(BOSTON HERALD) One of the last things slain Danvers High math teacher Colleen Ritzer did was offer to stay after school and help a struggling student — the same new-kid-in-town freshman who cops say slashed her to death in a school bathroom, dumped her body, then wandered off for an afternoon alone at the movies.
Ritzer, teaching what proved to be her final Algebra 1 class Tuesday afternoon, asked 14-year-old Philip D. Chism — a normally bright kid and soccer standout who classmates say seemed withdrawn in recent weeks — to stay late to help him prepare for a test on Friday, according to fellow freshman Rania Rhaddaoui, 14, who sat two seats away from him. She said Chism showed no sign of anger or annoyance, “nothing that would lead up to what happened.”
Law enforcement sources say Chism followed Ritzer into a second-floor bathroom, attacked her and wheeled her out of the building in a recycling bin, then dumped her body in the woods behind the school and left. Cops found her hours later, after her family reported her missing. Chism was found walking on Route 1 in Topsfield, then was charged after an interview with cops.