Marlene Warren Wiki- Marlene Warren Biography
Marlene Warren On the morning of May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was at home in Florida eating breakfast with her son Joe Ahrens when he said a clown came to their front door with a bouquet of flowers and two balloons.
Ahrens returned his mother happily answering the door of their home in Wellington, Florida, which is about 30 minutes west of West Palm Beach. He said she accepted the apparent gifts and commented, “How pretty.” Ahrens never knew those would be her final words.
Within seconds, the police said, the clown raised a gun and shot Marlene in the head, ending her life and beginning a decades-long search for her killer.
“It took over 30 years to make sense of it all,” Ahrens told 48 Hours correspondent Peter Van Sant.
48 Hours investigates the case from the hours after the shooting up to its shocking conclusion in an episode titled, Murder by Clown, which will air on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 10 pm/9 pm CT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.
“Marlene Warren was someone without any known enemies,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. “This was an assassination. This was not a random act of violence.”
Immediately following Marlene’s shooting, researchers started trying to figure out who she had a motivation to kill the mother and small business owner.
They quickly zeroed in on her husband, Michael Warren, who was also Ahrens’ stepfather. Ahrens said his mother had warned him to be suspicious of Michael.
“She said, ‘if anything does happen to me, your father did it,'” said Ahrens. “I told her, ‘No way. He would never do anything like that.’ She said, ‘Don’t put it past him.'”
Marlene Warren Age
Marlene Warren Age is not clear.
Son of Marlene Warren recalls mom being murdered by killer clown in front
Investigators discovered a possible motivation: Michael appeared to be cheating on his wife with a co-worker, Sheila Keen, who repossessed cars at the auto business he ran.
“In the hours after the murder of Marlene Warren, the suspects became clear,” said Aronberg. “It was Sheila Keen, and it was Michael Warren, but Michael Warren had an alibi.”
Authorities confirmed that at the time Marlene was shot Michael was on his way to a horse race with friends, so he was ruled out as the shooter.
But when investigators questioned Sheila about her whereabouts, her response was not as concrete. She claimed she was out looking for cars to repossess, however, she could not verify her exact location.
Detectives also learned that before the murder a woman fitting Sheila’s general description was spotted purchasing a clown costume, as well as the balloons and flowers left by the clown.
When detectives found a car fitting the description given by Ahrens of the getaway vehicle, they said they found a brown hair that was visually consistent with Sheila’s hair.
Also found inside the car and in her apartment were orange fibers researchers said matched the description of the wig the clown was wearing.
“Sheila Keen-Warren had the means, the motivation and the opportunity to do this,” said Aronberg.
Despite the circumstantial case building against Keen, Aronberg — who did not become the Palm Beach County state attorney until 2012 — said prosecutors at the time did not believe they had enough evidence to charge Sheila with Marlene’s murder.
So, as time passed on and there was no new evidence, the case grew cold.
“For many years … I was suffering in despair,” Ahrens said.
Then in 2017, a cold case unit retested old evidence and determined that Sheila’s DNA matched the hair found in the suspected getaway car.
When researchers began looking for her, they learned she had taken on a new moniker. In 2002, 12 years after the murder, Sheila had married Michael Warren and was now Sheila Keen-Warren.
“Here’s someone whose wife had been murdered and he just married the chief suspect,” said Aronberg. “When you combine the fact that the two of them were in an affair … and then later, they got married, it did seem like mission accomplished.”
The couple had relocated to Kingsport, Tennessee, where they had been running a burger joint called Purple Cow for years. Detectives spoke to one employee who said one year at the restaurant Sheila had worn a clown costume for Halloween. The worker even provided detectives with a picture of her dressed up as a clown.
On September 26, 2017, 27 years after the shooting Sheila Keen-Warren was arrested for murdering Marlene Warren.
“She probably never thought in a million years she’d be held accountable for her crimes,” said Aronberg about the arrest. “She thought she got away with it.”
On April 25, 2023, Sheila, 59, finally pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a deal that will likely see her released from prison in no more than two years.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement that the plea deal “obtained a measure of justice” for Marlene Warren and her son.
As for Michael, he was convicted in 1994 of grand theft, racketeering and odometer tampering for which he served almost four years in prison.
At the time, his then-attorneys said his a punishment was disproportionately long because of suspicions he was involved in Marlene’s murder.