It’s been several weeks since I finished watching The Keepers but the story has stayed with me.
WHO KILLED SISTER CATHY?
A seven-part TV documentary mini-series, 2017 Directed by Ryan White
It’s been several weeks since I finished watching The Keepers but the story has stayed with me. I actually really hope it will stay with me for a long time. To make sure it does, I joined a Facebook group dedicated to this case. And I really, really feel an urge to write about it.
The story of Cathy Cesnik, a nun murdered in the 60s in Baltimore, is back on the surface. Ryan White (inspired by his aunt, a student of Sister Cathy) created a remarkable documentary that depicts so much more than an attempt to solve a cold murder case.
It’s been 47 years since the body of Cathy Cesnik was found and nobody has been brought to justice. Gemma Hoskins and Abby Schaub, two very energetic and sharp ladies, are running their own investigation, in tribute to their beloved teacher. In the very beginning you learn all the facts - where was Cathy going on the night of the murder, who she talked to prior to being abducted. You find out where her car and her body were found. You also find out another, very similar crime took place shortly after Sister Cathy’s disappearance. From episode two onward, the documentary begins to pull back the curtain to present a whole different world beneath the official story. Layer after layer you start comprehending the scale of the crime and it is shocking.
Prior to her disappearance, the 26-year-old nun was about to report abuse that had taken place in the school where she taught. One might think it’s just another story about how the Catholic Church covers up abuse cases all around the world. But no. It’s not just another cover-up story. It’s a story of many survivors, who are only now coming to terms with what was done to them almost five decades ago. It's a story of people who are not going to let it go. It depicts much more than just solidarity in the face of crisis. These victims were stranded. If anyone has helped them recover in any way, it is not the authorities, it is not the church. It’s the community and people like Gemma or Abbie. It is the Facebook group which gathers people who want to contribute to solving this mystery.
The scale of the suffering is told with a series of interviews from Gemma, Abbie, journalists, police officers, survivors and people who knew the victim, as well as a lot of other, seemingly random people. Gemma and Abbie are still putting the pieces together and thanks to the exposure the documentary has provided, the authorities have finally started doing their job as well. At its heart, this series is about the community of people who cannot stay quiet anymore.
For me it was among one of, if not the best documentary series I have ever seen. On one hand, it is a powerful look into the corners of terrible human desires and the terror of the people experiencing them, on the other it is a tribute to those who seek the truth and will not be discouraged or sent away ever again.
P.S. The music by Blake Neely is outstanding.
PR Manager, Presenter