Joanne Suder, an attorney for many of Maskell's sexual abuse victims, said, "If law enforcement, in general, had done their job back in 1970, they'd have brought Maskell in then and this wouldn't have all been necessary in 2017. On November 11, Joyce Helen Malecki, age 20, who lived a short distance from Cesnik, went shopping and then to meet a friend stationed at Fort Meade Army Base. Testimony offered was deemed not credible-- a point which will be addressed shortly. "Exhumed priest's DNA doesn't match evidence in case of 'Sister Cathy' slaying from 1969." Vulture. At times, she reportedly disclosed this information to third parties (Doe v. Maskell 7-8). Ronnie's daughter claims her father once said he drank because he killed a woman. The woman, now long-divorced from him, wonders if that necklace was the present Sister Cathy purchased for her sister. Catherine Anne Cesnik SSND (born November 17, 1942; disappeared November 7, 1969) was an American Catholic religious sister who taught English and drama at the formerly all-girls Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland. They were all young, attractive women, police said, who looked similar. No evidence indicates that Cesnik's body was wrapped in a rug, and it seems a very odd choice to take a child in tow when completing an errand of this nature. "[9], Wehner said that Cesnik once came to her and said gently, "Are the priests hurting you?" If his conclusions are correct, the possibility of a serial killer emerges. Franklin's conviction was later overturned in 1995 and, in 2018, DNA evidence led to the conviction of the actual killer ("George Franklin"). I do not know what specific details they deemed accurate or inaccurate, so further assessment is not possible.7. He was permanently removed from the ministry in 1994. She also at one point recalled participating in the murder of a nun-- an unidentified and unknown nun, and not Sister Cathy. www.cnn.com. "God Only Knows." Baltimore County Police Department. According to the autopsy, she "had died from a 2-inch circular fracture of the left temple that was inflicted by a heavy blow with a blunt object, probably a brick. According to police, Joyce Helen Malecki, 20, disappeared from a shopping mall only days after Cesnik on November 11, 1969, in Glen Burnie, a suburb of Baltimore. "WMAR uncovers video of key moment in 'The Keepers'" www.wmar2news.com. January 8, 1970, A1. Based on evidence currently available, I do not consider the brothers especially compelling suspects. At different times, he has both acknowledged and denied he had a sexual relationship with the young nun (Wilkerson). On January 3, 1970, the father and son found Sister Catherine Cesnik's body near a wooded embankment in Lansdowne, Baltimore County, a ten-to-fifteen minute drive from where her car had been found. August 25, 1994. She also initially claimed that he directed others to abuse her in the manner she would later attribute to Maskell (Doe v. Maskell 3). Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik was 26 when she disappeared in 1969; her body was found weeks later, Baltimore County Police exhumed the body of a priest for DNA testing in the case. In 1992, two female former students came forward to say Maskell abused them. Did they witness some aspect of the crime? Afterwards, a mysterious man identified only as "Brother Bob" raped her and explained to her that he had only attempted to hurt Sister Cathy Cesnik, but accidentally killed her instead. However, there is currently no physical evidence linking Maskell to the murder. "The formation of false memories." January, 2004. At this point it might be worth noting the case of George Franklin, accused and initially convicted of murder in 1990 of a different 1969 murder based on memories recovered by his daughter during therapy very like that undergone by Wehner. "George Franklin." She has called her previous claim of sexual abuse by nuns "absurd" (Doe v. Maskell 4). It is clear in the interview that he has some form of dementia, and possibly we may never learn anything more from him. July 27, 2017. Ronnie was married with children. However, when she went, in the 1990s, into therapy to help with her memory, she added new details which were in keeping with the now-publicized claims made by Jane Doe/Wehner. The Baltimore Sun. He thinks now it may have been a body. Sister Cathy, she alleges, became aware of the abuse in the Spring of 1969, and was killed because she planned to report it. She has refrained from repeating some of the more extreme claims about this earlier abuse. She had been bludgeoned with a cinderblock. For all I know, supporters of the theory may one day be vindicated. [8], In 1995, Teresa Lancaster and Jean Wehner (née Hargadon), former students at Keough who claim to have been sexually abused by Maskell, filed a lawsuit against him, the school, gynecologist Christian Richter, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Archbishop William H. Keeler. They took leaves from their regular jobs and moved out of the convent into an apartment. When the report of Sister Cathy's disappearance appeared on the news, he allegedly told her, "By the time they find her body, it's going to be wintertime, she's going to be buried in snow" (Quoted in The Keepers, Episode 5, "The Suspects"). In 1969, she and her colleague, Sister Helen Russell Phillips, became part of an experiment of the sort typical of the post-Vatican II era. Lancaster reports memories of abuse by Maskell all of her life. December 1, 1995. Maria Elena Fernandez. The current team of cold case detectives, assigned the Cesnik case in 2016, began discussing the exhumation of Maskell almost immediately, but it took time to get proper authorization. He then introduces her to the actual killer, a man unknown to the priest's other victims. In 1967, while still at St. Clement, he began working as a counsellor at Archbishop Keough High School, a position he held until 1975. Others develop elaborate conspiracies involving Maskell, the Catholic hierarchy, the Schmidt Family, Edgar Davidson, the Baltimore Police Department, the CIA, and Cesnik's roommate and acquaintances in complex interconnected webs, often based on the most spurious of connections. They came immediately. October 1, 1971, A1. Many later articles and media investigations ignore the car's sighting at 8:30, but I have read nothing that discredits that next-day report by a witness who knew Sister Cathy as a neighbour. A young, conspicuously attractive woman,1 she connected with her students. Since the airing of The Keepers, the internet has been awash with explanations regarding Sister Cathy's death, often anchored by the documentary's take. In that case it would not have been picked up and postmarked until November 8. I would consider him a suspect, but we lack the evidence to say much more. Vol. Dartmouth College, 1998. Lawrence Wright. Leaves and twigs were found inside, along with buns from the bakery and a broken umbrella. Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present, 231-255. Billy Schmidt attempted suicide multiple times before succeeding. [13], Netflix produced a seven-part documentary series about the case called The Keepers, which debuted on May 19, 2017. May 14, 2015. He next spent time in Ireland before being prohibited from serving as a priest by the Roman Catholic church. She cashed her pay-cheque and stopped at a bakery. Its placement seems unlikely to be a coincidence. After moving back to his family home, Billy became increasingly reclusive. [3] Her paternal grandparents, John (Jan) and Johanna Tomec Česnik, were Slovenians who emigrated from Yugoslavia,[4] while her maternal grandfather, Joseph Omulac, came from Yugoslavia and maternal grandmother, Martha Hudok, came from Austria. An autopsy found Cesnik died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to police. appellees. By 1994, they and several other students had filed a lawsuit alleging physical and sexual abuse by Maskell through the 1960s and 1970s, according to Armacost. Christian Schaffer. Chris Boyette. One of her shoes was found nearby. According to her cold case file, she died from "trauma to her upper body" ("Pamela Lynn Conyers"). "The Murder of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik; Maryland, 1969." "The theory that she was killed because she knew something about abuse that was going on by priests within the church continues to be a theory, but is not the only theory. Perspectives on Psychological Science, March 1, 2009. Jane Doe et al. Now, police are awaiting results of DNA from the body of Maskell, a priest who was accused in the 1990s of sexually assaulting young women. The car was recovered October 18 on a road still under construction. Police initially interviewed and investigated Cesnik's friend, Father Gerard J. Koob. At the very least, evidence indicates that the techniques used in recovered memory therapy can elicit both true memories and constructed fantasies, and it can be difficult if not impossible to distinguish between the two (Stocks).4 Wehner herself has made statements that she later retracted, claiming they were false memories (Doe v. Maskell 2-4). It is impossible to state anything about these papers with any certainty, as they were never made public, and may no longer exist2. Huffington Post. [12] After attaining permission from the state's attorney's office, the BCPD exhumed the body of Maskell, who died of a major stroke in 2001, but did not find a DNA match to evidence from the crime scene. The effects of decomposition, exposure, and animals made it impossible to determine if she had been sexually assaulted, but "the body's position and arrangement of clothing pointed to that conclusion" ("Missing Nun's Body Found in Lansdowne"). It continues to be one of several theories.". It's an interesting thought, but it remains speculation. The case remains open and unsolved. Her case has remained open ever since, Armacost said. "There's no question she told them she would do something about it.". Between 2011 and 2016, the Diocese of Baltimore paid settlements to at least a dozen individuals who brought complaints of sexual abuse against Joseph Maskell (Baltimore Police Department 2). "Baltimore archdiocese pays settlements to a dozen people alleging abuse by late priest." "Priest's DNA does not match profile from cold-case murder of nun." [11] Cesnik's body was not found until January 3, 1970, and its discovery by "two hunters" was not in the wooded location near Fort Meade, but on the open hill trash dump of a small business property in Lansdowne. Two months would pass before a father and son found her body. In the Court of Appeals September Term 1995. More to the current point, these other accounts do not implicate the priest in a murder. Due to this location, the investigation fell to the military police and FBI, rather than the Baltimore police who were investigating Sister Cathy's disappearance. Both women have said that she was the only member of the school's staff who helped them and other girls abused by Maskell, et al., and have said that she was murdered prior to discussing the matter with the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Whatever the eventual outcome, some small good may come out of the long-ago killing of an intelligent, devoted young woman. Sister Catherine Cesnik, a nun from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a teaching order, began her career at Archbishop Keough High School, a private, all-girls Catholic School. The autopsy found no evidence of rape ("Glydon Girl, 16, Murdered").9. v. A. Joseph Maskell et al. Clandestinely burying large numbers of documents at night in a cemetery is, it must be stated, both unorthodox and suspicious. Psychiatric Annals 25, 720–725. Elizabeth F. Loftus and J. E. Pickrell. November 7, 1969; body discovered January 3, 1970 (aged 26), This page was last edited on 10 October 2020, at 13:58. 1995. Ronnie drank heavily and used drugs. He died in 2001, police said. "Buried in Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder of a Nun Who Knew Too Much", "With New Lead, Police Reopen Old Murder Case", "Justice for Sister Cathy is Long Overdue", "Timeline: The Sister Catherine Cesnik Case", "Sister Catherine Cesnik Case: Missing Nun's Body Found in Lansdowne", "Baltimore Priest Victim: Police Were in on Sexual Abuse", "Jane Doe et al.

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