|“||Sometimes Gayle gets ideas in her head that she can't let go of. She can be very determined -- even pigheaded -- to get what she wants.||”|
— Kenneth Clark
Gayle is in her forties and is a tall, statuesque woman. She is described as having short ash blond hair, steel gray eyes, a thin face, a Botox forehead, and "a long, sloping nose". She has a very sophisticated style and she often wears several pieces of expensive jewelry.
Gayle Riggs, wife of Kenneth Clark, is originally from a wealthy suburb in New Jersey. Emily Fields first met Gayle during the summer before her senior year. At this point Emily was pregnant and trying to find a good family to adopt her child. Emily is hanging out with her friend Derrick, who is the Clarks' temporary gardener, at the family's mansion when Gayle spots her. Emily introduces herself as 'Heather'. The woman is rather emotional when she notices Emily's pregnancy and soon runs off sobbing after talking to the teen for a bit. This is because Gayle has been trying to get pregnant for years without any success. Even with numerous fertility treatments, she and her husband have had no luck in getting pregnant.
A couple of weeks later, Gayle meets with Emily and Aria Montgomery in a Philadelphia café and offers fifty thousand dollars for Emily's child. Aria is wary of the illegal offer but Emily is interested and soon agrees to give her baby to Gayle. She figures that the money would be well spent on her college needs and she wants her child to have a happy, stress-free upbringing.
However, Gayle bombards Emily with constant calls and messages inquiring about the baby. Two weeks before her C-section, Emily overhears Gayle telling someone on her phone that she's pregnant. Believing the woman to be delusional, Emily changes her mind and decides it's too dangerous to let the woman get her child. After she gives birth to a girl, she covertly hands the baby off to the original family she chose for adoption. Hanna Marin is sent to the Clark mansion to return Gayle's money. She slips it in their mailbox and speeds off. Gayle leaves several angry, threatening voicemail messages on Emily's phone, but she has no idea of the baby's whereabouts.
Several months later, Gayle and Mr. Clark move to Rosewood. She is a big supporter of Tom Marin's campaign and donates large amounts of money. She runs into Emily at a town hall event; terrified at what Gayle might say, the teen runs out of the building and tells her friends about the meeting. Determined to get to Emily, Gayle later tells Hanna that she knows exactly what they're hiding and that she wants what Emily owed her. The girls presume that the woman is "A" and that she wants to steal Emily's baby.
One foggy evening, at another political event for Tom Marin, Emily gets a note from "A" claiming that they have her baby. They tell her to go to a specific address to save her. Emily, Hanna, and Aria arrive at a mansion and enter the unlocked home. They discover a picture of Gayle, Kenneth, and Tabitha and are even more convinced that Gayle is "A". They walk out onto the patio and notice someone lurking on the driveway. Before they could see who it is, a gunshot rings out and the person is on the ground. The girls think it's Spencer at first, but on closer examination, they realize Gayle has been shot in the temple.
Though no one knows who killed her, the girls believe it is "A". Spencer arrives on the scene a few minutes after the woman is shot and notes that a hooded figure ran past her car. At the police station, they meet Mr. Clark, who never even knew that Gayle had tried to adopt Emily's baby. He said that he never wanted to adopt and revealed that Gayle just found out she was pregnant. Kenneth also states that Gayle convinced him to send Tabitha away since she was having behavioral issues and the two didn't get along very well. Mr. Clark mentioned his wife's extravagant spending habits and the odd disappearance of a huge sum of money last summer. After this, the girls realize that Gayle was probably angry at Emily about the money rather than the baby. Though Hanna did leave the money in the Clarks' mailbox, it is highly likely that A stole that money before Gayle could even realize what happened. The girls finally understand that "A" intentionally set Gayle up to look suspicious.