‘Killer clown’ shot woman dead and married her husband, say US police

Suspect married alleged victim's husband 12 years after shooting

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 28 September 2017 19:05
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Sheila Keen Warren has been arrested for the murder of Marlene Warren
Sheila Keen Warren has been arrested for the murder of Marlene Warren

US police have arrested a woman they believe dressed as a clown, shot dead the wife of a man she was having an affair with, and later married the man.

In the 27-years since the 1990 murder, no arrests had been made in connection with it until this week when police charged 54-year-old Sheila Keen Warren with first-degree murder.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the woman, known at the time as Sheila Keen, is alleged to have dressed up in an orange wig and white face paint and driven a white Chrysler convertible to the home of Marlene and Michael Warren in Wellington, Virginia.

Ms Warren, 40, answered the door, walking past her 21-year-old son, Joseph Aherns and his friends.

The clown then reportedly handed her red and white carnations and balloons.

Mr Aherns, who spoke about the killing of his mother with the Palm Beach Post in 2000, said he remembered her saying “oh how pretty”.

The clown then pulled out a gun, and shot Ms Warren in the face.

Mr Ahrens was in a cast during the incident due to an earlier car crash. But he told the paper he had made his way to his injured mother and shouted at the clown, prompting the shooter to turn round.

He said he couldn’t remember what, if anything the clown had said, but remembered the clown’s brown eyes.

He then called the emergency services, got the keys to his car and drove off in pursuit of the white Chrysler convertible, but was unable to find it.

At the time of the shooting, his stepfather, Mr Warren, was on the motorway heading to a casino in Miami.

Ms Warren died from her injuries two days later.

The white convertible Chrysler police believe Sheila Keen Warren used in the murder (Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office )

After the killing, police did find an abandoned white Chrysler convertible on Royal Palm Beach, but no DNA evidence, fingerprints, or a weapon were recovered. They also found orange fibres, possibly from the orange clown wig.

Detectives also linked the car back to Mr Warren’s used car business through a stolen car report filed a month before the incident.

Investigators were also told at the time that Mr Warren had been having an affair with Ms Keen, who was 27-years-old at the time and worked at Mr Warren’s car business. They both denied it.

The pair later married in Las Vegas in 2002, 12 years after the shooting.

In addition, salespeople at a costume shop nearby identified Ms Keen as having bought a clown costume days before the shooting.

Salespeople at another shop where the shooter had bought balloons also described a woman who matched Ms Keen’s description.

Ms Warren had apparently told her family that she wanted to leave her husband, but was afraid he would kill her. The couple’s used car company and real-estate portfolio, worth over $1m at the time, were all in her name.

“They were having problems,” Bill Twing, Ms Warren’s stepfather, told the Palm Beach Post in 2000. “If she would’ve left him, it would’ve cost him dearly.”

Despite the numerous connections between the shooter and Sheila Keen, no arrests were ever made in relation to the shooting.

Mr Warren did serve several years in prison following convictions for grand theft, racketeering and odometer tampering at his used car company.

The killing reportedly rocked the village of Wellington, in Washington County, Virginia, and left local children afraid of clowns, the Palm Beach Post said.

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