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FBI to exhume body of Joyce Malecki, whose murder was featured in Netflix’s ‘The Keepers’


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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI will exhume the body of Joyce Malecki, whose death was chronicled in the 2017 Netflix documentary “The Keepers,” which investigates a cold case connected to the murder of a nun and alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a powerful Baltimore priest.

Malecki was found dead on November 11, 1969, at Fort Meade.

An investigator with the Maryland Crime Victim’s Resource Center confirmed that Malecki’s family has been notified that her body will be exhumed.

“The Malecki family has stuck with this thing and they have not given up,” said Kurt Wolfgang, Maryland Crime Victim’s Resource Center.

Malecki is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore. It’s unclear when Malecki’s body will be exhumed.

“It’s closure,” freelance journalist Tom Nugent told WJZ’s Paul Gessler. “At least the beginnings of closure.”

Nugent says this new twist shows something has changed in the investigation.

“It may be no more than the fact the Catholic church has lost so much of its power that they can now go in out of the cold and do what they should have done years ago,” Nugent said.

The Baltimore Banner reports a family member will be allowed to be at the cemetery when it happens.

“They’re working on the paperwork to exhume her body,” said Darryl Malecki, one of Joyce’s brothers, told our media partner The Baltimore Banner. “I’m just thinking and hoping and praying that they have a good reason for doing that.”

“The Keepers” spotlights Malecki’s murder and its connection with the death of Sister Catherine Cesnik, a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School, and the sexual abuse of dozens of children by Catholic priests.

Nugent spent 20 years researching and working on finding the connection. He is featured prominently in “The Keepers” documentary.

“The FBI and police and so on are realizing it’s in their interest, now, to go back and dig up whatever it is,” Nugent said.

The documentary came out at the same time as WJZ’s year-long investigation into five unsolved murders, all with alleged ties to Father Joseph Maskell, a Baltimore priest accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Investigators have long searched for links between Malecki’s killing and the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, who disappeared just days before Malecki.

A WJZ investigation in 2017 found many of those alleged abuse victims confided in Sister Cathy Cesnik before her murder, which has added to the suspicious circumstances.

Maskell, accused of sexually abusing 39 young people according to an Attorney General’s investigation, died in 2001.

A 456-page report released by the Maryland Attorney General’s office identified 158 clergy, teachers, seminarians and deacons within the Archdiocese accused of abusing more than 600 victims going back to the 1940s.

Maskell’s body was exhumed in 2017 by Baltimore County Police investigating the death of Sister Cesnik but there was no evidence tying him to her crime scene.

Malecki attended mass with Maskell and lived near the church’s rectory.

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