Danvers High School Student Will Be Charged with Murdering Teacher

The body of Colleen Ritzer, 24, was found behind the school Tuesday night.

By | Boston Daily |

A 14-year-old Danvers High School student will be charged today with murdering a 24-year-old math teacher after her body was found in the woods behind the school.

According to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett at a press conference, the suspect, later identified as Philip Chism,  didn’t return home from school Tuesday and was reported missing that afternoon. Danvers teacher Colleen Ritzer, too, was reported missing at around 11:20 p.m. when she didn’t return home or answer phone calls. Police found blood in a second-floor bathroom and later found Ritzer’s body behind the school. The suspect was then found by Topsfield police at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday walking north along Route 1.

Though the D.A.’s office initially cited state law in refusing to name the suspect, Danvers police had announced on social media at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday that they were looking for a 14-year-old boy named Philip Chism who had recently moved to Danvers from Tennessee. That was before Ritzer had been reported missing. Then at about 7:15 a.m. this morning, police tweeted that Chism had been found safe.

Danvers High School cancelled classes Wednesday and a wing of the building was taped off for a police investigation. Already people are  mourning Ritzer, and poring over her social media presence. That included a Twitter account, @msritzermath, where she posted homework assignments and talked about her love of math, and a Facebook account, where she posted inspirational quotes and Boston Strong tributes.

Update 1:15 p.m.: Philip Chism appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, where he was charged with murder and ordered held without bail. He will be tried as an adult and has a probable cause hearing November 22. A judge approved a mental evaluation for him. CBS Boston has video of the proceedings.

 

  • penucheBro420

    I volunteer to kill this kid and spare everyone the trouble. I’ll gladly stab him to death. Slowly.

    • Sam West

      It sounds like you’re looking for your own victim. Unless you witnessed that murder yourself you cannot know who the murderer is. This is what the due process is for.

      • penucheBro420

        I’m glad the courts have to use due process, but I as a private citizen do not have to. Dzokhar did it too, in case you were wondering.

  • Renee Engine-Bangger

    And why is a 14 year old being charged as an adult? Has MA become TX or FL, with their warped ideas of “justice”?

    He should be charged as the juvenile that he is.

    • delforce8308

      …Just throwing it out there, i wonder if he would be charged as an adult if he were white….

      • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

        Of course he would !!!!! What the hell is wrong with you people !!!! Talk about warped ways of thinking.

    • FOR REAL

      WARPED IDEAS OF JUSTICE??? ARE YOU KIDDING.. KIDS NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.. COME ON NOW..

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

        A 14 yr old is not able to enter into contracts, purchase alcohol or even legally drive a car. Further, there is extensive research on brain development indicating that children this age do not have fully developed brain function or reasoning capacity, i.e. specifically what we regard as necessary to be responsible for one’s actions.

        You “law and order” types may get off on your vengeance thing but the fact remains that children are children and behave as such. Prosecuting children is indicative of the sort of mindless abuse of power which commonly occurs in redneck states. I was ashamed to read that this is now occurring in MA.

        And yes, I wonder if he were white, if he would be charged as an adult.

        • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

          For real ???? Are you really pulling the race card on this?????? He brutally stabbed to death and sexually assaulted a woman, A 24 year old woman,,,it doesn’t matter what race he is or what race she is ..that’s not what this is about..the facts are the facts..he should be tried as an adult and never be let out of jail. I wonder how you would feel if it were your 24 year old daughter he did this too????? Would you still be ullin gout the race card??? Doubt it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Yes, I am pulling the “he’s a child” card for sure (funny, you don’t attempt to address his age) and am speculating on the factor of race having a role in his being charged as an adult.

            To summarize:

            A. Children commit crimes.
            B. Children are not considered to be adults or have adult responsibilities in our society.
            C. Racism exists up and down our judicial system.
            D. Get over whining about it.

          • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

            he is 14 ,,there i addressed his age lol r u happy now …he still brutally murdered a 24 yr old woman,,he sexually gratified himself with her first …he is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong ….the facts are the facts …his age, race , eye color and whatever other EXCUSE you wanna try and interject with tis all BS and fluff ..its attitudes like yours that have lead to the slow, pitiful demise of morals and values in the lives of our youth today. he needs to be held accountable ..he took someone’s life..he violated and assualted her sexually.. She was a well respected teacher, someone’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend..etc ..and he had no regard for her value in this worod, therefore he has waived his rights for anyone to have regard for him and his life.

          • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

            And it sounds like you’re the one doing all of the whining anyway…Renee

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Uh huh. You appear to be of the “guilty until proven innocent” contingent, with the consummate intellectual limitations. Whatever. Happy I get to avoid people like you in real life.

          • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

            lmao ..Renee he admitted he killed her …there is no presumed guilty allegation game here ,,,please..and trust me ur not half as happy as I am that I don’t get to meet you either lol tata ;)

          • Slātlantican

            The presumption of innocence remains, regardless of any confession, until the accused enters a formal guilty plea (or, of course, until the jury finds him guilty).

          • Slātlantican

            Excellent arguments, except for this final post, when you let her drag you into a mild ad hominem.

          • Slātlantican

            Veronica, it seems to me that your complaint should be, not with this specific case, but with the laws that distinguish between juvenile crime and adult crime. Does a typical 14-year old know the difference between right and wrong? Of course he does. And yet, despite this near universally understood fact, the law sees fit to try children below a certain age differently than adults. If you disagree with he law, say so, but don’t make it about this kid.

  • Veronica Hunter Gallucci

    Unbelievable how people can come up with 100 dif excuses to not let people take personal responsibility for their actions…14 yrs old he knows the difference between right and wrong people,,,,come on now!!!!!!! Charge him to the fullest extent,,and yes if it was my son who committed such a heinous and horrible crime I would say the same thing…charge him to the fullest extent as an adult!!!!