The Keepers Director Ryan White – Interview
Thousands of people binged the new Netflix docu-series The Keepers in the days after its release May 19th. The new series catapulted up the trending charts and is now ranking with other true crime obsessions like Making A Murderer. But for The Keepers Director Ryan White, the story has a personal significance. In a new interview with E-news, the filmmaker discusses his ties to the story of Sister Cathy Cesnik and her unsolved murder in 1969.
From the interview:
“My aunt actually went to the high school that’s the epi-center of this story, she was Sister Cathy’s student. She was also a classmate of the woman in our series who’s known as Jane Doe, whose putting her face and name on Jane Doe in the series… My aunt found out about three years ago that one of her friends was Jane Doe. She had no idea that her friend had gone through this.”
If you’ve gotten past the second episode in the series, you’ll know that “Jane Doe” is revealed to be Jean Wehner, a former student at Keough High School and student of Cathy Cesnik. In the course of the series, she recalls her memories and graphic details of her abuse at the hands of Father Joseph Maskell, counselor at the school. Furthermore, she shares knowledge of his involvement in the murder of the slain nun. With such a difficult trauma, it’s no wonder Jean was at first hesitant to participate in the project.
White says in his interview:
“Jean is a very careful, deliberate person, and although my aunt knew her, she still put me through the ringer before deciding to do this. Her story has been silenced for so long and she’s suffered in silence that I think she’s understandably wary… She really had to test me before she would do it.”
He continues to discuss his first meeting with Jean and how her story motivated him to tell the tragic story.
Ryan White again:
“And the first time I met with Jean, it was five hours at her dining room table. And I left with my producer and we looked at each other and we said, ‘This woman is telling the truth and we need to be part of this.'”
The compelling docu-series is streaming on Netflix now.
Watch the rest of Ryan Whites interview below: