Students Return To Danvers High School After Teacher Murder (page 2)

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“I didn’t go in,” said Christina, “and some said it was really hard for them.”

There were signs of trying to return to normalcy as the junior varsity soccer team, on which Chism was a player, took to the field. Members of the girls soccer team were overcome as they passed by the tributes to the popular teacher. And even junior high school football players who use the school grounds had a difficult practice Friday night. “It’s tough, we were practicing the night it happened and it didn’t sink in until the next day,” said coach Chris Condon.

Details of the crime were not part of the lessons, but Emily Nestor, who shared a class with Chism, sought out counselors. “It was so hard to be in English class because he was in there. I needed help for that,” she said.


Authorities have offered no clues on Chism’s alleged motive. They also would not say how Ritzer was killed. The case was still being investigated, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, a prosecutor’s spokeswoman.

Law enforcement sources told WBZ-TV a box cutter was used to kill Ritzer and her body was carried out of the school in a recycling bin.

Sources told WBZ Friday that Chism used Ritzer’s credit card in the hours after she was killed.


Tuesday’s school day ended for both Chism and Ritzer in her last-period Algebra I class, where she noticed him drawing in a notebook rather than taking notes, said Chism’s classmate Rania Rhaddaoui, who sat two seats from him.

Ritzer asked Chism to stay after class, Rhaddaoui said, but she didn’t know why.

Ritzer never returned home. Blood in a second-floor school bathroom helped lead investigators to her body, which was dumped in the woods behind the school in this close-knit community about 20 miles north of Boston.

The second-floor bathroom at the school would be closed indefinitely, Danvers police chief Neil Ouellette said.

Authorities believe Ritzer was killed after school ended at about 2 p.m., but they have not released a specific time.

Philip Chism in Salem District Court, Oct. 23, 2013 (WBZ-TV)

Philip Chism in Salem District Court, Oct. 23, 2013 (WBZ-TV)

Police picked up Chism early Wednesday, as he walked along Route 1 in neighboring Topsfield. Chism appeared briefly in court Wednesday for arraignment on a murder charge and was ordered held without bail.

Chism had moved to Massachusetts from Tennessee before the start of the school and excelled on the junior varsity soccer team.

Caio Silva, a Danvers High School senior and varsity soccer player, said he knew both Chism and Ritzer. He said he and his teammates are helping each other.

“A lot of the guys are really shocked, a lot of guys are down, really upset,” he said.

“It’s just really sad,” he said. “A lady that was really sweet and a kid who was really sweet. It just doesn’t really match up.”

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano and Karen Anderson contributed to this report.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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