Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fatal Attraction Murder Case

Death Scene

At 11:42 p.m. the phone rang at the Village of Scarsdale Police Department on White Plains Road. The dispatcher picked up the call and glanced at the clock. It was several minutes before the change of tour.

"Scarsdale Police," he said.

"It's my wife! I think she's dead! I need help. My name is Paul Solomon. She's not moving. She's covered with blood! Please hurry!" The man was frantic. But Solomon had called the wrong police department. The Scarsdale Ridge Apartments were actually located in Greenburgh. The dispatcher notified the Greenburgh Police who dispatched patrol units to the scene.

Greeenburgh Police Department
Greeenburgh Police Department

When the cops arrived, they found Paul Solomon extremely distraught. He was nervous, excited and looked very scared. "I got home, the first thing I heard was the TV on very loud. I walked into the living room. The lights were out. I noticed that Betty Jeanne was on the floor. I assumed she was asleep," Solomon said later. "I touched her and she was cold. I went and turned the lights on. I turned her over and there was blood. I thought she had fallen and hit her head."

The police surveyed the room before them. Lying on the living room floor in a wide pool of fresh blood, her head away from the door, was the body of Betty Jeanne Solomon. She was laying face down and appeared to have been shot several times. There were obvious bullet holes in her back and leg. The room was apparently undisturbed and there were no signs of any type of struggle. The furniture and fixtures were intact. There was no forced entry through any of the doors or the windows. Nothing was stolen from the apartment. The television was still on and the volume was turned up. A telephone receiver was lying on the floor just out of reach of Betty Jean's hand. The telephone jack was unplugged from the wall.

Detective Sgt. Tommy Lind and Detective Richard Constantino of the Greenburgh Police Department soon arrived and began the tedious job of note taking and conducting interviews. Within minutes, the forensic team entered the apartment and began to process the scene. They took photographs, completed a diagram of the crime scene and dusted the area for latents. Sgt. Lind found Solomon sitting in the living room of a neighbor's apartment. When he asked Solomon what his movements were before he came home, Solomon recited everything he did. But he left out one important point. At first, he did not mention that he met Carolyn at the Treetops.

Det. Richard Constantino (Mark Gado)
Det. Richard
Constantino
(Mark Gado)

Det. Constantino, 33, was a 10-year veteran in 1989 and already a detective for several years. Although he had assisted in other death and homicide investigations, this would be the first murder case in which he would be the lead investigator. After a few minutes at the scene, Constantino immediately suspected Solomon. "When a wife is murdered and the body is found by the husband and he's the last person to see her alive, what would anyone think?" he said in a recent interview. "And statistically, in the majority of the cases, it's the husband," he added. Although they did not like all of Solomon's answers, Constantino and Lind made note of his oral statements. Solomon was distraught but continued to answer all the questions. In the meantime, the forensic team had located six .25-caliber shell casings on the living room floor. A superficial examination of Betty Jeanne's body revealed that she had been shot at least eight times. Later, Solomon agreed to give a formal written statement.

At the police station, detectives went over every detail of Solomon's movements prior to arriving home. He then told the cops he did not come straight home after visiting the bowling alley. He said that he met Carolyn Warmus at a restaurant in Yonkers and had dinner. Solomon outlined his relationship with Carolyn for the past year. He told them about the Treetops date, the clandestine meetings, love notes at the job and telephone calls to his home.

And, by the way, Solomon said, he almost forgot to mention that after the Treetops dinner, he did have sex with Carolyn in her car while they were in the parking lot.
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