It’s the sort of story you don’t even want to read about: A mother of five murdered four of her children last week, slitting their throats with a large butcher knife. The 29-year old mom, Shanynthia Gardner of Memphis, Tennessee has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated child neglect, child endangerment and child abuse for the senseless killing. All four of her children were under the age of 5. Thankfully, her oldest child, 7-year-old Dallen Clayton was able to get away and run to safety.
Police discovered the horrific scene after being called to the apartment complex where Shanynthia Gardner lived with her husband Martin Gardner and their children Tallen, 4, Sya,3, Sahvi, 2, and 6-month-old Yahzi. Dallen, Shanynthia’s son from a previous marriage, had run to a neighbor’s house screaming that his mother had stabbed his sister. The neighbor had called the cops and saw Shanynthia outside the apartment with a large knife. When law enforcement arrived they found the four children dead and Shanynthia injured with self-inflicted wounds to her neck and wrists.
Police are investigating Shanynthia’s mental health history in trying to figure out what triggered the murders. She had apparently gone missing in 2015 after telling her husband she was suffering from anxiety and paranoia. In an interview, Dallen’s father Detrail Clayton told The Commercial Appeal, "The lady who committed this crime is not the lady I know, the lady I had a child with." Shanynthia Gardner is currently being held without bail.