—Artwork by Aaron Hope
In our first episode of the Baltimore Boomerang podcast, we revisit an article from December 1995 written by Paul Mandelbaum, which delved into the possible connections between a sex abuse scandal at Archbishop Keough High School in the 1960s and '70s and the 1969 disappearance and murder of a nun Sister Cathy Cesnik. The majority of the allegations center around Father Joseph Maskell, the school's chaplain at the time.
Our guests included investigators Alan Horn and Abbie Schaub (a Keough alumn who had Cesnik as her English teacher), as well as Teresa Lancaster, who testified in the mid-90s that Maskell sexually abused her while she was a student at Keough. On the episode, our guests revealed shocking allegations against Maskell, possible leads into Cesnik's murder, and came forward with new information that has come to light since their story was told in the Netflix documentary The Keepers. We also shared a statement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore in response to the myriad allegations.
After the episode recording, we reached out to our guests for follow-up questions, specifically regarding the closure of Seton Keough (formerly Archbishop Keough) in Southwest Baltimore. "I can't speak for all of my classmates," Schaub said. "But the only sentiments I've heard were from other old friends who share my sense of relief that no more young women will walk those tainted halls."
Lancaster, who was known as Jane Roe during the investigation into Maskell's abuse, shares a similar sentiment about the closing of her alma mater.
"My mom was so very proud to send me to Keough, a safe place for her only daughter to blossom into an independent woman," she said. "But I am very happy Keough was closed. This action helped me in my continuing efforts to put the horror I suffered at Keough behind me. People need to know these things are very real and continue to happen today."