Scary messages

Last Sunday Tamela Gardner’s family felt something was wrong. Her two children, ages 10 and 12 were staying with their father for a week. And her habit when the children were away from her was to talk to them on the phone twice a day. So when she didn’t call Sunday morning, they were uneasy.

Gardner had a new friend, and the two and another friend had been out on Saturday night. After the friend got home, she called Gardner and confirmed that she and the new friend made it home. Gardner had met the new friend,Gabe Gabriella just the week before.

When the family had not heard from Gardner by Sunday evening, they drove by the home and noted that her van was gone. Police were contacted and went to the home. It was noted that police found her purse in the home. Police are not saying what else was found there, but a search for the two was started.

Gardner’s van was found on Thursday. Inside the van, two bodies were found and later identified by dental records as 40 year old Tammy Gardner and 41 year old Gabe Gabreilli.

Family and friends told police about Gardner’s ex-boyfriend Clifford Wright, now 36. Reportedly the two had lived together until recently. And reportedly he was having difficulties with the break up. Gardner had recently gotten a no contact order on him, after his arrest on felony harrassment charges on July 5. Reportedly he called her more than 20 times with “scary” messages. Police say that she saved the messages, but they wouldn’t disclose the contents. But a friend heard them and said they were scary.

No one has been charged in the murder as yet. Clifford Wright was charged Fri. with cocaine delivery and probation violation.

Somehow, I always get the feeling that a person was something really special when the ex-husband and the ex-sister-in-law are the ones who are leading the friends saying good things about a person. And that is happening here.

Twenty scary messages in one day led her to get a protection order. This reminds me of the definition of “obsession”:

ob·ses·sion  (b-sshn, b-)

Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.

I, of course have no expertise to say this is what was happening, but you see it frequently in Domestic Violence cases. The problem is with not only the obsession, but also what will happen if the other person doesn’t fulfill that obsession.

Again, a protection order is a tool in domestic violence. It does not keep a person safe. It’s main purpose is to get grounds for an arrest if a person who has been served with the order doesn’t abide by it. But there is no guarentee that anyone served with a protection order is going to abide by it. Once a protection order is requested, the person requesting it needs to implement a “safety plan”. And first and foremost in the safety plan is to find a safe place to stay, often that is a shelter.

As shown here, staying with a friend is not always a safe thing to do.



  1. Wendy said,

    July 18, 2006 at 2:41 am

    Yes, Yes, Yes! A safety plan is a must for all victims fleeing an abusive relationship. That can mean entering a shelter, having locks changed, changing their phone number, not leaving a fowarding address at the post office and most importantly…enforcing the Order. Obviously that doesn’t always work and as you noted, an Order is only as good as the person it is served upon. If they have no regard for a court order and feel entitled to continue their behavior, there isn’t much that will stop them. This combined with the fact that the penalties for this behavior are not harsh enough leaves victims in life threatening situations every day. This story is troubling because she had an Order of Protection which he was clearly violating and he wasn’t arrested…leaving him free to end her life if in fact he’s the one that did it. I’m unclear on if the phone calls were reported to police prior to the homocide or not. However, it is so important for victims to be aware to contact 911 each time the Order is violated or even if they’re unsure if a violation has occured. I’m certainly not blaming the victim here but rather elaborating on your comment that a safety plan is necessary.

  2. Paul Edward Frosch said,

    September 19, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Hello, My name is Paul E. Frosch and I was a very very close friend of Gabe Gabrielli. He was my soccer coach for about 4 years and we traveled every where together. All of the guys loved him dearly and are so baffled by this whole story. I have no idea who committed this crime but it seems to me either Clifford Wright has or another person he knew did it for him. This isn’t about an order of protection this is about a man and a woman who’s lives have been taken from those who loved them. Not a topic about Order of protection because that doesn’t do crap in our society.

  3. September 19, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Unfortunately in our society an order of protection is the only thing available for a person who has been harmed or threatened in a domestic situation. It doesn’t ‘protect’ but it does provide a means to arrest if the other person breaks it. But a person who does take out an order of protection still needs to take precautions to protect themselves.

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