Questioned Documents

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Questioned Documents




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Presentations text content in Questioned Documents

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Questioned Documents

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Questioned Documents

Definition:

Any document about which some issue has been raised or that is the subject of an investigation

Questioned Document Examination

The part of forensic science pertaining to documents.

Types of Documents

Sheet of paper, ransom note, forged check, contracts, graffiti, impressions, labels, emails,

photos,IDs

,

etc

Handwriting, signature, or mark

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Types of Examination

Handwriting

analysis

Ink (and pens)

Paper (and pencils)

Forgery

Codes and Ciphers

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Terms to Know

Erasure: erasing part of a document

Indented writing: found on the second page where writing from the top indented the words into the second

Uniqueness: makes handwriting a type of physical evidence like fingerprints; has individual characteristics

Exemplar: sample of known handwriting, print, etc.

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Who Examines them?

Graphologist: attempts to predict character traits from handwriting examination

Forensic Document examiner: involves the analysis & comparison of questioned documents with known material in order to identify the author or origin of the questioned document

Linguist: Examines the language, punctuation used to determine education level, etc.

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What’s Involved in handwriting analysis?

Involves two phases:

The hardware: ink,

paper,pen

, pencils, typewriter, printers, etc.

Visual examination

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Handwriting Characteristics

Line QualityWord and Letter SpacingLetter ComparisonPen LiftsPen Pressure

Lettering Slant

Unusual Letter Formation

Diacritic Placement—dotted I’s, crossed t’s

Baseline

Habits

Body Placement

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Ransom Note Activity

Can you determine who wrote the ransom note?

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How is Handwriting Identification done?

“ACE”

Analysis of the “

knowns

Analysis of the questioned or unknown writing

Comparison of the questioned writing with the known writing.

Evaluation of the evidence, including the similarities and dissimilarities between the “questioned” and “known” writing.

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How should Handwriting Samples be handled?

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 (paper, pen)

The dictated text should match some parts of the document

The subject should be asked to sign the text

Always have a witness

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Can you Forge a Signature?

Blank Piece of Paper

Write your Signature 5 times.

Now try to write your signature EXACTLY as you did in the 5

th

sample.

Ask your partner to write your signature EXACTLY as you did in the 5

th

sample.

Complete the handout.

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Disguised Writing

Suspects will often try to disguise their writing.

Inconsistent slant and formation

Slowly written

Major changes from letter to letter

Often use block lettering

Often write with the wrong hand

Excessive ornamentation

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Can you Successfully Disguise your writing??

Write this sentence normally:

I am in possession of the secret formula for Super Cola.

Write the sentence again, trying to make it look different, but at a normal rate of speed

Write the sentence a third time, with you other hand.

Complete the handout.

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Handwriting Analysis Activities

Top-of-the LetterBottom-of-LetterSpacingSlantEven writing that looks different will have the same results with these analyses.

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How can typewriting be identified?

The type can help determine the make and model of typewriters

Compare to class standards for each machine

Must be a visual comparison

Serial numbers can identify particular machines

Type face

sizes

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How are photocopiers, printers and fax machines analyzed?

Look for defect marks: glass paten, inner cover or mechanical portion of copiers produce images and may have damage

TTI: transmitting terminal identifier that is at the top of each fax page is important point of comparison; analyze number of characters, their style, and position in the header

Printer types: impact(thermal & dot-matrix)

nonimpact (ink jet & laser printer)

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What are some class characteristics for these?

Type

of paper

Type of toner or ink

Chemical composition of the toner

Type of toner to paper fusing method

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Paper Characteristics

Weight

Color

Water marks

Age

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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.

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How is ink analyzed?

Chromatography--physically separate mixtures of gases, liquids or dissolved.

Types

Gas Chromatography

HPLC--high-performance liquid chromatography

TLC--thin-layer chromatography

Paper Chromatography

Ink Catalogs: US Treasury Dept. has a systematic catalog of inks according to their dye patterns using TLC

Tagging: programs that slightly changes the ink year by year for identification purposes

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Paper Chromatographywith Ink

Two samples of black ink from two different manufacturers run using paper chromatography.Ink is added on line Solvent moves up the paper carrying the ink molecules with it

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Paper Chromatography Lab

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Techniques for Uncovering Alterations, Obliterations, Variations

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You will be given a black ink pen.Each of you will write the same message.Give the teacher your handwriting sample when you are finished. Sign your name on the bottom in pencil.

Write the following:

I have your daughter. Do what you are told and no one will get hurt. Put 100,000 dollars worth of 20’s in a suitcase and place it in locker number C8160 at the bus depot. I will get back in touch with you aas to the whereabouts of your daughter.

Your loyal fan.

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