On November 7, 1969, Sister Catherine Cesnik — a 26-year-old nun, and a teacher at an all-girls school in Baltimore — disappeared. She left her apartment to buy her sister an engagement gift and never returned. Her car was spotted the next morning parked oddly across the street from her apartment. Three months later, Sister Cesnick’s half-clothed body was found near a garbage dump. Her head had been bashed in. Her murder has never been solved.
The murder of Cesnick is the jumping off point for Netflix’s new true crime docuseries, The Keepers, which premieres on the streaming network Friday, May 19th. The series begins by focusing on Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins, Cesnick’s former students at the Archbishop Keough High School. Now in their 60s, Hoskins and Schuab take an interest in the cold case and they’ve spent the better part of the last few years digging up clues and interviewing those involved, from friends to family members to police officers, reporters and school officials.
The Keepers takes its time setting up the case, painstakingly recreating the night of Cesnick’s disappearance and the discovery of her body three months later. It’s so thorough that by the end of a slow-moving opening episode it feels as if no rock has been left unturned, that every piece of evidence has been examined and re-examined, that the investigation has run cold, and that these two women — extraordinary, charming, and dogged in their pursuit — will have to return to their quiet, retired lives no closer to solving the murder than police were in 1970.