Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fatal Attraction Murder Case

The Investigation Goes On and On

Police later confirmed Solomon's alibi. "We checked into his story and though he was a little off on his times, he was substantially accurate," Constantino said. Workers at the Treetops confirmed that Solomon and Warmus were drinking at the bar and having dinner. Originally, detectives were strongly in favor of Paul Solomon as the most likely suspect. It was difficult to abandon the notion of the "philandering husband kills annoying wife so he can be with his girlfriend" theory. But in this case, investigators found that Solomon's explanation of his movements on the night of the murder were, for the most part, truthful.

A few days later, Carolyn Warmus was asked to come into the police department for an interview. "We figured we might as well keep talking to her as long as she didn't object. I called her on the phone and asked her to come in and she was very nice. She said 'sure, I'll be right over,'" Constantino recalled. "She came into the police station, I said 'Carolyn, how are you?' She said fine and then said she didn't want to talk anymore without a lawyer. We had to let her go at that point," he said.

Constantino, not totally convinced of her innocence, plowed ahead in the investigation. Police also speculated that Betty Jeanne was the target of a professional hit, a victim of a burglary gone badly or an aborted sex crime. But one by one, these theories were discarded and investigators were forced back to square one. By spring 1989, progress had come to a halt. "In around March of that year, we were at a dead-end. It looked like we had nowhere to turn," Constantino recently said. Detectives interviewed and re-interviewed everyone connected to the case with little to show for it. At times, it seemed there was nothing left to investigate.

In April, investigators turned their attention to the phone records of Carolyn Warmus. These records were obtained through subpoena and soon, detectives began to examine each and every call made by Warmus from her Manhattan apartment during the critical period before and after the murder. Constantino spent "all of April and May examining the phone records every single day." One of the phone numbers on the list belonged to a Vincent Parco, a private investigator from Manhattan. Carolyn made many phone calls to Parco both before and after the day of Betty Jeanne's murder. When detectives questioned Parco, he told them that Carolyn was a former client of his and she had hired him to check on a previous boyfriend. The work was performed and although Parco did no other work for her, Carolyn continued to call from time to time to say hello. This didn't sit well with investigators who suspected there was more to the Parco-Warmus relationship than friendly phone chats. "We talked to Parco several times, each time, he changed his story," Constantino said.

Parco, perhaps seeing a future for himself that could include jail, eventually decided to expand on his original statement. He said that shortly before Betty Jeanne was killed, Carolyn had asked him where she could get a gun. She said she wanted it for protection and was very adamant about it. "Almost every time that I saw her she became fairly persistent as far as asking me to acquire a firearm for her," Parco later said at trial. Carolyn also wanted a silencer for the weapon. "She became persistent about getting a silencer for the firearm," he later testified. Although he refused to get the weapon for her at first, Parco told detectives that in early January of 1989, he finally relented and sold her a .25-caliber automatic fitted with a silencer for $2,500. The weapon was originally a gift that Parco had received from a friend. He later sent the gun over to another friend in Brooklyn, George Peters, who manufactured a silencer for the weapon.

When detectives visited Peters at his machine shop in Brooklyn, he admitted he manufactured a silencer for the .25-caliber handgun. He also said that before he returned the Beretta to Parco, he test fired the gun by putting a few rounds into a block of wood. When detectives later conducted a search of his workshop, they found a single spent .25-caliber shell casing underneath a table. Westchester County Lab technicians performed a comparison between that casing and the casings found on the floor next to Betty Jeanne. The casings were a perfect match. Constantino was elated. "The .25 Beretta automatic that Parco gave to Peters to fit for a silencer and he later sold to Carolyn Warmus, was the same weapon that was used to kill Betty Jeanne," he said.

The walls were closing in on Carolyn.
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