I AM HOMICIDE Detective Garry McFadden shares bio, reveals show secrets in new Q&A

Detective Garry McFadden 1

Investigation Discovery’s hit I Am Homicide recently debuted its Season 2 premiere to strong ratings and great fanfare. As we recently wrote, the second season of the show will be longer than the first by at least one episode, and possibly by several more–so fans of Detective Garry McFadden have a lot to look forward to this summer.

On that note, then, let us draw your attention to the extensive Facebook Q&A Garry recently engaged in with viewers. The running time of the video may “only” be about fifteen minutes, but Detective McFadden manages to answer a lot of questions in that time. We’ve put together a partial transcript of his thoughts on homicide horrors, down-time, street informers, what it’s really like to be on the I Am Homicide set, and a whole lot more.

If you’d like to check out the complete Detective Garry McFadden Q&A, the video is below. Our transcript–with questions in boldface, and Garry’s answers in plain text–follows the video:

How long does it take to really solve a murder?
“If the suspect is on the scene, it’s gonna be solved that day. But, if they’re not, then it’s gonna take a couple of days, and then–the witnesses, if they all come forward, and talk to me, I’ll get to put somebody in that box.”

What’s the worst crime you ever saw or that you ever solved?
“I think the one that sticks out in my mind is a young lady [who] starved her one of her kids to death, and allowed the other kid to starve in a bedroom. But we actually found the young man before he died. And I think that would rank up there at the top.”

What’s the hardest part about being a detective?
“The hardest part about my job–and any detective will tell you this–is giving the death notification. And it would still be hard if I had to do it today.”

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to become a detective?
“Be patient; be honest; be sincere; and never, ever lie to your victims’ families.”

Can you tell us one secret from being on the I Am Homicide set?
“It’s cold every day we’re in there. It’s actually very, very cold. The bathrooms are very cold. And we eat the same lunch every day…Panera bread.”

How do you separate yourself from the things that you see at a crime scene?
“I go out and shop. I buy clothes; I buy suits. I never go home directly after a homicide, unless it’s four o’ clock in the morning–and then it’s about a two-hour drive anyway, because I’m tired [and] I don’t want to hit a deer. But, other than that, just getting away, never going home. Believe it or not, how else do I separate myself: I become personal with the victim’s family, and I actually have a conversation with them on the way home.”

Do you keep in touch with the victims’ families?
“I keep in touch with probably 50% of my victims’ families. I attend their weddings; this coming week I’m going to three graduations; I have been the best man in weddings; I have spoken at family members’ funerals. So, I keep in touch…it’s been over 30 years [in some cases]. So the kids who were three years old are now 25 years old.”

What’s the hardest part about solving a homicide?
“The hardest part is actually getting witnesses to come forward who you know have seen it, who you know have been on the crime scene, and who have all the information. Getting them to come to court, or even telling you what happened–that’s the hardest part.”

Can you tell us a little bit about your infamous “peeps on the street?”
“My peeps on the street are always on the street, and I don’t bring my peeps to court. We kind of have a casual conversation on the corner. And every neighborhood has that corner store. So, instead of getting out and saying ‘Hey, I’m the po-po, I’m the police, I’m the 5-0,’ just get out and say, ‘Hey, come on, y’all. Let me just have a drink with y’all and tell me what you know. You may not have to come to court, but steer me in the right direction.’ So, being on the streets is where I love to be.”

What’s the best way a woman can protect herself when walking alone?
“Run! No; don’t run. Don’t show a lot of fear. Look the person in the eye, and if you have to fight, fight like it means your life. Which it probably will.”

What does you do with his time off?
“I grill. Barbecue and grill. If you want to come over, I’ll barbecue and grill you something. And I do fish on the side.”

How has your life changed since I Am Homicide aired?
“Well, I talk to more people than I ever thought I would. Wal-Mart is a good place to go if I want to see some fans. Just walking down the street, going to the airport. Just talking to people. And I think that’s the biggest change of being recognized, and absolutely understand that–’You can’t be talking about me,’ but I look around and they are talking about me. And just being recognized from the show is the biggest part that’s changed my life.

What do you to relieve stress?
“I don’t go home; I grill; I fly fish. I think the most part is fly-fishing–that’s the thing that most relieves my stress.”

What would you say is the #1 tip for overall crime prevention?
Know your surroundings. Always be aware of your surroundings, and be attentive. I would say that would be the #1 crime prevention tip–because, if it happens, you’ll want to recall it, and tell us what happened.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
“I would be coaching high school football. And I would have all the mothers away from the sideline, and also the fathers.”

I Am Homicide Season 2 airs Tuesday nights at 10 on Investigation Discovery.

(Photo credits: Detective Garry McFadden via Investigation Discovery)


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  • Patricia Conine

    I love this show and I love Detective McFadden!! <3