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Moment murderer realises they've found his victim's body on live TV

Moment murderer realises they've found his victim's body on live TV

He appeared to be a concerned neighbour on camera but he was hiding a dark secret

The moment a murderer was told the body of his victim had been found by police was captured during a live TV interview.

Stephen McDaniel was speaking to a local news channel after his neighbour, Lauren Giddings, had been reported missing from her home in Macon, Georgia in the US - but unbeknownst to the reporter, they were actually speaking to Giddings' killer.

You can see the moment he found out Giddings’ body had been found here:

In the clip, McDaniel was asked to talk about what sort of person Giddings was - completely unaware that he was just about to discover his victim’s body had been recovered.

Appearing on camera, McDaniel looked like your typical concerned local resident, but he was hiding a huge, dark secret.

The truth was that McDaniel had been secretly stalking Giddings for months and although he had asked her out for a date, she declined but asked to stay in touch, telling real friends that he made her feel 'uneasy'.

He would secretly film outside of her bedroom and even broke into her apartment when she wasn't at home.

On 26 June, 2011, McDaniel snuck into her house once more, this time while she was sleeping.

When she woke up, he murdered her by strangulation, dismembering her body and then disposing of her in a bin.

Lauren Giddings was just 27 when she was murdered by Stephen McDaniel.
Family Handout

After committing the monstrous crime, McDaniel went about his life as normal - but after Giddings was reported as missing, instead of staying quiet he decided to offer to help conduct the search.

As part of his 'concerned friend' act, he did a TV interview with WGXA in which he described how he attended the same university as Giddings, Mercer College in Georgia.

At one point, he even suggested that she may have been snatched while out running.

But his calm and collected temperament clearly shifted when the reporter interviewing him asked him about a torso that had just been discovered - marking the exact moment McDaniel realised the police would soon be on to him.

The killer appeared to be lost for words, saying: "I think I need to sit down," before breaking down in tears and saying: "I don't know anyone that would want to hurt her."

At this point, police had already established McDaniel as a person of interest, and this was likely only exacerbated by his strange behaviour on camera.

Stephen McDaniel had stalked and been obsessed with Lauren Giddings before he brutally murdered her while she slept.
Macon County Police Department

Just a week on from the murder, he was called in for questioning and police searched his home where they found a collection of swords, guns, toilet rolls and a mask made out of women's underwear.

They also discovered packaging for the hacksaw that had been used to dismember Giddings' body along with the master key to the rooms in the building.

His interrogation was even stranger than his news appearance, as he chose to stay bizarrely fixed in one position throughout the 12-hour interview.

In 2014, McDaniel finally confessed to the brutal murder and he was sentenced to life in prison and won't be eligible for parole until 2041.

McDaniel appealed his conviction in 2017 but was rejected and is currently serving his sentence at Hancock State prison.

Featured Image Credit: WGXA/Macon Police Department

Topics: Crime, US News