Grand Jury action needed in unsolved murders, sexual abuse of Keough students and its cover-upBaltimore Post-Examiner

Grand Jury action needed in unsolved murders, sexual abuse of Keough students and its cover-up

“To the dead we owe only the Truth.” — Voltaire

Notice to the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AOB): Three high ranking Penn State College officials were sentenced to jail, on June 2, 2017, for not reporting the child abuse allegations against scumbag Jerry Sandusky. This is a final warning to those who enable child predators to perpetrate their crimes. No more cover-ups! Now, to that end, let’s re-open a window to the past:

Joyce Malecki, age 20, was working in an office of a liquor distributor. On November 11, 1969. She went shopping in the Glen Burnie area and was abducted. Her body was found two days later in a creek located on the U.S. Army’s Fort Meade military base.

That salient fact makes her murder a Federal case! It gives jurisdiction to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore. The FBI is the investigatory arm of that office.

Unfortunately, little has been done by the Feds in this matter. In the case of Malecki, her hands were tied behind her back, her throat was slashed and she was strangled. Her murder remains unsolved.

Malecki was a resident of Landsdowne, in Baltimore County. She attended St. Clement Roman Catholic Church, the same church where the degenerate Father Joseph Maskell, now deceased, was an assistant pastor (1966-68.) The record shows that Malecki attended a religious retreat during that period with Maskell in charge of the (gasp) “spiritual” program.

The AOB knew Maskell had sexually abused an altar boy at St. Clement. In the late 60s, the boy’s mother had reported it directly to them. Its shameful reaction: Move the predator to Archbishop Keough High School, where he would continue his unholy reign of terror over the innocents.

Enter Sister Cathy Cesnik, age 26. She was an English teacher at Keough during a time period when Maskell was the so-called “guidance counselor” and chaplain at the school.

The Netflix docu-series, “The Keepers,” revealed that she was prepared “to blow the whistle” on Maskell and his crime accomplice, Fr. Neil Magnus (also deceased). Close to thirty students came forward since then declaring that both Maskell and Magnus, and parties unknown, repeatedly raped, sodomized and sexually abused them at the school and at other sites.

How large was this evil ring of sick pedophiles and sexual predators? Some believe that besides members of the Roman Catholic clergy, cops, politicians, and a shadowy character, “Brother Bob,” were also involved.

On WBAL-TV, on the night of June 2, 2017, popular attorney and civil litigator, Joanne Suder, was interviewed. She said, in talking about “The Keepers” series, that there may have been “over 100 victims” of this sexual predator clique at Keough during the period of time in question.

A list of crimes associated with the “sexual exploitation of children” is catalogued in the federal code. Sister Cathy was a potential witness against Fathers Maskell and Magnus. If the wrongdoers in her murder used a phone, or U.S. mail, for example, to plot her killing, the Feds may have justification to take over her case, too.

In an article dated June, 2015, investigative reporter Tom Nugent, “Inside Baltimore,” suggested a possible “link” between the Keough rapists, particularly Fr. Maskell, and the notorious John Merzbacker. He’s doing hard time in a state slammer for convictions on four rape charges at a Catholic Middle School in Locust Point.

If Merzbacker does know more than he’s been saying, that could be helpful in solving some of these cases, maybe the authorities can figure out a way to get him — legally of course — to talk. Just a suggestion.

What about that principal at Merzbacker’s Catholic Middle School — Sister Eileen Weisman? She was an intimate of his. Was she also acquainted with Maskell or Magnus? Was she part of the cover-up? Sister Weisman has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Like Keough, the School Sisters of Notre Dame operated a school in Locust Point.

There are also unsolved murders, cold cases, of other young victims in the same time period and vicinity as Sister Cathy and Melecki. Are these cases related? In that category are Pamela Lynn Conyers, age 16, in 1970, in Anne Arundel County; and Elizabeth “Gay” Montanye, age 16, whose body was found in South Baltimore, in 1972.

During the inquiry into Maskell’s wrongdoing, back in the early 90s, some of the State’s evidence was destroyed by a suspicious “basement flooding” at the Court House. These were the boxes of files and documents that Maskell had ordered buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery, which were later recovered, via a search warrant, by city detectives.

Supposedly, nude photos of children were found in this cache. Had Maskell sent or received them through the mail? If so, a federal crime may have also been committed by him. The “flooding” ended that line of inquiry.

When I was working in the Court House, in the 60s and 70s, evidence for a trial was kept either in police custody and/or in the office of the assistant D.A. If it had to be stored, it was placed in a file cabinet in the assistant’s office under lock and key!

Question: If the critical evidence was “flooded,” why weren’t any serious efforts made to restore it?

Bottom line: The victims, their families, and the public want answers to their questions, and they want all the above cases solved. The FBI should take the lead and coordinate with the City and Baltimore County police. It should be a team investigative effort for the sake of the public good.

Federal, Baltimore City and Baltimore County Grand Juries need to be empaneled — now — and begin calling witnesses!

Justice can’t wait any longer.

Top photo of the Supreme Court by Bill Hughes

 

 


About the author

Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes is a native of Baltimore. He’s an attorney, author, professional actor and hobbyist photographer. His latest book is “Baltimore Iconoclast” and it can be found at: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000076922/Baltimore-Iconoclast.aspx. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
  • calgarth

    And whom does Bill “Jim Garrison” Hughes suggest the state’s attorney prosecute? Those guilty of the alleged abuse and any cover-up are dead and cannot defend themselves, thus, they cannot be indicted.

    • donb114

      Some are still alive, as are most of the AOB leadership who suborned perjury during the 1993 evidentiary hearings brought by 2 of the victims. During those hearings, the AOB lied when its’ leaders testified/submitted evidence claiming there were no other allegations of abuse against Fr Maskell prior to those made in 1992 by the plaintiffs. Subsequent investigation proved that as a young boy, a local dentist reported molestation by Maskell to his mother, who then raised hell, which resulted in Maskell being transferred.
      The simple fact is, the Roman Catholic Church continues to cover-up for criminal clergy and subvert justice worldwide. That needs to stop and will likely take lots of lawsuits to accomplish.

      • calgarth

        Bill Hughes is calling for the US attorney to impanel a federal grand jury and the federal statute of limitation for suborning perjury is five (5) years.

        There is no way a US court can stop the Roman Catholic Church, or any other organization, from attempting to cover up wrongdoing and subverting justice. *All* companies, corporations, religious organizations, including governmental entities such as the US armed forces, etc. do this sort of thing all the time to protect themselves. Only the Roman Catholic Church can change church policy.

        • donb114

          The Roman Catholic Church is indeed a huge business, which like many others can bend or buckle under the pressure from negative public-opinion, legal fights, etc. which impact its’ bottom-line. Sure, if no one does a thing, the Church will keep right on doing what it’s done for generations. However, if enough good people start applying pressure via the courts, the media, and most importantly the empty collection baskets every Sunday, then the Church will start feeling pressure enough to change. But everyone needs to do their part, even if it seems like an impossible undertaking.

          • calgarth

            That’s all well and good, but you fail to address the fact that in this matter, there are no charges that can be brought against the Roman Catholic Church in federal court.

          • Renee

            Why not? If the church keeps records–and they do–then those records will show that any and all accusations were known, and none of the perpetrators were reported to the police, and on the rare occasions that they were, the police helped cover up. Few of them were defrocked or removed from office–on the contrary, most all of them were just moved along, sometimes even out of the country.

          • calgarth

            If the Roman Catholic Church is/was involved in a major, worldwide cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, then more than likely, the cover-up extends to records and, if so, those records were destroyed long ago.

          • Bill Hughes

            Maybe they were and maybe they weren’t. This is a question investigators need to get answers to – and quickly.

          • calgarth

            You’re right, it’s up to investigators — not a federal grand jury — to find the answers. According to the US Supreme Court: “… grand juries are not licensed to engage in arbitrary fishing expeditions ….” See United States v. R. Enter., Inc., 498 U.S. 292, 297 (1991).

          • Renee

            No, it’s up to the state AG’s office. And, now that they know what they are looking for, they don’t have to fish.

          • calgarth

            Then why did Hughes call for the convening of a federal grand jury?

            Nevertheless, please provide the applicable state law under which the attorney general could convene a grand jury in this matter, keeping in mind that these murders, the alleged sexual abuse, etc. occurred a half-century ago.

          • Bill Hughes

            Thanks again for sharing your Deep Thoughts on this issue, galgarth. Unfortunately, they are seriously flawed. You continue to want to put the cart before the horse! It doesn’t work that way in the real world. The Grand Jury investigations must come FIRST! Then, based on what they discover, and following the applicable laws; their findings, charges, if warranted, will follow. Grand Juries, going back to the early days of the Republic have been known as the “Voice of People,” and this is exactly what “The Keepers” and others need at this moment and in these cases. Have a nice day!

          • calgarth

            The investigatory powers of a grand jury aren’t unlimited, nor are they allowed to select targets of investigation out of malice or an intent to harass. I call your attention to your comment above, to wit: “I think if a Federal Grand Jury is set up the power brokers in this town will start shaking.”

          • Renee

            Not so. They do have records and they do keep them. Until just recently, that wasn’t known. Maybe they keep them thinking that the records will help cover their collective butt, or maybe they have just a tiny bit of conscience under all that guilt. Not that any of the accused, or their handlers, seem to have any guilt.

          • Renee

            They are required by Cannon Law to keep detailed records pertaining to all affairs of the diocese, in a locked room that is designated for just that purpose. From the Pa. Attorney General’s grand jury report on Johnstown Diocese, under Section I, part C.

          • calgarth

            Do you really believe priests who sexually abuse children and those who cover up such abuse care a whole lot about Canon Law?

            While some (perhaps many) in the Catholic Church hierarchy are corrupt, they aren’t stupid. As soon as it was announced that “detailed records pertaining to the diocese” were discovered during the Pennsylvania probe, Church leaders in other locations would have commenced purging records.

          • calgarth

            While I cannot be absolutely certain the Church has destroyed incriminating records, YOU cannot be certain there are any extant records implicating the Church. We can speculate until Gabriel blows the trumpet, but speculation doesn’t warrant the convening of a federal grand jury.

          • Bill Hughes

            Like in Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law escaped to Rome, where he still resides. He needs to come back voluntarily and come clean about the pedophile sexual abuse scandal exposed in the “Spotlight” stories.

          • David Lorenz

            First – there may be sufficient evidence of a cover-up to toll the SOL so there could be charges filed against the Church. Second – there have been approximately grand jury investigations of about 20 dioceses around the country. The one universal finding of all of them is that the diocese under-reported the number of pedophiles from their dioceses and that they still have some pedophiles serving.

          • Bill Hughes

            How do you know there are “no charges” that can be brought against the RC Church in this matter? They sure as heck have been trying like the devil to cover up the sexual abuse offenses according to “The Keepers” survivors. What are they hiding? Is there someone in their employ capable of blowing the whistle on them? Keep plugging away truth-seekers.

          • calgarth

            I have explained, repeatedly, why I do not believe there are any charges that can be brought against the Church. YOU are the one who called for an investigation of this matter by a federal grand jury and despite my asking time and time again under what law the archdiocese could be charged, you have failed to answer. How about answering my question and we’ll go from there? It was very irresponsible of you to write such an article without first ascertaining whether such charges could be brought against the Church, or any of the individuals who allegedly covered up the “abuse.”

          • Bill Hughes

            Why are YOU in such fear of what a Grand Jury and its investigators will find? If people listen to you, no police force would have a “Cold Case” squad. Justice demands the truth must come out about these murders and the pedophile sex abuse scandal. I believe the two murder cases are connected to the sex abuse pedophile ring. The victims have come forward to tell repeatedly how they were threatened by their abusers. Yet, YOU don’t want the process to proceed along its natural course. WHY? Let the chips fall where they may. The Bard of Avon said: “Time’s glory is to unmask…falsehood and bring truth to light…and to wrong the wronger till he render right.”

          • calgarth

            “I believe the two murder cases are connected to the sex abuse pedophile ring.”
            I don’t believe Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, but I’m not going to write an article calling for the convening of a grand jury based on nothing more than my suppositions.
            There has to be a REASON other than your beliefs to convene a grand jury and thus far, you haven’t provided one.

          • Bill Hughes

            Put the pressure on. Get to the bottom of this wrongdoing.

        • Bill Hughes

          No one is above the Law in our Republic. The victims deserve a full and complete investigation. Time had passed in the cases in Boston, too, but that didn’t stop the wheels of Justice from moving forward…

          • calgarth

            What the victims deserve and the laws under which these individuals or the Archdiocese of Baltimore can be prosecuted are two entirely different things.

            I believe all the Boston cases were brought in state, not federal, court and in your article, you called for the US attorney to empanel a grand jury and prosecute the perpetrators and, presumably, the archdiocese as well. The only law under which federal criminal charges could conceivably be brought against the AOB would be RICO and such charges must be brought within five years after such crime is committed. See United States v. Darden, 70 F.3d 1507, 1525 (8th Cir. 1995).

          • Bill Hughes

            If there’s no fear of prosecution, then why doesn’t Cardinal Bernard Law return from Rome to Boston?

          • calgarth

            Cardinal Law was named as a defendant in civil lawsuits. He was never charged with a crime because there was no law requiring the mandatory reporting of sexual abuse in Massachusetts at the time. The man is 86-years-old, why would he return to Boston when he can live out his life comfortably in Rome? I wouldn’t.

      • Bill Hughes

        Right on target…

      • Renee

        And don’t think that the leadership aren’t as complicit or as guilty as the clergy. The rot goes clean to the core.

    • Bill Hughes

      Two are dead but they may be more who are alive. The victims deserves a full and complete investigation. No one is above the Law…

      • calgarth

        Yes, there “may be more who are alive,” but first, these individuals must be identified and charged for breaking a law that was in effect at the time of the alleged abuse/cover-up. Under what federal law that was a crime at the time, and isn’t barred by the statute of limitations, do you suggest these phantoms be charged?

        • Renee

          It really doesn’t matter if the perpetrators are still alive–many of the victims are, I’m sure, and still suffering. Besides the ultimate perpetrator in all these abuse cases by Catholic priests, is the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy who covered up the abuse, and covered for the abusers. It came out in the Pa. Attorney Generals report on the Diocese of Johnstown, that the Catholic Church keeps better records of their abuses than the Nazis did–with names, dates, descriptions of the accusations, where the offender was sent, for what “treatment”, and where he was placed to reoffend. Some of those records when back YEARS. The church needs to be brought up on charges. In some of the larger cases that have been brought to light in recent years, the trail of abuse and cover up, led clear up to the Pope and the Vatican.

          • Renee

            The Statute of Limitations on child sex abuse should be done away with in all 50 states. There is NO reason that the perpetrators shouldn’t be held to account, no matter how many years have gone by!

          • calgarth

            Many states have voided statutes of limitation in child sexual abuse cases. Such is a gross miscarriage of justice that opens the door for people, e.g., therapists, greedy plaintiffs, unscrupulous lawyers, etc. to abuse our judiciary system for monetary gain.

          • Renee

            Really?? Hmm……

          • Renee

            Bullshit.

          • Renee

            Spend a few hours reading through this–if you have a strong stomach. It’s page after page of bile inducing testimony of the abuse that went on in one diocese, in one state, of the entire US. For years. And the church leaders not only knew about it, but they kept detailed records of what they knew. Multiply that by all the Catholic diocese in the state of PA.–or NY, or MD, or MA. Just pick any state, or any city, because by now, we know that the abuse likely went on most everywhere the Catholic Church had a hold. Never mind other countries. After you’ve read enough of this report, think of the damage that was done to all of these children–damage they carried into adulthood, before they were even able to talk about it–and then tell me you think it’s a bad idea to limit their right to justice. If they can’t bring their abusers to justice under the law, they at least deserve to have their stories told and have some sort of acknowledgment of the crime that was committed against them. The only way the abuse will stop, is if enough victims come forward to force a change. If enough of their stories are made public, the church won’t be able to convince their people that it was just a few bad apples the church wasn’t aware of, and that the problem has been taken care of. Too many cover-ups for far too long.

          • Renee

            Search Google for “Pa. Attorney General’s report on abuse Johnstown diocese”. That’s the best I can do. I tried to put the link, but the paper wouldn’t post it till they had “approved” it, for some reason.

          • calgarth

            I’ve read it and it still doesn’t answer the question I have repeatedly asked you and Hughes.

          • Renee

            “…a law in effect at the time of the alleged crimes MUST have been broken and the statutes of limitation MUST NOT have run in order to bring charges against either the individual priests or the Church. All I’m asking of you and Hughes is that you explain what law a federal prosecutor could use to convene a grand jury.” Then how do you explain the Johnstown Grand Jury? How did that come about? You say you’ve read it. Go back and read the “Conclusions and Recommendations” again.

          • calgarth

            Before the Pennsylvania grand jury was convened, a DA referred a case concerning alleged sexual abuse by a friar at a local Catholic high school to the attorney general. At that time, Katherine Kane (a crooked Democrat who has since been convicted of perjury and criminal conspiracy for leaking grand jury information and lying about it) welcomed the referral, hoping it would detract from her own criminal activity. She executed search warrants, which led to the discovery of documents confirming the sexual abuse of children and a cover-up by the Catholic church. In the instant case, the office of the Baltimore state’s attorney hasn’t referred the case concerning the alleged abuse at Keough, or the murder of Cathy Cesnik to the office of the attorney general.

          • calgarth

            Regardless of what priests did, what the Church concealed or what the victims deserve, a law in effect at the time of the alleged crimes MUST have been broken and the statutes of limitation MUST NOT have run in order to bring charges against either the individual priests or the Church. All I’m asking of you and Hughes is that you explain what law a federal prosecutor could use to convene a grand jury.

          • Bill Hughes

            Stop the cover-ups! Right on, Renee.

          • calgarth

            People who use foul language do so because they have nothing to support their position.

          • Renee

            Sometimes you just have to call it as you see it. No need for excessive verbiage, when just one word comes to mind. Why is it an abuse of the judiciary system to seek justice when you were the victim of a crime, no matter how many years have gone by?

          • calgarth

            The fact that is the word that came to your “mind” speaks volumes.

          • David Lorenz

            A judge can rule that the SOL can be tolled if there is evidence of conspiracy to cover up a crime. It has happened many times. This certainly appears to be a case for tolling.

          • calgarth

            The Court of Appeals of Maryland ruled on this issue in the civil lawsuit brought by Wehner and Lancaster. Furthermore, in a federal conspiracy case (as suggested by Hughes), an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy is required and the statute of limitations begin running on the date of the last overt act.

          • Bill Hughes

            Well stated, Renee.

          • calgarth

            “It really doesn’t matter if the perpetrators are still alive — ….”

            It does if charges are to be brought against them.

            The charges in Pennsylvania were state, not federal, and the defendants have filed a motion to dismiss on grounds there is no supporting evidence to sustain such charges. Said motion is set for hearing Wednesday next. Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see what happens.

            Still, neither you, nor anyone else, has cited a law under which the diocese and/or individuals in the instant case can be charged in federal court.

          • Bill Hughes

            Excellent points, Renee.

        • Bill Hughes

          There is no statute of limitations on murder charges. And if the victims were killed to cover up the sexual abuse offenses, then under the Conspiracy laws they are tied together. The Keepers demand answers. The investigators need to keep digging. Remember “Watergate,” and how the White House’s tapes tied Richard Nixon to the crime and he was forced to resign for trying to cover it up. Are there records currently hidden and/or witnesses now ready to come forward that will unravel this case and bring all the wrongdoers to justice? Stay tuned.

          • calgarth

            The operative word here is “if.” There is no evidence either of these women were killed “to cover up the sexual abuse offenses” and while there is no statute of limitations on murder, there are statutes of limitation on conspiracy. Additionally, there must be an overt act in the furtherance of such conspiracy in order to bring federal charges. Where is that “overt act” in this matter?

            “Watergate” occurred in 1972, Nixon resigned in 1974. There’s a heck of a lot of difference between two years and a half-century.

            You’re whistlin’ Dixie if you really believe there are hidden records and witnesses ready to come forward after the passage of almost 50 years.

  • Tom Gregory

    Great article with some tough questions for those currently in power.
    Mayor Pugh, if you are reading, we want answers about this obvious cover up, not bowling alleys. Gov. Hogan and Balto. Co.Executive Kamenetz please feel free to chime in.

    • Bill Hughes

      Thanks, Tom. Keep plugging away.

  • Constance Rauser Sheckler

    “The flood” to which the police referred was Hurricane Agnes. Most of the evidence disappeared in Hurricane Agnes. I say, B.S.

    • Bill Hughes

      Thanks for sharing this info.

    • Tom Gregory

      In “The Keepers”, SA May stated that unearthed evidence from the Holy Cross cemetery was eventually destroyed by basement flood in the BCPD evidence room. That was in the 1990’s. Agnes hit in 1972.

      • Bill Hughes

        Thanks, Tom, for the insightful clarification on this question.

  • Constance Rauser Sheckler

    The flood to which the police were referring was Hurricane Agnes. Yes, most of the evidence disappeared in the blood. So much B.S.

  • mference

    Better to let civilians investigate all of these crimes. Just like in the Keepers, those men and women can’t be bought. Unlike the Catholic Church hierarchy who can throw scholarships, jobs, lucrative service contracts to rotten politicians and cops to cover-up any crime. I don’t trust the devil, nor do I trust the Catholic Church or our government.

    The men and women portrayed in the Keepers, never earned a penny for their investigative work, compare that to feds, Baltimore Police and Catholic Church who did absolutely nothing.

    • Bill Hughes

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, I think if a Federal Grand Jury is set up the power brokers in this town will start shaking.

      • Renee

        Don’t be too quick to dismiss the “little folks”. If anyone can force the issue, it’s the people sitting in the pews. The Vatican didn’t get that wealthy holding Bingo and having rummage sales. The people that attend church and pay tithes have more power than they realize, and should have more reason to hold the church leaders to account. After all, it was their families that were torn apart by the abuse. Their brothers, sisters, children, fathers, mothers. As someone commented above, if the people withheld their money and demanded action, you’d see results. And don’t think the abuse has ended. The people in the pews have an obligation to make sure it doesn’t go on.

        • Bill Hughes

          The Keepers are leading the way forward to full justice and disclosure in these cases…

          • Renee

            I recently watched another movie on Netflix, about a group of men who had all been abused as children, at a boys school in Australia. They found each other through the Internet as adults and began to discuss their experiences of abuse by the same priests. An excellent documentary, but very difficult to watch. It’s extremely hard listening to grown men tell the things that happened to them as children, to see how raw their wounds still are, and to hear how profoundly it altered their lives. One of them had never had an adult relationship with anyone, male or female, because he was so damaged emotionally. The title is “Abused: Breaking the Silence.”

    • Bill Hughes

      Right on target…

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