A Jilted Man Couldn’t Accept His Ex-Girlfriend’s Decision To Move On

Tammy Gardner finally had enough of Clifford Wright, but the stereotypical bad boy couldn’t stand the thought of her moving on.

January 06, 2023
Tammy Gardner, pictured here smiling, was murdered in January 2005.

Tammy Gardner finally had enough of Clifford Wright, but the stereotypical bad boy couldn’t stand the thought of her moving on.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

On July 1, 2006, Tammy Gardner made up her mind once and for all — Clifford Wright had to get out. He had cost her everything by that point. She had divorced her husband, closed her home daycare business, and was regularly seen around town covered in bruises from Cliff’s abuse. She had thrown him out before, but that time it was different — she finally meant it.

Her life hadn’t always been so volatile. She had been happily married to Scott Gardner for more than a decade. She had a daughter she adored, an in-home daycare, and a charmed middle class life. It was her dream to be a mom, and she was working hard to make sure her daughter had everything Tammy never had due to a difficult upbringing.

All that changed in the early 00s when Tammy and her sisters began going out regularly. They spent time at local bars, but as the months passed, Tammy’s weekly night out became several nights out. She was drinking a lot and often stayed out with her sisters until the wee hours of the morning.

In Fall 2003, Tammy met a man at a bar named Cliff Wright, and the pair quickly struck up a friendship. Before long, Cliff was always with Tammy and her sisters as they made their rounds to the bars around their small Delaware town. Tammy went so far as to invite Cliff to have Christmas dinner with her family that year. Her husband believed her when she said Cliff was just a friend, but the story quickly unraveled.

By mid 2004, Tammy’s divorce from Scott was finalized and Cliff quickly moved into the house. The following years were a cycle of fighting and making up, moving in and moving out. Because of Cliff’s criminal record, Tammy was forced to close her in-home daycare. At one point, Tammy was hospitalized because she had jumped from a moving vehicle to get away from Cliff.

When she threw Cliff out for good on July 1, 2006, he snapped. Tammy, however, was intent on moving on. She went to an Independence Day barbeque on July 4 and met a man named Gabe Gabrielli. Gabe invited her out for drinks the next evening, but their evening fun was short lived as Cliff began calling Tammy’s phone. He was watching her from outside the bar, and he called 43 times in an hour with threatening messages. Tammy called 911 and Cliff was arrested for harassment at 3:45 in the morning on July 6.

Because harassment is a misdemeanor, Cliff was ultimately released from jail on his own recognizance with a citation to court.

Follow Cliff’s next steps on American Monster, on ID at 9/8c on January 8. More episodes are available now on discovery+.

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