Forensic Science Questioned Documents: Part

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2. . 1. 2. The Visual Examination. In conjunction with hardware examination, a visual examination is performed.. This visual examination will focus on specific handwriting characteristics.. 3. The Correct Expert. ID: 687700 Download Presentation

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Forensic Science Questioned Documents: Part




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Presentations text content in Forensic Science Questioned Documents: Part

Slide1

Forensic ScienceQuestioned Documents: Part 2

1

Slide2

2The Visual ExaminationIn conjunction with hardware examination, a visual examination is performed.

This visual examination will focus on specific handwriting characteristics.

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3

The Correct Expert

.

Unfortunately, no federal licensing exists for a document examiner. However, certification is offered through the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners (ABFDE).

A

certified document examiner

is an acceptable witness in court.

Compares

questioned documents with known material in order to identify

the source whenever

possible

However, a

graphologist

attempts to predict character traits from handwriting examination. This type of “expert” is not acceptable as an expert witness.

Slide4

4

Handwriting

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??

Slide5

5

Forensics Linguistics

Occasionally a

linguist

will be asked to examine a document. These experts look at the linguistic content (the way something is written) of a questioned document.

The language that is used can help to establish the writer’s age, gender, ethnicity, level of education, professional training, and ideology.

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6

Forensics Linguists (

cont

)

For example, a kidnapper and murderer sent text messages from the victim’s cellular telephone to the family so the family would think she was still alive and texting them.

A linguist compared the “voice” of three months of text messages. The most recent texts (from the kidnapper) used the number 2 instead of to,

ain’t

instead of I’m not and fone

instead of phone. This comparison indicated that the victim did not send the most recent messages and was in fact dead.

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7

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

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8After the Examinations are CompleteOnce the examination of the questioned document is complete, the investigator must decide if a crime has been committed.

Possible crimes include:FraudForgeryCounterfeiting

Identity Theft

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9Fraud, Forgery, Counterfeiting and Identity TheftFraud is an intentional deception for personal gain or for harm to another. Forgery is the process of creating, adapting or imitating objects or documents with an intent to deceive.

Therefore, forgery is a type of fraud.The forging of money is counterfeiting.The forging of a person is identity theft.

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10

Documents Forged

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

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11

Compare Two Checks

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12

Types 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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13

Handwriting Comparisons

Although no two individuals write exactly alike, there may be resemblances is their general style.

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).

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14

Palmer Method

Zaner-Blosser

Method

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15

12 Handwriting Characteristics for Comparisons

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.

Ratio

of relative height, width, and size of letters:

What are the overall height, width, and size of the letters?

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12 Handwriting Characteristics for Comparisons

Pen lifts and separations:

Check if the writer stops to form new letters and begin words. Forgeries may have pen lifts in unusual places (e.g. in the writing of a single letter).

Connecting strokes:

Compare how capital letters are connected to lowercase letters and how strokes connect between letters and words.

Beginning and ending strokes:

Are the strokes straight, curled, long, or short? Are they made on the upstroke or

downstroke

?

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Unusual letter formation: Look for unusual letter formations (e.g. letters with tails). Shading or pen pressure: Check for pressure on the downward and upward strokes.

Slant: Does the writing slant to the left or right, or is it straight up and down? Are some letters consistently slanted more or less than others?

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Baseline habits: Does the writing tend to follow a straight line, move downward, or move upward? Is it above or below the line? Flourishes or embellishments: Are there any fancy letters?

Placement of diacritics: Check the crossing of t’s, dotting of i’s and j’s, or any other letters or punctuation marks.

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Handwriting ComparisonsMargins, spacing, crowding, insertions, and alignment are personal habits.

Spelling, punctuation

, phraseology

, and

grammar individualize each

writer.

19

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20

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21

Personal Rights

The 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 4

th

Amendment (search and seizure)

The 5

th

Amendment does not apply

.

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22

Handwriting Comparisons

Circumstances may prevent a positive conclusion:

Insufficient number of known handwriting samples are available

Questioned writing may contain only a few words, deliberately written in disguise

Drugs and alcohol can alter writing habits

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Collection of Handwriting Exemplars

In gathering known writing samples for comparison, or exemplars:

Known writing should resembled the questioned document

Should contain some of the words and combinations of letters present

Give the range of natural variations

Should be fairly recent, usually within 2-3 years

Slide24

24Other Clues from the Visual ExaminationObliterations indicate that the document has been changed. An examiner must determine if the change is part of the original document.

An obliteration may be physical or chemical.An example of a physical obliteration is erasing with an eraser. A strong oxidizing agent can make ink colorless. This type of chemical obliteration is visible under UV lighting.

Slide25

25Other Clues from the Visual Examination Indented impressions

are often left on the paper that was underneath the original document. These indentions are due to the pressure of the writing utensil. Lighting at an oblique angle will enhance these indentations.

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26A CRAZY CRIMINAL’S SIGNATUREAccording to Point of View, a magazine published by the Alameda county District Attorney’s office, a guy walked into an Oakland bank and handed the teller a note reading, “this is a

stikkup. Hand over all yer money fast.”Guessing from this that the guy was no rocket scientist, the teller replied, “I’ll hand over the cash as long as you sign for it. It’s a bank policy that all robbers have to sign for their money.”The guy thought this over, then said “Uh, I guess that’s OK.” He signed his full name and address. That’s where the cops found him a few hours later.


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