The case of

Lauren Giddings

Victim

Lauren Giddings

Victim Age

27

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1984-04-18

Date Reported

2011-06-30

Case Status

Closed

Date of Death

2011-06-26

Body Discovered Date

2011-06-30

Incident Location

Macon, Georgia

Body Location

Macon, Georgia

Date of Conviction

2012-4-21

Victim

Lauren Giddings

Victim Age

27

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1984-04-18

Date Reported

2011-06-30

Body Discovered Date

2011-06-30

Date of Death

2011-06-26

Date of Conviction

2012-4-21

Incident Location

Macon, Georgia

Body Location

Macon, Georgia

Case Status

Closed

Stephen McDaniel –  A Worried Neighbor And A Classmate Turns Into A Monster

Viciously mutilated with all four limbs missing – that was the state in which Lauren Giddings’ body was found in a dumpster.

Lauren Giddins’ Life And Disappearance

Lauren Giddings was born on April 18, 1984. She was an aspiring law student living in Macon Georgia, who just graduated from Mercer Law School, with only one thing keeping her from starting her career – the Georgia Bar Exam.

Or, so she thought. Instead, on June 26, 2011, all her hopes and dreams were abruptly stopped when she went missing from her apartment…

Lauren Giddins’ Body Found

Four days later, on June 30, 2011, Lauren’s friends reported her missing. Police started searching for her at the last place she was seen – her apartment. At the same time, a local news channel was interviewing neighbors and possible witnesses, including Stephen M. McDaniel – her distraught neighbor and classmate from Mercer University.

Stephen McDaniel attempted to put an image of a distraught and shocked neighbor, worried about his classmate’s fate. However, it became apparent that he was more worried about showing that he had no involvement in her disappearance than actually being worried about what happened to Lauren.

While he was giving his interview, police searched Lauren’s apartment and found evidence of violence in her bathroom, with the most obvious ones being bloodstains everywhere. Next, they searched through the trash outside the apartment complex where Lauren lived, where they found her torso wrapped in plastic.

The shocking news quickly spread, and once they reached Stephen, he began to have a nervous breakdown. By then, he was already a person of interest to the police. His room was searched soon before Lauren’s torso was found. During that time, he showed incredibly odd behavior, with profuse sweating and drinking more than 10 bottles of water.

Even during the interrogation, McDaniel didn’t confess to anything, but he showed suspicious behavior. In his room, police found the packaging of the hacksaw that was used to dismember Giddings’ body. They also found the master key to the rooms in the building, Lauren’s panties, and several blogs written by McDaniel, describing torture and violence aimed at women. That was enough to arrest and keep Stephen McDaniel in police custody.

The Crime Description

After 10 months of being held in a custody, Stephen McDaniel confessed to the murder. According to his confession, McDaniel stalked Giddings for months and asked her out several times, which she declined. This caused growing resentment in him, so he started to plan a gruesome crime.

He stole the master keys to all of the apartments in the building so that he can enter Giddings’ room. He even filmed her through the window with a camera attached to a stick. Once he saw she was alone in her room and sleeping, he used the master keys to enter her apartment.

She heard him coming and woke up. However, she didn’t have enough time to react, because he jumped on her and started strangling her. According to his statement, it took him 15 minutes to strangle her to death.

Once he strangled her, he dragged her body to the bathtub, and cut it into pieces using his hacksaw. McDaniel placed the body parts into several trash bags, and throw them away in dumpsters in the area. It was supposed to be a perfect crime until the Giddings’ torso was discovered.

Stephen McDaniels’ Life Before Murder

Stephen Mark McDaniel was born in 1989, in a family of factory workers, to the mother Glenda McDaniel, and father Mark McDaniel. He was never particularly interested in his studies, maybe because he was more interested in crimes and violence against women.

He and Lauren Giddings were Mercer law school classmates. He invited Lauren a couple of times on a date, which she refused each time. However, nothing indicated his next move – a brutal murder of Lauren Giddings and disposing of her body.

Investigation Details

The police were called by Lauren Giddings’s friends after no one saw or heard from her for 4 days. Lauren’s room was searched as a crime scene, and it was clear that something bad has happened to her – her bathroom was smeared with blood. It was no longer a missing person search, it was a murder investigation.

Soon, the police looked through the trash around the apartment complex, where they found her torso in a trash bag. If they arrived only minutes later, trash would be taken to the dump, and her body would probably never be found. It was almost a perfect murder.

Stephen McDaniel raised suspicions with his odd behavior, and the police searched his room. There, they found an empty hacksaw package, Giddings’ panties, master keys, and the blog posts talking about torturing women, all written by Stephen McDaniel.

McDaniel was arrested and taken into custody over a murder charge. He was interrogated by Detective Scott Chapman. After 10 months, he confessed to the murder of Lauren Giddings.

Trial

While at trial, Stephen McDaniel claimed that his rights were violated by police when he was interrogated. He accused the police of intimidation and improper interrogation techniques. He also claimed that he was denied proper medical care and that he was insulted and yelled at.

Verdict

However, even with his complaints, the verdict was clear and expected. After confessing to the murder, Stephen McDaniel was convicted of life imprisonment on April 21, 2012, with a chance to be paroled in 30 years.

In 2018, Stephen McDaniel tried to appeal his life sentence, repeating his claims about his rights being violated during the police interrogation. His appeal was denied and he will continue to spend his life in prison.

Frequently asked questions

What Was The Infamous Interview of Stephen McDaniel?

The television interview of Stephen McDaniel, shortly before he was arrested for the horrific murder of Lauren Giddings.

What happened to Giddings?

In the early hours of June 26, 2011, Stephen McDaniel broke into the apartment of his downstairs neighbor and fellow Mercer College law school graduate Lauren Giddings, where he murdered her and dismembered her body.

What was Stephen McDaniel’s Google search history?

About two months before Stephen McDaniel killed and dismembered his neighbor, he typed the Google search phrase “nude ‘lauren giddings’”.