Episode 7

Episode 7 Recap

In this post, we discuss The Keepers Episode 7 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 7 Recap

The Keepers Episode 7: The Conclusion Recap

In the seventh and final chapter of The Keepers, we meet Charles Franz. As he drives, he discusses his dentistry practice and growing up in the Baltimore area. He also discusses his drug and alcohol problems and becoming sober. He blames Father Maskell. As a boy, Franz was befriended by Maskell who was Priest at his church and school. When Franz was in 8th grade, Maskell introduced drugs and alcohol to the youth and shortly after began to abuse him. He claims the church knew about the abuse prior to Sister Cathy Cesnik’s murder in 1969.

After the credits, we see Gerry Koob, Cesnik’s former romantic interest, and Marilyn Radakovik, Cesnik’s sister, greeting each other. Radkovik returns a ring to Koob and he discusses giving it to Cathy Cesnik when they were involved in the 60s. They also discuss the murder.

The episode then features Radakovik discussing her sister. She recalls a visit to her family home that Cathy made weeks before her murder. Radakovik could tell something was bothering her sister then, likely the Sister Cathy’s knowledge of sexual abuse at Keough but, that Cesnik never told her about it. She says that the nun was considering leaving the church and hinted at being in “danger.”

Patricia Ginger then discusses Sister Helen Russell Phillips, Sister Cathy’s roommate at the time of her disappearance. Shortly after Cathy’s disappearance, Sister Phillips retired from the church, married and had children. In her remaining years, Sister Philips never talked about Sister Cathy. It is suggested that she may have known more about the circumstances of the murder. After learning of his death, Russell Phillips is reported to have said that Father Maskell took secrets to the grave. When she died a few days later, the same is suggested of Sister Helen Russell Phillips.

Jean Wehner, one of Father Maskell’s victims from Keough, sits at a table and discusses her long recovery from the trauma. Despite her efforts, she cannot remember anything about “Brother Bob” other than a few marks on his abdomen. This is the last thing said about the man who Wehner claims confessed to Sister Cathy’s murder. One more question without an answer.

In the next portion of the episode, we learn the possible meaning of the necklace. Marilyn Radakovik discusses the necklace while looking over photos with her husband, Bob. Bob’s birthstone is green, just like the gem in the necklace. Marilyn thinks that it seems like a gift her sister would have bought. Now that it appears the necklace was for Marilyn, Edgar Davidson, who gave the necklace to his then wife, is shown being asked about the necklace. He denies knowing where he got the necklace. He is confronted directly about his involvement and denies everything. We then briefly learn that it is suspected that the murder drove with both feet, a theory posited by police due to mud on only one pedal in Cathy’s car. When asked if he drove with two feet, Davidson confirms. This is the last we see Edgar Davidson. Though never formally accused in the series, it is rather obvious that The Keepers is pointing the finger his way. In the next sequence, Officer Childs returns to discuss the on-going investigation. He discusses DNA found at the crime scene on cigarette butts. Billy Schmidt, also from The Suspects episode, is implicated. Apparently, he smoked the same brand. Officer Childs returns one last time to restate is dedication to closing the case.

The next set of questions The Keepers Conclusion addresses are those surrounding the murder of Joyce Malecki, a young women who disappeared 4 days after Sister Cathy and was found murder shortly thereafter. We have not seen much of her in the last few episodes. The Malecki family discusses their sister’s murder. For the first time, it is revealed that Father Maskell knew the Malecki family and was their priest. Because of where her body was found, the FBI was investigating Malecki’s murder. We then learn that along with DNA on her body and fingerprints found in her car, as well as 4000+ documents surrounding the case, the FBI has yet to finish their investigation. The forensic evidence has never been analyzed and the FBI has yet to turn over records to the Sister Cathy project for research. It seems we are no closer to knowing what happened to Joyce Malecki as her brothers discuss having no closure about their sister’s death.

In the next portion of the episode, we see C. T. Wilson, MD state delegate arguing for a bill to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse. He describes being adopted and abused by his adopted father. He argues passionately along with other victims, including Theresa Lancaster, another of Father Maskell’s victims, in favor of the bill. The church sends many lawyers and spokespeople to oppose the bill. Wilson then indicates that the Catholic Church pressures the senate not to vote on the measure and that the bill has been voted down several times. This time is no different as we learn the measure failed to make it to a floor vote.

Next, we see a new clip. Broadcasters discuss the Catholic Church paying settlements to the survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic Church employees. Enter Jean Wehner. After her criminal and civil suit failed, she has now decided to enter mediation with the church. After hearing a portion of her prepared statements for the mediation, we see that the Catholic Church paid Jean and 11 other victims $25-50k in damages and offered 2-3 years of counseling.

Charles Franz then reappears to discuss warning his friends about Father Maskell as a boy. The priest confronted Franz about this and threatens him into silence. For months, Maskell further intimidated Franz until he told his mother. His mother reported Maskell to officials with the Catholic Church and Maskell was removed from his post – placed at Keough in 1967.

Franz also reveals that the Catholic Church approached him during the 90s case against Maskell to bribe him into silence. When Jean Wehner is told, she is clearly angered. Her case depended on a corroborating victim. The Church had one all along. Despite several requests, the refused any participation in The Keepers other than brief written responses to prepared letters by the producers. In their response they indicate that they only learned of Father Maskell’s abusing children in the 90s. Franz and Wehner are angered by this, stating that the church is lying.

In the last moments of the episode, we are told that Keough High School will soon be closed. A fitting analogy as many of the former students see this as the end of an era. We then see Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins discussing the case, their motivations and their thoughts about the senselessness of it all. Had the Church moved to stop Maskell in 1967, none of this would have happened.

Marilyn Radakovik then reads a poem written by Sister Cathy Cesnik. It speaks of living a life without regret and doing good in the world so that one could face one’s end without fear. In her final thoughts of Sister Cathy, she explains her desire for justice for her slain sister and the other victims. Schaub, Hoskins and Wehner are shown – as well as others from the series – echoing this desire for justice. In the final scene we see Jean Wehner posting a memorial plaque for Sister Cathy on a tree in a wooded area. She then discusses her hopes for closure. While she discusses what she wants for the future, we are shown a montage of all the women that came forward with allegations about abuse. It is a moving end to the emotional journey of the series.



5 thoughts on “Episode 7

    1. Hi Cheyenne, Since this is the most recent post and last episode, looks like you’re the first to comment. Any thoughts on the conclusion of the series?

  1. Powerful series and this last episode made me angry. The priest who met with Charles Franz is now the Bishop of my diocese here in DE. I was raised Catholic but no longer attend Mass or am registered with a parish due to the disgusting coverup of the Catholic Church. It just goes on and on.

    Sister Cathy was a special person and I am saddened for her family and friends that they do not have answers. Likewise for the family of Joyce Malecki. The students who, now at retiree age, have kept her memory alive to try to solve this should be commended. The delays and misdirections by the Church and the inaction of Sharon May are shameful.

    All in all a well-done series and I believe that Fr. Maskell is ultimately behind Sr. Cathy’s death. Perhaps with the help of Billy in some way since he lived in the apartment complex. And I wonder how much more Sr. Russell knew.

  2. Such a disturbing documentary. Being used to seeing all loose ends tied by the end, I am sad Sister Cathy has not yet gotten justice, nor have the abused children [now adults]. Sickened by the Church and the police and government officials. There are so many missing pieces.

  3. I had watched this heartbreaking story and I want to ask one question…The story about the Nephew, and son of the two who had taken a body out to get rid of it…the guy who died said he had been taken out shooting with I think another guy while the dropping off of the body was being taken place.  I am wondering if he(The guy who took him shooting) was this Brother Bob that this woman said was in the priests room and was left alone with being raped. 

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