Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Fatal Attraction Murder Case

The Telephone Tells All

To police investigators, phone records are a treasure trove of information. Phone numbers and the times of calls can lead to bigger and better things in any investigation. Constantino immediately looked for calls made on January 15, 1989. "I found calls were made from Carolyn's apartment several times on that date," he said. Parco was called on many occasions, both before and after the day of Betty Jeanne's murder. But Constantino noticed another call made at 3:02 p.m. on January 15. It was a Jersey telephone number and when he ran it through the Cole's reverse directory, which contains listings by phone numbers instead of names, Constantino found that the call was made to a gun store.

"It was called Ray's Sport Shop in North Plainfield, New Jersey," he said. North Plainfield is located about twenty miles west of Manhattan. "Me and Investigator John "O.D." O'Donnell from Westchester County D.A.s Office, drove out there to talk to the owner." At the store, Constantino and O.D. reviewed the purchase records for the day of Betty Jeanne's murder. They found several sales of .25-caliber ammunition. Men from the New Jersey area made three of the purchases. "But only one was a female. And she wasn't local, she was from Long Island," Constantino remembered. "We immediately thought: Why would someone from Long Island drive all the way out to New Jersey to buy .25-caliber ammunition?" he said. Her name was listed on the records as Liisa Kattai and according to store records, she used her New York State driver's license as an I.D.

"We drove out to talk with her and when she opened the door, she refused to talk with us at first," Constantino said. "But when we told her it was a homicide investigation, she told us her story. Kattai said that she never purchased any ammunition at Ray's Sport Shop and had never been there. She said that she worked at a summer job where her license was either lost or stolen. She had reported the loss and received a duplicate license from the Department of Motor Vehicles, which she showed to the detectives. And one more thing, she told them, during her summer employment, she worked with another woman named Carolyn Warmus.

"We couldn't believe our ears!" Constantino said. The police now had Warmus's phone records, which showed that a call was made to a gun store in Jersey a few hours before the murder. The gun store had a record of a purchase of the same type of handgun ammunition that killed Betty Jeanne Solomon by a female and the buyer used the stolen license of a woman who knew and worked with Carolyn Warmus. It was almost too good to be true.
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