BAKERSFIELD, California – As the community grieves for the death of a woman murdered by her husband John Gardner, 64, documents have recently been released detailing the night their bodies were found and some of the events that led to them will be described in detail.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Gardner was arrested for the murder of his 58-year-old wife, Jane Gardner, who was killed at her home in Northwest Bakersfield.
On December 6, 2020, just before 5 a.m., Bakersfield police officers responded to an apartment where the fire department was already responding after a man reportedly needed help.
When the officers arrived at the scene, received no response and forced entry into the residence to check the welfare of the inmates. When the officers entered the house they found John Gardner lying on the floor of his bedroom, with a cut on his wrist, apparently self-inflicted. Gardner’s wife, Jane, was found in her blood-covered bed. It was found that she had passed away. Homicide detective found a hammer on the side of the bed and a razor blade on top of the dresser.
Determined to be alive, John Gardner was transferred to Kern Medical for treatment for his injuries.
While in the hospital, Gardner made a voluntary statement of his version of events for the evening his wife was killed. According to records, it was found that Gardner and his wife were involved in a fight. While things calmed down later that night, he didn’t know what went wrong with his mind in the middle of the night, but he used a hammer to hit his wife in the head until she died.
Gardner later told the doctors that he had been using an Ativan prior to the incident, which made it easier for him to do so.
Before that tragic night, Gardner said he felt different and wanted to leave his life. He had been dealing with the feeling of wanting to kill himself. He told health workers that he woke up that night and just felt miserable and wanted to kill himself. He also described how he hit his wife with a hammer at least six times to make sure she was knocked out before he killed her.
Gardner said, “I know this is awful” before continuing his story of the tragic events. The documents also detailed how Gardner intended to “go” with his wife in order to commit suicide. Documents also revealed that Gardner wished he had died.
Apparently, according to Jane’s documents and friends, this wasn’t the only brush Gardner had with domestic violence. A supplementary report from an active investigator into the murder found that Gardner had been arrested for domestic violence several years earlier.
On December 11, 2020, Gardner was arrested and charged with the first degree murder of Jane Gardner.