Did priest flee to Ireland after nun murder? Netflix documentary
The murder of a young nun is being investigated in a new documentary and the finger of blame is pointed squarely at a priest who later fled to Ireland.
Sister Cathy Cesnik is the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘The Keepers’. She went missing in Baltimore in 1969, when she was aged just 26.
The programme investigates the potential role of priest Father Joseph Maskell in Cathy’s death. He was a chaplain at the school where Cathy taught from 1967 to 1975.
In November 1969, Cathy mysteriously disappeared and no-one knew what had happened to her until two months later when her body was found at a dump.
Many of the pupils at the school where Cathy taught have spoken about suffering abuse at the hands of Father Maskell, and insisting he must have had something to do with the murder.
One former student, Jean Wehner, said she was abused by Father Maskell and has since brought a $40m law suit against the school.
In the documentary, Jean said Father Maskell took her to the dump where Cathy’s body was later found and warned her: “This is what happens when people say bad things.”
A total of 30 women have come forward claiming they were abused at the school. As well as Father Maskell, director or religious studies Father Neil Magnus was also allegedly responsible for the attacks.
Last year, the archdiocese of Baltimore paid settlements, ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, to 13 former students of Keough High School.
On the night of her disappearance, Cathy was reportedly councilling one of the victims when Father Maskell unexpectedly arrived.
The girl left but claimed the next day Father Maskell waved a gun at her and threatened to kill her and her family if she spoke out about the abuse.
Years later, Father Maskell was questioned about the several allegations of abuse in the school, and fled to Ireland where he worked as a health board psychologist.
He returned to America in 1999 and died two years later without ever facing charges for either the abuse or Cathy’s murder.
His body was exhumed earlier this year but his DNA did not match that found at the murder scene.
Baltimore police have hopes that the Netflix documentary will urge someone to come forward with any new information.
A spokesperson said: “For now, we’ve pretty well reached the end of the road when it comes to forensic evidence.
“We hope that someone will be able to come forward with conclusive information about the murder.”
The Keepers is a seven-part documentary about Sister Cathy Cesnik’s death and is now available to watch on Netflix.
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