Important The Keepers Question: Did One Of These Men Kill Sister Cathy?

Courtesy of Netflix
From the producers of Making a Murderer and Amanda Knox comes The Keepers, also known as your next true crime obsession.
In 1969, a 26-year-old nun went on a shopping trip, and never returned. Sister Catherine Anne Cesnik was a beloved English teacher at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. Two months after she disappeared, Cesnik’s body was recovered on a frozen field in Landsowne, Maryland.
At first, an energetic, vivacious nun seems like an unlikely murder victim. But there’s another element to this story. In 1992, a former student named Jean Wehner came forward to reveal that the all-girls Catholic school was the site of an extensive sex ring, run by none other than the school’s chaplain, Rev. Joseph Maskell.
As The Keepers reveals, after Cesnik learned of the rampant sexual abuse, she was poised to contact the police. Her attempt at intervention may have cost her her life.
For the full story, watch the seven-episode documentary series. For now, we’ll go through the main suspects in Cesnik’s story.
The Keepers premieres on Netflix on Friday, May 19.
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Rev. A Joseph Maskell

At the heart of The Keepers' heinous crimes was Archbishop Keough’s school counselor and chaplain, Rev. Joseph Maskell. Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, Maskell raped and psychologically manipulated many young students. Jean Wehner, who initially came out with her story in 1992, recalls that Maskell prostituted girls out to other clergymen and law enforcement officials.

The Keepers also connects Maskell to the abduction and death of 20-year-old Joyce Malecki. Malecki was a parishioner of Maskell's at St. Clement Church, and disappeared around the same time as Cesnik.

Maskell was removed from the ministry in 1994, and died in 2001. In 2017, Maskell’s body was exhumed to compare his DNA prints to crime scene evidence. So far, there have been no matches.

Pictured: Maskell (left) and Father Neil Magnus (right), also a perpetrator of the sex crimes.
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Gerald Koob

When Baltimore City Council Police Department began investigating Cesnik's disappearance, the first person of interest was Gerald Koob, a Jesuit priest.

Koob had an air-tight alibi. The night Cesnik disappeared, he was seeing Easy Rider with a fellow priest, Peter McKeon. When Cesnik hadn't returned from her shopping trip, her roommate, Sister Helen Russell Phillips, called Koob. By midnight, Koob had reported a disappearance to the police.

There's a reason why Koob was the first person Sister Russell contacted. Koob and Cesnik were involved romantically. In fact, Koob had proposed marriage two years prior, before Cesnik had taken her vows or Koob was ordained. Though Cesnik declined, they continued to write love letters to one another.

Pictured: Gerald Koob.
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Billy Schmidt

For various reasons explained in The Keepers, Billy Schmidt's family is convinced that he and his brother, Ronnie, were involved in the murder. Billy lived across from Cesnik in the Carriage House apartments.

After the night of Cesnik's disappearance, Billy and Ronnie's behavior changed drastically. His wife recalls her husband, Ronnie, taking to drinking and drugs. Conversely, Billy became a raving shut-in. Barbara discovered a mannequin dressed as a nun hanging from Billy's attic rafters. After multiple suicide attempts, Billy was successful in taking his own life.

When investigations were reopened, Billy Schmidt’s niece, Sharon Schmidt, suggested looking into the cigarette butts from the crime scene, and that said her uncle smoked Salems. Detective Gary Childs of the Baltimore City Police admitted that a cigarette butt is being used as evidence in the open investigation, though no further information was disclosed.
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Edgar Davidson

Under conditions of anonymity, Edgar Davidson’s first wife revealed his potential connection to Cesnik’s murder to filmmakers in The Keepers.

On the night of Cesnik’s abduction in November 1969, Davidson walked into his house with a bloody shirt. When prompted, Davidson explained he’d gotten in a fight with his boss. Days later, when watching the news, Davidson told his wife, “By the time they find her body, it’s going to be wintertime, she’s going to buried in snow.”

Finally, there's the matter of the necklace. On the night Cesnik was abducted, she was shopping for an engagement present for her sister. Davidson's ex-wife was surprised when he gave her a necklace far out of his price range. The necklace had a wedding bell. Why, she wondered, would he be giving her a wedding bell if they were already married?

Decades later, Davidson called a radio show saying that he knew of evidence in the case. But when The Keepers' filmmakers asked en elderly Davidson directly, he vehemently denied his involvement with Cesnik's murder.
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"Brother Bob"

During Jean Wehner's senior year, Maskell would drive her to St. Clement Church, where she was further abused by other men. While Wehner doesn’t know their identities, the men went by generic monikers like Brother Bob, Brother Ed, and Brother Ted.

Wehner can't remember much of Brother Bob. She does remember, though, Brother Bob admitting that Cesnik confided she was going to the police to report the abuse. Upon hearing her plan to act, Brother Bob hit Cesnik, but "didn’t mean to kill her." Wehner has repressed all facial recollection of Brother Bob.

Pictured: Jean Wehner.

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