On a Saturday morning 27 years ago, death knocked on Marlene Warren’s front door in Wellington, Florida, wearing a clown suit.
The murder has remained unsolved for nearly 30 years.
Here’s a look back at what happened that rainy morning on Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 1990.
Marlene Warren lived in the prosperous Aero Club neighborhood in Wellington, where many of the large homes on one-acre lots have backyard hangars for their owners’ private planes. An airstrip runs through the center of the community.
The steamy season was beginning to settle in across South Florida that Saturday when a clown came to Warren’s door just before 11 a.m.
Answering the door, a smiling Warren accepted the bundle of flowers and balloons the clown held.
“Oh, how pretty,” her son remembered her saying.
They were the last words she would speak.
Wearing an orange wig, red nose and gloves, camouflaged with white paint creating a grotesque happy face, the death-dealing clown raised a pistol and delivered a single shot at point-blank range to Warren’s face.
Her 21-year-old son, Joey Ahrens, in the living room with a group of friends, reached his mother as she collapsed amid a spreading pool of blood.
He recalled seeing the clown’s brown eyes before it climbed into a white Chrysler LeBaron convertible.
Warren, 40, died two days later.
Homicide investigators focused on Warren’s husband, Michael, 38, and Sheila Sheltra Keen, 27, whom Warren had hired to repossess cars for his West Palm Beach used car lot. Acquaintances told police Michael Warren and Keen were having an affair, which they denied.
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