Sheila Keen, Marlene Warren: Clown Killer ‘Unmasked’ On ID


The Sheila Keen-Marlene Warren killer clown murder story airs tonight on Investigation Discovery’s popular TV show, Unmasked. Sheila Keen, also known as Sheila Warren, was arrested last year in Virginia in the 30-year cold case. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Michael Warren, Sheila’s husband, and former husband of the victim, has not been charged in the killing.


Unmasked: Episode—The Killer Clown

When a suburban housewife opens her door to a clown, it seems like a fun surprise. But the surprise ends in terror when the woman is gunned down in front of her son.



[Second image via Facebook]

Crime Scene: 15470 Take Off Place, Wellington, Florida, May 26, 1990

In May of 1990, Marlene Warren, 40, heard a knock at the door and answered it. The next thing her young adult son saw was his mother lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the face. The killer, a masked clown, walked calmly to a vehicle and drove out of the Aero Club subdivision.


A neighbor remembered seeing the killer clown driving away as he heard the cries from a group of young people, who claimed Marlene Warren had been shot after she answered the door.


Marlene Warren was transported to the local hospital, where she was placed on life support. She died days later. Investigators say the killer clown came with balloons and red and white flowers. The last thing Marlene Warren’s son heard her say was, “Oh, how pretty.”


Wellington neighbors were in complete shock after they received word of the killing. By that next Halloween, people were afraid they’d be shot upon opening their front doors.

The Florida development is known for housing the powerful and the privileged. Celebrities live and play there. But in 1990, no one understood who would commit such a horrendous crime. Detectives believed from the beginning that it was a deliberate act of murder.


During the investigation, Florida detectives spoke with two costume shop clerks, who said a woman with chocolate-colored hair entered the store at closing time. She wanted to buy a complete clown costume, including a big wig, a puffy nose, and clown makeup.


Rumors swirled Marlene’s husband, Michael Warren, had a lover on the side named Sheila Keen. The two worked together at a used car lot that Michael ran. Sheila Keen, a tough, no-nonsense type of woman, repossessed cars. And they say, she wasn’t afraid of anything.


Employees remember the late lunches Michael and Sheila took on a daily basis and the flirty glances between them. Residents say Michael Warren had the vibe of a used car salesman, and that his car lot catered to people with bad credit. They also described him as standoffish, one who never associated with Wellington’s elite.


As for Sheila Keen Warren, they say she was a bold money-hungry country gal who wanted to be rich. When she set eyes on Michael, she was going to have him—married or not.

Marlene Warren’s parents were devastated by the news. Marlene’s father told ABC’s 20/20 that he always believed Michael knew something about the killing. Police also noted Michael Warren stood to gain the business, the home, and life insurance money.



It hurt Marlene’s parents knowing their ex-son-in-law married his lover. After the killing, records revealed Michael and Sheila Warren relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where they started a new hamburger joint and lived under new names.

Former restaurant employees were shaken to hear the couple, who was always kind, loving, and friendly, had dark pasts.

DNA evidence 27 years later is what finally proved Sheila Keen Warren was the killer clown, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

More Details in the Marlene Warren Murder File

  • The killer clown took off in a white car.
  • One of the balloons read, “You’re the greatest.”
  • Former acquaintances said Michael Warren was unlucky. Years before, his plane vanished and a racehorse died.
  • When Marlene Warren was a teen, she drew a picture of a clown. Her parents have a house full of clown art.
  • Many people have an extreme fear of clowns.
  • Michael Warren said his wife didn’t deserve to be killed. He wishes it was him.


Sheila Keen Warren’s Arrest Video


It takes a cold and calculating woman to dress in a Bozo clown suit, kill her lover’s wife, and marry the man years later while living a luxurious life.


Watch the Marlene Warren, Sheila Keen Warren true crime story on Unmasked tonight at 10/9 p.m. Central on ID.


[Main image via Twitter]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as and Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.