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S01.E07: The Conclusion 2017.05.19

As far as focus -- this series seemed to me to be telling the story of two women who wanted to find out what happened to their friend; at its most fundamental "plotline".  During their investigation, they find two things.  1.  That she was probably murdered by Father Maskell and his conspirators.  2.  That Father Maskell, himself, opened up a whole Pandora's Box of stories to be investigated and told.

 

So, for me -- it started as a simple investigation into a friend's death and ended up like one of those family tree diagrams (they used coffee filters) branching off from the probable killer and then the whole kettle of fish he opened up.  Two separate but connected branches of the same tree.

So, is it about a murder and the identity of the killer?  Yes.  It's also about the abuse.

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On 7/26/2017 at 5:26 AM, Superpole2000 said:

You are implying that there is a gender bias here. That's not what causes the different level of interest. The interest in the other cases was more of the mystery aspect...the "What do you think happened?" or "Which side are you on?" aspect. In this particular documentary, we kind of know the bad guys, so there isn't much mystery in that area of the case. The compelling part of this documentary is the cover up and how some of the victims have fought back.

Also, the Amanda Knox case, which has its own set of documentaries, is proof that people will be interested in a female version of "Did she do it?"

It is not a matter of whether or not there is outrage or interest based on the gender of the alledged murderer. I disagree that interest in the Avery and Sayed cases is due only to the mystery aspect.

There is continued interest in Knox because there are lingering questions regarding her exoneration. One of the reasons there are still questions  of "Did she or didn't?" is the salacious reporting that cast Knox as the femme fatale.

Where continued interest in the Knox case differs from the Avery and Sayed cases is that many of the current documentaries regarding Knox take the point of view that she may be guilty and got away with it or maybe she isn't guilty and she was rightfully released from prison.

This is very different from "Making a Murderer", which takes the view that Avery was framed and is definitely not guilty, and different from the podcasts that came after Serial that also take the view that Sayed is not guilty and was wrongfully convicted. For the most part, Serial too presented that Sayed is not guilty.

Perhaps there will be additional documentaries regarding Sister Cathy and the Keough students, but what form will it take? Outrage for the victims? Outrage for the accused? 

If not for gender bias, why is there more outrage for and reporting on men that have been abused by Catholic priests than women that have been abused?

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4 hours ago, Triple P said:

If not for gender bias, why is there more outrage for and reporting on men that have been abused by Catholic priests than women that have been abused?

There is?  I must have missed the louder outrage for male victims...it all seems pretty outrageous from what I've observed.  If there's a disparity in the number of male victims vs. female victims reported I would chalk that up to more opportunity (i.e. the prevalence of altar boys dealing directly/privately with priests in comparison to girls) than any kind of media gender bias.

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1 hour ago, NumberCruncher said:

There is?  I must have missed the louder outrage for male victims...it all seems pretty outrageous from what I've observed.  If there's a disparity in the number of male victims vs. female victims reported I would chalk that up to more opportunity (i.e. the prevalence of altar boys dealing directly/privately with priests in comparison to girls) than any kind of media gender bias.

I agree with this and I also think that the media leans towards more sensational items and, sadly, stories of male victims fall seem to fit that category more than stories of female victims (and there is all sorts of wrong with that and I am in no way defending it...)

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On 5/24/2017 at 10:41 AM, IndianPaintbrush said:

Richard Sipe is a psychotherapist who has done extensive research on priests and sexuality.  The Boston Globe's Spotlight team used him in their reporting.  According to Sipe, the culture of celibacy and repressed sexuality is the main problem:

I can see how this would be a huge problem for priests who were ordained before the 1960s. They were more likely to go straight from high school to seminary with no sexual experience. Add in a culture where pedophilia isn't talked about and the long-term effects on children aren't understood, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Sometime ago HBO did a documentary on this very subject (cant remember the name) and it mentioned in great detail on how back then, anything remotely sexual was dirty and must be supressed. I think it even talked in detail about devices that were put on young people to prevent them from misbehaving and these were rather horrific devices.  I remember watching it and having to stop a few times because I thought I was gonna be sick, hearing all the stories from survivors. 

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On 6/6/2017 at 4:25 PM, MaryWebGirl said:

I feel like they never made it clear exactly what happened. I forgot who said it fairly early in the series that Cathy and Russell sort of requested living outside of the convent and working at a public school, but I honestly doubt that. I imagine they did make waves about Maskell, and the move was a compromise their superiors came up with. I'm sure the school wouldn't just let a well-liked, energetic teacher waltz off to the public sector. 

The one thing that we need to keep in mind is that there was/is a ton of "small p" politics within the church itself. When I heard that the nuns had been permitted to try this experiment, I initially thought "yep, that was those progressive 60's nuns for you". Then later on when they said that the principal at Keough who took over from the Mother Superior who was there when Cathy and Russell were present was able to get Maskell out within a couple of days of arriving, I realized that the whole thing may have been that Maskell had more pull with the higher-ups in the diocese and so the Mother Superior was trying to get Cathy (and perhaps Russell??) out of the school - either to protect them, or to stop them from making a fuss. So the entire reason for them being put out for this year of life in a regular school setting might have been to perhaps ease them out of the church before they had to make their final vows. It didn't work because Cathy was still 1) unsure about how she felt about her final vows and 2) in contact with and a confidant for girls at the school. 

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On 6/21/2017 at 1:35 PM, CaughtOnTape said:

In church life, they are told to stop it and moved somewhere so they can do it again.  They are put back into circulation with children and not given any kind of therapy.  As with most things in the religious world...if you pray hard enough, God will take away the bad thoughts.  Just confess and you're fine!  Which is why I don't subscribe to any religion any more.  

II think hard core Catholics are able to still believe because they convince themselves that had the offenders simply prayed harder they wouldn't have been so susceptible to the bad things.  Be a better Catholic and all that.  And asking someone to give up their entire belief system is a tall order, even if they are proven to be terrible.  Religions also teach that we are imperfect and fallible.  Which means it's not the RELIGION that's the problem, it's the people that are.  

 

Just a reminder that "religion" doesn't mean Christianity. Judaism doesn't work this way at all. We have NO doctrine that says confess and you're forgiven. In fact G-d CAN'T forgive you for something you've done to someone else. Pretty sure that's true in Islam as well. Judaism also has no belief in Original Sin.

On 6/24/2017 at 0:51 PM, Scarlett45 said:

I do not believe the culture creates pedophiles. I don't think you can "create" a pedophile or a serial rapist. Igornant people have said that it's the "celibate lifestyle" that makes these men abuse children- that's absolutely not true. Most child abusers have access to willing adult partners but want to hurt kids. 

@Proclone

For the most part I agree BUT we know that in jail, with no women available, straight men will often pair off with other men. So I think there may be some aspect of this at hand. I also think that the priesthood was a respectable career for a gay man back in the day, a man who wasn't going to marry anyway. Of course, most gay men would never abuse a child of either gender... just that it's a place where people who didn't fit in might want to go. The abuse that Maskell did is absolutely beyond the pale, however, and has nothing to do with orientation or anything else except power and evil, in my opinion.

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@lucindabelle Yes in jail people engage in same sex relationships because there are no available partners of the opposite sex, but I don't see it as being similar to celibate priests abusing kids- just because someone is a priest doesn't mean they don't have access to willing adult partners, they still have access to adult men and women to have sex with (other priests, nuns, parishioners etc). I think there were a lot more priest/nun, priest/priest, nun/nun relationships than there were pedophiles. As you said if you knew you were gay in Catholic culture this was an acceptable way not to be forced into heteronormative marriage.

I think it's more of the second part of your post, someone who is an evil power hungry sadistic prick who wants access to KIDS joins the priesthood to fuel their ego and give them a socially acceptable way to interact in private with lots of vulnerable kids. 

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If anyone had "Heroin(e)" pop up on their Netflix recommendations, it's a short documentary worth a watch. Completely different subject matter, but has the same vibe of women of a certain age working together (against a heroin epidemic in a small WV town).

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18 hours ago, kieyra said:

If anyone had "Heroin(e)" pop up on their Netflix recommendations, it's a short documentary worth a watch. Completely different subject matter, but has the same vibe of women of a certain age working together (against a heroin epidemic in a small WV town).

I will!

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  ON 6/21/2017 AT 1:35 PM, CAUGHTONTAPE SAID:

Quote

In church life, they are told to stop it and moved somewhere so they can do it again.  They are put back into circulation with children and not given any kind of therapy.  As with most things in the religious world...if you pray hard enough, God will take away the bad thoughts.  Just confess and you're fine!  Which is why I don't subscribe to any religion any more.  

On 9/12/2017 at 8:09 PM, lucindabelle said:

Just a reminder that "religion" doesn't mean Christianity. Judaism doesn't work this way at all. We have NO doctrine that says confess and you're forgiven. In fact G-d CAN'T forgive you for something you've done to someone else. Pretty sure that's true in Islam as well. Judaism also has no belief in Original Sin.

It doesn't work that way in Catholicism either.  At least it is not supposed to.  Merely confessing sins is not enough.  You need to truly feel contrite and you need to repair the damage that the sins have caused.

FROM the US conference of Catholic Bishops

Quote

the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is called “penance.”  http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/uscca/files/assets/basic-html/page-268.html

  The problem is, too many people, priests included, don't take the finally step seriously or skip it entirely.

Edited by ElleMo.
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We binge-watched the series over the weekend.  As you might surmise from my screen name, I am a Christian.  I have never been a Catholic, but have been part of several other denominations in an attempt to exercise my faith within a community of believers.  Sadly, I have seen so many failures in clergymen that we've just given up on going to churches.  We still believe in God, and attempt to honor Him in how we live our lives.  We just don't think it's good stewardship to give money to organizations who are so inept at protecting the helpless.  I'm also from the Baltimore area, so there was that connection as well.

Having said that, I don't believe Gerry Koob had anything to do with Cathy's death.  But his behavior bothers me on several fronts:

  • He was a priest, pledge to be celibate, but was apparently having a "more than friends" relationship with a woman.
  • He is now a Methodist minister, but stated in talking heads that he would "never forgive" the cop who he says showed him "Cathy's vagina."
  • I can't figure out any way that a cop would show a friend or suspect a piece of body tissue wrapped in paper.  If it had been collected during an autopsy, it would have been in a jar with a preservative.  And cops aren't allowed to just walk out of an autopsy suite with body parts.  So I doubt that that scenario ever took place, which leads to the conclusion that Gerry was lying (probably to make a bigger issue of how awful the cops were).
  • In another talking head, he talked about "hating" one of the investigators (I think that's who it was).  

His entire life as a clergyman has exhibited a lot of non-Christian behaviors.  One wonders how he teaches others to live that life, when he does not.

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On 1/29/2018 at 9:38 AM, AZChristian said:

We binge-watched the series over the weekend.  As you might surmise from my screen name, I am a Christian.  I have never been a Catholic, but have been part of several other denominations in an attempt to exercise my faith within a community of believers.  Sadly, I have seen so many failures in clergymen that we've just given up on going to churches.  We still believe in God, and attempt to honor Him in how we live our lives.  We just don't think it's good stewardship to give money to organizations who are so inept at protecting the helpless.  I'm also from the Baltimore area, so there was that connection as well.

Having said that, I don't believe Gerry Koob had anything to do with Cathy's death.  But his behavior bothers me on several fronts:

  • He was a priest, pledge to be celibate, but was apparently having a "more than friends" relationship with a woman.
  • He is now a Methodist minister, but stated in talking heads that he would "never forgive" the cop who he says showed him "Cathy's vagina."
  • I can't figure out any way that a cop would show a friend or suspect a piece of body tissue wrapped in paper.  If it had been collected during an autopsy, it would have been in a jar with a preservative.  And cops aren't allowed to just walk out of an autopsy suite with body parts.  So I doubt that that scenario ever took place, which leads to the conclusion that Gerry was lying (probably to make a bigger issue of how awful the cops were).
  • In another talking head, he talked about "hating" one of the investigators (I think that's who it was).  

His entire life as a clergyman has exhibited a lot of non-Christian behaviors.  One wonders how he teaches others to live that life, when he does not.

The instances you describe above indicate to me that Gerry is just a human being with flaws like the rest of us; even the most devout and well meaning Christian exhibits non Christ like behavior from time to time- especially surrounding a situation of violence and murder towards someone they loved. Given how the church had the cops in their back pocket- I think the cops were more likely to lie than Gerry  

 

Gerry may be a great minister (or he may be a bad one) but I dont think we can know either way from his part on the show. 

Edited by Scarlett45.
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Before I post about the final episode, I wanted to share what I found (I had to google it as soon as I finished watching the last episode):

C.T. Wilson finally got his bill passed! It increases the window of time a victim of child sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit from age 25 to 38. (it was signed into law shortly before the show aired)

Quote

Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) testified for three straight years before his fellow Maryland lawmakers about how his adoptive father repeatedly raped him, pleading with them to increase the amount of time sexually abused children have to sue their abusers.

And each year that his bill died in committee, Wilson vowed to sponsor it again.

On Tuesday, he was cheered as he joined Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to watch him sign the bill, approved by the legislature, into law. It increases the window of time a victim of child sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit from age 25 to 38.

“I never wanted to share my personal business on this level, but I did it because I thought it would help people,” Wilson said shortly after the bill signing. “I wanted the victims of sexual abuse to know they are not alone and that we care about them.”

[...]

When Wilson walked to the table for the signing of the ­statute-of-limitations bill, [Governor] Hogan gave him a bear hug and thanked him for his courage and leadership on the issue.

Wilson spoke each year about how he was shuffled among foster care homes until he was adopted by a man who was a kindergarten teacher, a Cub Scout leader, a junior pastor — and a pedophile.

He said he was raped by his adoptive father from 8 to 16 and did not begin to deal with the trauma until years later.

Wilson’s bill had been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church. Del. Joseph F. Vallario (D-Prince George’s), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, refused to allow it to come to a vote in his committee.

This year, Wilson worked with the Maryland Catholic Conference on the bill, with help from Vicki Gruber, chief of staff to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert).

Changes included making clear that the statute would not be retroactive and would apply only to victims 18 or younger at the time of its passage. The bill gives those victims until age 38 to file a lawsuit against a person or governmental entity that “owed a duty of care to the victim,” employed the alleged abuser or had “some degree of responsibility or control over” the alleged abuser.

Mary Ellen Russell, the executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, said this year’s bill “was much fairer than in years past.”

For Wilson, the bill signing closed an ugly, painful chapter. “It was an emotional experience,” he said. “You basically have to dig deep and reveal yourself. You can’t help but be ashamed, but I’m not a victim. I don’t define myself as a victim.”

He said he knows a lawsuit is not a “silver bullet” for sexual abuse victims, “but what it does is give them a voice. . . . That’s what most people want. They want someone to acknowledge what they’ve done.”

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo.
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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Before I post about the final episode, I wanted to share what I found (I had to google it as soon as I finished watching the last episode):

C.T. Wilson finally got his bill passed! It increases the window of time a victim of child sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit from age 25 to 38. (it was signed into law shortly before the show aired)

Mike Miller is a piece of dirt (to put it nicely). His changes to the bill make me believe he's either got something to hide about himself, or he's protecting some of his cronies/part of the corruption. 

 

One thing in the series that was never addressed (that I noticed), one of the men brought in to participate was referred to as "Brother ____" (I forgot the name). What they failed to mention, is that there is a very big, popular, Catholic boys school in Baltimore run by the Christian Brothers DeLasalle. The men in the order are called Brothers. I'm not saying it was one of them, but it would explain the name. 

 

I live in the burbs of Baltimore (transplant, not a native), and the corruption and cover up suggested by the show did not surprise me. I was appalled and disgusted, but not really surprised. 

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10 hours ago, SweetieDarling said:

Mike Miller is a piece of dirt (to put it nicely). His changes to the bill make me believe he's either got something to hide about himself, or he's protecting some of his cronies/part of the corruption. 

I felt bad that CT Wilson had to make so many changes to the bill because all of those stipulations SUCK. Even though it was a victory just to get the age limit changed, I am guessing that all of those conditions are like a stab to the heart for him, knowing that it means a lot of victims will still be excluded from getting justice. The fact that it only applies to victims who were 18 or younger when the bill was passed in 2017 means that there are decades of victims who are being left out.

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