Handwriting and Document Examination

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Handwriting Analysis
Document Examination
Forensic Science

Published in: Education

Handwriting and Document Examination

  1. 1. HANDWRITING AND DOCUMENT ANALYSIS PRASHANT MEHTA ASSISTANT PROFESSOR NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, JODHPUR
  2. 2. HANDWRITING AND DOCUMENT ANALYSIS 1. Historical dating—the verification of age and value of a document or object 2. Fraud investigation—focuses on the money trail and criminal intent 3. Paper and ink specialists—date, type, source, and/or catalog various types of paper, watermarks, ink, printing/copy/fax machines, computer cartridges 4. Forgery specialists—analyze altered, obliterated, changed, or doctored documents and photos 5. Typewriting analysts—determine origin, make, and model 6. Computer crime investigators—investigate cybercrime
  3. 3. 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. • A questioned document is one in which a document in its entirety, or in part, is subject to question as to authenticity and/or origin. • Any signature, handwriting, typewriting, or other marks whose source or authenticity is in dispute or is doubtful.
  4. 4. Some Typical Document Examination Questions • Is the signature genuine? • Is the document forged, and if so is it forged by a particular person? • Is the same person the author of several documents? • Did someone guide a person's hand as a will was signed? • Did the doctor come back later and alter the medical records? • Did the signer of the document also initial the changes? • What is written under the crossed out portion of the writing? • Was the document written on the date indicated? • Are there erasures on the document? • Are there alterations or obliterations on the document? • What was originally written before the alteration or under the obliteration? • Are there perforations, folds, staple holes, or other physical clues on the document ? • Was the entire document rewritten, or was it prepared sequentially, over a period of time?
  5. 5. Types of Examinations • Handwriting Comparisons • Ink Examinations • Indented Writing • Alterations • Paper Analysis • Photocopy Analysis • Typewriting • And other related sections
  6. 6. Handwriting Handwriting analysis involves two phases: 1. The hardware—ink, paper, pens, pencils, typewriter, printers, photocopies 2. Visual examination of the writing Investigations include verification; authentication; characterizing papers, pigments, and inks. Examples include letters, checks, licenses, contracts, wills, passports etc.
  7. 7. Handwriting Characteristics 1. Line quality 2. Word and letter spacing 3. Letter comparison 4. Pen lifts 5. Connecting strokes 6. Beginning and ending strokes 7. Unusual letter formation 8. Shading or pen pressure 9. Slant 10. Baseline habits 11. Flourishes or embellishments 12. Diacritic placement
  8. 8. Handwriting: Individual or Class evidence? 1. Class Characteristics: – Features and dimensions of letters. – Connection of letters to each other – Capitalization – Punctuation 1. Individual Characteristics: – Unique features of letters. – Is the letter “O” open or closed – Is the “n”written with a pointed tip **Handwriting samples change about every seven years**
  9. 9. Basic Characteristics For Comparing Handwriting 1. Overall Form – The size, shape, slant, and strokes of the letters 1. Line Features – Writing speed, pen pressure, spacing between letters and words and how the letters are connected. 1. Margins and Format 2. Content – Grammar, punctuation and word choice
  10. 10. Graphology Examples
  11. 11. Handwriting Identification 1. Analysis of the known writing with a determination of the characteristics found in the known 2. Analysis of the questioned or unknown writing and determination of its characteristics 3. Comparison of the questioned writing with the known writing 4. Evaluation of the evidence, including the similarities and dissimilarities between the questioned and known writing 5. The document examiner must have enough exemplars to make a determination of whether or not the two samples match.
  12. 12. • The speed of a writer is a key indicator for QDE in the examination process. • Fast and slow speeds are difficult to duplicate leaving behind inconsistencies in the writing. Speed
  13. 13. Handwriting Samples 1. The subject should not be shown the questioned document. 2. The subject is not told how to spell words or use punctuation. 3. The subject should use materials similar to those of the document. 4. The dictated text should match some parts of the document. 5. The subject should be asked to sign the text. 6. Always have a witness.
  14. 14. Equipment Used In Handwriting Analysis
  15. 15. Methods of Forgery 1. Simulated forgery—one made by copying a genuine signature 2. Traced forgery—one made by tracing a genuine signature 3. Blind forgery—one made without a model of the signature 4. Free Hand Forgery - forgeries are written with no knowledge of the appearance of the original. 5. Lifted Forgery - in which tape is used to lift off a signature, then place it on another document.
  16. 16. Types of Forgery 1. Check fraud – Forgery / Counterfeit / Alterations 2. Paper money - Counterfeit 3. Identity - Social Security / Driver’s license 4. Credit cards - Theft of card or number 5. Art—imitation with intent to deceive – Microscopic examination – Electromagnetic radiation – Chemical analysis 1. Contracts—alterations of contracts, medical records
  17. 17. Document Alterations 1. Obliterations—removal of writing by physical or chemical means can be detected by: – Microscopic examination – UV or infrared (IR) light – Digital image processing 1. Indentations can be detected by: – Oblique lighting – Electrostatic detection apparatus (ESDA) – http://player.vimeo.com/video/22036861? – http://player.vimeo.com/video/22036153
  18. 18. Forensic Linguist 1. Expert who looks at the linguistic content (the way something is written) of a questioned document 2. Language that is used can help to establish the writer’s age, gender, ethnicity, level of education, professional training, and ideology. 3. http://youtu.be/4z6Krsjwc84 4. http://youtu.be/Dy4fYa-NZPk
  19. 19. Ink / Ink Analysis 1. Chromatography is a method of physically separating the components of inks. 2. Types – HPLC—high-performance liquid chromatography – TLC—thin-layer chromatography – Paper Chromatography
  20. 20. Paper Chromatography of Ink Two samples of black ink from two different manufacturers have been characterized using paper chromatography.
  21. 21. Paper Differences 1. Raw material 2. Weight 3. Density 4. Thickness 5. Color 6. Watermarks 7. Age 8. Fluorescence 9. Paper Properties like Burst, Fold, Tear, Opacity 10. Fibre Used
  22. 22. Pencils 1. Lead 2. 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.
  23. 23. Evidence 1. Class characteristics may include: 1. general types of pens 2. pencils 3. paper. 2. Individual characteristics may include: 1. unique, individual handwriting characteristics 2. trash marks from copiers 3. printer serial numbers.
  24. 24. Copying and Printing Devices • In a photocopier, the original document is placed on the glass plate, and then it is exposed by use of reflected light to a drum that is covered with a photosensitive material. The image of that document exists on the drum as an invisible positive photoelectric charge. Negatively charged toner, the messy black powdery stuff, is drizzled onto the drum, where it sticks to only the positively charged areas. Paper, with a positive charge, passes the drum, causing the negatively charged toner to transfer to the paper. The toner is then heat sealed to the paper, creating the printed copy. • With a laser printer, the image of the original document (held by the computer in its memory) is written to the photosensitive drum by use of a laser. With a laser printer, the image of the original document (held by the computer in its memory) is written to the photosensitive drum by use of a laser. • The paper itself can yield many clues. Look for marks from the belts, pinchers, rollers and gears that physically move the paper through a machine. These examinations would be similar to tool-mark examinations.
  25. 25. Photocopier / Laser Printers
  26. 26. Counterfeiting • Counterfeit is an imitation that is made with an intent of fraudulently passing something off as real or genuine. • The most common items that are counterfeited are documents, currency, clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and company logos/brands. • Counterfeit currency is currency produced without the legal sanction of the state or government to resemble the official currency. The production of counterfeit money is a form of fraud.
  27. 27. Counterfeiting: First Line Inspection Techniques • Varied Density Watermarks - Thin watermarks can be applied to the paper of banknotes due to the varied density. Watermarks are visible when a bright light shines on the back of a banknote. The varied paper densities causes the light to intensify resulting in the watermark to appear on the other side. • Ultraviolet Fluorescence - Embedding fluorescent fibers or printing ultra-violet ink on paper creates an optical verification for easy on-the-spot detection. Exposing the paper to an ultra-violet light results in the embedded pattern becoming visible. • Intaglio Printing - The banknote undergoes a high-pressure printing process strengthens and slightly raises the paper structure. A latent image can be produced by using different alignments of the lines. The appearance should changed based on the angle that the note is viewed. • Microtext - Banknotes commonly have small text printed at high resolutions. This resolution cannot be achieved by a commercial copier, scanner, or printer. When a forgery attempt is made, the small text becomes blurred because of the change in resolution. This ultimately proves a banknote is counterfeited. • Second Line Inspection Methods - a detection of counterfeit that can not be verified by the naked eye and requires an extra device for detection.
  28. 28. Counterfeiting: Second Line Inspection Techniques • Isocheck/Isogram - This method relies on a certain pattern of dots or lines to cause a specific type of pattern when printed or scanned. The hidden verification proves the authenticity of the note. • Fiber-Based Certificates of Authenticity - Using a scanner to illuminate one end of the embedded fiber, the other corresponding end will illuminate. Once illuminated, a fiber string can be identified. This string can be converted into a bit string and combined with other data and a cryptographic hash of itself and is signed using a private key. This can be encoded onto the banknote in the form of a bar code or verification number. • Color and Feature Analysis - New image-processing software's include secret detection algorithm to prevent banknotes from being altered.
  29. 29. Equipment Used In Document Analysis Electro Static Detection Apparatus • An Electro Static Detection Apparatus is used to visualize indentations by applying an electrostatic charge to a transparent film. The film is laid across the page in question and once the charge has been applied, black toner is passed across the film and reveals any indentations. This method can also determine if something has been added to a journal or log after the original entry was made. • This non-destructive test readily permits the fast and routine examination of all suspect documents.
  30. 30. Video Spectral Comparator • A Video Spectral Comparator is used to analyze inks and see whether they are the same or different. This is done by looking at them under different lighting conditions where some wavelengths of light are blocked. This technique can uncover layers in documents where words have been scribbled out or written over. • Light source for document examinations and verification of official documents Equipment Used In Document Analysis
  31. 31. Infrared Reflectance • Infrared Reflectance is used to show the residue of pencil marks. This can be done clearly even if the writing has been erased. Pencils are made of graphite which is a form of carbon – and this absorbs infrared light well Equipment Used In Document Analysis

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