Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fatal Attraction Murder Case

The Night of the Murder

Greenburgh is a small town located about 20 miles north of New York City in the affluent county of Westchester. It is a wealthy suburb where many business professionals both live and work. Though the community has areas of secluded and expensive homes, parts of Greenburgh are adjacent to the City of Yonkers, which runs along a major artery called Central Avenue. That thoroughfare is an extremely busy road where thousands of cars and trucks pass daily. Hundreds of stores and dozens of strip malls line Central Avenue from the Yonkers line on the south all the way to its northern border with the City of White Plains. There are also many condominium complexes and stylish town homes that are set back from the hustling pace of the street. They have trendy names like Mountainview and Forest Edge that present the illusion of peaceful enclaves and tranquil villages to potential buyers. Such a place was the Scarsdale Ridge Apartments where an elementary school teacher, Paul Solomon, 41, lived with his wife and child in 1989. Of course, the apartments weren't actually located in Scarsdale but to have the name associated with one's address carries a certain level of prestige. Scarsdale is one of the richest and most desirable communities in America.

Scarsdale Ridge Apartments
Scarsdale Ridge Apartments

Solomon was of Lebanese descent and had the classical "Mediterranean look," dark complexion, dark hair and brown eyes. He had a medium build, neither too fat nor too thin, and in 1989, he had an abundance of thick, overflowing hair. That year, Paul Solomon grew a full beard that made him appear older than his years. He was less than average height at 5'7" and at times, he appeared even shorter than he was. But he felt that women found him attractive and over the years, had several relationships outside his marriage. His wife, Betty Jeanne Solomon, 40, worked as a financial manager in a nearby community. They had a daughter, Kristan, 14, who had an interest in sports. Like many marriages, the Solomons had their problems but they remained together. "We had our ups and downs, but I still loved her," he later told the court.

Paul Solomon (AP)
Paul Solomon

On the afternoon of Sunday, January 15, 1989, Paul and Betty Jeanne were home together watching television reruns. Kristan was away on a weekend ski trip with friends. Paul had no plans that night other than to relax in front of the television and catch up on some reading. At 1:37 p.m., the phone rang in the kitchen. When Paul answered it, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was another teacher who he had worked with in the past. They met in 1987 when she arrived at the Greenville School as a new teacher. They were immediately attracted to each other and soon, they were sleeping together. She was only 25 years old and Paul found her youth exciting and inspiring. She had fluffy blonde hair, large oval eyes and a trim, sexy body that turned every man's head. "It's very hard to resist Carolyn," he said months later in court. Although she was possessive and unpredictable, Paul liked her outgoing, fun-loving personality. Her name was Carolyn Warmus.

Carolyn Warmus (AP)
Carolyn Warmus

During the 55-minute phone call, Carolyn expressed disappointment that Paul didn't take her out for her birthday a week before. Soon, they made arrangements to meet later that night. The rendezvous was the Treetops restaurant located at a Holiday Inn hotel on Central Avenue about six miles south of Scarsdale Ridge Apartments. They had dinner at the same place several times before so there was no need for directions. They agreed on 7:30 p.m. and said their good-byes. When Paul confronted Betty Jeanne in the living room, he told her that he was going bowling that night.

Later that afternoon or perhaps early evening, Paul hooked up a battery charger to his car, a 1983 Toyota Celica, in the garage. A battery charger typically requires a few hours to fully charge. Until then, the car would be disabled. He would have to take his wife's car, a 1988 Dodge. At about 6:30 p.m., Paul Solomon drove off, leaving Betty Jeanne safely inside the apartment alone, while he went to meet his girlfriend.

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