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+.

Next Up

A Mourning Girlfriend Had Plenty of Ideas On Who Wanted Her Boyfriend Dead

An upscale Texas neighborhood was rocked in July 2012 when a doctor was found dead in his home.

‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ Fugitive Matthew Edgar Arrested In Texas

On Dec. 29, 2022, the Sabine County Sheriff’s Office in Texas confirmed the U.S. Marshals arrested Matthew Edgar. The convicted killer was on the run for 11 months before his capture.

Couple Murdered Woman, Used Dismembered Body Parts To Threaten Their Ex-Lover

“This case is filled with relationships based on intimidation, anxiety, separation, strangeness, bizarre conduct, crazy letters, notes and behavior,” one defense lawyer noted.

Virginia Couple Murdered While On 2002 Beach Vacation

Josh Ford and Geney Crutchley were spending Memorial Day weekend in Ocean City, Maryland, but things took a horrifying turn after they met another couple.

3 Men, Few Clues, And A Murdered Model Rock an Illinois Town

When a young woman is brutally murdered in rural Illinois, police realized that there was more than one person in her life who may have wanted to hurt her.

A Florida Man Was Free For A Year Before He Killed — Again

Eric Pierson had already done two stints in prison — one for attempted murder and one for second degree murder — when Erika Verdecia went missing.

A Series Of Lucky Tips Helped Authorities Find A Murderer

Police rushed to find the killer after they found a man shot to death on a Milwaukee, Wisconsin street in May 2019.

A Tennessee Woman Survived A Vicious Attack After Her Ex-Husband Killed Her Best Friend

Penny Waldroup was dropping her children off to visit with their father when her ex-husband greeted her with a shotgun.

A Murder Shocks An Evansville, Indiana Retirement Community

A frantic 911 call on a November night in 2018 led to the grim discovery of Odie Carrier, Jr. in a pool of his own blood.

A Beloved Texas Coach Was Found Murdered In His Houston Home

Rumors of a football coach’s double life gave investigators enough information to find the killer.