Who Is Michael Harley? New Details On The Uncle Of "Jersey Shore" Star Jen Harley Who Killed His Brother With A Samurai Sword

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Who Is Michael Harley? New Details On The Uncle Of "Jersey Shore" Star Jen Harley Who Killed His Brother With A Samurai Sword

This is probably one of the craziest stories we've ever had to report, and certainly the craziest from the Jersey Shore crew. A recent news report that Jen Harley's uncle is a bit of a family secret, and for good reason. Who is Michael Harley?

In a story for Radar Online that’s since been deleted, it was revealed that Michael Harley has a bit of a criminal past that the Harley family would prefer to not have revealed.

Here’s what we know about him and his crime.

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1. It was a bar fight gone wrong.

According to News on 6, on the night of July 23, 2008, 47-year-old Clifford Harley was found stabbed to death in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Clifford’s death marked Tulsa’s 26th homicide for that year.

A day later, Michael Harley — Jen’s uncle — was arrested and booked on first-degree murder charges in connection to the stabbing. Police reported that Michael used a short samurai sword to kill his brother.

2. The story flew under the radar because Jen Harley wasn’t as well-known as she is now.

According to iMDB, MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore didn’t premiere until December 2009. By then, Michael Harley was already in prison for his crime and because he has such a common last name, no one made the connection between Jen and Michael. Additionally, the Internet wasn’t as prevalent back then as it is today, so it was easy for this story to fly under the radar.

Jen Harley is very well known, but not for all the right reasons.

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3. The details of the crime are gruesome.

According to Tulsa World, Michael Harley Jr. — the elder Michael’s son — witnessed the entire crime, and told Tulsa police that Clifford was trying to prevent the inevitable, but that Michael Sr. overpowered him.

“[Michael Harley Jr.] told officers that Clifford Harley was holding a door closed and was leaning on it to prevent Michael Harley Sr. from entering the room. Michael Harley Sr. then thrust the sword through the door glass twice, stabbing Clifford Harley beneath his arm and in the neck. EMSA ambulance medics pronounced Clifford Harley dead at 12:01 a.m. Thursday,” they wrote.

Subsequently, Michael Harley was incarcerated from November 2009 until October 2018 for the killing. He’d been previously convicted of a burglary charge.

Jen Harley is mostly known for her Jersey Shore antics, but probably wasn't expecting the information about her uncle to be made public. 

4. He found religion in prison.

As prisoners often do, Michael Harley seemed to “find religion” while he was in prison. The Oklahoma Prison Ministry published many of his writings about his thoughts on religion, which he wrote while he was incarcerated. In many of his writings, he talked about “salvation” and finding forgiveness through God.

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“Today, through the Holy Scriptures, Christians, who have already been saved, just as the saved Jews in past time, are being offered the same salvation that Christ offered the Jews, the same salvation they rejected and was taken from them, salvation into the kingdom of heaven. And just as saved Jews in time past rejected the kingdom, most Christians are rejecting it today, and it will be taken from them,” he wrote in one well-publicized piece.

It's unclear whether Jen Harley still keeps in touch with her uncle, or how his incarceration affected her.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.