BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The body of Sister Cathy Cesnik was found in a ditch in January 1970 in Lansdowne. It was later learned that the Archbishop Keough High School teacher was about to blow the whistle on an elaborate sex ring involving priests and local police.
Now, WJZ has learned that police are looking into five other murders — the victims ranging in age from 13 to 20 — to see if those crimes were also connected to the sex ring.
WJZ spoke with the family of a teenage girl who was one of the murder victims and to the classmate of another. Our latest report on this case will air Monday night at 11 p.m..
On Friday, we hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, where users asked us their questions about the investigation, which was also featured in the popular Netflix documentary “The Keepers.”
Reporter Denise Koch, executive producer Miranda Villei and managing editor Tanya Black answered questions.
Here’s how it went:
Denise: It started when the Archdiocese settled with a couple of victims last November. One of those victims contacted me and said she was ready to talk on camera and be identified, which took tremendous courage. And when we went to interview her about the abuse, separately she said to us you also need to investigate the murder of this nun. That particular victim said she was abused by a priest as well as police.
Miranda: It’s hard to say if there will ever be justice for anyone in this case. Almost every person involved is dead.
Tanya: My feeling is, yes they’re dead, but because there are so many questions and complications and issues with the evidence, I don’t know if they will ever have the evidence they need to officially solve this. The amount of time that’s gone by, and the speculation of police cover up makes it difficult to say if it will ever be solved.
Denise: Because for the first time in 50 years, the light is being shown on this dark, dark, dark chapter, at least the people who are victims are feeling somewhat vindicated.
Tanya: And the pressure is there for police to do something but I don’t know if they can.
Denise: If there was police involvement and a cover up, there probably is a lack of evidence, a real lack of evidence, to help us. They (police) may be as frustrated as we are.
There are five murders that took place over an 11-year period. The victims ranged in age from 13 to 20. Sister Cathy died first, her death preceded the other five.
Tanya: What Baltimore County police told me is they began looking at three of those cases in connection with Sister Cathy in the 1990s, but again ran into problems with evidence. And then again more recently, as new witnesses and evidence came up, they’ve continued their investigation. They also told me that in addition to the murders, they’re looking at other crimes in the area that could be related.
Be sure to tune in to WJZ on Monday, Nov. 13 at 11 p.m. to see our latest report on Sister Cathy. CLICK HERE to see our past reporting about this case.
To see the full AMA on Reddit, CLICK HERE.