52 Lock Up: Shanynthia Gardner/Postpartum Psychosis
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Welcome back to 52 Lock Up, I am your Appletini Cadma of Bitten Apple TV. 52 lock up is a series I started to talk about one of my biggest passions of true crime. A new episode on every Cadmaniac Monday for 52 Mondays. Hope you guys enjoy, be sure to comment feedback, like and subscribe; Viewer discretion is always advised. This episode does contain information about harm and death of young children; again viewer discretion is advised!
Today’s story starts with Shanynthia Gardner nicknamed Yari in Tennesse. Yari loved to sing and was building quite the Memphis reputation for her voice and songwriting. In between her singing and passion for music. She spent a good amount of her time at church and taking care of her family.
Yari was married to Detrail Clayton. This is not the same one who was convicted in texas but Detrail does have a criminal history; very little was mentioned about his history except charges of disorderly conduct and some traffic violations. There are court documents that showed he was arrested after he allegedly beat a woman in 2008 but the charges were dismissed. A year later Yari would give birth to her first son with her first marriage, Dallen. The marriage did not last long and there are no further details about what happened however Yari moves on and meets Martin Gardner and they wed.
In 2012, she gave birth to her first son with Martin; named Tallen.
In 2013 she gave birth to her first daughter Sya.
In 2014, she gave birth to Sahvi.
In 2015/2016 she gave birth to her youngest Yahzi.
She worked at St. Jude Children’s Hospital part time in the ALSAC that focuses on fundraising and awareness but it is unclear for how long did she work there. Yari was initially remembered as a living mother who loved children hence why she enjoyed working at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. When her son Dallen was 2 years old there was a small incident that I could not find more information on where she was expected to show up for court but she did; there were not mentioning of her having a mental illness at this time. I am speculating this would be a small court case like maybe a parking ticket or small dispute; because nothing showed up in the criminal records of Tennessee for her name. If something didn’t happen we wouldn’t be here discussing this episode. Over time Yari began to feel the stress of motherhood and displayed signs of stress, anxiety, paranoia and erratic behavior. It was believed that she was suffering from postpartum.
March 2015 Yari showed more and more signs of bizarre behavior and friends and family were unsure of where this behavior was coming from. March 2015 Shanynthia went for a run and did not come back, her husband reported her missing after 9p.m. It turns out that she left work early and headed over to pick up her kids. She packed all of the kids into the family car and drove 95 miles away from Memphis to Corinth Mississippi. It was confirmed that she did not know anyone in Corinth and simply drove there without a known reason. She was later discovered to be at a hospital but police never commented to how or why she was at the hospital. At the hospital she did have superficial lacerations to her neck and wrist, which makes me wonder if she tried to commit suicide in front of the kids. They would be too young to know what was happening. She was returned home but then more bizarre behavior begin to appear. She began to complain to her husband about
Now what have we learned bizarre behavior that is out of character are the times to pay attention to people. Sure it may seem harmless but those are the moments to check up on people. Not everything can be prevented but every little bit of help, helps. Some sources reported that she was suffering from postpartum, what is this? Postpartum depression or also called the baby blues, but it is a depression that occurs after a woman has given birth. This commonly includes mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, reduced concentration and difficulty sleeping. This generally begins within the first two to three days after giving birth. Fathers are able to experience postpartum depression as well. New borns require a lot of work.
However, with women it is speculated that part of the contribution to the baby blues are the drastic drop in estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is the asshole hormone that maintains a woman’s period and setting up what father likes to call a “house inside the body and paints the walls blue or pink depending on the gender”. Estrogen besides being against you each month, it’s what makes women curvier obviously I run low on it but also gives women that amazing glow. When your estrogen levels are high, it helps keep blood triglycerides (a type of fat) low, increases HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol (the good kind) and lowers LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol (the bad kind); and keeps the heart happy. The hormone does a lot from protection for osteoporosis, improves your mood, keeps your haha like the ocean and there was a study that showed the longer exposure to estrogen improved brain health…just gonna leave that right there.
So picture if you’re not a female, your body is high on hormones. You’ve got the glow like your the Last Dragon like you’re Leroy Green; sho-nuff. Your temple that deserves rights of it’s own lets the cat out of the bag and then all of your hormones plummet you into near menopausal feelings of lost estrogen, stress, blood and drastic changes. This could contribute to the baby blues. Here’s the part to pay attention to when it comes to the baby blues; it’s only supposed to go as long as 2 weeks; anything longer the symptoms become more intense and will graduate to postpartum psychosis. Sources say to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth can take months, usually it can be 6 to 8 months; medically speaking for the impatient testicle carriers or corporate bosses.
Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental health illness and it affects around 1 in 500 mothers after giving birth; that’s a large number when looking at the average of 140 million giving birth every year without having to be forced. Out of those 140 million it is reported that about 11,000 die from giving birth. However, when looking at postpartum psychosis out of 140 million women; we’re looking at 280,000 women with the high potentiality of having this psychosis. Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, manic moods, low moods like depression or being lethargic, a mixture of manic moods like excessive actions and a low mood or rapidly changing between them. They become paranoid, suspicious or fearful, often confused and restless. The body can live without a lot of things, sleep is not one of them. Of course, the last symptom is behaving in a way that is considered to be out of character, like picking up the kids and driving 95 miles away from home to a town and state where you do not know anyone and end up a hospital without explanation; for funsies.
It is highly possible what leads up to the gruesome events that Yari was suffering from Postpartum psychosis. She has her first child in 2009 with her first failed marriage but there were no reports that I could find stating she suffered from any baby blues then. First marriage ends, meets Martin then becomes pregnant immediately afterwards when her oldest Dallen is 3 years old she becomes pregnant back to back with 4 more kids. There’s 12 months in a year and she can only be pregnant for 9 of those months what if the fluctuation of hormones literally going drastically high then drastically low in between 4 births, on top of stress, and the normal baby blues developing into postpartum psychosis on an individual who is more susceptible to developing a psychosis than another woman who is not as susceptible to having a psychotic break.
Yari begins to talk about paranoid thoughts with her friends and family and telling them that someone was out to harm her and her family; without any precedence to who or why. She complains more and more about work and was feeling extremely high strung about work; that she was not having anxiety about before. She felt people at work were out to get her. Her paranoia increases. This is the part that I believe is common for people to dismiss and think something is temporary when someone’s behavior changes. It is part of the reason why I truly believed that psychology classes should begin in middle school and high school a mandatory class so we can literally create a generation of people who will recognize signs or rather calls for help.
Yari had increasing signs of mental health but no signs of abuse or violence towards the kids or others.
We are about to discuss what happens on July 1, 2016 at around noon. Alone with 5 children Yari’s mind finally snapped. She was on the phone with her husband Martin and was telling him calmly that she was about to watch a movie with the kids. While chatting on the phone with her husband she picked up a knife from within the home and walked into the living room and slit the throat of her 6 month child Yahzi while laying in the baby carrier. She travels through the home similar to our Polish friend Damian Rzeszowski. Next to Yahzi was sister Sya. Dallen the oldest is witnessing this and he knows he must get help for his siblings. Yari makes her way to the bedroom where Tallen and Sahyi remain and stab them in them the throat and chest. After killing the four children she exits the apartment with the knife looking for Dallen. Her oldest son flags down a neighbor or a pedestrian and tells them that his mother just stabbed his sister; at this moment the person sees her step outside with the butcher knife and return to the apartment.
A goFundme was created by classmates of Martin Gardner to help with the burial of his four kids. Gardner faces four counts of first-degree murder for the stabbing deaths of her young children. She was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in association with aggravated child neglect, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and aggravated child neglect or endangerment. She will be in prison for 51 years. There is speculation discussing that she does not belong in prison and needs to be placed into a mental institution; but since she is going to prison then hopefully she obtains the mental health help that she needs.