Is Sister Russell From 'The Keepers' Alive? The Nun Is Integral To The Sister Cathy Mystery
Netflix's latest true crime documentary series The Keepers chronicles the unsolved murder of Baltimore nun Cathy Cesnik and sheds light on the nearly 50-year-old murder case. While many stories are told through interviews with colleagues, students, friends, journalists, and others who knew those involved, viewers will no doubt be curious about what one person's story could possibly bring to light: Cesnik's roommate Sister Russell. However, the nun does not appear in the series, which could leave viewers wondering if Sister Russell from The Keepers is still alive.
Because she was living in such close quarters with Cathy, many wonder if Sister Russell had information about Cathy's death. And, according to the documentary, many who knew her over the years tiptoed around the subject with her, hoping she would say something eventually, but we never hear from the nun — in episodes 6 and 7 of The Keepers, it is revealed that Sister Russell died of cancer.
In Episode 7, the docuseries' final episode, it is explained that after Cathy's death Sister Helen Russell Phillips, referred to as "Russ," left the convent and wanted to get as far away from the trauma as possible. She even got married and had two children. Sister Russell started a new life. In 1997, she was diagnosed with cancer and succumbed to the illness in 2001, just days after Father Maskell's death, according to the Netflix documentary. In the series, it is stated that when Russ heard about Maskell's death, just days before her own, she said he went to the grave with his secret.
It seems Russ also went to her grave with whatever information she may or may not have known about what happened to Cesnik. All viewers can do is piece together information gathered by old students, journalists, relatives, friends, officials, and Baltimore citizens all working in hope of uncovering the truth.