On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was finishing breakfast with her 22-year-old son, Joseph Ahrens and his friends at her home in Wellington, Florida, when a visitor arrived at the door. She lived in the Aero Club, an upscale community with a private airstrip for use by Aero Club residents.
Marlene went to answer the front door, it was just before 11am. Standing at the door was someone dressed as a clown: red bulb nose, orange wig and painted face. The clown held a bouquet of flowers and two balloons — one emblazoned with a picture of Snow White and one that said “You’re the Greatest!”
The clown held them out to Marlene Warren. And then shot her in the face. Marlene Warren fell to the ground. The clown calmly walked back to a white Chrysler LeBaron and drove away. Her teenage son found her lying in a pool of blood. Marlene Warren died two days later.
At the time, investigators said they had identified a suspect but didn’t have enough evidence for a conviction. No arrests were made and the case went cold — for nearly 30 years.
That is, until the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a grant in 2014, used to reopen some cold cases.
A new investigation into the killer clown case was launched — and this time, new advances in DNA technology provided detectives with sufficient evidence to prove the identity of the person disguised as a clown.
Check out ABC’s 20/20 for more on this case