Any crime involving a clown is interesting, isn’t it? This is a 27 year old cold case that has recently been solved; a clown shot and killed a person in broad daylight, with witnesses! Said clown almost got away with it. Of course this happened in Florida- home of everything weird. It’s officially known as the Wellington Clown Murder.
It was a Saturday morning, May 26th of 1990, 40 year old Marleen Warren heard a knock at her door. She was probably a bit surprised to see a Bozo look alike standing on her door step with balloons and a bouquet of flowers arranged in a white basket in hand. Marleen probably thought someone had paid to surprise her with the bouquet, a strangely sweet gesture.
When Marlene answered the door, she was shot right in the face as neighbors watched. The clown took off in a white Chrysler LeBaron with no license plate, and that was that. Witnesses described a clown wearing a big red wig, a huge smile painted on, the bright red nose, white face, white gloves, and the bouquet.
Police had their suspect within months, a woman named Sheila Keen Warren. Sheila had been crazy jealous of her lover, Michael Warren’s soon to be ex wife: Marlene. Sheila, just 27 years of age at the time, worked with Michael at his car dealership and the two had been having an affair. Michael and Marlene had just recently separated when Marlene was murdered on her front stoop. Investigators knew Sheila was the killer, they had been aware of the affair and could prove that Michael had been paying Sheila’s rent, but as any cop will tell ya, knowing something and proving it are two different things.
A West Palm Beach costume shop picked Sheila out of a lineup as being the woman who had recently purchased a clown costume; she was also remembered by a clerk who sold her balloons and flowers on that day. The reddish orange fibers were found in Sheila’s house during a search. Now all this looks really bad, but it didn’t prove she was a killer. Police needed probable cause, and the case went cold. But Thankfully DNA is solving all sorts of cases today, and that’s what happened here.
The now 54 year old Sheila, who has been married to Michael for 20 years now, has been arrested in Virginia and is being extradited back to Florida. Michael says his wife is innocent, there’s no way Sheila had anything to do with the murder. If you ask me, he’s either in denial, or he’s trying to cover for her. My bet is he knows.
I wrote about this case a couple years ago, fully expecting an update, but Sheila has waived her right to a speedy trial. I’ll update you when there’s a verdict.