41. Questioned DocumentsQuestioned documents may also include writings or markings found on walls, windows, doors, etc.
5Questioned DocumentsThe document examiner must ascertain the authenticity or source of a document through handwriting examination and the use of microscopy, photography, chromatography to note any change or alterations.The examiner must be able to recognize erasures and overwriting in attempt to change the original meaning of a document.The examiner must be able to reconstruct charred or burned paper.
615. COMPARISON OF EXPERTSForensic Document Examiner--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.Unfortunately, no federal licensing exists. There is certification through the ABFDE.Graphologist--attempts to predict character traits from handwriting examination
7Handwriting Analysis Handwriting Sample of President George Bush According to Sheila Lowe in her book, Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous, President Bush’s handwriting is “fast and highly simplified in fairly well-organized writing field”.Is this a forensic document examiner or a graphologist??
8Related FieldsHistorical Dating—the verification of age and value of a document or objectFraud Investigation—focuses on the money trail and criminal intentPaper and Ink Specialists—date, type, source, and/or catalogue various types of paper, watermarks, ink, printing/copy/fax machines, computer cartridgesForgery Specialists—analyze altered, obliterated, changed, or doctored documents and photosTypewriting Analysts—determine origin, make, and modelsComputer Crime Investigators—investigate cybercrime
98. Types of ForgerySimulated forgery—one made by copying a genuine signatureTraced forgery—one made by tracing a genuine signatureBlind forgery—made without a model of the signature
10Documents Forged Check Fraud Credit Cards ForgeryCounterfeitAlterationsPaper MoneyIdentitySocial SecurityDriver’s licenseCredit CardsTheft of card or numberArt—imitation with intent to deceiveMicroscopic examinationElectromagnetic radiationChemical analysisContracts—alterations of contracts, medical records
13Famous 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)
14Handwriting Comparisons Although no two individuals write exactly alike, there may be resemblances is their general style.As a student learns and practices their handwriting, they are making a conscious effort to copy a standard letter form.The two most widely used methods taught in nearly all fifty states in the U.S. are the Palmer method (1880) and the Zaner-Blosser method (1895).
16Handwriting Comparisons 2. Unconscious handwriting of two different individuals can never be identical.Several factors, such as, mechanical, physical, and mental functions, make reproduction of another’s handwriting unlikely.23. Variations of angularity, slope,speed, pressure, letter andword spacing,relative dimensions, connections,pen movement, writing skill, andfinger dexterity are distinguish.
1723. Characteristics for Comparisons Line quality – Do the letters flow or are they written with intent strokes?Spacing of words and letters – an averageRatio of height and width of lettersConnecting strokes – Are capital letters and lower case letters connected?Unusual letter formationsPen pressureSlant – Left, right, slight or pronouncedBaseline habits – Do the letters stay even on the baseline?Placement of diacritics – How are the t’s crossed and the I’s dotted?
1823. Handwriting Comparisons Margins, spacing,crowding, insertions,and alignment arepersonal habits.Spelling, punctuation,phraseology, andgrammar individualizeeach writer.A final conclusion of comparison betweentwo documents must be based on asufficient number of commoncharacteristics.
256. Personal RightsThe courts consider handwriting to be a personal characteristic (like eye color) therefore:Examples may be obtained before counsel is assigned.Are not a violation of the 4th Amendment (search and seizure)The 5th Amendment does not apply.
2624. Handwriting Comparisons Circumstances may prevent a positive conclusion:Insufficient number of known handwriting samples are availableQuestioned writing may contain only a few words, deliberately written in disguise3. Drugs and alcohol can alter writing habits
275. Collection of Handwriting Exemplars In gathering known writing samples for comparison, or (4.) exemplars:Known writing should resembled the questioned documentShould contain some of the words and combinations of letters presentGive the range of natural variationsShould be fairly recent, usually within 2-3 years
285. Collection of Handwriting Exemplars When handwriting exemplars can not be obtained for comparison, a voluntary submittal from the suspect is requested.To help minimize attempts at deception, investigators can:Require several pages of writingWriting of dictationAllow the writer to sit comfortablyFurnished with pen and paper similar to the questioned documentGive no instructions on grammar or punctuation