”: “We’re sure that whatever he told you is straight, to the best of his memory.”

Only a few weeks before his death last June, Roemer said that he still hoped the murder of Sister Cathy would be solved some day.

“If all of these new findings are accurate, it looks to me like we’ve got two murders, four days and a few miles apart. And both of the victims seem to be tied directly to the school and the church,” he said. “I just hope they’ll figure it out. I hope we can get closure on Sister Cathy, before I go to meet my maker.”

Story courtesy of BALTIMORE SUN/City Paper


138 responses

  1. Pingback: Second Witness Reportedly Told Police Officials She Was Shown Body of Murdered Baltimore Nun « Inside Baltimore

  2. Even though the so called “priest” is done.. I hope that he is brought to justice.. this murder is horrible beyond words… I still consider myself Catholic.. I still believe in God.. but i don’t believe in priests anymore… they need to say Mass in the morning and then get a job like the rest of us… they have become as Pope Francis says… “little monsters”… bravo to the people trying to solve Sister Cathy’s murder… may God bless all of you!


  3. That Pedo club the Catholic Church should be punished. The Baltimore city police are just as guilty of cover up child sex. The military base the hypnotism hmmm the false memory foundation with two mind control doctors. The poor sister is dead but there are living victims and these victims have family members that will NEVER give up on the bigger case. That pedophile priest was hypnotizing these victims treating them like dog meat. Thanks for nothing Catholic Church,FBI police department and those sickos doing God knows what on the military base. if we are going to have a country we can all be proud of we have to undo the wrongs by all agency’s federal state local. That catholic Pedo club has to get its house in order. Good Catholics out there your church is turn you all into Pedo enablers by not demanding justice.

    LBosch son of a victim


    • I blame the whole lot of them so so sad and covering it up actually to Go will be more punished than the perpetrator hate to be them on judgment day


  4. Looks like the bushel is getting bigger & bigger with BAD APPLES…..Priests need to be able to GET A JOB outside of the rectory & to get married…..


    • Most sexual abuse and pedophilia is perpetrated in families by married or non celibate men – priests being married isn’t the answer. Determining pedophilia tendencies in people who have access to children is the answer. I’m a Catholic who is involved in getting these monsters out of our church and holding accountable those in higher positions who facilitated it by covering it up or sending the problem on. Don’t forget that pedophilia is a societal problem not simply a ‘Catholic’ one. A majority of priests are true to their vocation just as a majority of fathers and men in general don’t sexually abuse their children or minors. We need to focus on strengthening support for families and recognising when possible the prevalence of ‘at risk’children coming from struggling homes. I live by the creed that silence breeds licence and would never sit idly by and not act on a gut feeling let alone let undeniable evidence that something is wrong stop me from acting simply because I didnt want to interfere in someone else’s business or to protect my church. I just wish those in senior positions in our church who had the absolute authority to do something about these pedophiles didn’t act more responsibly and decisively. If I have anything to do with it, that will never happen again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry, but like the world at large out there, the Catholic Church is just as sick from top to bottom, it stands to reason, they are part of that same society ! What is done to innocent children is one thing, but the “protection” of it by those who have oversight of our community leaves me sick to the stomach.It leaves you wondering why those in authority do it…I can only think of one answer, “when you point the finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at you!!!” Self preservation when you are at the top is motivation too hard to resist. It’s like the big banks in 2008, too big to fail, so we let them go on screwing all our miserable little lives. There will be an end and justice, but no-one on this earth will be judge. Try the Gospel of Luke chapter 12 and verse 48.


      • Your right it’s not just a catholic problem it’s an institution problem any institution that brings in tons of money cares about its image
        more than abuse victims schools churches big business government they all try to hide abusive actions whether it be sexual abuse physical abuse or abuse of power they cover it up as best they can so they keep getting money if you found out all the abuse they wouldn’t get more money. Also the catholic church makes it easy for these abusers to hide in plain sight by protecting them from police by moving them around


  5. well i believe it all!!!!!! and how these two cops dont think so?? really? well joyce was my best friend in second grade,she was a kind,sweet,wonderful fun happy friend and i was also counseled by this priest,he tried to hypnotize me and it was a really weird feeling to be with him.after two sessions i didnt go back.these two killings have never left my mind.i thnk its so obvious who killed them.just how much evidence do you need,i hope you get the dna you need,sure you will!!!!!! so many people,who spoke up. i think its obvious.wake up!!!!!


  6. Soon there will be justice. Those abused , like myself from Maskell will find what was taken from them ,they will take back . Maskell , and those that were involved will soon be found out . They didn’t figure we would recall what they were up to , remember so many years later as I did . It is clear as a bell . What would some kid , now a man , do to put to justice those behind the murder of Sister Catherine Cesniek and Joyce Malecki one day? Take heart , my name is not known , and I prefer it to be that way . Only who I have chosen knows what I know ,I have passed on the information , and continue as I recall . Those reading this , if you were involved back then as a priest , a nun , or a police officer , and involved with Maskell ( and I am not calling that defrocted phedophile a priest now ) , your time is coming ! Believe , because the hell you put the victims through , there is a permanent hell awaiting for you . Perhaps a nice quiet jail cell that you’ll spend your remaining days . Then die , and spend forever in hell. Maskell , Sarge ( I am not giving his name , but if he is reading this he will know ) , I later became a police officer . Soon, very soon , confirmation , justice.


    • Our Heavenly Father knows!!! May you all find Peace in your souls for the trauma you have suffered. I shall prayer these depraved individuals get caught and punished by the full extent of the law! God Bless you all!


    • Sarge huh…well I hope you get a minute in the interview room with him. Thanks for being a survivor enough to still want to protect and serve. God bless

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Survivor,
      I hope and pray you are the “smoking gun” that will put a bullet through these awful beasts. Sister Cathy is with all of you, this I do believe….Just remember, YOU are LOVED and the whole world will be right with YOU with open arms to comfort YOU to validate YOU and to help YOU heal. YOU are strong, don’t ever doubt that. Love, Janice x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Unresolved: Who Killed Sister Cathy? Baltimore, Archbishop Keough High School & The Murder Of Catherine Cesnik | The Ghost in My Machine

  8. Pingback: The Keepers: Behind the Unsolved Murder of a Nun That Is Now a Netflix Series | invtrade.net

  9. Pingback: The Keepers: Behind the Unsolved Murder of a Nun That Is Now a Netflix Series | MyFads

  10. Pingback: Your next true-crime obsession is Netflix's 'The Keepers,' and it's a doozy - Alex Poucher

  11. The abuse of the church over a millennia are well documented. I was a catholic growing up, mass in Latin, and who knew. Trust. However, after research and studying Catholic Church to includes its abuses and silence, WW II and the Jews, I made a conscious decision to move. Read everyday, and love Jesus Christ and God, but I can do that without being catholic. Justice for all those that have suffered, to include my own brother in law as an altar boy.


  12. Pingback: ‘The Keepers’ starts with a nun’s murder and gets steadily darker | Universal Media HD

  13. Pingback: ‘The Keepers’ starts with a nun’s murder and gets steadily darker | Digisnak

  14. Pingback: ‘The Keepers’ starts with a nun’s murder and gets steadily darker | FanZone

  15. Pingback: ‘The Keepers’ starts with a nun’s murder and gets steadily darker | Celebrities

  16. I cannot believe how deprived these people are to do what they did, not just what they did to the Nun but what they did to these poor girls I believe every word these ladies say. I pisses me off the most is that they were deprived and a picture that was painted of the True Church is smudged and disfigured. The image of that is suppose to be Godly men and instead they get demons from the altar of Satan. This just robs them of the truth that Jesus Christ is not only the true living God but that His Children cannot be trusted just shows that just because you were a priestly collar doesn’t mean you bear the fruit of God’s character. What a shame my heart goes out to these beautiful women and the pain that they had to suffered at the hands of sick individual crooks angers me to no end. They will not get away with what they did, remember vengeance is MIne I will repay. Says the LORD.


  17. It pisses me off that the police never solved this case. The priest was sexually abusing the students and and probably murdered sister Cathy. The only reason they never did anything was because the police and higher up in the Catholic church were covering all of what priests did. Why? Because some police were also raping this same students.


  18. I watched all 7 episodes on Net Flex and I just couldn’t believe how evil he was and what he did to these young girls, and to have the police and business men and a Doctor is just sickening.It is so sad that Sister Cathy was murdered. She would have helped them. I went to a Catholic school for 4 years, but it sure wasn’t anything like that.


  19. Hello my name is jenny fryer I live in Melbourne Australia I have been watching the keepers. I am absolutely stunned. The two ladies doing all the research a wonderful I admire them greatly. I do hope the get closure, to this incredible case.


  20. I just finished watching last night, being brought up in the Catholic family in the same area. I have dropped away from the church, and the more I hear about the Catholics the more I am glad I have stepped away. There was a priest at our church (Ascension) who was convicted of molesting the alter boys after I left our school, but that same priest married me and my first husband, now I know why it was doomed from the beginning. I give my upmost respect to the women who were abused at Keough, and just thank God, I went to a public school after my 8th grade graduation or I would have been there at that time, I do remember some of the names of the girls, I grew up in Arbutus/Halethorpe area and remember when Sister Cathy was murdered. I truly hope that justice is served and that they are found guilty of these crimes. Maskell I am sure is serving his time in HELL as we continue to find all of the answers for justice to be served. I truly believe that Mike Miller runs Annapolis and once he retires, maybe just maybe the will be able to get this bill passed, I think that we should all write to Annapolis and overload them with letters to get this bill passed. I want to praise all of these women for coming forward and speaking out about the circumstances that has been haunting them all of these years. May God be with you and guide you to find peace and justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Baltimore P.D. Please look into the victim’s male family members. A victim had to have been there when the murder occurred. One of them saw the dead body. The male family could’ve got ” justice” for what happened to the victim. Sister Cathy didn’t go to police so they could’ve thought she had something to do with it or allowed it to happen.


  22. This is outrageous. If Netflix has factual information there is circumstantial evidence against Maskell for the murder of sister Cathy. My heart is saddened for all of those girls who were abused. I am a former Marine retired police officer. Baltimore Police/FBI need to grow balls and bring closure to the murder and abuse. Go after anyone still alive who covered it up and abused the girls.


    • Thanks, Tony and Semper Fi and thanks for your service, Jarhead! — PFC Tom Nugent, USMC Ret., Parris Island, 1962


  23. I am appalled, but unfortunately not shocked. I applaud these women and man willing to share their stories. It is long overdue that we acknowledge the horrors exerted onto the public from those in power, be it the church, government, or police departments, The truth can be painful and embarrassing, but it is the first step to healing. I hope it is all revealed one day and some sort of peace is felt by all impacted by this horrible occurrence.


  24. hi there i have been watching the keeper on netfix it is so appoling that these prest have never been convicted of the abuse it has only been in the last couple of year in Australia where i live that there has been justice for what some of the cathlic prest have down to some of the children in there care I beleive that Maskell will pay when judgment day comes I hope that he burns in internal hell


  25. Where is Sister Cathy’s purse and contents or the evidence log for those items? The article states a prescription bottle with her name was inside, was the money from her cashed paycheck (minus the money spent on a gift for her sister?) inside the purse? This would help determine motive and whether or not she made it to the shopping center.


  26. I have watched all of the 7 sessions of “Keepers”. It troubled me a great deal. Being a life long Catholic, I have never met a priest who is not loving and caring. I went to Catholic school and have been educated by many teachers, some like Sister Catherine although some I didn’t like. But nonetheless, they all meant well. The bad priests in the movie don’t represent the church’s teaching. They are mentally ill. The bad church officials are more responsible for the situation. They should be removed from their position or get out of the church like Lutheran did. To the victims, give them whatever they asked for, no question ask. Nothing is enough for their suffering. Sell churches and properties and so on. Catholic church should be poor and it’s better that way. About my faith, for the Grace of God, never change. You don’t quit sending your kids to school because there are some bad teachers. There are many more great teachers.


  27. I watched The Keeper’s all the way through and was amazed about the skill, community togetherness, perseverance of these people. One of the best things I have seen, based on the usage of modern media by every-day people. I can only send my utter respect. But there was a serious issue missing form all the episodes, and the otherwise deep and detailed analysis that everyone should think about. The philosophy that cornered these girls into putting up with this abuse. Spotlight also only mentioned very very shortly in one scene the connection. The Christian philosophy interpreted as sinners who have to be punished instead of being forgiven and not judged as Jesus said, the sexual restrictions and unhealthy approach to sex by Middle Eastern believes, the teaching of the following of a harsh authority, God. When will a documentary put Christianity itself under scrutiny and admit that it is responsible for abuse of many kind? As a religion it only has a place in the modern world if it is revised and abstracted away from many types of now acceptable practices. The parents of these children were directly responsible, and that was because of the awful way they believed. This is very clear from both abused girl’s story.


  28. “They said they were operating on a theory that Cesnik was abducted by “a stranger or maybe by someone who knew her” on the night she disappeared. ”

    I mean, that about covers it. Great detection!

    I am floored that it looks like Joyce’s murder was just dropped and at the overall malice or incompetence of the various police agencies involved, collectively. I think they got so set on Koob they didn’t look for anything else.


  29. I have had interactions with either inappropriate men or family members or preachers in each case I shut it down at some level so sad these children weren’t given tools to protect themselves -they were put in such vulnerable positions I was lucky at six ten fourteen and older I had the Lords protection and got away even as a older adult saw signs of strangers or others it is unfortunate I didn’t have protection against my abusive husband he was and is a groomer using God as a leverage to sexual inappropriate behavior he has had many — in the workplace many victims but for me I got away barely with my life


  30. I have just seen “Keepers” I live in Australia and was educated in the Catholic system within a convent. I am shocked at what took place in that school under the watchful eyes of Teachers etc. Children are so vulnerable, and would have believed Maskell. The two women who started this search for information on the murder of Sister Kathy should be recommended for bravery for what they have achieved. Hopefully the Murderer will be brought to justice even though it’s been a long time since the murder.


  31. Horrendous cover-up by powerful people, and it appears Sharon May as well. The callousness, deception, and self-service of those we trust to protect us is enormous. Shame on all of them. These women are courageous.




  33. I have just finished watching The Keepers on Netflix and couldn’t stop crying. I was brought up Catholic in England but my grandparents were Irish and very dedicated catholics. I went to a catholic school and trusted the institute unquestionably, now having watched this documentary I am questioning everything i brought up to believe. I am so angry that this man managed to abuse so many children with no justice been done. I hope that although the victims weren’t believed in this case; that past, current or future victims of sexual abuse aren’t afraid to come forward. I wish them all the courage and strength. I also hope that all the hard work being done to by the women in the documentary comes to finding justice and closure for sister Catherine and Joyce’s family and friends.


  34. I was a contemporary of these women. I lived on the other side of town going to a different catholic high school. I was a freshman when Sr. Cathy was killed. I was blessed to go to a school that didn’t invite priests to have offices there. Thank God! My high school story is so different. The Keough girls, the dentist suffered horrendously as did how many others? These amazing women are brave soldiers in a war against pedophilia and corruption in the Catholic Church and the metropolis that helped them. These criminals have scarred them forever, but the sleeping giant is awake. My heart is with them. My only other connection is having worked for Richter briefly in the mid-1970s. I hated him. I smiled the day I found out he died. He cared more for his sailboat…well. The information that was on “The Keepers” about him did surprise me, but the cold calculation, hardly.

    The sad part is that I shared the last episode with my 89 year old mother. She didn’t believe it. She is typical of the Catholics of that time. Her response was, why now? How many times did women come on to my priest? I said mother you are talking about adults and this truthful account is about real children! The archdiocese knew about this in 1967 when the parent of a multi-year abused boy went to the archdiocese. They could have prevented this! They ruined these victims’ lives! They are culpable for this young nun’s death! Her response was “oh I used to run into Cardinal Keeler, in the day, before he was cardinal and he was such a nice man”. I kept telling her no, you don’t get it! They just kept moving Maskell to other places. They knew and did nothing! The church was guilty of letting him go. He was sent to a girl’s school. More children! This was likely done because they thought he liked boys, like that was a solution. He was a pedophile! What the hell will it take for these people to take responsibility? Like Jane Doe said…it’s not about the money! This man victimized dozens of girls and boys. He was a monster as were those he surrounded himself with.

    You can’t bring back your life, your childhood, your innocence. I know…I am a survivor of molestation at the hands of a family friend. My memories started back with a fury as a young mother. The memories started slowly and they came on like a storm. I became very angry and protective of my kids. I was abused at the age of 6-7, many things I still block but know that they are there. I told my parents when I was in my early thirties and they were in denial because “they were good parents”. This is the reason why the victims didn’t speak and buried their torture and shame. I know….So, Where was the police?? Where are the county, city, state, and the FBI agencies? Why have they allowed for this investigation to stagnate? Where are they now? Who were the police involved? Why not connect the dots before everyone dies? The world is watching. A Big thanks to the writers, Netflix and the brave women and families out there that support their efforts. Maskell is burning in hell, but that does not absolve those around him-namely those involved with him.


  35. I’m a Roman Catholic, there is no way anyone should protect or hide the truth. Is this not what Jesus says?
    I pray to God ! Cathy and other young lady will get justice. Priest or not, sound like an evil man.
    I will pray often for the truth.


  36. The cover ups are insane. The acts of violence against these children is horrid but the cover ups are unacceptable. From the police, the FBI, the DA, the church….it is deeply enbedded and woven so tightly. It is unraveling and the players are aging out, dying or sick. What goes on in the dark comes out in the light….It is obvious that Maskell committed these sickening acts and killed Sister Cathy. I believe that there is a Heaven and Hell, and I believe that Maskell is in Hell now along with the others along the way that have met their demise. We need closure and exposure for this to be put behind us all. The victims, the outraged families and community all deserve closure. While watching The Keepers, I was fascinated by the DA’s reaction during an interview. Being in someone’s pocket is interesting and that is what she was, a pawn. Dirty cobs, priest and the Diocese all in bed together. Forget the damage to the youth. Let’s protect our image…..crazy times then and now.


  37. My daughter told me about the documentary THE KEEPERS – I’m in my seventies, Catholic – just seeing the beginning reminded me of my high school days – the year book, the pictures, etc. I found myself spending the whole day viewing the complete series – I found myself crying at times watching – this was a story we never would have heard about if it was not for the two individuals who started their research into Sister Cathy’s death. We’ve heard so much about the issue of priests and boys in the past, nothing about the girls of those years. Want stands out in my mind today from this documentary – after hearing the story of the alter boy in the last episode – it becomes more unbelievable that the Catholic church would transfer this individual to an “all girls school” – did they believe that would have made a difference with the action of the priest? Individuals in authority somewhere in the system had to know what started at this girls school. This documentary has opened our eyes to the facts of the young girls growing up during these times.


  38. I find myself still having THE KEEPERS documentary on my mind today. The reference to “Brother Bob” – I’m not sure the definition of the term “Brother” in the religious orders of men, but I recall the term “Brother” is used within certain orders – I was wondering if during these years, was there another school or location that was near the girls school that made reference to teachers or members with the prefix “Brother” and not “Father”? I’m just finding myself wanting to write down the thoughts going through my mind.


  39. Hype, conjecture, speculation, best intentions aside: (and congratulations to all of you and your efforts) the monster you fight (and who, incidentally) have the answers, may never be ‘outed’ in our lifetime. Obviously ‘safeguarding’ of the church at that time, was more important than safeguarding children and more important than allowing truth to prevail.
    Keep up the good fight you warriors of truth in your quest for release for the victims of these dispicable crimes.


  40. I watched The Keepers on Netflix. Koob stated that during an aggressive interview with one of the detectives, the officer left the room and then came back with Sr. Cathy’s vagina wrapped in newspaper and threw it at him. Hearing him say that was like a leap into the realm of psychopathy. Bizarre and repulsive beyond comprehension. Would the detective have been so deranged that he would use such mind games to horrify and manipulate Koob, who he suspected. Would Koob have “nightmared ” such a scenario into reality! I mean, the police do not just happen to have body parts of victims sitting around in their possession. This was the most tragic and twisted series of events – so many agencies, so many cover-ups, so many questions unanswered..
    Those beautiful young lives lost for the gratification of a demon. Pedophiles like Maskell do intentionally seek out occupations where they will have access to children. People often mention “the good old days”. I don’t think so.


  41. After watching the Keeper on Netflix, I was sickened by the actions of the archdiocese (and those in the law profession that turned a blind eye)
    Let just say, I hope there is a hell and that everyone involved will be dealt with. Maybe that should be a new series. Defending you life!!!!
    Have Maskell and all the others stand before their GOD and explain their part in this horrible crime against his innocent children. Let there be wrath against them. Let those still alive know that, and quake in their shoes that there may be a reckoning day for them.
    To the women and men (survivors) know that your voice was heard and that your innocence was taken (not given) and your bravery for being
    Heard …..applauded. One man caused so much pain ,BUT , you the survivors can help others with their pain. Continue to be strong
    Continue to be heard and never give up.


  42. Thank you all for this important and remarkable documentary. I was profoundly moved by the trust that Jean had in her memories. And also inspired by the authenticity and dedication of all the women and men who spoke out and kept researching and following leads. I am an incest survivor. I wrote The Obsidian Mirror, a book about my experience remembering incest and my journey of healing (1988). Being public was even harder than writing the book. I hope that this murder is solved. And also I want you to know that your tremendous courage in telling your stories will surely make a positive difference in many lives.


  43. So sad! I was awakened to the truth! What motivates people to be so evil? People knew what was going on and turned a blind eye or participated in the evil. The bible says what is done in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. I’m a mom of four and could not imagine having any one of my children abused in their place of education, a place that should be safe! These children deserve justice! Sister Cathy and Joyce deserve justice! The church needs to take responsibility and acknowledge the evil and change so that it is not a perfect breeding ground for priestly pedophiles to hide!


  44. Where do you start with this horrible factual story. I am not catholic, I live in Australia & I too was sexually abused by my brother at a young age, but do not 100% still remember the details. I never told anyone, my parents would not of believed me, my brother was the “golden boy” of the family & I was always the “little good girl”. My parents have both died & I only then told my children & a few small group of friends of my childhood abuse. I also married an abusive husband, physically, mentally & sexually, I escaped this situation when my children were first physically assaulted & the police finally “listened” to my children & took steps to stop contact with their father.
    As a victim also, I would like to say how accurate these details are. It was like someone telling my story, the much later in life some 40+ years later did I have the “courage” & fog clearing to start to really remember, but not all of it.
    I have endocrine problems, adrenal cancer & a pituitary tumour, this is mentioned during one of the episodes, due to “fight flight” permanently on & effecting your memory & I just broke down, it has clarified all of my life health problems all based on this SEXUAL ABUSE.
    What is it with SEX & some people…….
    I am not writing this to take strength from these victims, but really to confirm the details & information from the other victims are so accurate, I could not of explained any of the details better myself.
    I am so proud of these victims & this has actually helped me, as sick as it was to hear others going through similar situations, hang in there, your amazing as I try & say to myself on my good days to help me heal, you deserve medals for living through this kind of ordeal.


  45. Short of someone with knowledge of the murder coming forward, it may be time to concentrate more dutifully on forensic evidence.

    Would it be beneficial for investigators to release information on all details of the crime scene? Although some details are held to verify the accuracy of potential witnesses, 50 years after the crime might the full release of information be helpful in filling in a missing piece or two in the minds of people who may have additional information but realize it only after having a few more pieces of the puzzle to put together? Also, is there value in an exhumation of Sister Cathy’s remains to explore micro examination of the fatal injury to her head, using technologies only recently available to determine the blunt object used, or potentially the handedness of the perpetrator (left or right)? Is there any material left from her car that may contain trace evidence?


  46. My heart breaks for all the victims involved I am sure there where many more who did not come forward. I pray for peace for the victims and for the families involved. Bravo to Netflix’s, and the two brave women bringing this to the public eye. I pray for closure for the victims and the families involved. I also pray for answers as to what happened and that the case is solved. It saddens me and makes me sick to my stomach the roll the priests the police officers, and doctors and anyone else that were involved and the cover up. I can only pray justice will be served one day by our God.


  47. I think it was someone that worked
    at the school.
    One under the top.
    I am thinking someone
    was hurting these children.
    She found out.
    She said, “I will put a
    stop to this”!!!
    ‘Cause she was a very
    special woman.
    They felt threatened!
    Reputation, career,etc…..
    They killed her .
    Probably, no defensive
    Because, she knew them.
    The high priest.
    She felt nothing.
    It is an evil world.


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