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lunedì 22 maggio 2017

"The Keepers" Who Killed Sister Cathy?

Netflix's latest true crime project The Keepers borrows a little from the success of Making a Murderer and a little from the success of 2016 Oscar-winner Spotlight to make a compelling series about a nun who was mysteriously murdered nearly 50 years ago.

It promises a deep dive into the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Ann Cesnik — who taught high school English and drama in Baltimore before her gruesome death — and the people close to the case. 

So who is Tom Nugent on The Keepers? He's a key player in the investigation.
Nugent is an investigative journalist who's been writing about Sister Cathy's murder since 1994, most notably in his sprawling Baltimore Sun City Paper investigative report "Who Killed Sister Cathy?" Since then, he's been writing updates on the case via his personal news blog, Inside Baltimore. Nugent has also written investigative features for Mother Jones, Chicago Tribune, and Washington Post, as well as other pieces for The New York TimesBoston GlobeThe NationMIT Technology Review, and Stanford University Magazine. He published a nonfiction book in 1973 titled Death at Buffalo Creek about a coal mining disaster in West Virginia, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination and a $12,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Needless to say, Nugent's journalism chops make him a perfect asset for a Netflix docuseries like this one.

Part of the reason he's so crucial to the case is because of his conversations with two anonymous victims of the sex abuse by Father A. Joseph Maskell, a priest who worked as the guidance counselor at the high school where Sister Cathy taught. The victims both claimed to Nugent that Maskell took them to the spot where Sister Cathy's body had been dumped (before it discovered two months after her murder) as a means of intimidation to keep them from speaking out about their abuseSaid one of the victims to Nugent about the chilling incident, "Father Maskell leaned over and whispered in my ear, 'You see what happens when you say bad things about people.'"
Romper reached out to the Baltimore Archdiocese for a statement regarding the accusations against Father Maskell and his potential involvement in Cesnik's death. The spokesperson commented that:

So Maskell's involvement was never confirmed and he was never convicted of Cesnik's death

Who Is Tom Nugent On 'The Keepers'? The Investigative Journalist Is A Key Player Mariella Mosthof May 19 2017

“The Keepers” will also examine claims of serial sexual abuse of dozens of students by Catholic priests and others, and a purported cover-up of the those charges by officials of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Sister Cathy’s battered body — she had been beaten over the head — was discovered off Monumental Avenue, in a Landsdowne, Baltimore County, MD, garbage dump by hunters, on Jan. 3, 1970. She was a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSNS) and had been a teacher at the Catholic, all-girls Archbishop Keough High School, in Landsdowne.
The prime suspect in Sister Cathy’s murder was a priest, the late Father A. Joseph Maskell. He had been a chaplain and counselor at Archbishop Keough while she taught there. Maskell was well connected to the local community and to the police departments, at both the county and state levels. Father Maskell was also, for a time, an assistant pastor at St. Clement’s Roman Catholic Church in Landsdowne. He was never charged with Sister Cathy’s murder, but he was later defrocked. He died in 2001.
Nugent’s insights on the matter will be featured in the Netflix series. He wrote that the evidence, all circumstantial, shows that Sister Cathy was probably killed because she was “ready to blow the whistle on widespread sex abuse” at Keough by Father Maskell and others in the late 1960s.
A retired, unnamed police homicide detective revealed to Nugent that the Catholic Church had used its influence “to impede” the police investigation into Sister Cathy’s murder. The Church has denied the charges, but it has settled dozens of sexual abuse cases in the matter of Father Maskell. According to published sources, at least two students at Keough were shown the body of Sister Cathy by Father Maskell himself.
One of them told Nugent, “I saw her on the ground. I ran over, bent down and began wiping maggots off her face. As I stared at my hands in shock, Father Maskell leaned over and whispered in my ear, ‘You see what happens when you say bad things about people.’ ”
The abuse stories get uglier. Nugent reported that “Three Keough graduates, who each received settlements from the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AOB) for injuries of $40,000 or more as parties to this case,” during the past years have told “Inside Baltimore” that they were also raped by policemen with the approval of the depraved Father Maskell.
One of the students who was abused told Nugent that Sister Cathy was a “very brave women who tried her best to help those who were abused and she paid for it with her life.” The victim continued, “I honor her spirit and I still feel very close to her, even today. And, I no longer need to have validation from others about what I witnessed during the crimes that were committed against me and others.”
The victim added that the archdiocese of Baltimore has been “hiding behind the Statute of Limitations.” It had allowed predators to “roam among the innocents.” She said that had made her feel “totally alone in her accusations,” even though they knew otherwise.
On May 27, 2015, Laura Bassett, did a long review and update on the sordid details of Sister Cathy’s case for the “Huffington Post.” It is titled, “Buried in Baltimore: The Mysterious Case of a Nun Who Knew Too Much,”
Some of the shocking information that Bassett revealed will cause your blood pressure to rise or make you want to throw up in disgust, or both.
Coming on the heels of the Spotlight series by the Boston Globe, and the movie of the same name, which exposed the widespread pedophile priest sexual abuse and corruption within the Boston archdiocese — under then Cardinal Bernard Law — the Netflix series, “The Keepers,” will not be welcomed by the archdiocese of Baltimore. 
After the Boston scandal broke, Cardinal Law was given a sinecure at the Vatican by Pope John Paul II. He resigned in 2011, but still resides in Rome, Italy.
The Baltimore Archdiocese has had its own extensive, and very expensive, pedophile priest sexual abuse scandal to deal with in recent years. In fact, it is still in the process of cleaning it up. Now, more bad publicity is coming its way with “The Keepers” on May 19th.

È stata fondamentale la testimonianza di una delle vittime, Jean Wehner, rimasta a lungo nell’anonimato. «Ho lasciato la sua casa sapendo che volevo raccontare questa storia», spiega il regista Ryan White.
Come l’ha conosciuta?
«Mia zia andava alla Archbishop Keough e suor Cathy era una sua insegnante. Era amica di Jean ed è stata lei a presentarmela 3 anni fa. Ci ha messo in contatto per email, poi sono andato a Baltimora per incontrarla e abbiamo parlato per 5 ore».
Era già uscita allo scoperto?
«Nel 2014 il giornalista Tom Nugent aveva usato il suo nome per la prima volta in un articolo: è così che mia zia scoprì che l’alunna anonima coinvolta nel caso era la sua amica. Ma non si era mai fatta vedere, apparire nel documentario è stato un gran passo per lei».
Che cosa l’ha colpita di più del suo racconto?
«Il fatto che le ho creduto. Quando ne avevo letto, mi sembrava impossibile, solo un’invenzione di cattivo gusto. Ma dopo averla ascoltarla in persona, mi sono reso conto che era successo veramente».
Sua zia sapeva dei presunti abusi nella sua scuola?
«Non ne aveva idea. Ora convive con la sindrome del sopravvissuto, si sente in colpa per non aver fatto niente. Mi ha raccontato che nei mesi in cui Cathy era scomparsa, aveva preso la sciabola dei suoi nonni e la portava con sé ogni volta che doveva andare da scuola a casa loro, aveva 15 anni».
Come ha ricostruito il caso?
«È stato difficile perché è successo tanti anni fa e la storia è stata insabbiata. Mancavano documenti, testimoni, prove, tutto quello che sarebbe servito in tribunale. Cercavamo informazioni che avrebbero dovuto esserci, ma non c’erano. Gran parte del documentario è proprio sulla parte mancante della vicenda, se siamo riusciti a ricostruirla è grazie al coraggio delle vittime».
Chi era coinvolto ha collaborato?
«Ci ha aiutato molto il fatto di aver girato una serie nell’arco di tre anni. Diverse persone hanno detto no all’inizio, ma poi hanno cambiato idea quando gliel’ho richiesto. Le uniche con cui non ho mai insistito sono le vittime degli abusi».
Qual è stata la posizione della Chiesa cattolica?
«Non mi hanno mai fatto pressioni perché non raccontassi la storia, ma si sono sempre rifiutati di participare, nonostante abbia chiesto più volte di dire la loro e di aprire gli archivi che avevano su Padre Joseph. Non hanno dimostrato trasparenza».
Mi può spiegare il significato di «The Keepers» (tradotto, le custodi)?
«Stavamo girando con Jean e un’altra vittima, e lei mi spiegò: “Siamo delle custodi, costrette a vivere con questi segreti, con questa vergogna e con questo dolore, che nessuno vuole riconoscere”. Nel momento in cui lo disse, capii che sarebbe stato il titolo».
Anche Spotlight, che ha vinto l’Oscar nel 2016, parla degli abusi di preti sui minori. L’ha ispirata?
«Quando è uscito stavamo già girando, quindi non ne sapevo niente. The Keepers è complementare. Il film si concentra sui giornalisti, il documentario è sulle vittime, racconta i sopravvissuti. Spero che, insieme, aiutino a portare alla luce queste storie e a parlare di un argomento che è ancora tabù e non dovrebbe esserlo».
Qual è il suo obiettivo?
«Ci sono ancora tante domande a cui rispondere e bisogna capire chi si assumerà la responsabilità di quello che è successo. Il mio scopo è che la fine del documentario coincida con l’inizio di un movimento che lotti perché si faccia giustizia a Baltimora».
Il regista di The Keepers: «La Chiesa ha insabbiato l'omicidio di suor Cathy» MARGHERITA CORSI 20 MAY, 2017

Cardinal George Pell and his supporters, such as Tony Abbott, claim that the latest police investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse are part of an ongoing witch-hunt against him.

But given the scale of the sexual and physical atrocities that went on for so many decades, the tens of thousands of lives ruined, the untold numbers of suicides, self-harm and drug abuse, it has to be said that the church has got off remarkably lightly. Its authorities, including Pell, have no serious grounds for complaint.

Despite the widely documented crimes of Catholic institutions, no laws have been passed targeting Catholics. No special changes have been made to citizenship rules to make it more difficult for Catholic immigrants to become Australian citizens. No restrictions have been placed on the movements of Catholics or their ability to obtain passports.
There have been no council bans or vile campaigns against the building of churches or Catholic schools like there have been against the construction of mosques and Muslim schools. No calls by politicians or the press to ban the wearing of the religious attire of nuns – even though the traditional habit worn by Catholic (and Church of England) nuns was virtually the same as the burqa worn by some Muslim women.
No third degree interrogations by Australian Border Force of priests or nuns at airports. No confiscation of the funds of Catholic charities or investigations into how they spend their money. No bans on Catholic parishioners sending money to the Vatican. No Senate investigations (witch-hunts) into Catholic religious practices like the one into halal food certification that provided Cory Bernardi and other right wing bigots with a platform to further demonise Muslims.
Years ago, Catholics faced blatant discrimination in Australia. But that is no longer the case. ASIO and the state police stopped monitoring the sermons of Catholic priests and the content of religious classes in Catholic schools decades ago. Muslims are the target today.
The persecution of Muslims increases by the year, yet the number of lives destroyed in Australia by Muslim fundamentalists is absolutely minuscule compared to the tens of thousands of lives the Catholic Church authorities are responsible for destroying.
For untold decades, Catholic priests, brothers and nuns carried out systematic sexual abuse of children (leave aside the physical abuse of repeated canings, bashings and strappings), which was covered up by leading church officials such as bishop Ronald Mulkearns of Ballarat and archbishop Frank Little of Melbourne. They intimidated or bribed or refused to believe anyone – children, parents, teachers or conscientious priests and nuns – who dared to complain.
According to father Noel Brady, cardinal Pell was directly involved in trying to silence honest priests. Brady was assistant parish priest at St Mary’s in Dandenong (Melbourne) when, after meeting up with a number of the victims of sexual abuse, he decided to speak out.
“I spoke out about it at Dandenong in Mass in November 1992 and I was given a round of applause”, Brady told Fairfax journalist Louise Milligan. When he continued to speak out, Brady received a phone call from his superior, then bishop Pell, telling him to shut up about it.
The police and state authorities were heavily involved in the cover-ups and also did their bit to intimidate whistleblowers and victims of abuse. The police chiefs forced out or moved aside cops who wanted seriously to investigate allegations of abuse.
Of course it has not been just the Catholic Church. All around the world, virtually every supposedly respectable institution in capitalist society – the wealthy private schools, the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the BBC, government-run orphanages, all the institutions in which people were supposedly being cared for by the state, innumerable charities, all the mainstream churches, the exclusive clubs of the rich, hospitals, the police force and the armed forces – have been involved in blatant ongoing sexual abuse and cover-ups.
Fundamentally, this reflects the enormous imbalance of power in our society between the mass of workers and the oppressed (especially children) and those who control and manage the key institutions of capitalist rule. The rich and powerful and their favourites, such as Rolf Harris, treat the rest of us as their playthings to push around, abuse and exploit. They close ranks to attempt to cover up scandals that might seriously harm their “reputation”.

Occasionally the scandal is so appalling that a few changes have to be made and a scapegoat or two offered up – but only to buttress a system whose continued existence ensures there will continue to be more such atrocities.

4,444 victims of abuse in Catholic church in Australia 6 FEBBRAIO 2017

15 years after Boston investigation, still work to do with clergy abuse Danae King The Columbus Dispatch May 22, 2017

The Rise And Fall of Cardinal George Pell 16 MAGGIO 2017

"Don’t Tell" The truth of child sexual abuse 15 MAGGIO 2017

"Three Girls" The 'Rape Squads' Of Britain #ThreeGirls 22 MAGGIO 2017

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