A woman suspected of dressing as a clown to murder her lover's wife 27 years ago drunkenly bragged to coworkers about the killing — one of many details that helped investigators finally crack the cold case, documents revealed Thursday.
A dump of nearly 3,000 records from Palm Beach County prosecutors shed new light on how investigators last year arrested Sheila Keen-Warren for the killing in 1990.
Keen-Warren, 54, has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge for the death of Marlene Warren, the former wife of Michael Warren — who is now Keen-Warren's husband. Prosecutors said last year they will seek the death penalty for Keen-Warren if she is convicted.
Keen-Warren is accused of arriving at Marlene Warren's Wellington home on May 26, 1990, dressed in an orange wig, red nose and high-top shoes, holding carnations and two balloons. Keen-Warren allegedly handed the gifts to Warren without a word, shot her in the face with a .38-caliber handgun and drove away. Warren died of her injures days later, according to the Sun-Sentinel. She was 40.
At the time of the murder, Keen-Warren and Michael Warren were rumored to be lovers and were seen kissing and having sex in an office. They married 12 years after the murder and, until 2016, owned a restaurant in Tennessee called The Purple Cow.
After nearly three decades of investigation, authorities had a break in the case when they linked Keen-Warren to hairs found in the killer clown's getaway car, according to the documents released last week. The trove also included financial records and witness statements accumulated over the 27 years investigators built the case, as the Palm Beach Post reported.
A former employee at The Purple Cow told investigators that another coworker claimed Keen-Warren got drunk one night and confessed to buying a clown costume and murdering Marlene Warren because she was keeping her husband away from the affair.
Police in Virginia, where Keen-Warren and Michael Warren live, pulled the couple over last year and took the wife into custody. Michael Warren was interviewed for the case and has not been ruled out as a suspect, authorities sai, but he has not been charged.
Other key details from the new documents include:
Michael Warren was the beneficiary of a life insurance policy for his wife, which was paid in June 1991 for $53,359.37. An attorney named Christopher DeSantis told investigators that Michael Warren “asked me what the ramifications would be if a husband killed his wife on her estate." The lawyer said if the husband had a friend who did it and they couldn't tie it to the husband, he'd get away with it. The lawyer also told investigators that he told Michael Warren that if someone wore a clown suit they would get off because no one would be able to identify the features of the person committing the crime.
Michael Warren's friends also told investigators he didn't seem that upset over his wife's death.
When police arrested Sheila Keen-Warren last year, she asked them questions including, "Am I under arrest and what for?" and "Where is my husband?"
At a sheriff's office, she made small talk until she was told the news: She was the accused shooter in the 27-year-old clown murder. She put her head on the desk and declined to say another word.
[Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]