If you haven’t watched The Keepers on Netflix yet…you should. (And you should stop reading this until you do!) If you have watched, you likely spent the following days and weeks scrounging up additional info on the Sister Cathy Cesnik and Joyce Malecki murder cases, as well as the sexual abuse cases that came out of Keogh High School in the 60’s. Thanks to the determination and dedication of two retired former Keogh students, Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, in addition to the strength of abuse survivor Jean Wehner (aka, Jane Doe), the story of Father Joseph Maskell—a disgusting, vile sex predator and now-deceased priest—has been broadcasted to the masses. While Maskell’s heinous sex crimes were outed in the 7-episode series, we still don’t know who murdered Cesnik and Malecki.
Now, Hoskins and Schaub have sparked the curiosity of millions and have the show’s justice-hungry viewers on their side scouring for the truth. While the killer (or killers) remains at large, that doesn’t mean the women have given up. Here are the five most important updates that occurred since filming on The Keepers wrapped.
1. Maskell’s body was exhumed and tested against DNA found at the original crime scene.
The cigarette butt found at the scene of the crime was a huge piece of the puzzle that was never explored fully. With DNA testing being so much more advanced now than in 1970 (obviously), Maskell’s body was exhumed and authorities have proven that the DNA sample found on the cigarette did not match Maskell’s. While this doesn’t entirely rule out Maskell’s involvement, it’s at least a stone that was in fact turned over. Whether or not the DNA sample will be tested against the other suspects remains unknown.
2. The state of Maryland’s Statute of Limitations has finally been extended.
In the final episode of the series, we saw sex abuse survivors (of Maskell’s crimes and otherwise) in court trying to pass a bill to extend the statute of limitations past the age of 25. The bill has finally passed and as of July 1 of this year, victims in Maryland will have until the age of 38 to sue their abusers. This is a huge step in the right direction. As the series outlines, it can take years, decades even, for those with repressed memories to even understand the traumas they’ve suffered and even longer to build up the courage to come forward. Hopefully this will empower more survivors going forward.
3. There’s a new Facebook group moderated by Gemma Hoskins…and people are aching for a conclusion.
The former Justice For Sister Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki Facebook page was closed down a few days after The Keepers aired, mostly due to traffic jams and a technical glitch, according to Hoskins. But that didn’t stop the fervid followers of the show and case. The new group entitled The Keepers Official Group – Justice For Justice For Sister Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki has almost 107,000 members, many of whom have joined the cause by sharing their theories and posting new findings to the group. If you can’t get The Keepers out of your head, this group is for you.
4. The FBI is now working with local police.
Tips and phone calls have been flooding in since the show’s debut, and all of this new info is now being referred to the FBI. Malecki’s body was found near Fort George G. Meade, which makes it a federal case, hence, the FBI’s involvement. In addition, the Baltimore Police Department has created an online form to help survivors report any sex offenses related to Maskell or otherwise. However, those with info specifically relevant to the Malecki case should contact FBI Public Affairs Specialist Dave Fitz (email: email@example.com, phone: (410) 277-6689).
5. The Archdiocese has broken its silence about The Keepers and posted a (mostly bullshit) FAQ about the series.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore did not come out of this one looking good. While Maskell is obviously “the villain” and main offender, it’s clear that he had help covering his tracks, and that help went very high up in the ranks. On the FAQ page, the Archdiocese claims that it “immediately reports all allegations to civil authorities,” (uh-huh) and that it never knew about the sexual abuse allegations prior to 1992 (riiiiiight). So much for trusting religious institutions.
Now that this case has been publicized widely, an online petition has been started calling for the Archdiocese of Baltimore to release any and all files they have on Father Maskell. The petition currently has over 48,000 supporters. Furthermore, new survivors continue to come forward, entering legal litigation with the Baltimore Archdiocese and filling reports with the Baltimore P.D. While there are currently no plans for a documented follow up to this gripping docu-series, I suspect that new information will continue flooding in and that Hoskins and Schaub are going to keep getting closer to actualizing that justice for Sister Cathy Cesnik and Joyce Malecki.