September 9, 2013

The amount of people who reached out to my family and myself in support and to share their own story truly has touched my heart. Something I never expected was messages from victims of DUI and their families saying the video helped them heal or bring closure to the void that was left in their own tragedies. The strength and forgiveness of others is what kept my own convictions in tact and gave me the ability to carry out what I had set to do.
The grand jury finally came down with my indictment 6 days after the video was released and with my dad at my side, I surrendered myself to Franklin County Correctional Center on September 9th, 2013. -Matthew Cordle

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Releasing the video

I reached out to “Because I said I would” and the founder, Alex Sheen, responded immediately. He expressed his sympathy and wanted to get to know me and more about the situation before moving forward. He became somewhat of a mentor to me and more importantly, a friend that I desperately needed. He challenged me to face my feelings and warned me of possible outcomes from what we were hoping to accomplish, although I don’t think either of us could have seen the impact would be made. We agreed that the best way to reach people was to share my first hand circumstances and what I had done. The video was edited and scored because the senseless loss of life deserves time and effort. The video was released on September 3rd, 2013 and within 48 hours had 2 million views. In the media craze that followed were both were contacted by every major new station, all the way up to the producers from Oprah. We really never imagined this, maybe it would make news in Columbus we had thought. Alex has been in contact with one Vincent Canzani’s daughter throughout all of this. She asked that I not take part in any media interviews through the duration of the legal process and I promised I wouldnt because notoriety was not what it was about. The message of the video is what was and still is important. -Matthew Cordle

Isolation

I was isolated out in a house my family owns along the river so I had a lot of time to think to myself. When my family and friends would come to check on me I usually would pretend I was preoccupied and pray they would leave quickly. I couldn’t face them. I was taking my prescribed anxiety and pain medication at the time, way over the recommended amount because I didn’t want to face myself. All the while the feeling that I was going down the wrong path was growing in my heart and mind. My own family seemed to be breaking under the pressure of what I had done and I began thinking that if my family feels this way, what kind of hell Vincent’s family and loved ones must be going through. I couldn’t shake that thought and then asked myself, what is more important, how many years I spend in prison or my life and my soul for the rest of my days? The answer was clear to me, forget the legal side of this tragedy and the right thing was simple and always right in front of me. After I told my family about my decision to simply take responsibility and plead guilty, we sought out a lawyer who was a friend of the family and I knew I could trust. They contacted the prosecutor’s office and still weeks went by with no charges. A new emotion began to take hold in me and I was filled with desire to take all of this pain I had caused, and turn it into something that could hopefully open people’s eyes. To see what I didn’t. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own and in the weak state I was in I desperately need guidance. -Matthew Cordle