Philip Chism: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


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Philip Chism is a 14-year-old student at Danvers High School in Massachusetts who went missing on October 22. He was found just after midnight on October 23, not long after a teacher a Chism’s school in Danvers was found horrifically murdered near the school campus. Chism was later charged with the beating death of Ritzer. On the day before Ritzer’s body was found, Chism had attended one of her math classes.

Here’s what you need to know about him:

1. Chism Was Reported Missing at 6:30 P.M. on October 22

 Philip Chism Colleen Ritzer Hearing Arraignment Danvers High Salem Court

(Fox 25)

Chism went missing on October 22, and police initiated a search.

…the missing teen and a homicide investigation at Danvers High are connected, according to District Attorney’s office spokesperson Carrie Kimball-Monahan.

Classmates of Chism told The Boston Globe that they had last seen the 14-year-old running away from the school’s soccer field and telling them that he had something he needed to care of.

Chism was reported to have been found by police in Topsfield, Massachusetts, walking along Route 1. It’s reported by WCVB, that between the time of Chism’s arrest and the discovery of Ritzer’s body, the 14-year-old had been to the movies to see Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

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2. Chism Was Arraigned in Court on October 23

Philip Chism Colleen Ritzer Hearing Arraignment Danvers High Salem Court


Philip Chism was charged with the murder of Colleen Ritzer in open court on October 23, he pleaded not guilty. Chism was held without bail and his defense asked Judge Matthew Nestor for a mental competency hearing, a request that was granted. He will return to court on November 22 to face a probably cause hearing. During the hearing Chism wore a jail-issued white jumpsuit.

Philip Chism Colleen Ritzer Hearing Arraignment Danvers High Salem Court


Essex County DA Jon Blodgett had told reporters that a teen suspect in the murder Ritzer would be arraigned in juvenile court. Blodgett added that his office would look seriously at trying the teen as an adult.

The Boston Globe reports that film evidence led to his arrest in relation to Ritzer’s murder. The paper further reports that evidence was found at “multiple scenes” tying Chism to the crime and that Ritzer and Chism were “known to each other from the school.”

3. Colleen Ritzer’s Body Was Found in a Wooded Area Close to Danvers High

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At a press conference on October 23, the Essex County district attorney reported that 24-year-old Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer of Andover, Massachusetts, had been found murdered. Ritzer’s body was found in the woods near the school and blood had been found in one of the school’s bathrooms.

Cops were alerted to her disappearance when she didn’t return home from work last night. They found blood in the second floor bathroom at Danvers High. WCVB reports:

Officials said Massachusetts law prevented them from describing the relationship between Ritzer and Philip Chism, the 14-year-old student, accused of killing her in a second-floor bathroom and then dragging her body into the woods.

The Associated Press reports that through an interview with Chism, police were able to establish that he had assaulted and murdered Ritzer before disposing of her body.

The Boston Globe reports that Ritzer’s body appeared “stabbed and cut.”

4. When He Went Missing, Classmates Had Launched a Twitter Campaign to Try to Find Chism

On the night of October 22, when Philip Chism was reported missing, Chism’s fellow Danver High students were taking to social media to help find their friend:

However, their concern for Chism eventually turned to anger:

5. Chism is Originally From Tennessee

According to CBS Boston, Chism recently moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee. The Boston Globe’s Peter Schworm reports that the Chism, along with his mother, and two sisters, moved into the Danversport area of Danvers during the summer of 2013. His father remained in Tennessee but stayed in close contact with the family. One neighbor told Schworm that Philip Chism “seemed like a nice quiet boy.” Students have said that Chism played on the school’s soccer team as a striker where was the team’s leading scorer. His team mates told The Boston Globe that Chism had missed practice on October 22.

The Boston Globe reports fellow students saying that in the short time he had been at Danvers, Chism had managed to make friends thanks for his “amiable, hard-working” attitude. One classmate, Kyle Cahill, told Fox25: “He wasn’t violent at all. He was really the opposite of agressive.” The Boston Globe spoke to Mark Nolan, Chism’s former soccer coach in Tennessee, he said: “He was quiet, but when he scored, he had the biggest grin.”

Nolan added that Chism’s parents attended soccer games as often as possible, with the boy’s military father sometimes attending in uniform.

CNN reported on the rapid movements of Chism throughout his life:

Chism attended fourth grade at a Clarksville, Tennessee, elementary school, said Clarksville-Montgomery County, Tennessee, school system spokeswoman Elise Shelton. He then spent fifth grade at Hammock Pointe Elementary in Boca Raton, Florida, according to Palm Beach County school spokesman Owen Torres.

The next three years, he was back in Tennessee at Rossville Middle School in Clarksville, according to Shelton. Then his family moved about 1,150 miles northeast to Massachusetts.

Philip Chism Colleen Ritzer Danvers Missing Teen