Classmate: Suspect Was Offered After-School HelpBy: Amanda Crum - October 25, 2013
The 14-year old boy who murdered his math teacher earlier this week was offered help by her on the day she died, a classmate says.
Rania Rhaddaoui, 14, says that Philip Chism was doodling in class on Tuesday and that their teacher, Collen Ritzer, walked by and remarked on it.
“I didn’t know you draw,” she reportedly said.
She then asked Chism if he’d like to stay after class to catch up, and he allegedly agreed with no signs of irritation or anger. But sometime between the final bell and Tuesday evening, something happened to cause Chism to snap. What that was, police are trying to find out. The pieces of the puzzle are grisly: Chism slashed Ritzer’s throat in the faculty bathroom with a box cutter and stabbed her, then dumped her body in a recycling bin and used it to move her to a wooded area near the school, where she was found several hours later. Chism then went to a movie theater and was found walking down a highway late that night by police, who had been looking for him as a missing person.
For now, Ritzer’s family and the students and faculty at Danvers High School are grieving for the loss of a 24-year old woman who loved her job.
“She was just a young, caring girl that had the whole world ahead of her. And to be taken so early is just horrible,” Ritzer’s uncle, Peter Martellucci, said.
“The Ritzer Family is most grateful for the outpouring of support during this very difficult time. The family kindly requests that the media respects their privacy as the necessary arrangements are made to celebrate Colleen’s vibrant life,” Ritzer’s family said in a statement.
Image: CBS Boston