New Review of The Keepers
It’s been a little over 2 months since The Keepers debuted on Netflix. In that short period, thousands, if not millions, have learned of the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik. They’ve also learned about the alleged sexual abuse at the Keough High School in the late 60s. In the minds of many, the abuse scandal was the reason Cesnik was murdered. In an interview with Rollingstone’s Amelia McDonell-Parry, documentarian Ryan White, who directed the series, discusses the connected cases.
“The making of the series was an ongoing conversation about balancing the murder and the abuse,” White tells Rolling Stone, recalling his approach to the film. “And I believe wholeheartedly that you can’t separate them, so there’s no way of telling one without telling the other. But child sex abuse is so hard to talk about, much more difficult than murder. We weren’t willing to sacrifice that just because we knew it would be difficult for people to hear or watch. We thought it was it was imperative that people sit through that to understand the inner workings of why Cathy might have been murdered.”
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White also discusses his personal connection to the murder and abuse scandal. White’s mother grew up in Baltimore, and White’s aunt had Sister Cathy as a teacher. It was by way of a newspaper clipping, sent by his aunt, that the director first learned of Sister Cathy and Jean Hargadon Wehner, the former student who first alleged abuse. He goes on to discuss his first meeting with Wehner.
“It was a five hour conversation at the dining room table, no cameras,” White recalls of the first time he met Wehner. “Her story was so raw and complicated, and I left her house knowing that I wanted to be a part of something with her, if she wanted to do that. I knew right away that this was not a simple whodunit, this is far darker and sadder and human.”
The article goes on to detail many of the plot points of The Keepers series. With all the attention the cold case has received as a result of the docu-series, it’s hoped by many that new developments will emerge to bring justice for Cesnik and the other victims. The Baltimore Police have recharged their investigation into the slain nun.
And yet, the case continues. Just this week, Baltimore County police announced that they had exhumed the body of Father Maskell, and his DNA did not match samples found at Sister Cathy’s crime scene. Yet there’s still hope that the killer – and the motive – might one day be found. And The Keepers just might have something to do with that.
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