Carolyn Warmus Talks Brain Tumor Saga: “I Will Never Be Back to What I Was”

What happened to Carolyn Warmus’ face? The woman, convicted of a 1989 murder, explained her medical issues in ‘The Fatal Attraction Murder.’


Jun. 25 2022, Published 12:38 p.m. ET

If you’ve caught The Fatal Attraction Murder on Oxygen, you might have noticed that the right side of Carolyn Warmus’ face seems to be partly paralyzed. As Carolyn explains in the two-part special, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has gone under the knife multiple times for brain surgeries, face surgeries, and eye surgeries.

And in case you’re unfamiliar with Carolyn’s story, the former teacher spent 27 years in prison after being found guilty of the 1989 murder of her lover’s wife.

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The Fatal Attraction Killer covers not just Carolyn’s medical saga but also her fight for exoneration. “Throughout the in-depth special, Warmus, who never testified in her own defense on the advice of her counsel, shares her truth,” Oxygen says. “With no physical evidence to support her guilt, those who investigated the case and worked to secure her conviction offer the circumstantial evidence that led to Warmus’ sentence. … Viewers are left to decide for themselves if justice was ultimately served.”

Carolyn Warmus thought she might die in prison after being diagnosed with a “massive” brain tumor.

Carolyn had been diagnosed with a brain tumor by the time CNN revisited her case — and her assertion of innocence — in a 2017 profile. “I’m sitting here in prison for 25 years, and may end up dying shortly in prison and not see the light of day again,” she told CNN at the time.

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In The Fatal Attraction Killer, Carolyn says she had been in Bedford Hill Correctional Facility around 24 years when she started getting headaches. “Luckily, relatively speaking, our prison had decent medical care,” she says. “And so that’s when I got the MRI.”

The MRI revealed a “massive brain tumor,” she says. “And then, you know, most surgeons wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot pole because it was so massive, and where it was, and [at] any moment, it could stop my breathing, my heartbeat,” she recalls in the special. “I mean, it was right on top of my brainstem. I mean, it would have affected everything.”

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She wouldn’t admit to the murder, even if it meant getting parole and saving her own life.

In a 2018 interview with Crime Watch Daily, Carolyn said that her symptoms were rapidly gettin worse. “At any time I could stop breathing and swallowing and having a heartbeat — in essence, die,” she said.

She was initially reluctant to undergo surgery while incarcerated, and she told Crime Watch Daily she wouldn’t admit to the crime to ensure her parole and potentially save her own life. “I am definitely not accepting responsibility for the crime, by any means, for certain,” she said.

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Carolyn Warmus now says she “will never be able to do” what she used to do before her many surgeries.

In The Fatal Attraction Killer, Carolyn says that she found one surgeon who’d operate on her and then send her to two to three months of inpatient rehab. “And so we all thought I was going to go in and come out and everything was going to be great,” she adds. “And needless to say, that is not what happened. The first surgery was not a total success, and I needed all this rehab, and I needed more surgeries, and I was having complications, and I was being rushed to the emergency room.”

She also reveals she’s had many more operations since. “I’ve already had five brain surgeries and then eye surgeries and face surgeries and everything else,” she says. “It’s like Humpty Dumpty being put back together again, but I will never be back to what I was, and I will never be able to do what I used to do.”

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