Episode 1 Recap
In this post, we discuss The Keepers Episode 1 Recap. Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched this episode, don’t read any further. Also, after you read the post, share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
The Keepers Episode 1 Recap
Episode 1 – The Murder: In the first episode of The Keepers, we are introduced to story of Sister Catherine Cesnik and her mysterious disappearance and murder in 1969. The episode opens with Tom Nugent, an investigative journalist searching through boxes of old clippings and other documents from his decades long research into the case of the slain nun. Nugent describes how he first heard of the case in 1994 and lays the foundation for the story that follows.
After Nugent’s introduction, The Keepers titles are shown over black and white images of the Keough High School where Sister Cathy worked and other sites in the Baltimore area where the murder took place.
The next to be introduced are Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins, two former students of Sister Cathy. They describe their first memories of meeting Cesnik in her English class and the nun’s love of literature. They tell of reading The Scarlet Letter and Romeo and Juliet with her. This serves to set the motives behind their decades long search for justice for their beloved teacher.
Hoskins and Schaub then begin to detail the teachers last hours before her disappearance joined by other students and persons with knowledge of the mystery. At 7:00 pm on Friday, Nov 7th 1969, Cesnik left her apartment and went to shop for groceries and a gift for her sister’s engagement. She never returned from this trip. After shopping, it is thought that she returned to her apartment building but never made it inside. Cesnik’s roommate and fellow teacher, Sister Helen Russell Philips, began to worry when the nun never returned from shopping and phoned Gerry Koob, also a fellow teacher and friend of Cesnik’s, and another priest at midnight. They drove to Cesnik’s and Philips’ apartment. Hours later, after no sign of Sister Cathy, the teachers contacted the police and filed a missing persons report. After Mass, eerily portrayed via black and white reenactment, Koob and the other priest found Cesnik’s car, parked across the street from the apartment complex. It had signs of being driven in a wooded, muddy area but no sign of the nun or what had happened to her. The investigation into Sister Cathy’s disappearance had begun.
Five days later, blocks from Cesnik’s apartment, a young woman, Joyce Malecki, vanished under similar circumstances. Joyce’s brothers recount the night of her disappearance. The commonalities between the two missing women are many. Both were attractive young women, disappeared while shopping, lived in the same area and no signs of a struggle were found at either woman’s vehicle.
At this point in the episode, Schaub and Hoskins describe the Facebook page “Justice for Cathy Cesnik and Joyce Malecki” and their decades long search for answers. The group serves to connect people who may have information about the case. It has over a thousand members.
Next, we learn that Joyce Malecki’s body was found 3 days after her disappearance by hunters near the Little Puxetant River. She was found were her throat cut. Enter Baltimore Police. Up until this point, the missing persons cases, had achieved little. However, now it was murder.
At this point, we are introduced to several of the officers that were involved in the case at the time. Capt John Barnold, Chief of the Homicide division, was the in charge of the case. We learn that the police continued to investigate for many months but with little progress. At the time, there were approximately 200 murders a year in Baltimore County and Barnold sites this as reason for the lack of progress.
On Jan 3rd, 1970, 2 months after her disappearance, Cathy’s body was found. She was found in a wooded area near a land-fill in Lansdowe, Md, a few miles from her apartment. At this point, we meet James Scannell, a retired police officer, and the Lt who was first on the scene when Sister Cathy’s body was found. We also learn of Bud Roemer, Chief of the M-squad (Murder squad, or homicide division) who investigated the case with Scannell. The episode then describes the details of Sister Cathy’s autopsy – she died from blunt force trauma to the head, a round hole being found in the back of her skull. This was murder!
Scannell takes Haskins and additional investigator, Alan Horn, to the site where Cathy was found. Hoskin’s seems skeptical of the former officer but little is cleared up as to why.
Towards the end of the episode, with the known circumstances surrounding Sister Cathy Cesnik’s and Joyce Malecki’s murders well established, the persons interviewed in the episode begin to hint at a larger possible scandal – not the murder but rather the cover-up. Corruption in the Baltimore is mentioned. Furthermore, “Jane Doe” is introduced. A woman who “had a story” and is rumored to have been taken to the nun’s body.
That’s where we’re left – with many questions left. Who is Jane Doe and what was her “story?” What actually happened to Cesnik and Malecki? What corruption is yet be exposed? Guess we’ll have to keep watching!
Click here for Episode 2!