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

NPR5 min readPolitics
Impeachment Hearing FAQ: Who Will Testify And How The Questioning Will Work
Democrats have called three career public servants to appear for the first public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry: William Taylor, George Kent and Marie Yovanovitch.
NPR6 min read
Illegal Pot Grows In America's Public Forests Are Poisoning Wildlife And Water
Insecticides and other chemicals found at the sites threaten long-term damage to ecosystems. California law enforcement, ecologists and others are cracking down on the illegal operations.
NPR2 min readPolitics
McDonald's Is Sued Over 'Systemic Sexual Harassment' Of Female Workers
A former employee has filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's and one Michigan franchise, alleging a "culture of sexual harassment."