“People would tell me, ‘Your roommate is f**king crazy,’” Matthew Garrison said. In part because of Stephen McDaniel’s strangeness, “nobody in our social circle had any problem believing it” when McDaniel was accused of murder.
Remember how Thad Money claimed that McDaniel discussed with him how to plan “the perfect murder”? Garrison had a similar account.
“The conversation we had was, ‘If you were to commit a murder, how would you get away with it?’ [McDaniel] laid out certain details. But he seemed to have no grasp of forensics at all.”
“He would say, ‘Take off the arms, legs, and head, so nobody could identify [the body]. I had studied forensics, so I said you should destroy [the remains], not just dispose. But every time I’d say this, he’d just say, ‘I like my way better.’”
“Fast forward to the time I heard about the Lauren Giddings murder, and he gave that interview [with a local TV station].” Garrison immediately remembered the “perfect murder” conversation — and how the details about the dismemberment of Giddings’s body tracked what McDaniel discussed back in their college days together.
According to Garrison, he got in touch with a friend with family ties to the county sheriff’s department. He told this friend that the police should start looking in dumpsters and dumps for limbs or body parts. Shortly thereafter, law enforcement authorities conducted such searches and found some of Giddings’s remains.
Based on Matthew Garrison’s account, living with Stephen McDaniel was not a particularly pleasant experience. But being strange and smelly, and having creepy conversations, are not crimes.
With respect to the murder of Lauren Giddings, Stephen McDaniel is presumed innocent until proven guilty. We will continue to follow this case as it moves through the criminal justice system. If you have information to share with us, we welcome it, as always.
UPDATE (7:45 PM): One thing Garrison asked me to mention (during our conversation and after seeing this post): he would like to speak with someone in the office of Bibb County District Attorney Greg Winters, which is why he came forward. If anyone from the D.A.’s office would be willing to speak with Matt Garrison, please email us, and we can put you in touch with him. Thanks.
Hearing set for McDaniel’s bond to be reconsidered [Macon Telegraph]
Blood, hair found in refrigerator of Giddings’ neighbor, letters say [Macon Telegraph]