14-Year-Old Philip Chism Went To Movies After Killing Teacher, Police Say

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The 14-year-old Danvers High School student accused of killing his math teacher went to the movies after dumping the teacher’s body in the woods behind his Massachusetts school, a law-enforcement official told the Boston Herald.

Philip D. Chism caught a matinee screening of Woody Allen’s latest film “Blue Jasmine” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Authorities believe he went to Hollywood Hits theater in Danvers after he “[assaulted] and subsequently murdered” 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer.

The theater manager Scott Przybycien said the high school freshman “blended right in.”

“He was here and gone before we even knew he was here,” Przybycien told the Herald.

An official told a court Wednesday that the suspect “did assault and beat Colleen Ritzer with intent to murder such person and by such assault and beating did kill and murder such person,” according to the New York Times.

Chism is a 6-foot-2 varsity soccer player who moved to Danvers from Tennessee last summer.

He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in adult court on Wednesday.

“He’s a really quiet kid,” said fellow freshman Andrew Poland. “It’s insane. I’m completely shocked. I didn’t think Philip would be the kind of person to do this. ... I don’t know what happened.”

Ritzer was reported missing by her family at 11:17 p.m. Tuesday when she never returned home from work. This was the kind-hearted math teacher’s second year teaching at Danvers High.

Student Christian Veatch, 17, recalled having an “off day” last year, when Ritzer noticed he was upset and pulled him out into the hall.

“We ended up talking out in the hall for like 20 minutes,” Veatch said. “I walked in the class feeling a lot better, more happy. I was ready to do my work. In 20 minutes, she totally changed my attitude. It was amazing.”

More than 300 people attended a vigil Wednesday night in Ritzer’s memory.

A mental evaluation was ordered for Chism. His next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.

Sources: Boston Herald, New York Times