'Law & Order: SVU' Will Tackle Killer Clowns During Next Episode

Next week's episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will focus on the dangers of clowns.

The 17th episode of season 19, titled "Send in the Clowns," starts with a student (guest star Mallory Bechtel) going missing during a school trip to New York City. The SVU team and the rest of the NYPD rush to find a mysterious masked man as soon as possible. The preview for the episode shows that the masked man is a person wearing a clown mask.

The episode appears to be inspired by a South Florida killer clown story that began in 1990.

Sheila Keen Warren was arrested on Sept. 26, 2017 for the Memorial Day 1990 murder of her husband's former wife, Marlene Warren in Wellington, Florida.

Sheila Keen Warren allegedly dressed like a clown, holding two balloons and a bouquet of flowers when she arrived at Marlene Warren's house. Sheila Keen Warren gave Marlene Warren one of the balloons. The victim reportedly said "How pretty" before the suspect shot her in the face. She died two days after the shooting at age 40, reports the Miami Herald. The story was featured in an October 2017 episode of ABC News' 20/20.

While real-life police took 27 years to solve the case, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her team will only have an hour.

Another photo from the episode shows Det. Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola celebrating a birthday with his family at his desk.

law and order svu s19 fin
(Photo: David Giesbrecht/NBC)

SVU recently experienced a shake-up this season, with Raul Esparza's A.D.A. Rafael Barba leaving the series. He was replaced by Philip Winchester, who plays former Chicago Justice character Peter Stone. The character is the son of the late Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty), the Executive A.D.A. in the early seasons of Law & Order.

"There are big shoes to fill, Raúl is an incredible actor… he had a great relationship with Mariska. Just personally, not even as Peter Stone, but as Philip Winchester coming in, there's a lot of, ‘Gosh, this is someone else's playground. These are kids I haven't played with before,'" Winchester recently told E! News. "There's a lot of that pressure kind of going on."

Stone and Benson have been working on their chemistry since Stone arrived in New York. When asked about a romance between the characters, Winchester said he did not see that happening quickly.

"I don't honestly know if we could do that," Winchester told E! News. "One thing I do know is the relationship grows on the fact that they respect each other immensely and that they know each other is damn good at their job."


Law & Order: SVU airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC