NPR

Killer Clown Suspect Arrested 27 Years After Bizarre Slaying

Detectives worked the case for years but couldn't convince prosecutors they had enough evidence. Sheila Keen Warren was arrested at the home she shares with her husband, who was married to the victim.
Detectives believe Sheila Keen Warren was the clown who shot and killed Marlene Warren in Florida in 1990. This photo of Keen Warren was taken after her arrest Tuesday in Abingdon, Va. Source: Washington County (Va.) Sheriff's Office

Before our current era of creepy clowns (and the problems they cause for professional clowns), there was a killer clown who frustrated Florida detectives for nearly three decades.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday they had arrested one of their prime suspects from the start: Sheila Keen Warren.

On May 26, 1990, a woman named Marlene Warren answered the front door at her home, a tony community with a private airstrip. Standing at the door was someone dressed as a clown: red bulb nose, an orange wig and a painted-on smile. The clown held a bouquet of flowers and two balloons — one emblazoned with a picture of Snow White and one that said "You're the Greatest!"

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readSociety
Disabled Woman Who Gave Birth At Care Facility May Have Been Impregnated Before
New medical documents filed on Wednesday say the woman was sexually assaulted multiple times. An exam after the birth of the child in December indicated she may have been pregnant before.
NPR4 min read
A Decade Ago, Suicides Rocked A French Telecom Firm. Now Its Execs Stand Trial
Prosecutors accuse former executives and managers at France Télécom of "moral harassment" or complicity during a major restructuring.
NPR2 min read
South And West Continue Rapid Growth, According To New Population Data
The fastest growing cities are in Arizona, Texas, Washington and North Carolina. Columbus, Ohio, is the only Midwestern city in the top 15 fastest-growing populations.