Child Hoods: Analyzing the Colleen Ritzer Murder and Philip Chism

Filed in Gather News Channel by on November 27, 2013 0 Comments

Whatever Philip Chism did to beloved teacher Colleen Ritzer leading to her brutal death in October, she definitely didn’t deserve it.

And rest assured too that it wasn’t the first time this towering teen had killed, either virtually in one of his violent video games, or in reality. Either in Massachusetts where Ritzer’s murder took place this past fall, or in Tennessee where Philip Chism had lived most of his young life.

In fact, according to eyewitness reports, “Tennessee” appears to have been the buzzword that set the unstable juvenile into  a homicidal rage directed at his high school math instructor–Ritzer unwittingly spoke the word just minutes before her slaying.

Hours later her body was found dumped in the woods adjacent to the school she taught in.

She’d been viciously assaulted by her new student, her throat slashed, her corpse violated.

Probable Cause

Investigators seeking search warrants for the Chism household in Danvers Massachusetts acknowledge in those documents that killers like Chism hold to certain established patterns. Such as obsessing on their prey prior to perpetrating the crime… such as “staging” or posing the victim’s body and taking souvenirs to commemorate their horrific kill.

That’s precisely what 14-year-old Philip Chism did to 24-year-old Ritzer, executing his entire bloody spree that afternoon like a seasoned pro.

Just like a full-fledged serial killer would do.

Tennessee terror

Before they ever slay a single human being, serial murderers engage in similarly heinous acts against defenseless animals, a cruel and telltale predilection that usually manifests in early childhood.

In those cases, however, they don’t don masks and gloves or take along a change of clothes.

They don’t go to extremes in removing the body from the scene of the crime.

They don’t bother arranging the mangled corpse to shock once it’s finally discovered.

They don’t leave notes nearby for the police to ponder.

They don’t go to dinner and a movie using their victim’s credit card.

They don’t stash her underwear in their schoolbag as a memento…

That all requires experience, typically acquired by adulthood.

So the formulaic murder of Colleen Ritzer begs some questions now: What exactly happened in Tennessee? Could that be the real reason Philip Chism’s mother hurriedly moved him up north last summer? Is this solemn-faced, psychotic youth the youngest serial killer of all time?

Eponymous Rox
Document (image) courtesy the Danvers Police Department

About the Author ()

Featured in Crime Magazine and on NBC, true crime writer Eponymous Rox is the author of 'DUNGEONS DRAGONS MURDER' and 'THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN, Investigating the Smiley Face Serial Murder Theory'. You can find more reports, breaking news, and commen

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