New Netflix documentary: "The Keepers". Anyone else watching this? Spoilers are likely.

Well I finished watching.

I agree with you, that Sister Cathy’s murder was likely coincidental. Probably, she was killed by a carjacker or a thief or an attempted rapist and her body was dumped by him. Someone who has no connection with the school or her neighbors. The more we learn about the case the more we see that the police did investigate in some detail all of these people and cleared them.

That’s presuming Cathy even knew about the abuse, the show suggests she did, but it’s all conjecture. The big secret she was planning to tell her Jesuit friend, which we are made to think was her exposing Maskell, is never resolved. Indeed more possible is that it was her intention to accept his marriage proposal, one letter that the police discovered written a few days before her murder makes it sound like she intended to accept his proposal.

Her turmoil and growing separation from the Church is cited as an example of her discomfort with her knowledge of the abuse at Keough. I think it can be more readily explained as being due to her falling in love and seriously contemplating leaving the religious life for that of a wife and mother.

Are we doing spoiler boxes?


[spoiler] I think the cases are unrelated.

I think Cathy may have been murdered by Edgar Davidson or he was involved in the murder–I think robbery gone wrong. I think the neighbor Billy may have heard something that night but wasn’t involved.

Maskell did not take “Jane Doe” to the body–that is a false memory. I think her repressed memories are legit and are corroborated by the other survivors, but that event rings as a little too bizarre. I think he probably implied something about Cathy during one of the assaults–maybe on the way to the Doctor’s office and she conflated the events. (I think a very similar thing happened with Koob and being shown Cathy’s “vagina” during his interrogation—didn’t happen but some things happened that would create that scenario in his head and he started to believe it.)

I also think Cathy is held up so high by the students that they may be a little blind to somethings. I don’t think Cathy tried to stop the abuse. I think she may have said something to the school principal/administration and was told to shut up and then did. Her falling away from the Church was more about her and Koob. Her letter to him mentioning her late period finally arriving I think shows they had a sexual relationship not just a “pining for you” kind of thing. I think she was ready to quit unrelated to the events at Keogh.

I think the other murder is unrelated and that case was botched and never actually investigated and that’s why the FBI keeps stalling on releasing information…there isn’t much. Once they determined if wasn’t related to the military, they thought they had handed it over to the locals but never officially did so, so the locals never did an actual investigation.

Just my two cents. [/spoiler]


[spoiler] I agree that the two murders are unrelated to the abuse and possibly to each other. I also did not see any direct evidence that Cathy knew about the abuse. It’s an inference drawn by the two amateur sleuths, her former pupils. But there is nothing in ths show to suggest it.

I read a bit more about Koob after I saw the documentary. Apparently, the Police’s initial theory was that he was the killer, who was annoyed ay Cathy refusing him. Some have speculated the letter was fake, although again if its true it did suggest that Cathy’s reasons for wanting to leave were her impending decision to marry as opposed to disgust at Maskell.

Which suggests that she knew nothing, the murder was unrelated, which is what the Baltimore Police say now

Oh, good. I was starting to feel I must be weird to feel that way, given that everyone else seems to find it riveting. :frowning:

I’ve finished the fourth episode and just about decided to A) stop watching and B) just Google up some news reports to see how it comes out.

To this point, it feels like enough info/events for a two hour movie that is somehow been stretched into a seven hour series. So much repetition: the Jane Doe’s and Roe’s ‘recovering’ their memories bit by bit, the retired policeman’s account stretched out drop by drop, the same two dozen or so photographs/videos/reenactments shown over and over and over while voice overs drone on.

I get on one level that this is supposed to be impactful stuff, that it was just soooo hard and faith shattering for these lifelong devout Catholics to come to the realization that priests could be evil, that their church could be more caring of protecting their institution’s reputation than dealing fairly with the victims of their crimes.

But it just doesn’t resonate with me. I’m not Catholic, and my family and I were never very devout about the religion I was nominally raised in, and basically I’ve been an atheist since around, oh, 14 or so.

On top of that, I lived in a Boston suburb when the whole pedophile priests abusing boys and the church covering for them scandal was a lead story on nearly every night’s evening news.

So other than the specific details, all this feels very familiar and old news to me.

I guess I’m out.

No, not absolutely, as Father Joseph Maskell was never convicted or even charged with any crimes. Nor is there any thing to link him to the murder.

All this show has done is dirty the names of some priests , bring back bad memories (many of which may have been planted) and caused Father Maskell’s body to be exhumed for a 50 year old murder. It’s bullshit.

Unless I missed something-- “Jane Doe” is the only one with “recovered memories.”
“Jane Roe” and the other victims just never talked about it until asked.

Didn’t Maskell admit while at the therapy center that he was there because he had sex with a 14 year old girl (when the Doctor’s were told by the Church that he was there for depression)?

Still haven’t (and would rather not) watch any more, but something occurred to me last night, and I hope someone who has finished watching could answer a question:

Do they ever mention that the priests/policemen/others who raped the girls used condoms? Or use of birth control pills or diaphragms or anything? (I know there are all disapproved of by the Catholic church, but then so is raping underage girls so…) I remember one of the girls once said the Haskell intervened to get one of the other men to pull out before ejaculation, but as a zillion women throughout history could testify, that is a really fallible method of birth control.

So is there ever any mention of any of the girls getting pregnant, being sent away to have a baby discreetly, being taken for an abortion, anything of the kind?

Because we’re apparently seeing a situation of dozens and dozens of girls(I believe they said they had letters from over 50) at the peak of their fertility having on-going sexual relations and NONE of them falling pregnant. And it was multiple men supposedly involved, so it’s not just a case of Father Haskell being conveniently sterile.

The odds against that would surely be astronomical. All by itself, I’d think that destroyed any believability that sexual abuse to this extant could possibly have happened.

In the documentary

With one exception, the one you mentioned, its not stated whether they regularly undertook PIV sex, and one of the victims described being made to endure a blow job with swallowing. :(. I suspect the priests either did use some sort of protection or stuck to types of intercourse like anal and oral which would not lead to pregnancy.

AK84, thank you for the answer.

It’s still leaving me “hmmm” over the situation. Pretty much all stories that come down to Evil Conspiracies successfully kept secret for decades (and longer) do. Humans just like to talk too much.

There’s also the fact that…

[spoiler]The girls were regularly taken by the priest to a shady-as-fuck gynecologist, who gave them “examinations” and prescribed douches and God only knows what else. If one of them indicated she was pregnant, I’m pretty sure the doctor would’ve found a reason to do a D&C. Given their religion, it’s possible none of the girls would admit such a thing.

There was also the woman who recounted a situation where the priest was watching “Bob” (I think it was him) rape her and, when Bob was about to ejaculate, the priest warned him to pull out, because she was fertile, or rather, he said something like “ripe” (actually I don’t remember the term, but it was something pretty yucky).

That being the case, I have a feeling he regularly practiced the ol’ rhythm method. Someone certainly described him ejaculating on her back at one point.


It was a fascinating documentary, though there were some (rare) instances where the directors created situations that were obviously arranged (when they’d show Jane Doe lying on her bed and having her recollections, as if it were a recreation of that moment).

I admit that my first reaction to the recovered memories was “oh shit, please tell me that isn’t the only evidence they’re gonna show; that’s been dismissed ages ago.” But the subsequent explanation about PTSD and the suppression of traumatic memories rang true (and was backed by research), and of course there are the multiple other victims who didn’t say they’d forgotten the incidents, just kept them secret.

I’m not sure what I believe about Cathy’s death. It’s frustrating that things are still a mystery, but that’s real life for you.

Also, for anyone watching it for the first time, you can lighten some of the misery by taking count–or creating a drinking game*–every time the camera focuses on animals. I swear, it seemed as if every other shot of the outdoors showed birds of various kinds.

Then there were multiple views of pet cats, dogs, parakeets… or, if they couldn’t find live animals, the camera found figurines to ogle. Geeze, even an interview with one of the suspects contains extensive shots of stuffed animals (not taxidermy, I mean the plush toy kind).

The gimmick was so continuous that after a while, my sister and I started to laugh even though the subject matter was so awful.

  • If you drink every time a bird is shown, you’ll be unconscious by the end of the third episode!

I believe the line was “Careful. She’s a young pup from a litter of pups.”

That’s what I remember it being, that or something very close to it. The implication being that she comes from a very fertile family.

I don’t think fertility works like that, but he obviously did.

Right, that’s what I was thinking of too! I knew my version wasn’t nearly icky enough.

It doesnt. And remember folks- in no way is their any proof that these priests committed any of those crimes.

Yeah… women are such liars.

When you are talking recovered memories-* everyone is.* Since 'recovered memories" are actually emplaced memories.

As was mentioned already in this thread and in the documentary, there was only one woman with recovered memories and she was only more significant in that it was a way for prosecutors to get around the statute of limitations. All of the others, as many as 50, say they never came forward because they thought they were alone, would not be believed, and were frightened of reprisal.
You are correct in that it’s only jane doe’s hazy recovered memory of being taken to the body that, so far as we know, connects the priest to the murders. But there is plenty of evidence in the form of victim testimony to infer that at least one priest, and maybe more (and others as well), were involved in sexual assault. Just because TPTB have not successfully, so far, been able to convict, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.


Jane Doe AND Jane Roe both “recovered” their “memories”. And the other women survivors featured in the series talk of having so many memory gaps, of having not known what happened for many years and not wanting to know, etc. Maskell might well have been guilty of sexual contact with girls at Keough but unfortunately, the “memories” of these women prove nothing and should be taken with a huge dose of skepticism.

Do rememeber that Sexual Abuse and the murder are two different crimes, and ones which many on this thread (myself included) feel were not connected. The former has much more than the classic “recovered memories”, the filmmakers don’t do a good job of this, but many of those memories were of the “don’t want to think about this again” variety. The later was based on recovered memories which was almost certainly false and or jumbled up recollections.

That’s because it hasn’t been vindicated and it’s NOT connected to PTSD. (You had it right all along.)

Yep, that was a nightmare, and many of the people and families involved in those incidents are even now still suffering the aftermath, 20 and 30 years later.

Incidentally, the very same group of “professionals” and “experts” who were practicing Recovered Memory Therapy and facilitating the belief in Satanic Ritual Abuse and widespread sex abuse in the 80s and 90s are also the ones who pushed to have Recovered Memories and the sister diagnosis, Multiple Personality Disorder, re-classed as dissociative disorders (alongside valid disorders like PTSD) and re-branded as “Dissociative Amnesia” and “Dissociative Identity Disorder”. This was the pushback after Recovered Memory Therapy was finally discredited and Multiple Personality Disorder was removed from the DSM.

The Keepers is outrageously dishonest in its presentation of Recovered Memories as vindicated by science. At best, they are still highly controversial. The Keepers might well have just set our mental health care back by 2 or 3 decades and if so, it will be to everyone’s detriment, including victims of abuse.