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Former Rye Mayor John Carey, Judge In 'Fatal Attraction' Murder Trial, Dies

Former Rye Mayor John Carey. Photo Credit: Graham Funeral Home
Former Rye Mayor John Carey. Photo Credit: Graham Funeral Home

John Carey, the former mayor of Rye and longtime judge who presided over the “Fatal Attraction” murder case, died this week, on Monday, Oct. 7, at the age of 95.

Carey began his tenure as a public servant in Rye in 1964 when he was elected to the City Council. A decade later, he took over as Rye’s first Democratic mayor in 1974, serving two terms until 1982.

Carey was also a widely respected scholar of international human rights law. He authored dozens of academic articles and two books, including “UN Protection of Civil and Political Rights”. He also founded United Nations Law Reports and served as editor for half a century.

During his career, Carey was appointed to the United Nations Subcommission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities, a position appointed by both the Democratic and Republican parties, and served for nearly 25 years, from 1964 to 1988.

Following his career as an international lawyer - primarily at Coudert Brothers, one of the first international law firms in the country - Carey served as civil and criminal law judge of the State of New York. After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, he continued as a judicial hearing officer (a part-time judge) for another two decades.

Carey presided over both trials of former Edgemont educator Carolyn Warmus, who was convicted of killing her lover’s wife in a case that garnered national attention and was chronicled in two movies.

Born in Philadelphia in 1924, Carey graduated from Milton Academy in 1942, Yale College in 1945, Harvard Law School in 1949, and, in 1965, earned a Master’s of Law from NYU, where he wrote his thesis under the late Professor Thomas Franck.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of long-time Mayor of the City of Rye, John Carey. John lived a long life of dedication to public service, good governance and to the place that we both called home," Westchester County Executive George Latimer, said in a statement.

Latimer said that flags will be lowered in Rye and throughout Westchester in honor of Carey.

"John came before me on the Rye City Council and was an outstanding Mayor, but through it all he always stayed true to his mission to honorably serve in public office. He will be missed.”

Carey’s granddaughter, Victoria Shenoa Carey, confirmed the news on Facebook.

"I know many have already heard and was waiting for an official post but It is with great sadness to announce but at 3:35 yesterday (October 7th) morning my family and I have lost my precious Grandfather, Honorable John Carey. 06/11/24-10/07/2019,” she posted. “My grandfather was such an amazing man who always put others first and always tried to help everyone.

“He fought till the very end and I’m so proud of you!! I’m not ready for the week ahead but I know my grandfather was met immediately with my Grandmother and Uncle Johnny and Uncle Vic. Just to know he is reunited with the love of his life is giving me so much comfort. It’s been a tough year but I know somehow I will figure this out. Grandpa you were an amazing man, father, brother, uncle, County Court judge, Rye’s mayor, a mediator with the United Nations, the list goes on and on ….”

His wife of 65 years, Patricia Frank Carey, predeceased him, as did their son, John Jr. He is survived by his children, Henry (Chip) Carey and his wife Faye of Decatur, Ga., Jennifer Carey Reichle and her husband Philip of Fredricksburg, Texas, and Douglas Carey of Rye; as well as grandchildren, Shenoa Victoria Carey of Port Chester, John-Henry Carey of New York City, Miho Margaret Carey of New Haven, and Caleb Amariah Reichle and Nathanial John Philip Reichle of Fredericksburg.

A wake will be held at Graham Funeral Home on Friday, Oct. 11 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. A funeral service will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at All Souls Parish Church in Port Chester.

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