To Tear the Flesh, To Wear the Flesh, To Be Born Unto New Worlds Where His Flesh Becomes My Key


I was alerted yesterday to the most horrible, yet hysterical, news story possibly ever. 

I’ll link you, but I’m going to paste it in, too, because I know, it’s totally HARD WORK to click on a link. Or sometimes your phone doesn’t cooperate. I mean, I know mine doesn’t. Sometimes I have to save news stories for later because my phone’s all “nope, sorry, NOT LOADING THAT ONE” and then a week later I’ll be all, “huh, why exactly did I star a story about frozen orange juice?” 

Imagine my joy and wonder when All Over Albany alerted me to this:

Man wanted murder to look like bear mauling

(AP) – Sep 29, 2011

MALONE, New York (AP) — A man who had abused his ex-girlfriend and then plotted to kill her and make it look like she had been mauled by a bear was sentenced to prison for trying to hire someone to kill her in a staged car crash.

Clyde Gardner gave up on his first idea: Kill a bear, skin it and wear the pelt while using its claws to kill the woman as she took out her garbage. The plan included him wearing the bear’s paws on his feet so no human footprints would be left behind.

Prosecutors said the 57-year-old junkyard owner had carefully watched his ex-girlfriend’s movements, hiding in the woods with binoculars to learn her routines after she kicked him out of the house they shared in Malone, near the Canadian border.

When he abandoned the first plan, Gardner approached a friend and gave him a picture of the woman, her auto license plate number and $500 toward a $15,000 bounty to kill her in a car crash.

Gardner, an experienced demolition derby driver, advised the man how to make it look like an accident. He also told him that if the crash didn’t kill the woman, he should take a piece of broken glass and slit her throat, Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Crawford said.

The acquaintance went to police, who sent him back wearing a hidden recorder to get Gardner on tape talking about the grisly plan.

Gardner said at sentencing Wednesday that he was drunk and was going to call off the hit once he sobered up and realized what he had set in motion.

He and the woman had been together about five years and had a child, but it was an abusive and violent relationship, prosecutors said. The woman repeatedly broke up with Gardner and kicked him out on Sept. 25, 2010.

The case was scheduled for trial in July but Gardner took a plea deal. His lawyer, Peter Dumas, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Gardner was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison and will have an order of protection preventing contact with the woman until 2031.

OK, first, before I start, here, I KNOW DOMESTIC ABUSE ISN’T FUNNY. Please don’t inundate me with “you are making light of a domestic abuse situation!” She’s okay. Her child is ok. It all turned out alright, as you can see. 

My first thought upon reading this? 


You know, just in case anyone ever asks me, hey, Amy, why’d you move out? Well! I moved away because PEOPLE THERE THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO WEAR BEAR SUITS TO KILL PEOPLE. 

Alright. To the task at hand. This gentleman (sorry, that really needs sarcastic quotes, right? This “gentleman”?), after years of beating the crap out of his girlfriend, who finally left him (FINALLY!) decides “No! No way! Unh-uh! She’s not getting away with THAT shit, not on my watch!” 

So he hatches a super-awesome plan. 

Clyde Gardner’s to-do list: 

  1. Find a bear.
  2. Hunt the bear.
  3. Kill the bear.
  4. Skin the bear.
  5. Put on the bear’s skin as if it is my own.
  6. Wait outside my ex’s house until she exits it, then kill her with the bear’s claws.
  7. Go home.
  8. Act surprised that my ex died in a freak bear mauling. 

Here’s the thing, though. First! There aren’t that many bears up there. I mean, sure, I suppose there are SOME. But I grew up with hunters and none of them ever brought home a bear. Deer, rabbits, partridge, quail – but no bear. 

Also, was Mr. Gardner planning on keeping the bear in an abandoned well in his basement and exhorting it to put the lotion on its skin? 

Clyde: It puts the lotion on its skin!


Clyde: It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!


You can’t just skin an animal and when you’re done, it’s like a Halloween costume. Are people under the impression this is what happens when you skin an animal? IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. Left to its own devices, animal skin dries up and either rots or gets hard and brittle like plastic. You have to tan it and such, I don’t know the logistics, I’m sure you could Google it if you’re so inclined. Bearskin rugs? They don’t COME OFF THE ANIMAL LIKE THAT. My father, when I was a kid, decided he wanted to tan a deerhide, so he skinned a deer and hung the hide in the basement, and I don’t know what he did with it, I assume he preserved it in some way, but it just got hard like plastic. So hard, in fact, my brother and I used to whomp each other with it like it was a club. (“AMY! Stop whacking your brother with that DEERHIDE!”) 

Also, he was going to wear the bear’s feet. LIKE LITTLE SLIPPERS. They’re not EMPTY. You can’t cut them off and SLIP YOUR FEET IN THERE. 

Also, I like to think the girlfriend would have come outside and saw Clyde, standing there in his bearskin, and said, “Clyde! You know you’re not supposed to be here. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WEARING.” And he’d say something muffled from inside his stinking bearskin and she’d say “I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU. You need to leave now. ARE YOU DRUNK AGAIN?” and he’d try to attack her with his claws but the skin would slip and slide and then cover his eyes so he couldn’t see so he’d start bumbling all around and she would hit him with a broom and go in the house. THIS WAS A VERY STUPID PLAN. 

Speaking of my father, immediately upon reading this, I called him to discuss. 

Me: I just read an article that some man in Malone was planning on killing a bear and wearing its skin to kill his ex with its claws.

My dad: Oh, yeah. Your brother said he heard that. I’m watching Survivor, this really isn’t a good time.


My dad: I don’t know. Stuff like that happens up here.

Me: What? What stuff like that? There’s other stuff?

My dad: You don’t even know.

Me: I know I don’t. BECAUSE YOU DON’T TELL ME. From now on, if you see a story in the local paper about something like this, I want you to call me immediately. This is the best thing ever.

My dad: He didn’t do it, though. I think he wanted to kill her in a fake car crash.

Me: Yeah, he’s a demolition derby driver. Like that wouldn’t be suspicious.

My dad: It’s not like that’s his PROFESSION. He did it like ONCE, at the FAIR. A lot of people do that. I mean, I dig up the septic tank once and a while, but it doesn’t make me a sewer technician.

Me: Did he think you could just wear a bear skin like coveralls?

My dad: It would be funny if he could get the jaws to work. Then he could eat the ex. Because bears don’t just maul, you know. They bite, too.

Me: Yeah, but he couldn’t swallow.

My dad: That’s but one of the flaws in that plan, yes. 

This news story (which, as you can see, is from Google, because the local paper ISN’T ONLINE YET, I mean, seriously, you can GET A WORDPRESS ACCOUNT FOR FREE) leaves out the important information, which is: what caused Clyde (can you even imagine that his real name is Clyde? I mean, if your real name is Clyde? You probably don’t stand much of a chance) to “abandon his first plan?” Lack of bears? The fact that it wouldn’t work because YOU CAN’T STEP INTO A BEAR SKIN LIKE IT’S A LITTLE OUTFIT? I have so many questions, Clyde.

I also like to think that, in-between the bear plan and the car-crash plan, there were other plans. Like, “put an Acme anvil over her door attached to a string so when she goes in, it falls on her head and kills her” and “dig a deep hole, cover it with branches, and lure her there with a Ding-Dong hanging from a branch” and “something about rabid wildebeests.” 

So Clyde Gardner, currently serving 5-15 years most likely at – and I couldn’t make this up if I tried – the local prison, BARE Hill Correctional Facility? WELL-PLAYED. Thank you for hours of amusement today. And thank you, mostly, for reminding me why I moved away from that area as soon as I was able. You’re the best, Clyde! Oh, sorry, WORST. I meant to say WORST. 

(If you got the title without Google’s assistance, I love you and want to have your babies. Wait, reverse that, not ready to commit to that, how about we just make out a little, see how that goes. If you’re completely lost and think I’m just a wack-a-doodle, here. Simply one of my favorite things just about ever. Phil Hartman, I miss you daily.)

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

2 responses to “To Tear the Flesh, To Wear the Flesh, To Be Born Unto New Worlds Where His Flesh Becomes My Key

  • Cara E. (@fictionalchick)

    best plan ever: Kill a bear, skin it and wear the pelt while using its claws to kill someone as they take out garbage.


    • lucysfootball

      I know, right? Malone, NY should have elected this guy MAYOR, not incarcerated him. Think of the schemes he’d come up with to generate tourism dollars, or deal with the old hotel that just fell down into the middle of Main Street (this is a true story, sadly enough, happened when I was home on vacation.)


%d bloggers like this: