January 8, 1964 |
|Education||Master Degree in Elementary Education|
|Alma mater||Teachers College, Columbia University|
|Occupation||Former elementary school teacher|
|Criminal charge||• Second degree murder,
• Illegal-possession of a firearm
|Criminal penalty||• Murder: 25 years to life in prison
• Firearm: 5 to 15 years (concurrently)
|Conviction(s)||• Second degree murder: May 1992,
• Illegal-possession of a firearm: May 1992
|Victims||Betty Jeanne Solomon|
|Date||January 15, 1989|
|Weapons||.25 caliber Beretta pistol w/silencer|
|Imprisoned at||Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women
Received: June 29, 1992
Carolyn Warmus (born January 8, 1964) is a former elementary schoolteacher, with a master's degree in Elementary Education, who at the age of 28 was convicted of the 1989 murdering of her then lover's wife 40-year-old Betty Jeanne Solomon. She is currently serving a 25 years to life sentence for this murder. After a hung jury at her first trial, in 1991, she was convicted of Second degree murder and Illegal-possession of a firearm at her second trial in 1992.
She is an inmate at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, Westchester County, New York. During her incarceration she has received multiple affirmed disciplinary events, these affirmations were referenced during her first parole denial in early 2017, she will be eligible for parole again in the summer of 2018.
Warmus has claimed her innocence from day one of her arrest. In 2017, she is arguing that the glove evidence discovered, by her ex-lover Paul Solomon, between the first and second trial should be retested for DNA as this would prove her innocence. As of October 2017 the glove has not been tested.
The murder case attracted national media attention and led to comparisons of the 1987 American psychological thriller movie Fatal Attraction, about a love affair that lead to murder. The Warmus murder went on to inspire two made for television movies, six different episodes across multiple television broadcasters and at least one book.
Carolyn Warmus was born in Troy, Michigan and grew up in Birmingham, Michigan, an affluent suburb of Detroit. Her father Thomas A. Warmus was a self-made millionaire who accumulated his fortune in the insurance business. He owned his own business named American Way Life Insurance Company of Southfield, Michigan. In 1989 Thomas' companies assets were estimated at $150 million. At this time, he owned eight jets, two yachts, estates in Florida, Arizona, Michigan and New York along with fifteen cars.
In 1970, her mother Elizabeth filed for divorce and after two years won custody of the children, Warmus had two younger siblings. The divorce decree was handed down when she was eight years old.
Warmus received good grades, played basketball and graduated from Seaholm High School Birmingham, Michigan. In 1981, she enrolled at the University of Michigan. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Warmus moved to New York City. Soon after, she earned a master's degree in elementary education from Teachers College, Columbia University and landed a job in September 1987 at the Greenville Elementary in Scarsdale, New York. Here she met colleague, mentor, and soon-to-be lover Paul Solomon, a fifth grade teacher, along with his family, wife Betty Jeanne and daughter Kristan.
Crime and investigation
Early in the evening of January 15, 1989, a New York Telephone operator received a call from a woman in distress. When the call was abruptly disconnected, she alerted police, but they found nothing because the reverse directory had an incorrect address. At 11:42pm, the body of Betty Jeanne Solomon was found in the family's Greenburgh condominium by her husband. She had been pistol-whipped about the head and had nine bullet wounds in her back and legs.
The investigation initially focused on Paul Solomon, whose alibi was he had stopped briefly at a local bowling alley to see friends and then spent the evening with Warmus at the Treetops Lounge in the Holiday Inn in Yonkers. Once Warmus and Solomon left the lounge, they went to her car and had sexual relations. When Warmus and additional witnesses confirmed his alibis, detectives turned their attention elsewhere. As did Solomon, who broke off his relationship with Warmus and became involved with a new girlfriend also a teacher Barbara Ballor.
Police suspicions shifted to Warmus when she began to relentlessly pursue Solomon, including following him and Ballor to Puerto Rico and calling the woman's family in an effort to end the relationship. When investigators gained information that Warmus had obtained a .25 caliber Beretta pistol with a silencer shortly before the murder, Detective Richard Constantino checked calls made from Warmus' home phone on January 15. He discovered one made at 3:02pm was to Ray’s Sport Shop in North Plainfield, New Jersey. The store's records indicated the only female to purchase .25-caliber ammunition that day was Liisa Kattai from Long Island. When questioned, Kattai denied ever being in the shop or buying ammunition. Further investigation determined that Kattai's driver's license had been lost or stolen while she was employed at a summer job, where one of her co-workers was Warmus. Police now had enough evidence to make an arrest.
Trials and convictions
On February 2, 1990, Warmus was indicted on the charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Her first trial began January 14, 1991, at the Westchester County Courthouse, with David Lewis as her attorney.
Solomon testified at her first trial, and received immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony. He said he met Warmus in the fall of 1987 at an elementary school in Greenburgh. Soon after meeting they became sexually involved. The following spring, he said, he wanted to end the unfaithful relationship. "I said, 'Carolyn, you know we're not going to be able to see each other in the summer'" he testified. He went on to testify "She was upset. She cried. She said, 'Life's not worth living without you.' I said, 'Carolyn, don't be over dramatic.'" During the first trial the defense asserted that Paul Solomon and the gun seller (a private investigator) tied heavily to the case should have been tried for the murder instead of Warmus.
The trial lasted nearly three months, and after twelve days of deliberations, the jury came back deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of conviction but unable to arrive at the required unanimous verdict. The judge declared a mistrial on April 27, 1991.
In January 1992, a second trial began in which prosecutors presented new evidence: a bloody cashmere glove allegedly belonging to Warmus that was photographed and recovered from the crime scene. Warmus' attorney questioned why the glove, which was found by Paul Solomon in a closet between the first and second trial, was allowed as evidence. Arguing that the prosecution failed to provide definitive proof that the glove was Warmus' nor that is was the same glove as the one pictured in the crime scene photographs. The judge allowed the glove to stand as evidence in the case. The defense continued to press its argument that Solomon was trying to frame Warmus for the murder. The jury deliberated for six days before returning a guilty verdict for second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of weapon on May 27, 1992.
On June 26, 1992, during Warmus' sentencing trial Judge John Carey who presided over both of Warmus' criminal trials, imposed a maximum term of 25 years to life in prison for the conviction of murder in the second degree and the maximum sentence on the weapon count of 5 to 15 years in prison. The weapon sentencing was ruled to be served concurrently. Judge Carey saying she had committed "a hideous act, a most extreme, illegal and wanton murder". Having tears in her eyes, at the defense table, for the first time in both of her trials Warmus spoke in the courtroom:
"I can only ask for leniency because I'm innocent. If I'm guilty of anything at all it was simply being foolish enough to believe the lies and promises that Paul Solomon made to me."— Carolyn Warmus, at sentencing trial (June 1992)
Judge Carey later said "No community which hopes to be bound by the rule of law, can tolerate any such merciless slaughter."
Warmus is incarcerated at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. Under inmate ID#: 92G0987, Warmus' incarceration disciplinary history document was released in January 2017. The document reports eleven tier III and four tier II misconducts, with a total of eleven misconducts being ruled as affirmed. Warmus had her first parole hearing on January 9, 2017, she was represented in the state appellate court by attorney Mayer Morganroth. She was denied parole in January 2017 and is eligible to reapply in July, 2018.
In 2004, Warmus filed a federal lawsuit against the New York State Department of Correctional Services, claiming to have been sexually abused by prison guards. Warmus stated that she had been raped and forced to trade sexual favors for basic privileges. The correctional services officer, Lt. Glenn Looney, was arraigned in the town of Bedford Court on April 15, 2004 on a charge of second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. Warsum backed her claim by providing prison officials his semen that she had kept refrigerated in plastic. In 2008, Warmus received $10,000 from the Department of Correctional Services in settlement of the lawsuit.
The day sentencing was delivered, in the courthouse lobby, William I. Arnold, Warmus' lawyer, announced a reward of $250,000 from her affluent Michigan family for any information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the murder of 40-year-old Mrs. Solomon. Mrs. Solomon's sister, Joyce Green, thrashed the reward offer as "bogus" and said the evidence against Warmus, who the prosecutors noted was obsessed with Mr. Solomon, was strong. Ms. Green said she would have favored a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Following the first trial of Carolyn Warmur, local community arguments commenced concerning Paul Solomon's keeping of his position as a teacher. Solomon testified in court to having multiple extramarital affairs, inclusive of the affair with fellow teacher, Warmus. A local resident, who lived in the community for 37 years, Leon Leighton, an 88 year old lawyer, sent a letter to 100 citizens requesting they pressure the school board asking them to terminate Solomon's employment. Leighton has said "'What he has done is immoral' and allowing Solomon to stay in the classroom would be 'An unforgivable outrage to the integrity of our school system and a body blow to our property values.'" In September 1991 Solomon was removed from classroom duties and was assigned non-teaching duties. His removal was an amicable decision in coordination with Solomon, the school board and the principal of the Greenville Elementary School.
Warmus entered court on November 17, 2016 to argue about legal fees with her former appeals lawyer, Julia Heit whom she is suing for malpractice. Warmus claims Heit falsely managed her appeal, in part, by not testing DNA. She is seeking that the lawyer return $80,000 in fees and hand over an additional $320,000 in total compensation.
In popular culture
The Court TV (now TruTV) website documenting high-profile criminal acts Crime Library published a 17 chapter story The Fatal Attraction Murder authored by Mark Gado. Summary: Every husband with thoughts of two-timing on his wife shaked when he saw actress Glenn Close as the insane girlfriend in the movie "Fatal Attraction." In 1989, a true life "Fatal Attraction" stormed into New York media headlines in a horrific combination of sex, obsession and murder. Beautiful and manic possessor Carolyn Warmus goes after her lover, Paul Solomon and ultimately murders his wife.
In March 1990, New York Magazine published a detalied, ten page (pp. 50–60) article LOVE & DEATH A Quiet Westchester Suburb Is Shattered By a Real-Life 'Fatal Attraction' by Eric Pooley. Joyce Green, Betty Jeans sister, shares her view of events prior to her sisters passing. The article covers Paul Solomon's Svengali effect on Warmus and how he welcomed Warmus to spend time with his wife and daughter. The article also hosts multiple images centered on Warmus and the Solomons.
Author Mike Gallagher released the book Lovers of Deceit: Carolyn Warmus and the "Fatal Atraction". The writing covers the shooting of her lover's wife in cold blood and recounts the circumstances leading up to and during the trial, published: 1 May 1993, LCCN 92040725.
The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) channel released the made for television documentary drama movie The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story, aired: 4 October 1992. While based partly on Paul Solomon's version of events, he refused to have his name used in the film.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) channel released the documentary drama movie A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story, aired: 13 September 1992, LCCN 95520695. In this filming, Paul Salomon allowed for his name to be used and cooperated with the production company.
The Cable News Network (CNN) produced a CNN Special Report, episode "Fatal Attraction or Fatal Mistake?: The Carolyn Warmus Story", aired: 4 August 2017. The report detailed Warmus' belief that DNA on the cashmere glove evidence presented at the second trial could exonerate her if the court were to allow its retesting. Paul Solomon declined to be interviewed by CNN for this special report.
Investigation Discovery network aired multiple depictions of the Warmus case on the following documentary drama programs:
- Series Scorned: Love Kills episode Teacher, Teacher, season 5; episode 10, aired: 16 May 2015. Betty Jeanne and Paul Solomon relish in a joyful life together in a New York suburb. But when Paul starts an affair with his younger colleague Carolyn, their marriage downgrades and points to his wife's cold-blooded murder.
- Series Deadly Women episode Hearts of Darkness, season 3; episode 6, aired: 24 September 2009, the Warmus case is the second (minute 16) of the three re-enactments. These women ignite their jealousy with madness, their angers are so remorseless they kill to satisfy their jealousy.
- Series Cold Blood, episode Femme Fatale, season 1; episode 4, aired: 12 November 2008. The episode depicts the Warmus homicide investigation in a first-person perspective. The episode highlights the diligent detective work and forensics to show the truth of this murder.
The Oxygen Network crime documentary series that focuses on female criminals Snapped released the episode Carolyn Warmus, season 1; episode 13, aired: 22 October 2004. The episode delves into the evidence gathering against Warmus, focused on how she acquired the firearm and ammunition leading to Betty Jeanne's murder.
The short lived (1993-1995) ABC television news magazine series Day One aired Warmus' first public interview, premiered: 2 August 1993. Warmus was interviewed by broadcast journalist Forrest Sawyer at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
- Glaberson, William (28 May 1992). "Second Trial Convicts Warmus Of Murdering Her Lover's Wife". The New York Times. WHITE PLAINS. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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- Gearty, Robert (28 May 1992). "'Fatal Attraction' killer is found guilty in 1992". NY Daily News. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
... jury foreman Anne Marie Heanue announced the panel had found her guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a dangerous weapon.
- KUNEN, JAMES S. (15 April 1991). "A Dangerous Passion". PEOPLE.com (Vol. 35 No. 14). Time Inc. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
...Parco testified, that he finally sold Warmus, for $2,500 in cash, a Beretta pistol.
- "NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision". nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov. 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
DIN (Department Identification Number) 92G0987
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- Pooley, Eric (19 March 1990). "Love & Death | A Quiet Westchester Suburb Is Shattered by a Real-Life 'Fatal Attraction'". New York Media, LLC. New York Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Brower, Montgomery (26 February 1990). "Death Imitates Art as Police Charge Teacher Carolyn Warmus with a Fatal Attraction Killing – Vol. 33 No. 8". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- McAfee, Melonyce (4 August 2017). "The 'Fatal Attraction' murder revisited". CNN. Cable News Network. CNN. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
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- Atkins, Martha (13 March 1990). "Weekly World News". books.google.com. Weekly World News. p. 3. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
Warmus even followed him and lady friend Barbara Ballor to Puerto Rico
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- Lopez, Linette (21 March 2012). "The Private Eye Testifying In The Millionaire Madam Case Also Played A Role In The 'Fatal Attraction' Murder". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
...back in the late '80s sold a .25 caliber Berretta pistol with a silencer to obsessive Westchester elementary school teacher Carolyn Warmus.
- Fitz-Gibbon, Jorge (24 June 2014). "Crime Scene: Carolyn Warmus' 'Fatal Attraction' case last media craze". Indianapolis Star. USA Today Network. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
But on April 27, 1991 the case ended in a mistrial when the jury remained deadlocked for 12 days.
- Cocker, Catherine (28 April 1991). "Warmus trial ends in hung jury" (pdf). Associated Press. White Plains, N.Y.: Press Republican. p. A-6. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- "Teacher in 'Fatal Attraction' murder gets max". United Press International. WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. 27 June 1992. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- Fitz-Gibbon, Jorge (24 June 2014). "Crime Scene: Carolyn Warmus' 'Fatal Attraction' case last media craze". Wausau Daily Herald. USA Today Network. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
Lacey Spears' murder case recalls media circus that surrounded the Carolyn Warmus 'Fatal Attraction' trial.
- Lieberman, Steve (17 July 2017). "Carolyn Warmus Disciplinary Record". www.documentcloud.org. Bedford Hill Correctional Facility: NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision". pp. 1–3. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
01/17/17 INMATE DISCIPLINARY HISTORY INMATE ID#: 92G0987 LOCATION BEDFORD HILL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
- "Carolyn Warmus: Parole Denial 2017". www.documentcloud.org. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Spillane, Matt; Bandler, Jonathan (6 January 2017). "Carolyn Warmus up for parole in 'Fatal Attraction' case". Burlington Free Press. USA Today Network. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
The former schoolteacher, who was convicted of killing her lover's wife in Greenburgh in 1989, will have her first parole hearing next week.
- "Notorious Murders at". Crimelibrary.com. 1992-06-26. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- Lieberman, Steve (17 January 2017). "'Fatal Attraction' killer Carolyn Warmus denied parole in 1989 killing". USA TODAY. Gannett Satellite Information Network. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
To grant your release at this timer would so deprecate the seriousness of your offense as to undermine respect for the law.
- "Carolyn Warmus: Parole Denial 2017". www.documentcloud.org. January 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
Of significant concern is your poor compliance with DOCCS rules as exhibited by your receipt of multiple tier II and tier III violations during this term including your most recent tier III in Sep. 2015.
- Weiss, Murray (19 April 2004). "'FATAL' PRISON AFFAIR – GUARD & WARMUS". New York Post. NYP HOLDINGS, INC. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- STANDORA, LEO (15 August 2008). ""Fatal Attraction" killer wins 10G from state". NY Daily News. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Bedford Inmates Allege Sexual Abuse". Lawcore.com. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- "N.Y. prison guard charged with sex abuse". UPI. NEW YORK: United Press International. 19 April 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
Looney, 48, of upstate Newburgh is the second corrections officer in the past five years to stand accused of having sex with Carolyn Warmus
- Randall, Michael (16 April 2004). "Convicted murderer Warmus is prison guard's accuser". recordonline.com. Bedford: Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
He pleaded not guilty and was released on $500 bail. He is due back in court May 20.
- "News in Brief | Prison Legal News". www.prisonlegalnews.org. Prison Legal News. 15 September 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
This is the second time in five years that Warmus, a wealthy socialite serving time for the murder of her lover's wife in 1991, of having sex with her.
- "Carolyn Warmus, "Fatal Attraction" Killer, Receives $10K from Govt". Groundreport.com. 2008-08-15. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
- SCHRECK, TOM (19 October 2011). "10 Infamous Murders that Took Place in Westchester County" (10/19/2011). Today Media. Westechester Magazine. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Fitz-Gibbon, Jorge (24 June 2014). "Crime Scene: Carolyn Warmus' 'Fatal Attraction' case last media craze". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. USA Today Network. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
In 2006, a state appellate court upheld her conviction. In 2008, she was awarded $10,000 from a federal lawsuit in which she claimed she was sexually abused by prison guards.
- "Woman gets maximum term in `fatal attraction' slaying". Tulsa World. WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.: Tulsa World Media Company. 27 June 1992. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
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- Brozan, Nadine (17 August 1991). "Some Ask if Husband in Love-Triangle Case Is Fit to Teach". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- Feron, James (5 September 1991). "Westchester Teacher Given Different Duties After Trial". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
- Marsh, Julie (7 February 2017). "Ex-lawyer of 'Fatal Attraction' killer quips about film's eeriest scene". New York Post. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
A former attorney for Warmus, whom the convicted killer is suing for malpractice...
- BEKIEMPIS, VICTORIA; ADAMS OTIS, GINGER (17 November 2016). "'Fatal Attraction' killer returns to court, maintaining innocence". NY Daily News. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
Warmus appeared in court Thursday for a dispute over legal fees with her former appeals lawyer.
- "CBS2 Exclusive: Woman Says She's Served 25 Years In Prison For Crime She Didn't Commit". CBS2 Staff. BEDFORD HILLS, (N.Y.): CBS Broadcasting Inc. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
She said she’s also very sick with a brain tumor, and has appealed to Governor Cuomo for clemency ...
- Reif, Carol (9 January 2017). "Convicted Greenburgh 'Fatal Attraction' Killer Warmus Up For Parole". White Plains Daily Voice. WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y.: Daily Voice. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Spillane, Matt (6 January 2017). "Carolyn Warmus up for parole in 'Fatal Attraction' case". lohud.com. USA Today Network. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
..., according to the DOCCS. She hopes she can get out of prison and then have surgery for a brain tumor that was discovered last year, Morganroth said.
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- Susan Butler (6 August 2016). Fatal Attraction: The True Story of Carolyn Warmus: (Booklet) (1st ed.). CreateSpace Publishing. ISBN 9781536941005.
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- "The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story (TV Movie 1992)". m.imdb.com. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
TV Movie | R| 94 min | Thriller
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The CBS movie, based partly on Paul Solomon's version of events, is more willing to accept Ms. Warmus's guilt.
- "A Murderous Affair: The Carolyn Warmus Story". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
Based on a true story, this is the case of Carolyn Warmus, a teacher from Westchester County who was convicted of the murder of her lover's wife.
- Shales, Tom (12 September 1992). "PREVIEWS". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
ABC's Sunday Night Movie, at 9 on Channel 7, stars the photogenic, telegenic, just plain omni-genic Virginia Madsen as Carolyn Warmus, a crazy mixed-up rich lady convicted in 1992 of the 1989 murder of Betty Jeanne Solomon...
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CNN's Kyra Phillips talks with convicted killer Carolyn Warmus about the new questions in her famous "Fatal Attraction" case.
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Warmus has maintained her innocence since the day she was charged with the murder of her married lover's wife. Kyra Phillips investigates
- "CNN SPECIAL REPORT - SEASON 2017, EPISODE 20". watchstreem.com. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
Carolyn Warmus has maintained her innocence since the day she was charged with the murder of her married lover's wife. Kyra Phillips investigates.
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Carolyn Warmus was so desperate for a man's love that she shot his wife nine times.
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The Jan. 15, 1989, murder of Betty Jeanne Solomon is detailed.
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I just can't fathom how having an affair with a married man has gotten me 25-years-to-life in a maximum-security prison . . . It just doesn't make sense," Warmus, 29, told Forrest Sawyer in the interview at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, to be aired tonight on ABC's "Day One.
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