Body Language Expert Breaks Down The Police Video Of Gabby Petito

The Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito missing person’s case, which involves a young couple that embarked on a road trip in early July, has turned into a possible homicide. Much has been attributed to one clue in what feels like a real-life murder mystery that has captivated the national news and social media — body cam video. The footage was released by Moab Police in Utah after Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie were pulled over following a 911 call. According to the caller, he saw Laundrie “slapping” Petito in a white van with Florida plates on August 12, per NBC News.  

It’s the one tangible clue that the public has seen regarding what could have happened to Petito, who was documenting the couple’s travels in the western U.S. on social media, sharing beautiful shots and posts about their adventures as they traveled and camped in their 2012 white Ford Transit Connect Van. Two months after the couple set off on July 1, Laundrie came home alone and refused to talk to investigators about where Petito was, then went missing himself. At the time of this writing, his whereabouts are still not known. 

Obviously, Laundrie’s behavior is casting a lot of suspicion on him. Plus, there is the fact that Petito’s remains were discovered in an area near where the van was spotted by some YouTubers. An autopsy is underway, and Laundrie’s family home has been searched. But still, it’s unclear what really happened to the 22-year-old woman whose dreams of love and adventure ended in decay. 

The couple's narrative in the body cam video makes Gabby Petito the aggressor

Because there are so many unanswered questions, Grunge sought the input of world-renowned body language expert Mark Bowden. We wanted to find out what he thought of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie’s body language in the Moab Police bodycam footage posted by Law & Crime on YouTube

At face value, we see a stressed-out, visibly upset, and crying Petito explaining to cops that she “gets frustrated” and has “really bad OCD [Obsessive-compulsive disorder].” According to Petito, she apologized to Brian Laundrie for “being so mean.” Later in the video, she said she was hitting him as he drove the van and that at one point, he wouldn’t let her in the van until she calmed down. 

For Laundrie’s part, he acts as if the situation is minor, smiling as he tells police they had a “little disagreement” and calling the situation a “little squabble.” He tells police they took a breather for a moment when they got out of the van, as the 911 caller described. But Laundrie didn’t say he hit Petito outside of the van, which was also the claim of the 911 caller.  However, Laundrie admits he pushed her to keep her away because she was “already swinging” and scratching him with her nails and rings. Still, Laundrie said, “I’m fine. I love Gabby. I hope she doesn’t have that many complaints about me,” he joked, adding that he was just trying to calm her down. But Bowden believes he sees through that narrative.

Mark Bowden says the couple was working to play down the incident

Mark Bowden told Grunge the following in an email: “Petito immediately shows clear distress and negative emotions in her face to the police … but along with Laundrie creates a narrative to minimize the severity of this situation and move more responsibility to her rather than him. Laundrie, in general, displays an air of calm and extreme compliance, creating friendly relationships with the officer, calling him ‘buddy.’ Both are clearly looking to manage the perception of this severity in this event.”

And it’s true. It’s an incredibly polite police interaction, with plenty of apologies, “no worries,” and downplaying negative situations that arise in relationships. There is very much a “you know how women get” vibe in the video between Laundrie and the police. Indeed, Petito continually blames herself for the physical altercation. 

Bowden pointed out: “Right to the end of the exchange, Petito is still in distress, but Laundrie is calm and collected leaning against his van. Before this, however, we see him give a low push-away gesture as he explains how he defended himself, after which he pulls twice on his shirt as an adaptor gesture. This can indicate some possible deceit around the story. And we find witnesses who said he pushed her head away, and another describes him slapping her. His gestures soften the severity of this to lead us towards an idea of her being the aggressor and him being the defender, whereas the opposite could be more true.”

Mark Bowden said Brian Laundrie's behavior seemed controlling and 'belittling' toward Petito

Mark Bowden is a member of The Behavior Panel, in which four of the world’s top body language and behavior experts hash out what’s really going on in “videos of public interest” on their YouTube Channel. In regards to the current case, he points out that Gabby Petito’s body language was indicative of how upset she was, writing, “Petito is also showing a prolonged experience of heightened emotions and distress, and she bends over to with hands-on knees to catch her breath.” He also wrote, “Petito’s deeper vocal tones that we hear in her video blogs are gone, and higher ones prevail, again indicating distress and certainly a move from her usually confident baseline behavior on camera.”

Certainly, the Petito we see in the body camera video is a lot different from the one on social media. Yet that could be true for many of us if we look at the difference between having a beautiful day versus a physical fight with our fiancé in which the police get involved. But it’s not just Petito that is telling a story with her body language and story narrative. As has already been mentioned, Brian Laundrie could be working to make himself look like the person who was dealing with an unhinged lady-friend, and Bowden sees a deeper meaning in Laundrie’s version of what happened. He sees glimpses of controlling behavior and says, “Laundrie also belittles Petito by talking about her ‘little website.'”

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support attheir website.

Mark Bowden said he sees 'a high likelihood of violent action from the male'

Part of the couple’s fight that morning, from what they told police, had to do with Brian Laundrie locking Gabby Petito out of her camper van thousands of miles away from their home. Mark Bowden says Laundrie’s purported spin was an attempt to make it look like he was trying to “de-escalate” the fight, and Petito even told police that Laundrie said she needed to calm down before he would let her back in the van. But Bowden wrote in an email: “And yet it also sounds from his description that this is in fact often more like him locking her out of her property of the van and taking control of the most valuable resources they have like mobility, and perhaps even food and water.”

All told, according to Bowden, what was seen in the video and what was really happening in the video are very likely two different scenarios. “All in all, we see both try to manage the perception of the events but one (Laundrie) showing some deceit around violent action,” he said. “This certainly has some hallmarks of an unhealthy relationship with a high likelihood of violent action from the male, the severity of which is being softened.”

Leave a Reply

© 2024  /  /  All Rights Reserved
Free Bitcoin Mining Daily Rewards:$1.00
Free Bitcoin mining, own your Miner Earn passive Bitcoin without technical expertise
Earn crypto together A Loyalty Program Built For Everyone
Free Bonus (1.500 TH/s) Free 0.0004 BTC monthly minings