Peter Van Sant Reports in “48 Hours: Murder by Clown”

(L-R) Marlene Warren, Joseph Aherns; accused murderer Sheila Keen.

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Marlene Warren answered the door of her Florida home on May 26, 1990, to find a clown handing her balloons and flowers. In an instant, she was shot dead while her 21-year-old son looked on. Warren’s son, Joe Aherns, opens up to 48 HOURS correspondent Peter Van Sant about the horrific day in “Murder by Clown,” to be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 28 (10:00-11:00 PM) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+.

“That was the worst day of my life,” Aherns tells Van Sant. “We were eating breakfast; we saw the colors of the reflections through the glass. It looked like a clown costume. My mother opened the door and I heard ‘How, how pretty,’ and heard [a] bang and I saw her fall.”

The clown then calmly walked back to their car and drove away.

It appeared like the perfect crime, says Aleathea McRoberts, Palm Beach County assistant state attorney. “Anybody passing by would probably say, oh, isn’t that nice. Somebody’s getting flowers,” McRoberts says.

Investigators soon turned to Warren’s husband, Michael, and his coworker Sheila Keen, who were believed to be having an affair. However, Michael Warren had an alibi. The investigation would lead to local costume shops searching for anyone who may have recently rented a clown costume. They believed they had found a suspect, but it would take decades to sort out the case and make an arrest.

At 9:00 PM, Erin Moriarty reports on a cosplay actor who finds herself in the spotlight when she’s accused of murdering her boyfriend, in an encore of 48 HOURS: “Melissa Turner’s Closing Act.”

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Press Contacts:

Kishon Springer

Richard Huff