Friday, September 6, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2512:
Matthew Cordle's YouTube Confession
and the Death of Vincent Canzani
"I Killed a Man" - What His Body Language Tells Us ...
It's NOT what you think!
(VIDEO, PHOTOS)





In this very recent Youtube video that is in the midst of going viral, Matthew Cordle confesses to aggravated vehicular homicide and the Death of Vincent Canzani on 22 June 2013. Cordle states that while intoxicated, he drove the wrong way on a highway and crashed into Mr. Canzani's vehicle killing him. In addition, Mr. Cordle made this on-line confession without the prior knowledge of his attorney.

If you have not yet watched this video (hopefully you haven't) please watch it two or three times with the sound muted. Mr. Cordle, while confessing and willing to "do his time for the crime", shows both low empathy and sincerity quotients. A partial nonverbal analysis follows.




At no time in this video does Mr. Cordle display a crucial signal of sincerity and empathy - the central forehead contraction (CFC). Instead we see the entire forehead contracted with an asymmetry oft present - here his right forehead is contracted indicated incredulity. Moreover if a CFC were present, in the presence of a heartfelt confessional, we would also see an expression of sadness on his mouth (Image taken at 2:08)




This photo and the one immediate below it were taken during the 2:09 less than 0.10 apart. In this very telling slice of time, Mr. Cordle displays what is known in body language parlance as a "Duping Delight". Watch this video several times between the 2:07 and 2:11 marks, you will see an extremely quick "microexpression" (what some would erroneously call a muscle twitch) as the right corner of his mouth moves upward during the 2:09 mark.  

Some may ask why is this "Duping" when he is confessing? The answer - he is NOT fully remorseful, yet is pretending to be. He is NOT feeling any significant empathy for the death he caused. He is confessing yes - but he is seeking limelight. He is wants his 15 minutes and he's getting far more.

He is somehow secretly joyful during this moment. His words may sound remorseful, but his nonverbal signals are very strongly disparate from any emotion resembling remorse.


One possible hint as to his motive of feeling delight at this moment comes a few seconds earlier in the video as he insinuates that he was asked to lie by an attorney. It is possible that in the "outing" of this attorney he will be a sort of "hero". Indeed the dramatic way in which he did this - on the internet, professionally and highly edited with musical in the background - is strongly suggestive of a strong narcissistic personality. He says he wants to prevent others from driving while under the influence of alcohol - and it hopefully will have this effect - YET HIS PRIMARY EMOTIONAL DRIVER IS HIS NARCISSISM.


This image and the one immediately below were captured about 0.15 seconds apart during the 2:10 mark.

To most anyone who watched this video with the sound muted - there were many, many moments for which these two photos are good representatives - a significant attempt at suppressing a smile. And still no selective contraction of Cordle's central forehead muscles - but contraction across its entire width. Low empathy. Low sincerity. Indeed one strong signal (but certainly not the only sign) of a person who is chronically insincere (thus a baseline personality trait) is an individual who over-uses their entire forehead.



Cordle's mouth is trying to smile and frown at the same time, therefore it has this characteristic appearance. For any parent this is reminiscent of a child who has just committed a minor deception and is fully aware that their parent knows the truth.

It is good that he confessed to this crime (and there's a good chance he would have been convicted despite what he says earlier in the video) - BUT DO NOT BE FOOOLED - he does so for all the wrong reasons:

  • Narcissism,
  • Probably to win favor with the judge and lessen his sentence (aggravated vehicular homicide carries a prison penalty of two to eight years in Ohio)
  • Ideas of profiting from the movie rights and
  • Perhaps as an act of outing an attorney who he has implied encouraged him to lie and thus a portion of what he perceives to be the "legal system".
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What other nonverbal signals did you see in this "confessional" (there were many others)?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Contempt  The Body Language of Threat Assessment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2313:  Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel -  What Her Body Language Tells Us ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2504:  Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez and a  Commonly Missed Body Language Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2503: Fort Hood Shooter and his Tell-Tale Body Language Common to many Mass-Killers - Nidal Malik Hasan gets the Death Penalty

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2441:  Paula Deen's Apology - What Does Her Body Language Say? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2405:  Anthony Weiner's Running For Mayor of New York  His Body Language & His Sincerity Quotient

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