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Did You Lock The Door?
Did You Lock The Door?

Episode 7 · 2 years ago

The Senseless Crimes of Philip Chism

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hi, welcome back to did you lock the door? The podcast. I'm your host, Peyton Reese, and today with me I have my best friend since literally diapers, whose name is also Peyton. Hello. I brought her on for a case that is solved, but it's so brutal and senseless that it's one that really has stuck for me for years and I think it's a story worth getting out. They're worth telling, worth spreading awareness about, because it just again, it's so senseless and the victim and her family just really deserved to have their story told. So today we are going to be talking about the brutal murder of Colleen Ritzer. will go ahead and get right into colleen. She was born on May thirteen of one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine, which makes her a Tauris, I think the third or fourth tarist I've talked about on the show, so that's a common theme for sure. She was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts by her parents, Peggy and Thomas Ritzer, and she had two siblings named Laura and Daniel. By the time she was three years old, it was clear that colleen had both a knack and a passion for helping others. Her Preschool teacher, whom she would remain close with for the rest of her life, recognized and helped to nurture these characteristics within colleen. She showed interest in teaching throughout her entire career as a student. However, it was during her senior year at Assumption College when Colleen decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. And after she chose teaching as a career path, she was required to work with high school students while pursuing her degree, and it was through this work that she discovered she was incredibly effective as a math teacher. She could explain mindboggling concepts and formulas in ways that were easy for students to understand. And I took a PECALC in high school, so I definitely understand the importance of a good math teacher. If I hadn't had the most receptive, empathetic, wonderful, caring math teacher in that class, there's no way I would have done well at all, let alone past the APEXAM. So I so appreciate people and teachers like colleen. They are so important and so much more helpful than they realized. So by two thousand and eleven. Colleen would graduate from Assumption College, having earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics with a minor in psychology. She graduated magnicum laude. It's very impressive. And after that she finally became a teacher, and Collin would make it a goal of hers to help each and every one of her students feel passionate, empowered and to realize their full potential. Something that she often reminded both herself and those she taught was quote every day might not be good, but there is something good in every day and quote. That's so emotional. I'm sad hearing what happened to her. That's so sad, like knowing that I was like one of her quotes that she would say all the time, like there's something good and every day. Is there, though, because, oh, I know it's so sad, heartbreaking. So at the time of the incidents, colleen was teaching math at Danvers High School in Danvers, Massachusetts, which is about twenty miles north of Boston, and she actually has a twitter account that is still active. You...

...can look at it to this day. And just before she her last tweet went out one day before her life would be taken from her, and it was a review packet meant for her geometry class, which I believe the culprit here was a part of. So even her last tweet was something that could help him. All that she did was her students, and this just monster of a man decided to take something as precious as her life from her. I again this tweet, just this tweet. It's just baffles me. I it's so senseless and so brutal and it's just so a man. But a fourteen year old boy at the time named Philip Chisholm, is the second major player in our case today. He was born January, twenty one of one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, making him an Aquarius and also making him younger than both Peyton and I, which is crazy. Yeah, crazy. He was fourteen when he killed her, right, HMM Jesus. So now he's like twenty, I think. I'm just yeah, he turned twenty one in January. Yeah, he just turned twenty one. Yeah, just wait. So you hear about this man, he's gonna give you full body chills to reference crime junkie, I promise. So he was born to parents, Diane and Stacy Chisholm, and the two had had a rocky marriage from the get go. Diane filed for divorce from Stacy in two thousand and one, just three years after their marriage began and two years after Philip was born. Her reasoning for this was that stacy abused her physically and emotionally when under the influence of alcohol, which reportedly was almost every day. Philip has been described by everyone that knew him as a very quiet, yet plight and well behaved child. He had always loved soccer and he excelled at the sport. He was even on the Danvers high school soccer team. He had recently moved from Tennessee to Massachusetts and reportedly he was kind of of set about this move because his father would be staying behind. His parents were officially separating this time, so he was moving with his mother to Tennessee and this time, apparently, Diane made the decision to leave his father stacy due to stacy being unfaithful to her. A friend of the Chisholm family named Claudia Rodriguez, with whom Diane and the kids had been staying prior to their move to Massachusetts, stated that Philip was always incredibly respectful of adults and he could often be heard playing video games until like three or four in the morning, which for a young boy is definitely pretty late, although this was often brushed off as just a means to distract himself from the difficulties he was facing. He loved his father a lot. He really didn't want to be leaving him, so I'm sure his mom and family friends could let that one go and just say we can let him play video games, but means he's feeling better. Philip would often play chess with the family friend, Rodriguez's husband, and reportedly Philip never lost, not even once, which I don't want to disparage anyone that plays chess, but I think that shows how calculating he is and honestly kind of cruised me out a little because I know chest is hard. Never lost a game chain like fort seen like that's that just shows like how like conniving and like smart he is and how like accompanied with everything else he did. That's just very spooky. That's just like sprinkles, like a lap of like the Cherry on...

...top. He was so smart. He never and like chest is so strategic. So it's like you watch every single move that you make, and he did it so well he never lost yet. No, sorry, never lost one. The mother of Philip's best friend, whose name was tanner, and or the mother's name was Sabrina Carter, but his best friend's name was tanner, had apparently noticed some troubling behavior in Philip right before the incident. She stated that he could be extremely hateful and rude towards his mother, to the point where she actually found herself telling Philip that he would no longer be able to spend time with tanner if he did not learn to respect his mom, which is so scary. His mom totally could have been on the receiving end of everything that he's about to do this kids, because, like, if his se hadn't like mentioned Tennessee, like one of eventually his mom mentioned Tennessee. Yeah, like, what are you like snapped and like killed his mom. Yeah, that was a bit of insight onto what he eventually claims his motive is. But yeah, I think this boy could have just snaps on anyone. And I'm I'm a huge supporter of mental health services and people getting help, so I'm not trying to disparage anyone at all, but he really just strikes me as like a Michael Myers like. He seems like he has evil inside of him that he just needed to get out. I'm like no, mercy, like he's like Oh hmm, yeah, whatever. So the morning of October twenty two of two thousand and thirteen, Philip would pack a box cutter, a Hoodie, a ski mask and gloves into his backpack ready to carry out a horrific plan that he had been concocting in his mind for an amount of time that only he knows. At two hundred and fifty four PM, again of October twenty two, high school math teacher colling Ritzer can be seen on video leaving her classroom and walking towards a woman's restroom. She is actually talking to her favorite fellow teacher and the two of them can be seen on surveillance video and matching outfits. It was actually twin day at the school. It was spirit week, which I know I loved so much during high school. So that's just, I think, an extra bit of a sad fact. Her last words to anyone that weren't Philip or two, her best friend, at least, to the school, at two fifty five PM, just one minute after ritzer exits the classroom, Philip can be seen, wearing a hoodie and gloves, entering the same second floor bathroom as Ritzer. At three hundred and six PM, a female student enters and then almost immediately exits the bathroom. She states that she saw what she believed to be two students having sex, leading to her immediate exit. It was later speculated by lawyers that she actually saw a more bloody scene than she wanted to admit, but her brain might have blocked that out just to save her kind of the trauma from realizing that she had actually seen. But again, that's only speculation by lawyers. It is definitely not a certainty. At three hundred seven PM, chisom exit the bathroom with a hood over his head, and there is surveillance video online that really shows the entire timeline of Philip CHISLM's actions the second he follows calling into the bathroom. There is not surveillance footage of the crime, I think, fortunately, because that does not deserve to be witnessed by anyone. I don't believe. But he exits the bathroom like two seconds after the girl. It's almost scary like this man. He seems to be superhuman or something. To me he's just all of his movements and actions and choices...

...are so terrifying. He truly is a Michael Myers. So, at three hundred fourteen PM, Philip is seen on camera pulling a green recycling bin towards the bathroom, and two minutes later, at three hundred and sixteen, he enters the bathroom with said Bin and a three and twenty two PM, he will exit the bathroom pulling the recycling Bin and now noticeably struggling with how heavy it is. From three hundred and twenty three to thirty two PM, Chism is scene exiting the school and dragging the recycling bin toward a wooded area behind dumpsters that sit behind the school. He's still wearing a ski mask. Somewhere in between this time, at a round and thirty, the mother of a Danvers High School student sees chism running away from the high school. I assume he would have been carrying the recycling bin with him at this time. At Four PM, Chisom now barefoot, re enters the school building and at four hundred and five he re enters the bathroom. Just a minute later he leaves the bathroom and exits the school. And again, Peyton and I watch this footage right before sitting down to record this episode, and just seeing him walk past so many people and talk to so many people that have no idea what this fourteen year old boy just did is absolutely spine singling. It's like the scariest thank. You see him walk by like just people in the hallway and like they talked to him and he liked talks back to them, and other like colleagues of calling like walk by him and then you see him walk outside and after he goes to the woods, he comes back. You just see him talking like other guys outside of the school and they are they're like all smiling and nothing like ever happened, like they're literally just talking to a kid that literally just murdered a teacher. I have no idea. And in one frame peyton actually pointed this out to me. Oh my God, I know you're gonna say. I'm not, we're gonna hit it. You can see blood on his hand, like his hands are like fire truck read. Yeah, liked he goes in the bathroom and then like he's like walking around, I guess to go go back and get his stuff and like go find the bend. But you see him walking around and his hands are fired truck red. He was walking around by like teachers and people and none of them even cared to be like Yo, why are your hands bright red? Did you dip them in paint? Like you know, in person that looks a lot more like blood. Yeah, it was insane and one of the custodio guys that work for the school, who didn't speak like a lot of English, she talked to like a school official and was like, Yo, there's blood, and all he could get out with blood and they're like Oh, clean it up, and he literally cleaned up the Yo, entire crime scene. Yes, so custodian, like Peyton just said, he did a language barrier. Couldn't tell the school officials how brutal the scene actually looked. So the crime scene was actually cleaned before anyone who can realize that colleen was missing or anything. I believe there were like two to three droplets of blood left and an earring of colleen so they could find but other than that the crime scene was totally destroyed. And like that's insane because like he tried to tell someone and like the officials were just like, Oh, just clean it up because like like his English wasn't that good. So I mean like they got out blood and like if you're like Oh, blood, it's just like clean it up. But like they didn't realize like how severe it was because he couldn't get that across to them. Yeah, when he testified at trial he said it it looks like a blood bath, like something out of the Psalm movies. It was I can't even imagine. That had to be so terrifying for him to walk in on to so at thirty pm again, remember he was...

...seen exiting the school. At four h five Chisolm goes to the Hollywood hits movie theater and watches a Woody Allen movie. We don't like Woody Allen in this house, but a film named Blue Jasmine. And at thirty four PM, about two hours after that movie had started, his mother, Diana, would call Danvers police to report him missing. At Nine PM, the Danvers high school principal, named Sue Ambra Zavovich, sends a mass email to all of the school faculty and staff informing them that Philip Chisholm was missing. Around the same time that principle gets a call from another math teacher who says that colling Ritzer is also missing. So we're going to skip ahead to the next day. Here, October twenty three, at thirty in the morning. So just minutes after the day had started, Chisholm is picked up by police in tafs field and neighboring town, who recognized him as the missing child sought by Danvers police. A pat down was performed when he was located and both a knife and a box cutter covered in blood were found. When the cop asked Chisholm whose blood he was covered in, he stated, quote, the girls like they just are like, Oh, who's blood is that? The girls like no, shame, did not try to hide it at all. was just like yeah, it's hers. And I know his immediate confession knows, or shows that he knows was what he was doing was wrong. He is just evil. In the early morning hours of October twenty three, I can't get exactly what time or I couldn't find that online, but I know it's between thirty am and three Am. The principle and police search the school and discover that colling Rizer's car is still in the parking lot, but all of her personal belongings are missing from her classroom. Around zero in the morning, Ritzer's body will be found in the woods near the school. It was clear that she had been positioned, she was face up and there was a tree branch that had been used to sexually assault her still inside of her. Her throat was slit and an autopsy would later reveal that she had been stabbed in additional sixteen times, and actually her throat had been slit twice, because the first time that Philip tried, he felt he was not successful, so he did it a second time just to be sure. On top of all of this, a crumpled up note saying, quote, I hate you all and quote, was found near the scene, along with the bin that ritzers body had been transported in, as well as the blood stained gloves that schism had been wearing during the crime. Although he was only fourteen years old, Chisolm be tried as an adult under Massachusetts law, which I was a bit conflicted on how to feel about this, but I think with this severity, this crime included sexual assault and obvious attempts to hide what he did. Another sexual assault once he got the body into the woods and so many stab wounds. Again, I think this man, boy man, now a boy at the time, is just evil and really deserves to be tried at the absolute extent of the law. The Massachusetts Has Phillips Attorneys argued that he must have been suffering from some sort of extreme mental illness, or at least Taben at the time in order to carry out such a horrible crime at only the age of fourteen. However, prosecutors would argue that his actions leading up to the murder...

...revealed that Chisum not only knew what he was doing, but had planned it out well in advance. If you'll remember, he packed a kill kit the morning before school and he waited in Ritzer's classroom after school until she headed to the bathroom, where he knew she would be alone and vulnerable, and he began his attack. While Philip wasn't custody in a psychiatric hospital during his trial, he would actually attack one of the young female staff members that was working in his area. He watched as she entered a restroom, which seems to be his mo I guess, and when he was confident that other staffers in the area were distracted, he kicked off his shoes so as not to make a sound and he crab walked to the bathroom so that he would not be seen. Once in the restroom with her, he began choking her so tightly that she was not even able to scream, and she was finally only able to make a sound when she knocked one of his hands away and he began punching her repeatedly in the face. Luckily, the sound that she had made was loud enough to alert fellow staffers in time for them to rush in and detained Philip and save her life. And again, Philip would claim that the reason he attacked colleen was because she mentioned the state Tennessee, which is, if you'll remember, where he had moved from and where his father had stayed when his mother left him. But but, like he packed a hit the day of yeah, literally, he packed a kill kit and he also killed, or he didn't kill, he tried to kill this woman and say had never made any mention of Tennessee. So like, uh, he scares me so much, Dude. That's insane. Like it's just because it's like, Oh, she mentioned like Tennessee, that's why I killed her. But like, he packed a kill kit before she even mentioned Tennessee, so it's and almost killed a staff member while he was getting help, the same way that he never even talked to. What is the truth? What is the truth? In February of two thousand and sixteen, a little less than three years after committing the murder, Philip chism would be sentenced to twenty five years for Collins murder and at least forty years for her rape and the robbery of the possessions he took off of her body. The sentences are to be served concurrently, meaning that he is serving them at the same time. Since Philip was fourteen years old at the time of the crime, he'll be fifty four years old before he is eligible for parole, which I must say, I hope he never gets. And I also think that in the American justice system, where rapist or so often just kind of slapped on the wrist, it's interesting that he got twenty five years for killing her and forty years for raping her. I mean, it's really good that he got all that time, but like what he got less for killing he got less for killing her when people have gotten, like life for having marijuana, live literally M and again. He should have gotten those sentences. He should. I mean he should have gotten longer for killing her, but it's just and I was interesting that, as a young black boy, he got so much time for rape when Brock Turner got two months. It's interesting. will say he deserved it, but it's interest sing all, brock was also a white teenager. Yes, well, no, he's like in college. So like that, but that just shows how he literally white rich boy two months. I hate our freaking system so much. Makes no sense, no sense at if we're going to give this rapist forty years, we should give all rapists forty years. But that's...

...just me. That's tea. So collings family, out of the kindness of their hearts, has set up the calling Ritzer Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships to graduating high school students and the Danvers and and over Massachusetts area that show an interest and a passion for education, just like colling had at that age. You can visit www dot calling ritzer scholarshipcom to learn more about calling her family the scholarship, and there's also a donation link should you feel moved to give to this more than worthy cause. As always, I will link our sources in the show notes. I want to thank my literal best friend of all time for joining me on this episode again. This is a case that is fascinated me for about four years now. I'm so excited to be able to have told calling s story. I hope I did her and her family proud. I want to send all of my love and prayers to them and, as always, make sure that you lock your doors.

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