MD MD - Sr. Catherine Cesnik, 26, Baltimore, 7 Nov 1969 "The Keepers"

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by bessie, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Christobel

    Christobel New Member

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    Hi, everyone. Gemma Hoskins from "The Keepers" Official FB Group has asked me to find if there is anyone here who can provide any information on the specific whereabouts and activities of Fr. Joseph Maskell while he was in Ireland, specifically County Wexford. Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Christobel

    Christobel New Member

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    The next best thing to talking with Gemma and Abby is to listen to the Out of the Shadows Podcast. Gemma Hoskins and others go into more depth there. For example, a recent episode has confirmed that the necklace featured in The Keepers was discovered to be unconnected to Sister Cathy.
     
  3. Christobel

    Christobel New Member

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    To my recollection, "that student" gives a more in-depth interview with Gemma and Shane on the Out of The Shadows podcast and does reveal her identity.
     
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  4. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    This Cold Case will be 50 years old in November 2019.
     
  5. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    Hi, I'm from Northern Ireland, is there anything I can do to help?
     
  6. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    Started working on a timeline for Maskell when he was in Wexford Ireland:

    Timeline - Wexford, Ireland

    1898:

    Maskell’s father Joseph was born in Limerick and emigrated with his parents, Daniel and Hanna, to New York in 1898, before settling in Baltimore, an area popular with Irish immigrants.


    13 April 1939:

    Born Anthony Joseph Maskell in Baltimore City, but chose to call himself Joseph - the same name as his brother, and in deference to St Joseph - when he first went into the seminary.


    1994:


    Arrived in Ireland after fleeing the US as he was about to be arrested on child abuse charges.

    After leaving his role as pastor of St Augustine’s parish in Elkridge, Baltimore, Fr Maskell moved to Ireland in 1994 as the case against him was ongoing.


    1995:


    He practiced as a clinical psychologist in the Wexford Community Care area in 1995.

    The Diocese of Ferns kept a file on him from April 1995 to September 1998 but could not confirm the exact date of his arrival or departure.


    In 1995, he said Mass in Screen and Curracloe, where he was said to be covering for other priests.


    The HSE told the Irish Times that it had begun reviewing the work of Maskell and “any concerns” arising from his employment as a psychologist in a “psycho-education initiative” by the South Eastern Health Board in Wexford from April 11th, 1995 to November 7th, 1995.


    The Diocesan file shows that Fr. Maskell worked as a temporary psychologist with the SEHB in 1995, a psychologist in private practice in Wexford and Castlebridge from 1995 to 1998 and that he presented as a priest on occasions between 1995 and 1996 despite lacking permission.

    Castlebridge - Wikipedia



    1996:

    It was his presenting as a priest that prompted Ferns to enquire further into his status and to make contact with Baltimore and the SEHB in June 1996.

    Arising from continued concerns as to his still unclarified status as well as reports that he was in the employment of the South Eastern Health Board and had appeared recently in full clerical garb in public, the Diocese (Ferns ) made direct contact with the Baltimore Archdiocese on June 25, 1996, requesting information on Fr. Maskell.

    According to Fr. Carroll, it is clear from the file that Fr. Maskell continued work in private practice as a psychologist after July 1996.

    A letter from the Diocese of Ferns dated October 6, 1996 pointed out to Fr. Maskell that the celebration of Mass by him, as permitted by his continued status as a priest of Baltimore, ‘anywhere other than in your own private residence – in seminaries, convents, etc.



    1998:

    After leaving the public sector in 1995, Maskell continued to work as a private psychologist in the area until 1998.

    After leaving the employment of the SEHB, Fr. Maskell opened a private practice in Common Quay Street, a development that the Diocese was concerned about as it gave him unsupervised access to children.


    Google Maps


    The file contains correspondence between the Diocese of Ferns and Fr. Maskell and the SEHB, the Gardai, and with lawyers and individuals who were contacted by the Diocese with a view to discovering more details about the status, activities and whereabouts of the US priest, up to September 22, 1998. It is not clear from the file whether Fr. Maskell had left the area or not by then.


    The priest continued to work as a psychologist in private practice in Wexford until 1998.

    Fr. Carroll said that up to September 22, 1998, the diocese continued to be uneasy about Fr. Maskell’s presence, his contacts and activities and his remaining here in light of the charges against him.

    Maskell returned to the United States in 1998 and died in 2001.



    1999:

    Ms. Baldwin said she accompanied her brother back to Baltimore in 1999 where he continued to live until his death in 2001.
     
  7. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    Hope this is okay to share, this is some of the research I've done on Maskell's time in Ireland:

    Fr Maskell
     
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  8. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite New Member

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    I haven't been following this thread, but I did write a while back about this to a couple people about this. I realize there is a determination that there is only one way that this story can end, with the guilt squarely on the priests. I am not arguing anything on their behalf, but sometimes you have to look at facts with a cold detachment and you might see something unexpected. If you start out assuming she was killed by the demon priest, then all clues you find will lead you only to that conclusion. I suggest here that the murder was simply a case of wrong place, wrong time. When I started watching the series, I thought I was watching a Ted Bundy story I had never heard of. I think I actually checked the description after beginning to clarify for myself. I watched the whole thing, but discovered after looking it up that the priest was ruled out by comparison of DNA after exhumation. So, I considered my original impression that it was a Ted Bundy murder just for the heck of it. The M.O. is remarkably similar, a woman out on a shopping trip, disappears, hit on the head with a blunt object, molested, body left in the woods. I checked and Ted's grandparents' house was 2 hours driving distance from the apartment. Also, though I know Ted's murders were largely state investigations, I did read the FBI file available online. According to this, they interviewed a kind of odd woman in relation to the case. She alleged some rather outlandish things like that she was really a half sister of Ted. They decided not to pursue her story further. However, my curiosity was further enhanced, when I read in the notes from her interview that she saw him at a party in November 1969 on the East Coast. That was interesting because he was supposedly in Washington, but he wasn't a particularly dedicated student and people do travel back and forth for other reasons. So, the possibility that he really was at least on the right side of the country is there. The witness kind of (in a Miss Marple way) reminds me of this kind of screwy friend I had in high school. She might tell part of a true story, like she saw you somewhere, but add on a great deal of details/comments that never happened. Perhaps, if you would consider it, the witness was right about seeing him there, but exaggerated other things in the story. In addition, I found an author, who drafted a fictional novel tying Ted Bundy to the real disappearance and murders of two women in New Jersey on Memorial Day weekend in 1969, in the style of the Lake Sammamish Bundy murders. That theory suggests that he was active on the East Coast before the known murders and in the same year as the murder of Cathy Cesnik. Furthermore, and I know this won't be popular, when I was watching the story the impression was given that Cesnik knew about the molestation. I think that was likely a mistake. The description of someone in a jolly mood on the day of her disappearance is incongruent with someone having discovered and on the verge of unmasking the deep dark and perverted secrets of the clergy. I think that it was simply assumed that she knew that by someone who wants to believe that she did and believe the story that she was the valiant savior, when she was struck down by the enemy. Great story, but there is little to back that up even from the testimonial evidence. It seems far more likely that this was something else entirely. I would love to have the DNA evidence compared with any remaining Ted Bundy sample to rule that out.
     
  9. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite New Member

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    And I have to add that there was clearly a misunderstanding about a fact in the case from the series. They said the car was left in that position in the entrance to the parking lot to be seen/as a statement. I believe it was simply a question of the brake not being on and it rolled there, based on the layout. That wasn't to make a statement, that was to leave the car in haste and book it out of there. It was likely if the car was left there after dumping the body that the abduction occurred at the parking lot and that the abductor parked within walking distance, could reach public transport from there, or was associated with some nearby location. If you look on GoogleMaps there are woods all behind that complex even now. If you wanted to drop the car and run off, that would be the way to go without anyone seeing you.
     
  10. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    28 October 2019:


    No end in sight for HSE investigation into ‘Netflix priest’

    The HSE has again refused to offer any timeframe for the completion of a long-running investigation into the activities of a US priest at the centre of a Netflix true-crime documentary.

    Fr James Maskell was the prime suspect in the unsolved murder of Catholic nun and school teacher Sr Cathy Cesnik in Baltimore, in 1969.

    The case was the subject of a seven-part seven-part Netflix documentary, The Keepers.

    Authorities believe Maskell killed the nun after she became aware of allegations that he had sexually abused girls at the Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. (Sr Cesnik taught there.)

    The priest fled to Wexford in 1994, after a victim said that while she was a student, he had taken her to see Sr Cesnik’s body and told her: “You see what happens when you say bad things about people?”

    The following year, he took up a position as a psychologist for the South Eastern Health Board, in Wexford Community Care, for six months. He worked in private practice in the county from 1995 to 1998.

    No end in sight for HSE investigation into ‘Netflix priest’
     
  11. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    More:


    Maskell subsequently returned to the US, where he died in 2001.

    After the huge publicity generated by the documentary, the HSE announced, in June 2017, an investigation into “any concerns arising from the temporary, short-term employment” of Maskell in 1995.

    However, the investigation is now into its third year and the HSE is unwilling to provide any timeline for completion.

    When the Irish Examiner asked about the investigation, the HSE reissued a short press statement it had provided in April.

    No end in sight for HSE investigation into ‘Netflix priest’
     
  12. HayLouise

    HayLouise Law Student

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    “Various phases of an examination process have been undertaken. As a step in this process, and with due regard to the terms of reference for this review, an independent company was appointed, following a procurement process in line with national guidelines,” said the statement.


    The HSE has repeatedly declined to say when the investigation would be completed and said it would not be appropriate to make any further comment, “pending completion of the review”.

    It has also declined to name the independent company.

    Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins, two former students of Sr Cesnik, are at the centre of the Netflix documentary, having spent years investigating their former teacher’s murder.

    Ms Schaub reiterated her frustration that the HSE has declined to release any documentation to her, under the Freedom of Information Act, in relation to how Maskell was hired by the Eastern Health Board in 1995.

    “Fr Maskell’s employment, working with youngsters for the Irish health board, after he fled a trial for sexual abuse of minors in America, is cause for public concern. If there were problems in the background check system, these should be discussed and corrected.”

    No end in sight for HSE investigation into ‘Netflix priest’
     
  13. SyraAnne

    SyraAnne New Member

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    Hi everyone. This is my first post ever. Although I've been a browser for years, mostly checking up on LISK. I love true crime and am so amazed by the normalcy of it now. Growing up my friends and family thought I was 'sick' for my interest in the despicables of humanity. So on to my thoughts...

    I've watched The Keepers twice since it debuted and I'm gearing up for a third round. This time I'm preparing to take notes to try to keep all my thoughts straight. One thing that keeps sticking with me is Billy. What are the chances that he was a victim of Maskell? We know that Maskell was molesting children before he was a priest at a camp. So we have maybe this being an important factor in the manipulation of Billy, at Maskell's hand, to be part of his games. Maybe him being her neighbor was just a coincidence.

    Maybe I'm wrong. I do know that the priest was the type to enjoy making others do things, only to use it to manipulate them with afterwards. So you have Billy, possibly a victim and a homosexual who probably had to make confession to Maskell. You have Edgar, who knew Maskell and was a abuser. Then we have Brother Bob. Was he really a priest? Was he Skippy? Was he LE? No one knows. If you believe Jane Doe, which I really do, BB killed Cathy. The pedophile priest's personal hit squad.

    I have no doubt that Cathy had told the higher up's about what was going on at the school. She had faith that the problem would be dealt with, and that got her killed.
     
  14. ComplexLayers

    ComplexLayers New Member

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    Good morning everyone! This is my first post ever on this forum and I also was raised and now currently live in Baltimore! I myself attended Catholic school all the way through to finishing high school. It was the mid 90's when I was applying and I very much remember my parents and friends parents saying Seton Keough was out of the question though I was never told why ( I wasn't a big news watcher back then). I recently binged all 7 episodes of The Keepers and suddenly it all made sense.

    After finishing the series ( I'm now quite obsessed with the case and hope to one day see justice come to those two girls), I did have a thought and I'm almost sure someone in the past 50 years has asked it. Jane Do kept mentioning a Father Bob that would also assault her and he was the one that said he killed Sister Cathy. I had looked on the list the archdiocese put out of all the priests and father's accused of sexual allegations and there is a Father Robert B. Cullen (Websites with his survivors state he went by Father Bob/Bobby) listed and he has reports from the 1960's - 1980's and he served at Loyola Blakefield in Towson. There is also a Father Robert F. Hopkins and when confronted he admitted to sexual misconduct with minors from the 50's - early 80's. He served at Our Lady of Hope ( which is less than 20 miles from Seton Keough High School ) from '62 - '68. I wondered if either of these men had been looked into to see if there is any connection to Father Maskell or Magnus? ( I know this all might be rather far fetched but my boss whose been an Attorney for 38 years says you always should sweep every single corner and speck of dust that you can) so I figured I'd bring it to someone's attention to see if maybe we can't get this information to Gemma and Abbie if they haven't already tried this avenue). The other Bob I thought might be a good look is the Uncle Bobby that Brian Schmidt mentions keeping him occupied with shooting a gun while they disposed of something. That would also tie in how Schmidt and Edgar got pulled into the whole mess. ( Also just another thought ).
     
  15. ComplexLayers

    ComplexLayers New Member

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    As soon as I heard that Billy had had a brother named Bob I wondered if maybe they weren't the same person! I did think that maybe it could have been Maskell's brother but I have a feel with as sneaky as Maskell tried to be in terms of players etc that would have been too obvious.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova Well-Known Member

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    Only an old-timey Catholic (or Catholic-school student) would conclude that Billy, the guy so gay he wasn't able to marry, have children and take cover in the "Closet", was also in love with the nun next door and helped to kill her because his love wasn't requited! When a much simpler option is that Billy was being blackmailed by Maskell because of Billy's "mortal sin".

    Don't get me wrong: I just watched THE KEEPERS and came away with enormous respect for both Shane and Gemma and the family members who are willing to broadcast their suspicions of family members. But there's a tendency in Catholic (and Evangelical) cultures to think of gay people as All-Purpose Degenerates, capable of any and all depravity and criminal offense. (In fact, go back a century and the very word "sodomite" was a synonym for "heretic" and might or might not indicate same-sex attraction.)

    There's no question that Billy was a very, sick young man. The multiple suicide attempts over a few months are proof of that! But let's remember that the 1960s was a period in which homosexuals were treated with everything from anti-psychotics to electric shock in attempts to "cure" what is merely a social inconvenience, and not a disease in the first place. It's easy for me to imagine that Billy--his mind distorted by years of horrendous medical treatments and terror of being outed--might have fixated on the kind lady next door who had been horribly murdered, and incorporated her death and her image into his damaged worldview.

    Again, I mean no disrespect to Billy's relatives or to Gemma; nor am I accusing any of them of homophobia or any other unkindness to gay people. But the "Homicidal Homosexual" was a cultural trope for decades up and until the turn of the Millennium, and it's easy for some people to honestly and without malice revert to the concept when investigating a crime. This is something that struck me throughout THE KEEPERS and before I read DeputyDawg's post quoted above. If Billy was somehow involved, I think he was being blackmailed, not secretly in love with a woman.

    ETA I just want to add that I am by no means "defending" Billy, if he was blackmailed into helping with the murder or cover-up. I just don't know of any cases where exclusively homosexual men suddenly rape or fall in love with women.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
  17. Archounek

    Archounek New Member

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  18. Fukiyama

    Fukiyama Well-Known Member

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    Finished watching The Keepers yesterday. Still processing. A few thoughts though...

    1. Sister Russell knew all. That's the only conclusion possible.

    2. Gerry and his friend who showed up the night Sister Cathy disappeared: This is one of those "I don't know" areas. My basic thought is that Gerry didn't kill Cathy or have anything to do with it, but I think he had a lot to hide

    3. Father Maskell and company: I agree with the general thought that while he didn't get his hands dirty, he arranged things. Being the brother of a cop, being a police chaplain, being the school guidance counselor, he was the nexus of this particular sexual trafficking ring.

    4. Jane Doe: I believe her and Jane Roe and the other victims at Keough.

    5. Sister Cathy: I think she shared info with whomever her superiors were. I think she took an opportunity to teach at public school for a fresh start. She learned Father Maskell's ring was still active. That was what sealed her fate.
     
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  19. Sonny Crockett

    Sonny Crockett Well-Known Member

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    I watched Netflix's "The Keepers" several years back. Very compelling, meticulously researched, extremely disturbing, and at times stomach-turning true crime documentary series. I actually found this far more intense (though not necessarily "better") than Netflix's "Making a Murderer" - though that was an excellent doc. as well.

    There's is a lot going on here, including an unsolved murder; horrible crimes against children at C. school(s); repressed memories; etc.

    I find the abuse that happened here horrific. It's been well documented over the years that the CC will cover up these types of crimes. The nuns who taught at the school were probably too afraid of the priest to say anything. And, they were justifiably afraid - given the fact that Sister Cathy's murder was almost certainly committed by someone she knew (and was going to expose).

    The parents of the girls were probably too enamored of the CC that they wouldn't have believed the girls if they knew what was going on - and even if they suspected something, they probably looked the other way. That being said, the one male that was interviewed (who was abused by the priest as a boy) did say his mother went to the school & complained about the priest, which resulted in the priest's being moved to another school - like that was any kind of punishment. This ****** should have been sent to jail and done hard time. The death penalty would have been fitting for this sorry piece of excrement!

    Again, if the climate at the CC were had been more open to exposing these scum-bags instead of trying to protect them, Sister Cathy would have felt more comfortable going to the church authorities & exposing the priest. As it stood, she got all but kicked out of the school after confronting the priest (she had to go teach at a non-religious school the Fall after the girl told her what had happened), and was killed prior to exposing this ******

    Re: the letter that was mailed to the sister & the one she gave to the authorities before opening (that was promptly "lost"), we will probably never know the contents. We also don't know either way if Sister Cathy was pregnant.

    We don't know for sure whether Sister Cathy did indeed buy her sister an engagement present; this is all speculative.

    I do believe Sister Cathy was killed because she was getting close to exposing the truth about the priest. I don't necessarily think the priest committed the crime himself, but I do think he had others do to this for him (as was strongly suggested in the doc.).

    I do definitely believe the priest had a lot of incriminating material in the boxes he was burying in the graveyard. I also believe the city authorities found this, but were covering up for him.
     
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  20. Sonny Crockett

    Sonny Crockett Well-Known Member

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    To add to my last post:

    1) Who was the mysterious "Skippy"? He was the friend of one of the alleged participants. And, did he dress up as a nun & try to run someone off the road, as she attested happened? If so, was it to get rid of her, given that she was a possible witness? And, is Skippy still alive?!

    2) What was going on with the elderly man living in the room with all of the stuffed animals/dolls (weird!!). It appears that he knows more than he's telling. However, if so, what is he hiding?! Did he have anything to do with the crime?!

    It's too bad the scum-bag pr. died years ago. It would have been nice if he had still been around, and finally brought to trial for his horrible crimes.....or, at the least, publicly embarrassed/shamed by the doc.
     

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