Colleen Ritzer was found half naked with her throat slashed, and near the popular teacher’s body was a handwritten note that read, “I hate you all.”
Prosecutors in Massachusetts revealed an affidavit that gave details on the slaying of the Danvers High School teacher this week, detailing a bloody scene. Student Philip Chism, who Ritzer had asked to stay after school for extra help, is accused of raping and murdering the teacher and dumping her body in a nearby wooded area.
The affidavit offers chilling details of the murder and hints of a motive. It included video surveillance of Chism entering a women’s bathroom where prosecutors say Colleen Ritzer was killed. A female student started to walk into the bathroom but quickly left, later saying she saw someone appear to be changing clothes.
Video then shows Philip Chism leaving the bathroom and coming back with a recycling barrel. He then left again carrying the barrel, this time with a black mask on his forehead.
Chism brought the barrel toward a student parking lot, with blood stains visible near the bathroom and on Chism’s pants.
The affidavit says police spotted Philip Chism the next day. He was carrying a knife and in his backpack had a box cutter covered in blood. When police asked where the blood came from, he answered: “The girl.”
Chism also had credit cards and a driver’s license that belonged to Colleen Ritzer, as well as a part of women’s underwear.
“The indictments… detail horrific and unspeakable acts,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.
Despite the horrific details, friends and family of Colleen Ritzer are choosing to focus on the positives. They remember her as a passionate teacher who cared deeply for her students.
In a statement after her murder, Danvers High School noted:
“Colleen Ritzer was a dynamic and brilliant ray of light, she was everything one could ask for in a teacher — dedicated, passionate and invested in her students. Our entire community will feel this loss for many years to come.”
After the release of the affidavit, the family of Colleen RItzer also released a statement: “We are devastated and heartbroken by the details of the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of our beautiful daughter and sister, Colleen.”