Sheila Keen is accused of dressing as a clown and shooting Marlene Warren in 1990

By Char Adams
September 27, 2017 05:12 PM
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A 54-year-old Virginia woman is finally behind bars nearly 30 years after she allegedly dressed as a clown and shot her boyfriend’s wife in the head in Florida – a case dubbed the “Killer Clown.”

Sheila Keen Warren was arrested in Washington County, Virginia, on Tuesday after a grand jury indicted her on a first-degree murder charge in August, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The arrest comes 27 years after Keen Warren allegedly put on an orange wig and white face paint and headed to Marlene Warren’s Wellington home with flowers, two balloons and a gun, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Marlene Warren
| Credit: Palm Beach Post

She allegedly shot Marlene in the face and took off in a White Chrysler LeBaron. Marlene died days later at a local hospital.

“I didn’t think that it would ever happen; there’s always hope, but I’d prefer to have her instead,” Marlene’s mother, 87-year-old Shirley Twing, told the Sentinel. “It feels good that they found [the killer], but it’s taking me back to the memory of it and it’s kind of hard. I feel like crying now, but I’m glad it’s over.”

Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

The killing rocked the Florida village and left local children afraid of clowns, the Palm Beach Post reports.

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The killer was initially described as looking like Bozo the Clown
| Credit: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty
Credit: Sherman Zent/The Palm Beach Post

Investigators said they believed that Keen Warren was having an affair with Marlene’s husband, Michael Warren, according to the Post. Before her death, Marlene, told her family that she wanted to leave Michael, but was afraid that he would kill her.

“It was also learned that Sheila Keen had married Michael Warren, Marlene Warren’s husband, in 2002,” police said in the statement. “Both had been living in Tennessee operating a restaurant together.”

In the wake of the killing, police discovered several connections between Michael and Keen Warren. She worked for Michael’s car dealership and several people told police that they had been having an affair, according to the Sentinel. They took long lunches together and Michael even began paying the woman’s rent after she separated from her husband in January 1990.

Police also learned that Keen Warren had allegedly purchased a clown costume, makeup, an orange wig and red nose two days before the killing, according to the publication. Store clerks picked her out of a lineup and police found fibers from a bright, orange wig in Keen Warren’s home.

Still, the case remained unsolved and reopened the investigation in 2014.