A “KILLER CLOWN” claimed the life of Marlene Warren in May 1990 in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The case remained unsolved for more than 25 years, but in 2023 a plea deal was reached with the killer, who also happens to be her husband Michael Warren’s second wife.
Who is Marlene Warren’s husband Michael?
In 1990, Marlene Warren was living in Florida with her husband Michael Warren.
At the time, Michael ran a used car business and rental agency, which is how he met his second wife, Sheila Keen Warren, who owned an auto repo business, according to ABC News.
After Marlene’s death, Michael spent almost four years in prison on racketeering and odometer tampering charges, then married Sheila in 2002 and moved to Abingdon, Virginia to open The Purple Cow, a fast food restaurant in Kingsport, Tennessee.
At this point, further details about Michael’s personal life are unclear.
Who Killed Marlene Warren?
The case of Marlene’s death quickly went cold but was later reopened in 2014 by Palm Beach County authorities.
Then, in 2017, Sheila was accused of dressing up as a clown and killing Marlene after DNA evidence linked her to the getaway car, according to CBS News.
At the time, her husband 20/20 said she was “falsely accused.”
“This is very serious and very unfair,” Michael told ABC News.
Despite Michael’s reassurance of his wife’s innocence, Sheila, who had been in prison since 2017 and awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April 2023.
“Sheila Keen Warren was finally forced to admit that she was the one who dressed up as a clown and took the life of an innocent victim,” Palm Beach County Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement via CBS News.
“She will be a convicted murderer for the rest of her life.”
CBS News reports that the plea deal Sheila agreed to could see her released from prison within a year.
At this time, further details about Sheila’s case have not been released.
Did Marlene Warren have children?
In addition to a husband, Marlene also left a son, Joe Ahrens.
Not much is known about Joe’s personal life, but in May 2022 he sat down with WPTV and spoke about his mother’s death.
“I was so closed inside,” he said. “I wouldn’t talk. I couldn’t talk. But now I’m ready.”
Joe was home with his mother and friends on the day of the attack and remembered it was a “normal morning,” but that quickly changed when they heard a knock on the door.
“We were pretty much all together right outside the door, and [Marlene] answered,” he explained.
When Marlene opened the door, she faced a person in a clown costume holding balloons and flowers.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators said the clown then pulled out a gun and shot her twice in the face before “calmly” walking back to her car.
“I was stumped,” said Joe. “I just felt my heart and soul being ripped out of my body.
“…My mother was an angel,” he added. “We were best friends … I look at myself and I still see her in me, the eyes, the smile.”