America is pretty obsessed with clowns right about now, which makes this seem all the more newsworthy: yesterday, a woman was arrested for murdering Marlene Warren, a 40-year-old from Florida. What makes this so significant is that the murder happened 27 years ago, and the murderer had been dressed as — you guessed it — a clown.
Nearly three decades ago, Warren answered her door to find a clown outside bearing balloons and a bouquet. What she didn’t know was that the clown also had a gun that would be used to murder her.
After shooting Warren in the face with a pistol, the clown made a run for it — but not before Warren’s son caught a glimpse of the murderer’s eyes, which he claimed he couldn’t forget.
Investigators focused on Warren’s husband, Michael. Though they expected Marlene’s husband was involved with the murder, they couldn’t prove it — despite Marlene allegedly telling her family that she thought her husband would kill her, he had an alibi. But there was another key player that caught the police’s attention: Sheila Sheltra Keen.
Keen was hired by Michael to work on his West Palm Beach used car lot. The two were accused of having an affair, which both parties denied, though Keen’s neighbors admitted they’d seen Michael around a lot. Several storeowners, including those of a Publix and a Halloween costume store, described a customer similar to Keen who had bought balloons and a clown costume from their stores, respectively. However, with little evidence on their side, authorities decided the case was inconclusive.
But now, 27 years later, things have changed. Michael and Keen are now married (and have been for about 15 years). After the case, Michael even served some time in prison for grand theft auto. But perhaps the most significant change since then is that of technology — significant enough, in fact, that authorities were able to use DNA testing tech to catch Warren’s murderer once and for all. All signs pointed to Sheila Sheltra Keen.
It’s unclear if there’s enough evidence to prove that Warren’s husband also had something to do with her murder, though law-enforcement officers haven’t given up yet. Twenty-seven years later and they’re closer to cracking the case than they’ve ever been.