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Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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0 Chapter 15 Document and Handwriting Analysis
“The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery” —Ralph Hodgson, British poet Kendall/Hunt

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Document Analysis Students will learn: That an expert analyst can individualize handwriting to a particular person. What types of evidence are submitted to the document analyst. Three types of forgery. How to characterize different types of paper. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Document Analysis Students will be able to: Analyze handwriting using 12 points of analysis. Detect deliberately disguised handwriting. Detect erasures and develop impression writing. Design an experiment using paper chromatography to determine which pen altered a note. List safeguards against the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Questioned Documents Involves the examination of handwriting, ink, paper, etc. to ascertain source or authenticity Examples include letters, checks, licenses, contracts, wills, passports (basically, any written or printed material one would encounter in daily, social or business activities) Investigations include: verification, authentication, characterizing papers, pigments, and inks Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Questioned Documents Analysis is not limited to paper documents. May also include writings or other markings found on walls, windows, doors, or any other object Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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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 Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

6 Handwriting Comparisons
No two individuals write exactly alike and an individual will never write the same way twice. Early stages (learning how to write) consist of copying standard letter forms Nerve and motor responses become subconscious with repetition. Individuals then develop habitual shapes and patterns that make it distinctive. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

7 Handwriting Characteristics
Learned early through repetition The style is fairly consistent Carries over into adulthood Class Characteristics Over the years how to write becomes subconscious and we develop unique styles of writing These characters make handwriting Individualized Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Activity When handwriting is subconscious it is very difficult to disguise. Lets try it! Page Simulated Forgery Activity Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Document Examination Forensic Document Examination involves the analysis and comparison of questioned documents with known material in order to identify whenever possible, the author or origin of the questioned document. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

10 Collection the “Knowns”
Exemplar – An authentic sample used for comparison purposes such as handwriting Obtaining an adequate number is critical in the outcome of the analysis No two specimens are ever identical in every detail due to natural variations (the normal deviations found between repeated specimens) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Handwriting Handwriting analysis involves two phases: The hardware—ink, paper, pens, pencils, typewriter, printers Visual examination of the writing Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

12 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 Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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A closer look Line quality: Are the lines smooth, free flowing, and rhythmic, or shaky, nervous, and wavering? Spacing of words and letters: Examine the average amount of space between words and letter formation. Is the spacing between words and letters consistent in the questioned and the known? Ratio of relative height, width, and size of letters: What are the overall height, width, and size of letters in both the known and questioned documents? Are they consistent? Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Closer look continued. Pen lifts and separations: Check how the writer stops to form new letters and begin words. Connecting strokes: Compare how capital letters are connected to lowercase letters and how strokes connect between letters and words Beginning and ending strokes: How does the writer begin words, numbers, or letters and how are they ended? Unusual letter formation: Look for letters written backwards, letters with tails or unusual capital letters Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Closer look continued Shading or pen pressure: Is there a difference in the pressure used on the downward and upward strokes? Slant: Do the letters slant to the right or left? Baseline habits: Does it follow a straight line, move downward or upward? Above or below the line? Flourishes or embellishment: Fancy letters, curls, loops, circles, double loops, or underlines? Placement of diacritics: Crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s, j’s and any other letters and punctuation marks. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

16 Analysis of Your Writing Characteristics
You will need a long piece of your own writing or copy four paragraphs from the book. Use the criteria described on pages to comment on each of the 12 characteristics listed on page 330. Be sure to address each of the 12 characteristics Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Comparisons Overall form – size, shape, slant, proportion, and the beginning and ending strokes of the letters are part of the writers overall form Line features – writing speed, fluidity, and the amount of pen pressure used provides hints about line features. Margins and format – width of margins, consistency of the spacing, and the slant between lines fit into this category Content – Grammar, punctuation, and word choice help point the examiner toward consistent errors, repeated phrases, and other clues that hint at a writer’s ethnicity or level of education Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

18 Handwriting Identification
Analysis of the “knowns” with a determination of the characteristics found in the known Analysis of the questioned or unknown writing and determination of its characteristics Comparison of the questioned writing with the known writing. Evaluation of the evidence, including the similarities and dissimilarities between the “questioned” and “known” writing The document examiner must have enough exemplars to make a determination of whether or not the two samples match. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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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 Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Forgery Defined as writing or altering a document with the intent to defraud Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Methods of Forgery Simulated forgery—one made by copying a genuine signature (aka freehand simulation) Traced forgery—one made by tracing a genuine signature Blind forgery—made without a model of the signature (aka disguised writing) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Types of Forgery Check Fraud Forgery Counterfeit Alterations Paper Money 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 Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

23 Common Clues of Forgeries
Evidence of previous drawing, which can include an underlying tracing of the words or signature Forger’s tremors, which are fine, distinguishable markings that indicate shakiness Uneven writing speed and pen pressure Hesitations Unusual pen lifts, where the forger continually checks his or her handiwork Patching and retouching, fixing or adding marks Blunt beginnings and endings. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Document Alterations Obliterations—removal of writing by physical or chemical means can be detected by: Microscopic examination UV or infrared (IR) light Digital image processing [Text that doesn’t suit the criminal’s needs may simply be erased using a rubber eraser, a knife point, or other sharp instrument, sandpaper, or fingernail – anything that scrapes or rubs away unwanted marks] Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Indentations Indentations can be detected by: Oblique lighting Electrostatic detection apparatus (ESDA) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

26 Famous Forgers and 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) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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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, gender, ethnicity, level of education, professional training, and ideology. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Ink Chromatography is a method of physically separating the components of inks Types HPLC—high-performance liquid chromatography TLC—thin-layer chromatography Paper Chromatography Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

29 Paper Chromatography of Ink
Two samples of black ink from two different manufacturers have been characterized using paper chromatography. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

30 Retention Factor (Rf) 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.

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Paper Differences Raw material Weight Density Thickness Color Watermarks Age Fluorescence Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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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. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Evidence Class characteristics may include general types of pens, pencils or paper. Individual characteristics may include unique, individual handwriting characteristics; trash marks from copiers, or printer serial numbers. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

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Counterfeiting 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. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

35 More about Document Analysis
Chapter 15 More about Document Analysis For additional information about document and handwriting analysis, check out Court TV’s Crime Library at: Or forgery cases at: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company Kendall/Hunt

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