The plaintiffs in the widely reported 1994 lawsuit – eventually dismissed on a legal technicality after a Baltimore court ruled that the “statute of limitations” for bringing such a suit had been exceeded – charged that they had been required to endure sexual abuse at the hands of the priest, including rape, and that the abuse had sometimes taken place at gunpoint. Both killings, long ago relegated to “cold case” status, have not been investigated in significant detail during the past 20 years. . that would finally show the roles of Ed (and Billy) in the context of things, because somehow i don’t think they were involved in killing Cathy but they did play a role. The wide-ranging 1990s cover-up took place during a massive, $40-million sex-abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese. I believe the AOB admits the wrongdoing of [Father Maskell] by entering into these [settlement] mediations. In addition, a former School Sisters of Notre Dame nun has said she was told by two Baltimore County detectives in the mid-1990s that “we know the priest killed the nun” . “But Father Magnus said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. Increasingly, investigators believe Malecki may also have been killed in an effort to keep Church-related sex abuse hidden from the public. I honor her spirit and I still feel very close to her, even today. Abuse survivor Jean Hargadon Wehner composed the following Statement during her settlement mediation with the Archdiocese of Baltimore last November. Thank you Tom Nugent for all that you are doing to expose the facts. . “I watched Donna go through hell for many years,” said Ms. Silcox. November 2014 – After remaining anonymous for more than 40 years, a Baltimore woman has come forward to identify herself as a witness who was “shown the dead body of Sister Cathy” Cesnik by a Catholic priest who was allegedly involved in the nun’s murder as a way to keep her from reporting his sexual abuse of students at a Catholic high school in the city. Baltimore attorney Teresa Lancaster, now 60, also says she was awarded $40,000 for her abuse-related injuries – along with cost-free psychological counseling – by Church officials four years ago. Much love and hope that justice finds its way to you and the others. When do you have in mind? Wehner agreed that the settlements were low – but then pointed out that she had been more interested in obtaining acknowledgment of the reported sex-abuse crimes at Keough than in obtaining a large settlement during the mediation. Only a few months ago, a special cold-case task force organized by the Baltimore County Police Department announced publicly that it was reviewing the unsolved murders of two Baltimore-area teenagers in the early 1970s to see if they are linked to Father Maskell’s widely reported sexual abuse at Keough and elsewhere. In a statement released via email on November 1, Archdiocesan Executive Director of Communications Sean T. Caine said that the money was paid to VonDenBosch as part of a “longstanding practice of promoting healing for victims by offering therapeutic counseling assistance to victims of abuse for as long as it is helpful. “Let me see how much you like this. “The Catholic Church is a business, that’s all. According to a former Maryland law enforcement official familiar with the still unsolved, 45-year-old murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, the alleged police participation in the sex abuse has played a key role in the investigation from its very beginning. . Who Killed Sister Cathy? When Gemma Hoskins was a student at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School back in the late 1960s, she had an English teacher who was “bigger than life” and possessed “a gentle and loving heart.” That wonderful teacher became a role model for Hoskins, as well as “a symbol of integrity, honesty and strength.” “I told my mother what he was doing to me, and she went down to Archdiocesan headquarters and complained,” says Dr. Franz, whose painful story was documented in detail in The Keepers. This experience has affected me ever since.”, Another 1960s Maskell Abuse Victim, Dr. Charles Franz, Says Family, Was Angered by AOB’s Decades-Long Refusal to Help Them Cope. “He said that he was terribly sorry, but that when he tried to alert his superiors at the AOB that Maskell was abusing students, they responded by threatening to take his pension away if he didn’t remain silent about the abuse. Thomas N. "Tom" Nugent (February 24, 1913 – January 19, 2006) was an American college football coach and innovator, sportscaster, public relations man. The newly emerging evidence is the first to suggest that there were significant links between the sex crimes at the Catholic Community Middle School in the Locust Point section of the city and the widely reported Archbishop Keough High School sexual abuse. Thank you for your dedication to this story. But the Catholic Conference official did not explain where the nearly $9 million to pay the Archdiocese of Baltimore abuse survivors had come from. She became depressed and was in agony. “They chose Father Maskell to perform the evaluation.” His findings were then reportedly used to attack the credibility of the child who’d told schoolmates about the sexual activity between Merzbacher and the nun, according to investigators. There, she said, he had shown her the decaying body of her former English teacher. Absolutely not. I pray for you all, and I pray that truth and justice is found soon so that maybe some peace can be restored for you all. . . We need to tell this story! Founder: Marylander’s United For Justice To End Sexual Abuse. His career record was 89–80–3. Nugent wrote an article about the case for the Baltimore City Paper and it's a good place to start if you'd like to know more about what might have happened to Sister Cathy Cesnik. Mrs. Ethel Hargadon eventually left St. Benedict, never to return, and then suffered through continuing bouts of severe depression and spiritual anguish for many years. “The Church lawyers deposed me for 21 hours,” Wehner told Inside Baltimore in a recent interview, “and it was deeply traumatic. Two decades after that difficult beginning, however, fear once again stared me in the face. Lets get justice for all victims….. Thank you Tom Nugent for your dedication to exposing this heinous crime. Where does the adult me turn for help? The old man sat on a metal folding chair in his Essex garage. That suit, which sought a total of $40 million in damages, was dismissed on a legal technicality involving the admissibility of “recovered memory” evidence in cases affected by statute-of-limitations restrictions. And when they let her down, there was nothing she could do. 410-887-3482. An official transcript from the Merzbacher criminal proceedings describes in graphic detail what reportedly happened to the Locust Point child who was later psychologically evaluated by Maskell, as follows:  “[The Child’s] first encounter with Merzbacher was in the sixth grade when Merzbacher suddenly started punching [the child], throwing [the child] against the locker and beating [the child] up. I ran over, bent down, and began wiping maggots off her face. But two other recent findings by Inside Baltimore also appear to indicate that the nun’s body was seen by other witnesses with links to both Baltimore-area police and the offending priest who served as chaplain at the high school from 1967 to 1975. One was justice for all innocent victims, myself and Cathy Cesnik included. Clement Church is located only about half a mile from where Cesnik’s body was found, in a very remote area. October 2014 – Forty-five years after the murder of a Catholic teaching nun who was reportedly trying to alert authorities to widespread sex abuse at her Catholic high school in Baltimore, a victim of the alleged abuse has come forward to say that Church officials and local police “know the priest was involved” in the murder – but have been engaged in a decades-long cover-up. The tangled Cesnik cold case took another amazing twist last month, when Inside Baltimore reported that Wehner’s co-plaintiff in the lawsuit – Baltimore attorney Teresa Lancaster, known as “Jane Roe” in the lawsuit – had received a $40,000 payment three years ago from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in return for signing a “release” in which she agreed not to seek further payment for abuse-related damages in the future. Someone must rescue her! Hopefully, if they have any new information, they will contact the [Baltimore County Police Department Cold Case] detective and tell him.”, [To reach Detective Dave Jacoby of the Baltimore County Police Department cold case unit, call 410-887-3943 or email him at But that was far from the reality (and the legacy) of the man I had known – who had actually been an enabler, a pedophile protector, and the keeper of some very dark secrets. The statements given to police reportedly noted that during the visit to the nun’s apartment, an eventually defrocked abuser-priest – who was the subject of their complaints and the chaplain at the high school – also showed up at the nun’s apartment and seemed intent on discussing an urgent matter with her. The nun was 26 at the time of her death, and Joyce Malecki was only 20 years old when she died. If the nun had been abducted by a stranger in Baltimore and then murdered and abandoned on the Lansdowne dump, how had her car gotten back to her apartment building? Father Maskell served at Our Lady of Victory Church and lived at the church rectory from 1968 to 1970, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Inside Baltimore is published by Tom Nugent. “She didn’t dare tell my father, because he was a pipe-fitter and a very tough guy – and she was afraid that if she told him, he might go and kill the priest. She has a beautiful family and a thriving career as a registered nurse with a master’s degree who now specializes in helping sex-abuse victims and other trauma victims to heal. We won this thing. Sometimes, when I go into his office, I’m raped. In recent months, several witnesses have told the Baltimore news media that they were raped by policemen, as well as by Catholic priests, during the period in which most of the killings took place. Three of the unsolved murder victims were teenaged girls and another was a 14-year-old boy. It was a nightmare that happened again and again. I don’t know how much it would take to for the victims to come forward and relive the horrible memory. “And the school authorities also insisted that they should be allowed to provide the psychologist for the evaluation. Then he would not have been placed on the AOB’s ‘full-disclosure’ list as a defrocked priest ‘credibly accused’ of being a sexual predator. Jacobs also noted that he was pleased to have obtained the settlements for his reportedly traumatized clients, before adding: “We were disappointed with the amounts of the settlements, considering what these women went through.”. This was the case for Ms. VonDenBosch, for whom we set aside an additional $10,000 for counseling assistance. Good evening! The murder of sister Kathy for over 22 years. “The worst part of all was when they decided to call my prayer journals ‘diaries’ – and then to go through them with a fine-toothed comb. Among the recent disclosures were the following: —An interview with Joyce Malecki’s older brother, Donald Malecki, reveals that the Malecki family which lived in Lansdowne (only about half a mile from where Cesnik’s body was found), attended the nearby St. Clement Church. . “I request that you take out ads on the front pages of Maryland and national newspapers stating the number of abuse survivors of Joseph Maskell who have negotiated with AOB over the years, so other survivors will know they’re not alone and/or crazy. Two weeks after the rape at the CYO picnic, she added, the high school chaplain, Father Maskell, summoned her to his office at Keough. The family consensus was that the Archdiocese had told him not to become involved, and he chose to follow their orders.”. I do know you’ve recently heard from quite a few of us. . Only a few days ago, as reported on the front page of the New York Times [], the Pope himself said publicly that he believed women would be barred from the priesthood forever. Her body was found the next day, strangled and stabbed, in a wooded area near Goucher Boulevard in the north Baltimore suburb of Towson. They tried to break me during days of depositions. During the mid-1990s, Keeler reportedly presided over a campaign of smears, lies and intimidation (including harassment by Church-hired private detectives) aimed at survivors of rampant sexual abuse at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School, according to numerous abuse victims who later described the attacks in detail. “They were paying pennies on the dollar, in order to protect against future lawsuits, in case the Maryland General Assembly ever changes the Statute of Limitations on childhood sex abuse – which might open the door to major lawsuits potentially involving millions of dollars. —A third witness, a longtime parishioner at the Lansdowne Catholic Church where the high school chaplain served as assistant pastor (St. Clement), reportedly told several former St. Clement parishioners that she had also seen the nun’s body at a location more than a mile distant from the dumpster area. The new evidence shows that the second murder victim had close ties to the same Catholic parish – St. Clements in Lansdowne, located only a few miles from Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore – where two Catholic priests who were later defrocked for rampant sexual abuse lived off and on during the period in which the nun was killed. In addition, two other former Keough students have told Inside Baltimore they were sexually assaulted by Baltimore-area police at the direction of the priest, who served as chaplain at Archbishop Keough High School during the late 1960s. and that both the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Baltimore-area police officials then orchestrated a cover-up of the two killings that has lasted for more than four decades. One of those later-defrocked priests was serving as the chaplain at Keough when the nun (a beloved English teacher and also the drama coach) was abducted and killed on the evening of November 7, 1969. But a two-year investigation by Inside Baltimore of the sexual abuse that occurred at both Keough and Catholic Community Middle School in South Baltimore – both of which were operated by the School Sisters of Notre … The sanitized coverage of Keeler’s funeral failed to mention the fact that he had reportedly helped to cover up massive sexual crimes against defenseless children throughout much of his tenure (1989-2007) as the Archbishop of Baltimore. Their home was located only two blocks from the rectory where the two alleged abuser-priests lived for several years during the period when both women were killed. “That’s beyond coincidence,” said one veteran Maryland law enforcement official, when asked about the likelihood that five different unsolved murders (Cesnik, Malecki, Montanye, Crocetti and Porter) would all involve victims with alleged ties to Father Maskell or the two Catholic churches (St. Clement in Lansdowne and Our Lady of Victory in Catonsville) where Maskell often lived and/or worked during the period when the killings took place. “Eventually the word came down that her information had not persuaded the [cold case detectives] to re-open [an active] investigation,” said one of the former law enforcement officials. . to rapes by two “serial abuser-priests” at former Archbishop Keough High School, investigators say. ( Log Out /  Thank you for your career-long commitment to keeping this story alive and for your tenaciousness in moving it out into the open. By Tom Nugent. “Over the years, the cover-up itself has become a major problem for the Baltimore-area police,” said the former official. The letter to Ms. Lancaster from the Archdiocese of Baltimore Office of Child & Youth Protection Director Alison D’Alessandro and dated December 7, 2010, reads in part as follows: Please accept my apology on behalf of [former] Archbishop [Edwin] O’Brien and the Archdiocese of Baltimore for the suffering that has resulted from your experiences. “What was done to our mother wasn’t just unethical, it was abandonment,” says the brother of a Baltimore Catholic girls high school student who recently received $50,000 and an apology from AOB officials, after reporting that she was raped by two Baltimore priests. Tom Nugent is a freelance journalist who has been writing about the disappearance and subsequent murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik since the 1990’s in an extensive report in the Baltimore Sun, “Who Killed Sister Cathy?”. “It got to the point that Maskell was the number one guy we wanted to talk to,” said the detective, “but we never got a chance.”  The detective was never able to interview the priest, he said in the HP story, while also noting that “the Catholic Church had a lot of input into the police department, a lot of power.”. I now believe the AOB knew that what I was remembering was just the tip of the iceberg. What followed that moment in a wooded section of Baltimore County was a 44-year on-and-off investigation by Baltimore County and City Police, the FBI, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and various news reporters who worked the case again and again but never solved it. . I could use her guidance. In spite of the compassion and concern displayed in the letter, however, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has never publicly admitted that the Keough sex abuse – now alleged to have affected at least 50 students in the late 1960s and early 1970s – actually took place. Thomas N. "Tom" Nugent (February 24, 1913 – January 19, 2006) was an American college football coach and innovator, sportscaster, public relations man. . Instead, he seemed to disappear.”. The possibility of a police cover-up of the six unsolved killings has also complicated the investigation of these six murders, say experts. In one poem, for example, she tried to describe what it feels like to have a gun held to your head during a sexual-abuse incident. 410-887-3482. During the 1990s lawsuit, says Wehner, attorneys for Maskell, the AOB and the School Sisters of Notre Dame (the teaching order of nuns that operated Archbishop Keough High School) spent many hours contending that she was an unstable, dubious witness whose memories of abuse at the hands of Maskell could not be trusted. ), Lancaster also said that a high-ranking Baltimore law enforcement official who was involved in investigating the alleged Keough abuse in the 1990s told her during an interview that “we know the priest was involved” in Sister Cathy’s murder in November of 1969, “but there’s nothing we can do about it.”. Mr Nugent– having watched The Keepers (as well as having read your CP story back in the day– I am an illustrator and worked at CP from 88-98) I am curious about something which I believe was never discussed in the documentary. Those ceremonies also included numerous politicians. . . “I really felt bad for him,” said Dr. Franz, after noting that the priest had died in 2015. Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik vanished on the evening of November 7th, 1969, after leaving her apartment in southwest Baltimore to conduct a banking transaction and buy dinner rolls. understands that the law regarding the statute of limitations may change in the future . Given his age, there's not much of a social media trail, but it was said on Reddit that Nugent was hospitalized following a heart attack back in 2017. Later, however, I learned that he’d told some of my siblings that he was told to stay out of the family struggle – and he did. I have searched high and low and cant find the birthdate of Joyce Maleki. How dare they put a price tag on my head? Sexual Abuse of Baltimore Kids, “Cowardly and Despicable,” Say Critics Again, I am deeply sorry for what has happened. These are only a few of the startling new findings to emerge recently in the still unsolved murders of the two Baltimore women. That said, I do love and appreciate her for trying to help. The church was very cruel to me during our trial. I hold the Catholic Church’s spiritual leaders, who are supposedly ‘called’ to nurture, guide and protect their Church, accountable. Thank you Tom Nugent for all you are doing. Is that basically began the investigation. Thanks for your time and for your excellent reporting on this very sad story. They’ll be supported and believed if they come forward to speak. And I told. I will be forever moved. “The police commanders have known all along that if the information about the cover-up ever gets out, it could be devastating. God bless. In my survivor-mind’s eye, I’m sometimes not 56 years old, but 11. That failure has been especially painful for a former Catholic parishioner – Jean Hargadon Wehner, now 64 – who says that she and her nine siblings went through a “shattering crisis of faith” after both their parents’ pastor and the high-ranking clergy who run the Archdiocese of Baltimore declined to provide spiritual guidance to their “devastated and suffering” mother in the wake of the abuse scandal, which began to unfold in the early 1990s in Baltimore. . Why can’t they review that evidence?” Malecki asked. after a life that her friends described as “endless torture”. SAYS POLICE, CHURCH KNOW WHO KILLED NUN, The Abuse Victim, Now a 60-Year-Old Attorney, Those payoffs, eventually involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, were also accompanied by archdiocesan “apologies” for the abuse that had taken place under his leadership at the high school. “In interviews with police and the Sun,” wrote two Baltimore Sun reporters, “she [Wehner] provided details about the body that were known only to investigators at the time, and detectives have not dismissed her claims.”. Sister Cathy was killed less than 24 hours later. Although the Church recently awarded Wehner $50,000 and an apology for the “injuries” she received at the hands of Maskell, AOB officials have continued to this day to insist that they knew nothing of the abuse by the Keough chaplain until long after the mid-1990s lawsuit. When former Baltimore Archbishop and Roman Catholic Cardinal William Henry Keeler was laid to rest on March 28 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, the local news media fell all over themselves in an embarrassing display of dishonest journalism that was obviously aimed at pandering to the region’s 500,000 Catholics. “I entered into this mediation with the AOB with two of my heart’s desires in mind. . As I walked around a corner, I saw her on the ground. Bring down the anxiety. . I was being subjected to this relentless and painful questioning by their lawyers, while the Church was quietly refusing to provide any spiritual guidance to me, my parents or my family. When she failed to return, her frightened roommate at the Carriage House Apartments – the late Sister Helen Russell Phillips – phoned two Jesuits in Annapolis . Kurt Gladsky, Founder: Christian Brothers Sexual Abuse Survivors Network. As I walked around a corner, I saw her on the ground. The body of the second victim, 20-year-old Joyce Malecki – who had been Father Maskell’s parishioner for many years and went to confession and attended summer Bible camps with him – was found dead in a creek at the Fort George G. Meade U.S. Army base six days later. I can’t believe after causing the lifetime damages to so many people directly or to their family like domino, Maskell had never been indicted and been able to die in peace. Eyes that whisper, “You are just like me . But when those visions come, I can’t see, because there is no light. For Baltimore Archbishop William Keeler. Thomas N. "Tom" Nugent (February 24, 1913 – January 19, 2006) was an American college football coach and innovator, sportscaster, public relations man. . When I walked up on that dump, I said: ‘Hello, Cathy Cesnik.’”. My heart goes out to all of the victims of this evil monster and his cohorts. These financial agreements are completely voluntary and are in lieu of any future counseling payments or any other obligations from the Archdiocese.”. . They soon transferred Maskell [in 1967] from [serving as assistant pastor at] St. Clement Parish [in Lansdowne] to the chaplain’s office at Archbishop Keough High School – but he continued to live in the St. Clement rectory and he went on to stalk me throughout all four years of high school.”. And thanks for asking. That witness also said she was sexually abused by a policeman at the direction of the priest, the late Father A. Joseph Maskell, who was later defrocked by the Archdiocese of Baltimore after numerous accusations of sexual abuse of students during the 1960s and 1970s. Hundreds of us now stand in solidarity with them. “The reason I clarified my experience was so anyone having similar details will feel supported,” she said. These financial agreements are completely voluntary and are in lieu of any future counseling payments or any other obligations from the Archdiocese.”. Tom Nugent Is A Key Player In 'The Keepers' by Mariella Mosthof. We begged our parents’ pastor and other Church [officials] to comfort her and help her through her crisis of faith. More than once, Merzbacher would point the gun at [the child], telling [the child] ‘if you ever tell anybody, I’ll kill you. Pastor Morlino, who has been serving as the pastor of St. Benedict Parish for more than 30 years, confirmed that officials at the Archdiocese of Baltimore had told him “you stay out of it,” after he brought the problem of Ethel Hargadon’s spiritual dilemma over her daughter’s alleged abuse to their attention in the early 1990s. . and a retired high-ranking Baltimore police official has recently confirmed that two witnesses told police investigators in a formal statement that the alleged abuser-priest had made death threats in their presence when they visited the nun’s apartment. Thanks so much. “I was afraid of the man [Father Maskell] because he had a gun,” said Lancaster. “That’s beyond coincidence – something’s going on.” For many years after that, I felt like the continuing refusal to acknowledge those crimes was also depriving me of my constitutional rights.”, The April 21, 2016, letter of apology from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, signed by the Associate Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Child & Youth Protection, reads in part: “On behalf of Archbishop Lori, I am sorry for the pain you have experienced.”. When asked why the AOB agreed to the $50,000 settlement with Wehner, Archdiocesan Executive Director of Communications Sean T. Caine said via email that the “Archdiocese has had a longstanding practice of promoting healing for victims by offering therapeutic counseling assistance to victims of abuse for as long as it is helpful. It’s financial risk management, period. 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