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She was known by loved ones for always giving people the benefit of the doubt and for her far-reaching kindness. Her longtime friends called her B.J.
But after January 15, 1989, Betty Jeanne Solomon became known as the woman shot dead by her husband’s mistress, The New York Times reported in 1991.
Eerie echoes of “Fatal Attraction” — a 1987 thriller about an obsessive affair that turns deadly (for a person and a bunny) — bled into real life and gave the case its evocative nickname. On Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27 at 8/7c, Oxygen takes a deep dive into the unforgettable story in a new multi-part special, “The Fatal Attraction Murder.”
Growing up in Blauvelt, New York, an NYC suburb, Betty Jeanne was the daughter of Jean and Robert Torrey, a salesman, New York Magazine reported in March 1991. The eldest of four kids, she was an outgoing youth.
“My sister was the kind of person who assumed the best about people and then found out the truth when it was too late,” a sibling told New York Magazine.
After graduating from Tappan Zee High School in 1966, Betty Jeanne began studies at SUNY New Paltz. She planned to marry her high school boyfriend, but that changed when the young man died in a car wreck. Instead, in the spring of 1967, she began dating Paul Solomon, another SUNY New Paltz student, according to New York Magazine. One of Betty Jeanne’s friends, who was interviewed in the magazine article, described the new man in her life as “possessive and domineering."
The couple married in 1970 in Nyack, and then moved to Alaska, where Paul was stationed in the Air Force. Their daughter, Kristan, was born in 1973, and they eventually returned to New York, settling in Harrison. Their home was near Paul’s teaching job at the Greenville Elementary School in Edgemont. Betty Jeanne helped pay the bills, as she worked for several years at a local bank before leaving in 1984 for a job as an account executive at a collection agency in Mamaroneck, NY, the outlet reported.
The Solomons then moved into a nicer home in Greenburgh, but the couple had their share of rough patches, family members told New York Magazine. Betty Jeanne even thought about leaving the marriage, but decided to stay, according to the outlet. It was a fatal decision.
In September 1987, Solomon met Carolyn Warmus, a then 23-year-old fellow teacher. The two started up an affair that would have deadly consequences for Betty Jeanne. Betty Jeanne wasn’t even a complete stranger to Warmus — she took Kristan on a skiing trip in 1988, New York Magazine reported.
On January 15, 1989, 18 months into their affair, Solomon and Warmus had drinks at a local establishment, followed by sex in a car. Betty Jeanne, then 40, was dead on the floor when Solomon returned to their Greenburgh home around 11:45 p.m. She’d been shot nine times in the back and arms, the Chicago Tribune reported in 1991.
During the investigation, police initially zeroed in on Paul Solomon as a suspect. But after discovering his relationship with Warmus, their attention turned toward the young woman, who was eventually convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Betty Jeanne. Why did authorities seek to convict Warmus? And where are the players in Betty Jeanne Solomon’s scandalous homicide today?
Find out the answers and more by tuning into “The Fatal Attraction Murder" airing on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27 at 8/7c on Oxygen.
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