P. O. Box 209
11781 St. Route 762
Orient, Ohio 43146
Matthew has been transferred to Pickaway Correctional institute where he will serve the remainder of his sentence. Anyone interested in writing to him is encouraged to do so. Again-handwrite your address (no stamp/label as they will tear it off). He also has access to emails through jpay.com and will be able to respond to those fairly quickly and regularly now. Jpay.com allows you to “email” him for 30 cents and you can send a virtual stamp with it so he can email you back. Matthew has been accepted into the Oasis program:
The Oasis Therapeutic Community (TC) is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and the Pickaway Correctional Institution servicing male offenders with substance abuse problems. OASIS stands for “Our Awareness of Self Increases Success” and the name was created by its first residents. TC focuses the residents on right living in a pro-social community and recovery through a shared therapeutic structure that includes communal meetings, encounter groups, education, organized recreation, and the like. There are 2 paths in OASIS: one is an Intensive Program Prison model that runs 4 months at PCI and 3 months in the community. The other is a long term program running 9-12 months in the institution. Residents are held to a high degree of accountability. Staff are there to help guide and assist, but the residents are the primary role models holding each other to a high standard. TC has proven very effective in helping offenders “go home to stay”.
The first thing I remember is hands attending to me and then the feel of cold across my body. ER nurses were cutting my clothes off and checking for more wounds. I remember not being able to see but I could smell gasoline, which was all over me. My arm and head felt like they were on fire. I can’t remember much more except for cops attemping to talk to me and me being extremly delierious and irate. At this point, my sister Sarah and brother-in-law Ilker arrived. I have asked her to write about what was going on, what she saw and felt when she arrived at the hospital. -Matthew Cordle
Friday, June 21st, 2013. One of my best buddies let me know that he had reserved us a table at a joint called Bar Louie. My family was also celebrating my cousins 12th birthday, so I stopped over at my aunts house early in the night for dinner . I cant remember what time it was that I left but I do remember being asked if I was headed home. See, it was common knowledge among my family that I had a problem with alcohol and they did the best they could to support me, hence them asking, rather pleading, that I stay in on a friday night. I lied, as I always did, and told them of course I wasn’t going out. I don’t know exactly when I became such a liar but when your whole life is filled with secrets, lying is much more convenient. I’ve been called a “weekend warrior” for separate reasons. First, because of my dedication to getting extremely intoxicated every weekend. When you continually binge drink your body loses the ability to process the amount of alcohol and you “blackout” quicker and quicker. I say this because the next part is incredibly hazy to me between being heavily intoxicated and being in critical condition. I am in no way making an excuse for my actions that night by saying “I blacked out”. I am intelligent enough to know that taking a drink impairs you, yet I chose to drink anyway. I got to Bar Louie around 10pm or 11pm, my whole group of friends were already there and I remember having a great time seeing everyone. We ordered drink after drink, shot after shot, and from here is where my memory gets hazy. I was told we went to two more bars that night but apart from choppy memories, I have no recollection of that. From what I’ve heard, at some point in the night I simply up and took off. -Matthew Cordle
While the news seemed more preoccupied with the “buzz worthy” parts of this tragedy, I want to focus on what really matters. I caused the death of an innocent man, I have damaged his friends and families lives, his daughters will never get to reconcile with him, his grand kids will never really get to know him, his loved ones and friends will never get to spend another second with the man they cherished so much. My friends and families lives are damaged, they have to suffer with a loved one in prison, they have to suffer the shame of what I’ve done. They also have to serve the punishment with me even though they are all innocent. One decision I made caused an enormous ripple of tragedy, one I don’t think I will ever truly comprehend. Every action and choice you make can effect others, bad choices can result in everything I’ve just described. No one is more important than anyone else. No one has the right to take the life of another. And no one has the right to put an innocent family through what I put them through. -Matthew Cordle
Last night was probably the hardest since I’ve been here. Maybe because everyone I know was celebrating and with loved ones. I have a New Years resolution though-not to succub to the negativity of prison. To stay true to myself. -Matthew Cordle
One thing I have learned is that everything I thought was important isn’t and everything I didn’t think mattered was everything I’ve ever wanted. Stay safe over the holiday and remember that every person is precious and they deserve to get home safe to their loved ones just as much as you do, so celebrate in a manner that makes sure everyone gets home safe. Happy New Year. – Matthew Cordle
Vincent Canzani 1952-2013
The question that I am asked the most is “why did you make the video?” My answer is because it was the right thing to do and to prevent others from doing what I did. We all were taught the difference between right and wrong and if you do something wrong you own up to it. I know how hard of a struggle it is to own up to your wrongdoings, I’ve been running away from my own for my whole life and it even took me nearly 3 months to make the decision to accept my responsibility in the death of Mr. Canzani, so I am no better than anyone else. The point I’m trying to get across is that there are more important things than trying to save your own skin, and in doing the right thing you are really saving yourself in the long run anyway. Another reason for making the video is so hopefully people can grasp the enormity of such a tragic event from this video rather than having to experience it first hand. For some reason we can’t truly understand something until it happens to us, I’m not sure why that is but I want to help others figure out what I couldn’t see myself. -Matthew Cordle
Although this blog is for Matthew to give insight into his thoughts and what he is going through on a daily basis I am also going to include family and friends input from time to time. I know Matthew is the one that did something wrong- but I do feel people sometimes forget there is a family behind the person who committed the crime too. I will never know what my brother has to deal with from his actions but I can give you a look into how it affects our lives. Matt stated that his mood changes frequently just on a 15 minute call. This is so true. Most of the time he tries to stay positive. He doesn’t have much to look forward to right now at CRC so those 15 minute calls are precious to us all. It is so hard when he is having a bad day or feels “defeated”. One day he called and was talking about how everyone in the prison is getting out before him (or received a shorter sentence than him). He was very frustrated. Or another time he said he didnt know if he could do this. I told him he didn’t have a choice. What can you really say? We remind him of his message and that thru his story he can help others. I read to him comments everyone leaves for him and show him the support. It changes my day and mood too. Sometimes after I get off the phone with him I just cry. Even if it was a good call….I cry because I am happy of the person he has become but for selfish reasons because I don’t get to enjoy that person right now. My family and Matt’s girlfriend text daily to see if he called anyone, what mood he is in, anything new etc. I try to put myself in his shoes and imagine being locked in a cell with other criminals, some with scary crimes or have been to prison multiple times….having to stay in that cell for 22 hours a day with not much to do. I honestly think I would go crazy. I think that would be a test to anyone. But I continue to look forward to his calls, no matter what mood he is in. It truly reminds me to cherish those you love, even if it can only be during a 15 minute call.
As you can see, it is very hard to think positive in here and this place has a way of breaking your spirits. My family and girlfriend will be the first to tell you that my attitude during phone calls shifts more than a politicians in just 15 minutes. While I’ve accepted my crime, my sentence, and that I deserve to be here, it’s still very difficult to grasp exactly what being incarcerated for 6 1/2 years means, and it quickly overwhelms me. I know this is a quote from someone famous but my friend Alex Sheen (founder of Because I said I Would) told me something along the lines of “The time test is holding to your convictions. even when the mood you had when you made them is long gone.” I may have gotten that quote wrong, but the meaning of it is so damn true and sometimes it really takes gritting it out to hold true to yourself. As a society, we only hold on to things or believe in things while they are convenient and far to often only think of ourselves. -Matthew Cordle