On November 7, 1969, 25-year-old Sister Cathy Cesnik disappeared into the night, only to be found murdered roughly two months later. This tragic, unsolved murder is the starting point from which the Netflix series, The Keepers, takes off.
I must admit this series was not at all what I was expecting. What I perceived to be just another Netflix original drama, turned out to be a documentary. And what I thought was just another true crime documentary, turned out to be the eye-opening story of a brave young woman’s murder, sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and the corruption of our justice system.
I was brought to tears multiple times throughout this series for various reasons. Sometimes out of sadness, sometimes shock, and other times pure, fiery anger. I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed in our “justice” system. How could authorities, including the FBI, sit by and let a killer run free and a rapist run a school district.
Although this is a painful story of lives taken and lives ruined, there is hope to be found. Somehow in losing respect for investigators and Catholic officials, I found restored faith in humanity.
Beloved by her students, Sister Cathy’s death has not been forgotten still nearly fifty years later.
Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, now in their sixties, were both students in Sister Cathy’s English Literature class when they attended Archbishop Keough High School. These two fearsome women banded together to try and find Sister Cathy’s killer and bring them to justice. What they didn’t expect was to crack open a sexual abuse case that has been covered up for almost fifty years and truthfully, still is to this day (we see you, Archdiocese).
This series, although feeling a little drawn out at times, was so intensely moving for me. To hear the abuse stories straight from the women whose lives it destroyed and see how unimportant their trauma is to our government and the Catholic Church made me sick. It made me want to get up and scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS A JOKE?” But then again, that’s exactly what these horrible people are. A joke.
If you need a fire lit under you about some serious issues, I highly recommend this documentary. It’s broken up into seven, hour long episodes, so it may take you a little time to get through. I would also like to issue a trigger warning, as some of the abuse stories do use graphic language that may bring up uncomfortable memories for those affected by sexual abuse.
If you know someone that has been affected by sexual abuse, this is a great way to get insight and understand how they are feeling and thinking. Not that every case is the same, but I am just happy to see something out there that says to theses abuse survivors, “Hey! We hear you and this is not ok!” And who knows, maybe it will inspire more victims to come forth and tell their story. No one deserves to be abused. Don’t suffer in silence.
Lastly, if you would like to learn more about the investigation or have any information on the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, you can contact Gemma and Abbie through their website: http://www.whokilledsistercathy.org
Did you see The Keepers? What do you think happened to Sister Cathy Cesnik? Let me know in the comments below! And please, be safe out there.