Stephen Mark McDaniel

Stephen McDaniel
Crimes: Murder, Dismemberment, Child Porn

Lauren Teresa Giddings, originally from Maryland, did not stand a chance. The beautiful young woman, who had just graduated from Mercer University’s law school, had no idea that a fellow graduate was completely obsessed with her. She had no idea that Stephen Mark McDaniel, her next-door neighbour at Barristers Hall apartments, was spying on her, stalking her, and planning horrible things for her.

Lauren Giddings was a beautiful person who was very friendly and outgoing. She loved to wear pink, and she loved her precious, one-eyed dog, Butterbean, and she really loved her boyfriend. She was also chalk full of empathy and compassion.

When her oddball neighbour, Stephen McDaniel, asked her out she politely refused him but remained friendly — even though he gave her the creeps.

Of course he gave her the creeps — he was just so socially awkward and downright weird. He was smart, yes, but he was more comfortable alone with his cache of swords and guns, his video games and his porn than he ever was with people.

I doubt Lauren Giddings would have been friendly at all to Stephen McDaniel if she’d known he wrote on the Internet about how he regarded people as “human waste” and “leeches”, and what methods he could use to kill them.

I think Lauren Giddings would have been sickened to learn that Stephen McDaniel downloaded child porn off the Internet and visited websites about gynophagia, (sexual arousal from seeing someone eaten).

I think Lauren Giddings would have been shocked if she’d known Stephen McDaniel had been scoping out her 2nd storey apartment using a video camera taped to a 6′ stick.

I’m positive Lauren Giddings would have been extremely alarmed — and rightly so — had she known Stephen McDaniel had a key to her apartment. And I know she would have totally freaked had she known he’d been inside her apartment at least once and taken pictures.

Lauren GiddingsTragically, Lauren Giddings had no way of knowing what her next-door neighbour was up to. She had no clue he was a hellbeast in disguise, and so she remained on amicable terms with the creepy guy.

Maybe it was because Lauren Giddings was friendly to Stephen McDaniel that he became fixated upon her and began to have fantasies about her. Too bad the fantasies weren’t about living happily ever after.

Right after graduation from Mercer University, Lauren Giddings began studying for her bar exam. She cracked the books in her Macon, Georgia apartment, anxious to succeed. She was likely anticipating a couple of great job offers, packing up her things and moving to Atlanta. She had big plans, no doubt, to make the most of the rest of her life.

And what was Stephen McDaniel doing? Was he preparing for a bright future as a lawyer? Ummmm, no. Instead, he was obsessing over the fantasy that he was going to visit Lauren Giddings one night in her apartment to do terrible, horrible things to her.

Stephen McDaniel spent a lot of his time on the Internet, Googling things like “nude Lauren Giddings”, “molest sleeping girl” and “choked unconscious how long wake up”. He checked out sites with guns and sex toys. He checked out Lauren Giddings’ LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts, plus her wish list.

In fact, in the months leading up to the fateful night, he’d made more than 14,000 Internet searches relating to his intended victim and his sick, disgusting, violent fantasies.

Barrister Hall ApartmentsOn Saturday, June 25, 2011, Stephen the hellbeast McDaniel decided the time had come. He used his video camera to record his target’s darkened apartment through her living room window. He Googled the burglar bar she used to secure her apartment, looking specifically for ways to disarm it. Gee, I wonder why.

The evil bastard then spent the night searching porn sites and checking out Craigslist personal ads until 4:30 a.m., Sunday.

It was time. Stephen McDaniel let himself into Lauren Giddings’ apartment using the key. He was wearing gloves and a mask — lord knows why he had a mask because I don’t think he planned for her to survive.

Lauren Giddings was sound asleep in her bedroom, and then she abruptly awoke. Maybe she had sensed someone was watching her.

What happened next we can only know from Stephen McDaniel’s own words.

“She saw me and said, very calmly, ‘Get the [email protected] out.’ I leaped across the bed onto her and grabbed her around the throat,” the murderous hellbeast claimed. “We tumbled out of the bed to the floor and in her struggle to get away, she moved her legs and her lower body under her bed, preventing her from getting away or kicking me.”

At that point, according to Stephen McDaniel, the poor woman managed to pull his mask off. She recognized him.

“Stephen? Please stop,” she said. But of course he didn’t. He throttled that beautiful young woman with his hands for 15 minutes until she stopped moving. That’s when he “dragged her into the bathroom and placed her in the bathtub”.

Lauren Giddings was not raped (the medical examiner confirmed that), not that that is much comfort to her family and friends. At 27, with a whole life full of promise still ahead of her, she was dead.

Stephen McDaniel returned to his apartment and proceeded to spend the entire day on his computer. There was no immediate rush to do what came next — everyone who knew Lauren Giddings figured she had cloistered herself to study for the bar exam.

The evening of June 27, 2011, Stephen McDaniel let himself back into his victim’s apartment. This time he came with a hacksaw.

“I removed her limbs and head, wrapped them in several black trash bags, separately, and discarded them in the Mercer law school dumpster,” the hellbeast said. Those bags were never found.

Stephen McDaniel waited until June 28, 2011, to dispose of the torso in the Barrister Hall apartments trashcan. He had it wrapped in 5 Hefty bags, still wearing the pink running shorts Lauren Giddings slept in.

On June 29, 2011, concerned friends had organized a search party for Lauren Giddings. With all the nerve in the world, Stephen McDaniel joined in, the evil bastard.

June 30 was trash collection day. Very fortunately, that was the day that Lauren Giddings was reported missing to authorities. Macon police detectives arrived at the apartment building and their cars blocked the curbside trashcans. The garbage truck just drove on by, leaving the vital evidence there to be found by the detectives.

If the trash had been collected a few minutes earlier, police might never have learned that Lauren Giddings was murdered. What luck that the police arrived when they did and parked where they did!

Learning of the murder, the media soon arrived on scene. Guess who they interviewed! Yup, her killer.

Stephen McDaniel told the media, “The police were called last night and they came. They looked around and didn’t see anything. They went in, we looked around the place. No sign of struggle, no sign that anyone had broken in. Nothing. She was just gone, all of her stuff was there. Her ID was there, her wallet was there, but she was just gone.”

The killer didn’t know at the time that the torso had been found. He’d assumed it had been picked up with the trash. When he was told about its discovery, he had a total meltdown. He crumpled into a sobbing heap when he heard, and the news cameras caught it all.

Landfill searchAnd so the hunt began, not only for the killer but for the missing pieces of poor Lauren Giddings. Police and FBI searched the Georgia Avenue corridor, storm sewers, wells, drains, and the banks of the Ocmulgee River. Investigators spent 10 to 12 hours a day combing through two landfills. They checked out a foul smell south of Hawkinsville. They checked out somebody in Columbus who thought they spotted Butterbean, the one-eyed dog.

Those investigators deserve much praise for their incredible efforts. Kudos to them!

Sadly, the extremely exhaustive and exhausting search for Lauren Giddings’ remains turned up nothing.

The search for the killer proved much more successful. Police searched Stephen McDaniel’s apartment and discovered certain items of interest — a pair of panties with the victim’s DNA in his sock drawer, a key to the victim’s apartment, and packaging for a hacksaw.

In the apartment complex’s laundry room detectives found a bloody sheet in a washing machine and a hacksaw with human flesh clinging to it in a locked storage closet.

On July 1, 2011, police arrested Stephen McDaniel, 25, for unrelated burglary charges. While he was in custody for that, police and prosecutors got all their evidence of murder collected to make sure they had as airtight a case as possible. They spent a busy month before they charged him with felony murder.

It was truly a busy month. The police discovered all of the incriminating computer searches and blog entries Stephen the f*cktard hellbeast McDaniel had made. They discovered the child porn. They discovered a photo from inside the victim’s apartment. They discovered the video footage he’d taken through her window.

Uh oh, Stevie was in deep, deep shit!

Defense attorney Franklin J. Hogue was, I think, overwhelmed by the evidence. He convinced his client that there was no way out. He told him, “We’ve got no viable defense theory left. We’ve gone beyond unwinnable.”

That’s when Stephen McDaniel, the sadistic killer, gave up hope of escaping justice.

Stephen McDanielOn April 21, 2014, a week before his trial was to start, he confessed to murder and pled guilty at Bibb County Superior Court.

In exchange for his confession, Stephen the evil roadturd McDaniel was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The child porn charges were dismissed.

The hellbeast will be eligible to request parole in 2041 but I very, very much doubt he’ll ever be released.

In his confession, the heartless hellbeast wrote, “It is difficult for me to explain why I killed Lauren and attempted to conceal my deed the way I did. The difficulty in explaining it lies in my own inability to understand it myself. I know that it was very wrong; I am not delusional or without all morals or decency…”

Ok, that load of crap made my eyeballs roll heavenward. He’s not without all morals or decency? He really thinks that? This evil, murdering connoisseur of child porn and violent erotica thinks he has some morals? This monstrous creature who considers humankind as worthless as leeches thinks he has some decency?

Addressing the court, Stephen McDaniel claimed he was “in a dream-like delusional state” *snort* and had convinced himself that Lauren was still alive. Riiiight, was this before or after he removed her head and limbs? Was this before or after he tossed her in the trash?

After the horrific, coldhearted confession was read in court, Lauren’s mother Karen Giddings said that her family are “scarred forever by the sheer, exquisite pain of missing her.”

My heart goes out to the Giddings family. I cannot even imagine the anguish they’ve gone through.

The Giddings family had asked that monstrous murderer not face the death penalty.

“I hope he lives a long life in the worst possible way,” said Lauren’s father, Billy Giddings. With that I heartily concur.

RIP, Lauren Giddings. The world has lost a beautiful soul.

I extend my sincere condolences to those who knew and loved her.

And I extend to Stephen McDaniel the fervent hope that he suffers daily in prison. He will not and probably cannot feel remorse for the evil he committed, but he should suffer psychological and physical pain for the rest of his worthless life.

I thank reader Neal for suggesting this hellbeast. article – obsession with victim article – details of investigation article – suspect inside victim’s apartment article – discovery of torso
Daily Mail article
13 WMAZ News article – McDaniel’s blog
13 WMAZ News article – timeline article
New York Daily News article

19 Responses to Stephen Mark McDaniel

  1. Ken says:

    Why can’t people be fucking normal?! Fucking prick. Ugh

    • Jwf says:

      Right, how can someone be so FUCKEN ruthless, gutless little prick. Someone’s daughter, sister or friend. No one knows what her last thoughts were, I’d give up my soul to know. I hope it was quick and she was out fast, I can’t imagine knowing that I had minutes to live. I know she probably thought of her family and friends. It’s insane and the law is insane, he should have been handed over to family and friends to do what they want with him. A slow death that takes 90 days. You love your children and protect them, u put protectors on electrical outlets u wait up or seemingly just lay awake in between sleep and alert till they get home after being out with friends. Thank god, I protected her or him and off to college and your proud they graduate and are murdered. ITS NOT FAIR, IT NOT FAIR. This prick looks like a FUCKEN piece of puke, how could his parents not of seen the evil inside him. Sorry for venting, but a good soul is gone and traded for a piece of garbage. I hope he gets his in prison. So sad right now, it just FUCKEN yanked my heart out when I saw the story on TV. 😔

  2. 2cute says:

    Good thing he was caught so soon. I would bet my entire penny collection that he would of killed again and again until he was stopped.

    • bengalpuss says:

      you have a penny collection 2cute? you’ve got more than me love, and i live in the country where we have pennies as currency lol.

  3. bengalpuss says:

    what a lowlife piece of shite and he’s a good looking fella at that*sarcasm* and why should he get the chance of parole? i wouldn’t trust him with a worm, scumbag he is.

  4. moodymagic says:

    What a beautiful person Lauren was. I give all my sympathy to Lauren and her family and friends. You dirt bag Stevie burn in hell. I hope you enjoy prison life. I hope you suffer each and everyday.

  5. Dawn says:

    And what happened to the dog???

  6. fuctup says:

    This nasty shitstain probably only regrets having one victim. He is an inhuman pile of shit who needs to be buried under the prison.

  7. Astro says:

    This guy definitely was a serial killer in training. It’s a good thing they caught him when they did, though obviously still too late to stop this sickening crime.

  8. mandapanda says:

    I live in Middle Georgia. This case was a horrendous shock within our community and is still very fresh in the hearts and thoughts of everyone in our community. There is literally no one who has not heard of this case in our area. Not to say we do not have our share of violent crimes, but this was different. This was something soaked with so much depravity that it shook our community to its core really and truly.. My heart weeps for Lauren and her family. </3 as for the sad SOB who did this, I can reassure that every waking second of every day is complete and utter misery for him in jail as it should be.. Bibb county prison system tends to be be "understaffed" at times and things tend to happen to the prisoners there from time to time. Just wait, there will be a story about something happening to him soon enough…

  9. Ian says:

    He killed the [email protected]%Ring dog too?!?!!

  10. scott says:

    While Im not defending this asshat I do feel the need to point something out, you mentioned that you thought he had planned to kill her all along but I think its important to point out that just before that statement you told of his internet searches “how long someone will be knocked out after strangled” I hypothesize that the murder was probably not intentional thus the mask. when she knocked his mask off he probably changed his plans this is illustrated by strangling her for 15 minutes far longer than necessary to kill but if he had googled this he would know.

    Either way he is a POS and Im positive someone’s bitch in prison probably several peoples actually, Its just I feel important to point these things out as there is a lot of science behind this sort of thing and it makes a difference in busting the guilty. this probably started out as a sick fantasy that snowballed into a tragedy again not at all ok but if you point this stuff out maybe someone else if ever in that situation will stop and think getting busted for BnE is better than murder and just give up rather than try to kill their way out of being arrested

    • GS says:

      My guess is that someone who is prepared to break and enter an apartment to fulfill a sexual fantasy on a potential victim, is equally capable of killing that victim.

      Once someone has transgressed that first moral boundary, there are few, if any, moral boundaries that they will not cross.

      This is why we punish crimes against animals so severely – if someone is prepared to heinous things to a defenceless animal, it is likely they are capable of anything, including murder.

  11. John Q Smith says:

    Good to have all this detail on the case in one place. The author’s lack of education in the subject matter they’re writing about, however, is glaring and the commentary only devalues the work. Nobody wants your opinions on what happened, they want the facts of the case. We get it, you’re appalled. Methinks the author doth protest too much…

  12. AreYouF'nSerious?! says:

    Part of the reason I come to Hellbeasts is Cleo’s commentary. Good thing it’s her blog and not yours, huh? What, the name of the blog didn’t clue you in?? 🙄🙄🙄

  13. AreYouF'nSerious?! says:

    That sick fuck isn’t even enough of a man to grow a full beard. I’m curious as to what type of law he was studying. Probably a defense attorney for psycho fucks such as himself.

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