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Document Examination “The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery” —Ralph Hodgson, British poet.

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Presentation on theme: "Document Examination “The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery” —Ralph Hodgson, British poet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Document Examination “The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery” —Ralph Hodgson, British poet

2 Chp Please Do Now Get a large white board and list 10 things that you think can be forged (faked) )1. currency )2. coins )3. painting )4. sculpture )5. signature )6. Baseball card )7. stamp )8. antique )9. check )10. movie )11. maps )12. passport )13. Birth certificate )14. diploma )15. Driver’s license )16. contracts )17. photos )18. identity )19. )20.

3 Chp What do you think a forensic document examiner can do?

4 Chp I. The Document Examiner  Involves the examination of handwriting, ink, paper, etc. to ascertain source or authenticity )Their work usually involves examining _________ and _____________ to determine the _________ or _______________ of a questioned document.  QUESTIONED DOCUMENT: any object with handwriting or print whose source or authenticity is in doubt )Writing/markings on letters, checks, driver’s licenses, contracts, wills, voter registrations, passports, petitions, lottery tickets, walls, windows, doors, etc. handwriting typescript source authenticity

5 Chp The Document Examiner )Must be able to recognize efforts to alter documents through ____________, ___________ or ________________ of words to alter or obscure the original meaning of a document. )Tries to recover the original contents of the writing )May reconstruct writing on charred or burned papers )Uncover the meaning of indented writings found on a paper pad after the top sheet has been removed )Click to see videoClick to see video overwritingerasures crossing out

6 Chp The Document Examiner )Applies knowledge of microscopy, photography, chromatography to recognize and compare the individual characteristics of questioned and known authentic writings. ) Thus, getting documents of known authorship or origin is critical to the outcome of the examination. )The uniqueness of handwriting makes this type of physical evidence, like fingerprints, one the few definitive individual characteristics available to the investigator.

7 Chp Questioned Documents  Involves the examination of handwriting, ink, paper, etc. to ascertain source or authenticity  Examples include letters, checks, licenses, contracts, wills, passports  Investigations include: verification, authentication, characterizing papers, pigments, and inks

8 Chp Related Fields  Historical Dating — the verification of age and value of a document or object  Fraud Investigation — focuses on the money trail and criminal intent  Paper and Ink Specialists — date, type, source, and/or catalogue various types of paper, watermarks, ink, printing/copy/fax machines, computer cartridges  Forgery Specialists — analyze altered, obliterated, changed, or doctored documents and photos  Typewriting Analysts — determine origin, make, and models  Computer Crime Investigators — investigate cybercrime

9 Chp Please Do Now Click to Watch the video clip A reenacted scene of a member of the Dutch resistance at work faking documents to fool the Germans.

10 Chp Forgery Videos )Click for video clip on Forgery Expert 4:27 minClick for video clip on Forgery Expert )Click for Possible Picasso art forgery 4:04 minClick for Possible Picasso art forgery )Why Fake History of Europe, Asia, Rome, Greece, Egypt? 6 minWhy Fake History of Europe, Asia, Rome, Greece, Egypt? )Van Meegeren, Master Forger 6:11 minVan Meegeren, Master Forger )Art Forger (John Myatt)his story 4:01minArt Forger (John Myatt)his story )Mystery of the Mansoor Amarna Collection 9:59 minMystery of the Mansoor Amarna Collection )Document forgery ring busted 2:10 minDocument forgery ring busted

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14 Chp The Mansoor Amarna Collection )Mystery of the Mansoor Amarna Collection 9:59 minMystery of the Mansoor Amarna Collection )The Louvre behind the Mansoor Amarna Collection 2:35 minThe Louvre behind the Mansoor Amarna Collection )Fred Stross and The Mansoor Amarna Part 1 8:12 minFred Stross and The Mansoor Amarna Part 1 )Fred Stross and The Mansoor Amarna Part 2 7:26 minFred Stross and The Mansoor Amarna Part 2

15 Chp Legal Forgers/ Fakes  Legal art forger at work 1:38 min Legal art forger at work 1:38  Worlds most talented legal art faker Joachim Wittke  Legal Fake Art on TV Prime Time 3:34 min Legal Fake Art on TV Prime Time  M.C. Escher Spoofs 8:05 min M.C. Escher Spoofs

16 Chp II. Handwriting Comparisons ) The early stages of learning handwriting are characterized by a conscious effort to copy standard letter forms. )However, as writing skills improve, nerve and motor responses associated with the act of writing become subconscious. Zaner-Blaser method

17 Chp Handwriting Characteristics  Line Quality  Word and Letter Spacing  Letter Comparison  Pen Lifts  Connecting strokes  Beginning and ending strokes  Unusual Letter Formation  Shading or pen pressure  Slant  Baseline Habits  Flourishes or embellishments  Diacritic Placement ( dot i’s, cross t’s,etc.)

18 Chp Handwriting Handwriting analysis involves two phases: 1.The hardware — ink, paper, pens, pencils, typewriter, printers 2.Visual examination of the writing

19 Chp Handwriting Comparisons ) Document experts continually testify to the fact that no two individuals write exactly alike. ) Many factors comprise the total character of a person’s writing. )Individual variations associated with mechanical, physical, and mental functions make it extremely unlikely that any two people write identically. )Thus, the unconscious handwriting of two different individuals can never be identical.

20 Chp Variations in Handwriting Characteristics )Angularity )Slope )Speed )Pressure )letter and word spacing )relative dimensions of letters )connections )pen movement )writing skill and )finger dexterity Variations are expected in: NATURAL VARIATIONS: Normal deviations found between repeated specimens of an individual’s handwriting.

21 Chp Other Variations in Handwriting Characteristics )The arrangement of the writing on the paper )such as margins, spacing, crowding, insertions, and alignment. )Spelling, punctuation, phraseology, and grammar can be personal and help to individualize the writer. )Furthermore, the writing style of one individual may be altered beyond recognition by the influence of drugs or alcohol.

22 Chp Handwriting Comparisons )No single handwriting characteristic can in itself be taken as the basis for a positive comparison. )The final conclusion must be based on a sufficient number of common characteristics between the known and questioned writing samples. )There are no hard and fast rules for a sufficient number of personal characteristics; it is a judgment call made by the expert examiner in the context of each case.

23 Chp Handwriting Samples  The subject should not be shown the questioned document  The subject is not told how to spell words or use punctuation  The subject should use materials similar to those of the document  The dictated text should match some parts of the document  The subject should be asked to sign the text  Always have a witness

24 Chp Handwriting Exemplars )The collection of an adequate number of known writings (exemplars) is most critical for determining the outcome of a handwriting comparison. )Known writing should contain some of the words and combination of letters present in the questioned document and be adequate in number to show the range of natural variations in a suspect’s writing. )The writing implement and paper should also be alike. )The writing of dictation and several pages may serve to minimize attempts at deception.

25 Chp Handwriting Exemplars This is a traced signature done following a genuine signature or overlaying a genuine signature and using transmitted light to follow the line of writing. Genuine Mickey Mantle signature SIMULATED FORGERY : made by copying an actual model or a mental image of a genuine signature.

26 Chp *Methods of Forgery  Simulated forgery : one made by copying a genuine signature  Traced forgery : one made by tracing a genuine signature  Blind forgery : made without a model of the signature


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29 Chp Types of Forgery  Check Fraud  Forgery  Counterfeit  Alterations  Paper Money  Counterfeit  Identity  Social Security  Driver’s license  Credit Cards  Theft of card or number  Art —imitation with intent to deceive  Microscopic examination  Electromagnetic radiation  Chemical analysis  Contracts —alterations of contracts, medical records

30 Chp Famous Forgers + Forgeries  Major George Byron (Lord Byron forgeries)  Thomas Chatterton (Literary forgeries)  John Payne Collier (Printed forgeries)  Dorman David (Texas Declaration of Independence)  Mark Hofmann (Mormon, Freemason forgeries)  William Henry Ireland (Shakespeare forgeries)  Clifford Irving (Howard Hughes forgery)  Konrad Kujau (Hitler Diaries)  James Macpherson (Ossian manuscript)  George Psalmanasar (Literary forgery)  Alexander Howland Smith (Historical documents)

31 Chp Collecting Handwriting Exemplars )Generally, material written within years of the disputed writing is satisfactory for comparison. Why? ) For most adults, basic writing changes are comparatively slow.

32 Chp Collecting Handwriting Exemplars )Gilbert v. California, Supreme Court uphheld the taking of exemplars before the appointment of counsel. )Also ruled that handwriting samples are identifying physical characteristics that lie outside Fifth Amendment protection. )United States. v. Mara, Supreme Court ruled that taking a handwriting sample did not violate Fourth Amendment rights (unreasonable search and seizure)

33 Chp Forensic Linguist  Experts that look at the linguistic content (the way something is written) of a questioned document.  Language that is used can help to establish the writer’s: age level of education gender professional training ethnicity ideology

34 Chp III.Typewriters and Printing Devices )The two requests most often made of the examiner in connection with the examination of typewriters and printing devices are: )whether the make and model of the typewriter and printing devices used to prepare the questioned document can be identified. )whether a particular suspect typewriter or printing device can be identified as having prepared the questioned document. )In order to do this, the individual type character’s style, shape, and size are compared to a complete reference collection of past and present typefaces.

35 Chp Characteristics From Use of Typewriters and Printing Devices )As is true for any mechanical device, use of a printing device will result in wear and damage to the machine’s moving parts. )These changes will occur in a fashion that is both random and irregular, thereby imparting individual characteristics to the printing device. )The document examiner has to deal with problems involving business and personal computers, which often produce typed copies that have only subtle defects. )Another area of investigation relates to the typewriter ribbon, which may contain type impressions.

36 Chp Digital Technology )In the cases of photocopiers, fax machines, and computer printers an examiner may be called on to identify the make and model of a machine or to compare a questioned document with test samples from a suspect machine. )A side by side comparison is made between the questioned document and the printed exemplars to compare markings produced by the machine. )Examiners compare )transitory defect marks, )fax machine headers, )toner, )toner application methods, and )mechanical and printing characteristics.

37 Chp Photocopiers )Transitory defect marks can develop from debris on )the glass platen )inner cover )mechanical parts )These defect marks can become points of comparison

38 Chp Fax Machines )TTI (transmitting terminal identifier) header is at the top of each fax page )Identifies where the fax originated from )The TTI and the document’s text should have different type styles )TTI can be fradulently made and put in the proper position on a fax copy. )Detected by a microscopic examination

39 Chp Determining Fax Machine’s Model Type )Start by analyzing the TTI type stle )Fonts are determined by the sending machine )Number of characters, their style and their position in the header are best evaluated by checking a collection of TTI fonts in a database, such as from the American Society of Questioned Documets Examiners database

40 Chp Do A House Divided Lab )Hand out 6 shredded documents in zip lock baggies with the lab sheet. )When you have completed putting a document back together, let the teacher check it and then put in back in its proper numbered baggie. )Start another document.

41 Chp Determining Computer Printer Model )Requires extensive analysis of specific printer technology and type of ink used. )By visual and microscopic techniques )Character shapes, toner differentiation and toner application methods are determined with a low-power microscope )Toner analysis involves identification of inorganic and organic components of the toner )Printers are usually either: )Impact prints ) EX. Thermal and dot-matrix printers )Nonimpact printers ) EX. Ink jet printers and laser printers

42 Chp Typewriters )TWO questions to ask: 1.Can the make and model of the typewriter used to type the questioned document be identified? ° Need a complete reference collection of past and present typefaces used by typewriter manufactures. 2.Can a particular suspect typewriter be identified as having prepared the questioned document? ° Need to compare questioned document to exemplars prepared form the suspect typewriter *** May also look at the ribbon to check the type impressions left on it

43 Chp IV. Alterations, Erasures, and Obliterations )Documents are often altered or changed after preparation, to hide their original intent or to perpetrate a fraud (forgery).

44 Chp Which are the real stamps? The forgeries? 2nd row are all forgeries from different people click

45 Chp Forgery of German Identity Card ( made in a POW camp during WW II)

46 Chp Stamp made by etching aluminum with acid: the aluminum was cut from a camp cooking utensil. (made in a POW camp during WW II)

47 Chp IV. Alterations, Erasures, and Obliterations OBJECTIVE: List some of the techniques document examiners use to uncover: ) alterations, ) erasures, ) obliterations, and ) variations in pen inks.

48 Chp “U.S. Take over of the Amazon Forest” Myth Since 2000, a forgery has circulated falsely claiming that the United States and the United Nations have assumed control of the Amazon rainforest in order to safeguard its treasures for all mankind.

49 Chp IV. Alterations, Erasures, and Obliterations )Document examiners must deal with evidence that has been changed in several ways, such as through alterations, erasures, and obliterations. )Erasures by rubber erasers, sandpaper, razor blade or knife to remove writing or typing disturb the fibers of the paper and are readily apparent when examined with a microscope. )If an alteration is made to a document with ink differing form the original, it can sometimes be detected due to differences in the luminescence properties of the inks. )Obliteration of writing by overwriting or crossing out to hide the original writing can be revealed by infrared radiation, which may pass through the upper layer of writing while being absorbed by the underlying area.

50 Chp IV. Alterations, Erasures + Obliterations )Documents are often altered or changed after preparation, to hide their original intent or to perpetrate a fraud (forgery). )ERASURES: The removal of writing, typewriting, or printing from a document, normally accomplished by either chemical means or an abrasive instrument. )OBLITERATION: Blotting out or smearing over writing or printing to make the original unreadable.

51 Chp ERASURES )Various methods used to erase parts of a document: 1.Using an India rubber eraser 2.Sandpaper 3.A razor blade or knife to remove writing by abrading or scratching the paper’s surface )Detected by microscopy: 1.Using direct light 2.Using side lighting (let light strike paper obliquely from one side) )Although microscopy detects erasure, it may not indicate the original letters or words present. WHY? Too much of the paper has been removed

52 Chp ERASURES )Detected by microscopy: 1.Using direct light 2.Using side lighting (let light strike paper obliquely from one side) )Although microscopy detects erasure, it may not indicate the original letters or words present. WHY? )Also detected by infrared luminescence — WHY? Too much of the paper has been removed Infrared luminescence reveals invisible residues of the ink that remained embedded in the paper.

53 Chp OBLITERATIONS )Words may be obliterated by chemicals )Strong oxidizing agent put on the ink produces a colorless reaction product )Detected by )microscopy -reveals discoloration of the treated area under the paper )Ultraviolet (UV) or Infrared (IR) lighting - may reveal discoloration of the treated area under the paper

54 Chp OBLITERATIONS )Illuminating a document with infrared (IR) light and recording the light reflected off the document with IR sensitive film allows the examiner to differentiate between different inks. (due to their ability to absorb IR light) )NOTE: If the overwriting is done with the same ink as used in the document, it is difficult if not impossible to detect. )Intentional obliteration of writing by overwriting or crossing out is rarely used fraudulently.

55 Chp How to Determine what was written on Charred Documents? 1. Infrared photography 2. Reflecting lighting off the paper’s surface at different angles in order to contrast the writing against the charred background. Fig , p Digital imaging — Digitize the image by a scanner or a digital camera and then adjust by an image-editing program (ex. Adobe Photoshop) by lightening, darkening and color and contrast controls.

56 Chp V. Other Document Problems )In certain situations, indented writings (partially visible depressions underneath the visible writing) have proved to be valuable evidence. )It may be possible to determine what was written by the impressions left on a paper pad. )Applying an electrostatic charge to the surface of a polymer film placed in contact with a questioned document will visualize indented writings. )A study of the chemical composition of the ink used on documents may verify whether or not known and questioned documents were prepared by the same pen; and the paper itself may be analyzed.

57 Chp INDENTED WRITING (Fig p. 572) )Are impressions left on paper positioned under a piece of paper that has been written on )Detected by: 1. Oblique or side lighting 2. Electrostatic detection apparatus (ESDA) apply electrostatic charge to surface of polymer film touching the questioned document, then add toner powder to reveal indented writing

58 Chp INK COMPARISON )How to determine whether the ink on the known and questioned document came from the same pen? )Visible microspectrophotometer (see p. 250 Fig. 7-11) )Chromatography (method that physically separates the components of inks 1. TLC — thin-layer chromatography (p. 574 Fig ) U.S. International Ink Library — collection of more than 8500 inks maintained by the U.S. Secret Service and IRS (dates from 1920s with new pen and ink formulations added yearly) 2. Paper Chromatography 3. Tagged inks (U.S. Treasury Department’s voluntary tagging programs of manufacturers dates ink to an exact year)

59 Chp Paper Chromatography of Ink Two samples of black ink from two different manufacturers have been characterized using paper chromatography.

60 Retention Factor (R f )  A number that represents how far a compound travels in a particular solvent  It is determined by measuring the distance the compound traveled and dividing it by the distance the solvent traveled.

61 Chp Do Ink Chromatography Lab

62 Chp Tools for Analyzing Paper )Click for video clipClick for video clip

63 Chp Features for Paper Comparison )Fiber identification )General appearance )Color )Weight )Watermarks )Additives )Fillers )Density )Thickness )Age


65 Chp Japanese specialty paper fibers (100 x)

66 Chp Pencils  Lead  Hardness Scale—a traditional measure of the hardness of the "leads" (actually made of graphite) in pencils. The hardness scale, from softer to harder, takes the form..., 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, 4H,..., with the standard "number 2" pencil being of hardness 2H.


68 Chp Write 5

69 Chp COUNTERFEITING MONEY In 1996 the government starting adding new security features to our paper money due to the advanced copying technologies that have raised the incidences of counterfeiting. The $20 bill entered circulation on October of 2003, followed by the $50 in September of 2004, and then the $10 in September of Subtle background colors have been added along with other features to discourage counterfeiting.

70 Chp COUNTERFEITING MONEY How to detect counterfeit money The Features of the New $5 bill video The new $20 bill

71 Chp Counterfeit Money Videos )The Counterfeit Millionaire 4:13 minThe Counterfeit Millionaire )The Counterfeit Millionaire 2The Counterfeit Millionaire 2 )Counterfeit Money 2:25 minCounterfeit Money )Counterfeit cash 2:16 minCounterfeit cash )Man Arrested after spending counterfeit cash 2:34 minMan Arrested after spending counterfeit cash

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78 Chp More about Document Analysis For additional information about document and handwriting analysis, check out Court TV’s Crime Library at: Or forgery cases at:

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84 Chp Click for video clip on Forgery, Lies and eBay Click for Fakes on eBay

85 Chp Study Tips for the TEST Types of forgeries (signatures) 12 Handwriting characteristics What can a document examiner check? How to identify a typewriter? How to “see” writing that was invisible to the eye? How to compare paper - various ways

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