Crime

Killer clown cold case from South Florida in the spotlight on national TV Friday

Sheila Keen Warren was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on October 3, 2017, on a charge of first-degree, premeditated murder, records show.
Sheila Keen Warren was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on October 3, 2017, on a charge of first-degree, premeditated murder, records show. TNS

Killer clowns are not just the domain of the new Stephen King movie “It” or this season’s “American Horror Story: Cult.”

South Florida’s own killer clown story out of Wellington plays out on Friday night’s telecast of ABC’s “20/20.”

The TV news show will report on Sheila Keen Warren, the 54-year-old woman who was arrested on Sept. 26 in Virginia’s Washington County and who faces the death penalty for the Memorial Day 1990 slaying of her husband’s former wife, Marlene Warren. The slaying happened in the Palm Beach County suburb of Wellington.

Read more: A killer clown shot a woman to death. It took 27 years to make an arrest

Sheila Keen Warren is accused of dressing like a clown, clutching two balloons and a bouquet of flowers, and handing the victim one of those balloons when she answered the door at her Wellington home.

Marlene Warren, who reportedly said “How pretty” after receiving the balloon, was then shot in the face while her son Joe, then 22, with whom she was eating breakfast, was in the house. She died two days later at age 40. The cold case took 27 years to solve.

Marlene warren
Paramedics take Marlene Warren, 40, to an ambulance on Saturday, May 26, 1990, after she was shot in front of her home in Wellington, Fla. She died two days later. Mark Randall TNS/Sun Sentinel

Friday’s “20/20” features interviews with Marlene’s mother and stepfather, Shirley and Bill Twing, who expressed shock that her daughter’s former husband, Michael Warren, now 65, has been married to the accused since 2002.

Michael Warren, who was a suspect at the time of the murder, told “20/20” his wife is “falsely accused.” He was never charged in Marlene’s murder, but in 1994 he began serving nearly four years of a nine-year prison sentence for racketeering, grand theft and odometer tampering.

The show will also include correspondent Deborah Roberts’ interview with Deborah Offord and Barbara Castricone who say there is a strong possibility the alleged murderer bought the clown costume at their shop. Law enforcement, neighbors and reporters who covered the crime will also appear. Keen’s attorney maintains his client’s innocence on the news show.

“20/20” airs at 10 p.m. Friday on ABC.

Read more: Dressing as a clown for Halloween can be risky

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

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