Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Keepers!
In May 2017, The Keepers landed on Netflix, providing us with a harrowing, seven-part true crime documentary determined to answer the haunting, decades-long question: Who killed Sister Cathy?
Spearheaded by two former students of Archbishop Keough — a prestigious Catholic high school in Baltimore where Catherine Cesnik was teaching when she disappeared in 1969 — the series attempts solve what happened to the 26-year-old nun. In the process, what's uncovered is a slew of shocking allegations of systematic, sexual abuse at the institution by select members of the clergy. Here's the trailer:
Diving deep into the riveting, real-life terror at the heart of an otherwise peaceful Baltimore community, the show is a painful exposé of how destructive the abuse of the Church's authority and power can be. And recently, what with all the cards laid out on the table, the director of #TheKeepers — Ryan White — took to Reddit to answer fans' questions about his eye-opening production.
So, without any further hesitation, plunge into some of the most explosive revelations we took away from the AMA below:
8. Not All Survivor Stories Were Included In The Documentary
All in all, 35 survivors of abuse were interviewed for the documentary — which took three years to complete — but not all of them made the final cut of the #Netflix series. The director revealed that this was mainly because they didn't want to go on record so publicly:
"We, as a policy, always valued a survivor's anonymity more than anything else. If they did not want to go on the record, we never pressured them."
Following the release of the series in May 2017 however, a number of additional victims have come forward to share their stories.
7. No Matter What People Think, The Director Believes That 'Jane Doe' Is Telling The Truth
Time and time again, The Keepers reveals that Jane Doe's (otherwise known as Jean Wehner) story was often placed under scrutiny, especially following her admittance that her memory was foggy in 1992. However, according to the director — despite understanding why many might view her statement as unreliable — she is most certainly telling the truth. He added:
"I spent three years with [Jane Doe] corroborating her stories time after time after time. That means Maskell was involved in some way in engineering Cathy’s murder."
6. The Archdiocese Of Baltimore Got Involved
For starters, it may come as a slight shock but yes, the Archdiocese of Baltimore apparently has a Reddit account. And during Ryan White's revealing AMA, they crept in under the name "ArchBalt" to claim why they wouldn't release their internal records on Father Maskell. They said:
"Archdiocesan policy and state law would preclude us from disclosing much of the information in them as they include confidential personal information (e.g. names of alleged sexual abuse victims), personnel records, health records, attorney-client communications, personally identifying information (such as social security numbers), etc."
To this, White replied that The Keepers would allow all personal information on the records to be redacted, welcoming the release of any documents despite the series having been released. Unsurprisingly, the ArchBalt remained silent.
5. Gerry Is Very Consistent With The 'Vagina Story'
During the documentary, there was a disturbing sequence in which Gerry Koob revealed he had been dogged by a local detective, who showed him Sister Cathy's vagina wrapped in newspaper. The logistics of the horrendous claim bewildered many, with the police force strongly denying that anything of that nature could have ever happened. When asked what his take on the story was, White replied with the following:
"The vagina story is definitely shocking, I can understand why so many people are curious about it. My jaw was on the floor when I heard it. I've seen a lot of people doubt whether the story is true at all — but perhaps it was an intimidation tactic used to try to scare a priest into a confession (but was something other than a vagina.) Gerry has been very consistent about that story from the very beginning, and the police have been very consistent saying that would have never happened. So I don't know where the truth lies."
4. Another Murder Was Documented In The Keepers But It Failed To Make The Final Cut
Surprisingly, White also revealed information regarding another case that was initially included in the documentary but did not end up making the final cut. It had to do with the killing of a young Baltimore girl called Grace Montanye, a cheerleader in her junior year who was apparently beaten to death 30 miles from her home in 1971. He wrote:
"One case that we did document for the series but didn't end up making the final cut is the murder in 1971 of a young girl in Baltimore named Grace Montanye. We worked closely with her family and they were lovely and the murder is tragic and compelling on many levels — I hope there can be some follow-up and closure on that case as well."
3. The 'Nun In The Attic' Segment Was Truly Terrifying
Don't think you were the only one haunted by the scenes with the nun mannequin in the series. According to the director, it was "the creepiest thing" he'd ever seen:
"Nun in the attic... nun with a mustache. So many creepy nun iterations. We didn't decide to film the reenactments until the end once we had collected all of the narratives. Filming that scene was one of the creepier moments of my entire life, I never need to see that mannequin again."
2. The Keepers Season 2 Isn't In The Cards Right Now
Despite the fact many questions regarding the murder of Sister Cathy remain unanswered, White admitted that it's unlikely that a second season will happen:
"Our plan as of now is not to do a season 2, but we are following along with all of the developments. It has been crazy to see what has happened in just the past few weeks, including the news about the exhumation of Maskell’s body, and a lot of information coming out of Ireland about the time that Maskell spent there. There are also more survivors coming forward. We are very involved with these continued revelations, so we’ll see, but at this time we don’t have plans for more. Either way, I do hope the series leads to answers."
1. The Director Revealed The Best Part Of Filming The Documentary
And then — on perhaps a slightly more positive note — Ryan White revealed what was the most inspiring part of making the true crime show, saying it was all down to the wonderful men and women who were brave enough to share their stories in the first place:
"Hands down, [it was] working with all of the survivors. They are all so brave to face their fears and horrific pasts and i'm so thankful they trusted me to tell their stories."
The Keepers is currently streaming on Netflix.
What was the most surprising thing you learned from the Reddit AMA?