Investigators Say Chism Confessed to Murder of Teacher

Court papers released late last week say Philip Chism confessed to the murder of Colleen Ritzer to police the night she was killed, but denied that he raped her.

Philip Chism during his arraignment in Salem Superior Court. Credit: File photo
Philip Chism during his arraignment in Salem Superior Court. Credit: File photo
Danvers High student Philip Chism will be arraigned this week on an additional count of rape in the murder of math teacher Colleen Ritzer and according to court documents, the teen confessed to investigators that night that he killed Ritzer.

Further documents were released Friday after Chism was indicted by a grand jury on a second charge of aggravated rape -- for allegedly forcibly having sexual intercourse with Ritzer -- and news reports say those documents contain statements from state police investigators that Chism did confess to the murder, but not to any sexual contact with Ritzer.

The Boston Herald reports that according to the documents, sperm collected from Ritzer's autopsy was consistent with Chism's DNA sample.

The court papers were filed in relation to a warrant authorities sought to search Chism's smartphone for any evidence that he memorialized the crime in photos or videos. The warrant also encompasses text messages, voicemails and other potential evidence.

Chism, now 15, originally told investigators he smashed both his phone and Ritzer's and threw them away behind Hollywood Hits to prevent police from tracking him via the GPS devices inside the phones. Investigators suspect his real motive was to destroy evidence.

Authorities say that after killing Ritzer in a school bathroom and dumping her body in the woods behind the school, he then went to the movie theater off Endicott Street where he watched the film "Blue Jasmine" and discarded the phones behind a woodpile.

The Boston Herald reports the court papers say Chism did draw a map for police, however, after he was in custody, to lead them to the phones.

Chism will be arraigned Thursday in Salem Superior Court on the additional rape charge during a hearing that was initially scheduled for a pre-trial conference.


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