How Handwriting Analysis Works

In this article, Forensic Document Examiner, Mark Songer provides an overview of the cases where forensic document examination can be applied, the techniques and technologies used, and standards that exist in the field. In , an intruder broke into the home of an elderly couple living in California. The couple was robbed, beaten, and forced to write checks from their personal account before being murdered. The suspect denied having anything to do with the murders. He claimed the checks were payment for landscaping work he had done for the couple two weeks earlier. While detectives were able to link the suspect to the crime scene using DNA evidence, they still had questions about the checks the suspect attempted to cash. Could one of the victims have written the checks?

Ink Dating

There’s more to a piece of paper than meets the eye – and paper analysis can find it. This specialized investigative process extracts historical and physical evidence from documents, photographs, art prints, books, and other paper-based objects. These tools are used, alone or in combination, to characterize the properties of paper in a number of ways. For example, a qualitative analysis shows what materials are in the paper, fiber, ink; quantitative analysis measures how much.

Chemical analysis evaluates composition and pH; physical analysis measures gloss, strength, color.

When most people think of ink analysis they, think that it is a destructive That is not completely accurate. Forensic document examiners have used the same technique for nondestructive ink differentiation examinations for many years. Watermarks are also useful in establishing the date when the paper was made.

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. Minimum requirements for application of ink dating methods based on solvent analysis in casework Lancet, Minimum requirements for application of ink dating methods based on solvent analysis in casework. These methods follow the drying of solvents from ballpoint Received in revised form 21 January pen inks on paper and seem very promising. However, several questions arose over the last few years Accepted 25 January among questioned documents examiners regarding the transparency and reproducibility of the Available online 4 March proposed techniques.

These questions should be carefully studied for accurate and ethical application of this methodology in casework. Inspired by a real investigation involving ink dating, the present paper Keywords: discusses this particular issue throughout four main topics: aging processes, dating methods, validation Forensic sciences Questioned documents procedures and data interpretation.

All rights reserved. Aging Method validation Interpretation 1. Determining when an ink entry was produced on a document Additionally a program started in the mid s in the USA, in has always been a major issue in the examination of questioned collaboration with the ink manufacturers, for introducing annually documents.

Forensic Document Examination

But this technique is also able to overcome other stumbling blocks relating to the amount of ink deposited when writing and the type of paper used, as these variables hamper the dating of a document by means of traditional methods. What is more, the new technique reduces the number of punctures needed to analyse the writing on a document to just one.

Determining the age of a document to find out whether it is authentic is a task influenced by the type of paper on which it has been written, the pressure of the stroke -the amount of ink deposited when the writing was done- or even the technique used. Until now, document dating methods have been able to indicate whether the writing was relatively new less than 90 days or older over two years , yet this chronological accuracy is insufficient in certain cases, above all in judicial ones.

Each document was produced at different moments using a different ink stroke pressure, factors that may alter the results and lead to dating errors.

Federal Forensic Associates determines the dates of questioned documents We can determine the first date of commercial availability of the ink used to.

There are typically two different forensic methods for ink dating. With this method the forensic analysis determines the components in the ink, compares them against a library of standards and then allows an opinion regarding the first date that particular ink was manufactured commercially available. The dynamic approach is very useful in determining if a pen ink was placed on a document on its purported date, i.

There are only a handful of forensic scientists capable of performing these tests and laboratories equipped with the proper tools. The proposed tests are minimally invasive, the latter two involving the placement of pinhole perforations in the text, paper and signatures on the Original Document. The pinholes themselves are not typically easily visible unless the document is held up to light, and the testing has no negative effect on handwriting analysis.

Ronald N. Morris

Correspondence Address : Bing Li No. The domain of forensic document examination consists of a variety of professional tasks related to the history and preliminary of questioned documents. The wide area of tasks implemented by forensic document examiners includes the skill to identify the authorship of handwriting and signature; discriminate among genuine, imitated, or disguised handwriting; to examine and analyze components of inks, papers, and other materials connected with documents; and other highly skilled analyses based on specialized technique.

The field of handwriting examination is tightly related to empirical knowledge and practical experience. Handwriting is usually thought to be behavioral activities that are identifiable due to the appearance of features and characteristics within the writing. When we assess these features we universally analyze them in two aspects: Both quality and quantity of writing.

Questioned Documents – Forensic Technical Aspects solvent analysis are significantly improved, reliable and accurate ink dating may become a reality in.

All rights reserved. Basic concepts. Closed and open systems. Relative and absolute age. Mass invariance. Sen and Ghosh. Ball point pen ink dating. Composition of ball point pen inks. Aging ink evaluation. Methods of ink age evaluation based on the evolution of resins over time.

Signature & Handwriting Analysis

Ronald N. Morris Certified Forensic Document Examiner. When most people think of ink analysis they, think that it is a destructive examination which means my document is going to be severely damaged or destroyed. That is not completely accurate. There is a way of examining ink entries without damaging the document, and it is usually the only test necessary to resolve the issue of ink differentiation.

The examination process, known as infrared fluorescence, or luminescence, was developed by Mr.

Global Forensic Services, LLC is a forensic laboratory, as well as a consulting Ink Age, Ink Dating, Handwriting, Art Dating & Questioned Document Expert to determine if proper procedures were followed and accurate results were given.

Ink Dating is done in two primary forms. The first ink dating method is the static approach, which determines when the ink being examined was manufactured. The second ink dating method is the dynamic approach, this method is to determine when the writing occurred, or in simple terms, how long the ink has been on the paper. The ink dating static approach is typically more useful as the difference between the date on the document and the present time increases. Several different tests exist in this form of ink dating.

These ink dating methods include the comparison of the examined ink to a known library of standards, commonly called the library approach, the detection of chemical date tags placed in the ink purposefully by the manufacturer, commonly called the date tag method, and also the determination of the type of ink writing instrument used. The determination of the type of writing instrument is probably the oldest method of ink dating. This ink dating method primarily involves microscopic examinations and can also incorporate some basic chemical solubility testing.

Some examinations can be performed on fountain pens to determine type of nib, type of ink and the first date of introduction of each of these. However, since this is a very small portion of the actual type of cases seen, we will concentrate primarily on more recent developments. Other pages discuss the use of infrared to discriminate the differences between inks that visually and microscopically look identical. The next step would be the most basic ink dating form of thin layer chromatography TLC testing to determine if two or more inks are the same or different formulations.

In order to do this the following steps are taken:.

Global Forensic Services, LLC

When there’s a suspect in a crime and the evidence includes a handwritten note, investigators may call in handwriting experts to see if there’s a match. In some cases, it might be the one piece of evidence that gets a suspect charged and eventually convicted. But what if it’s a false match? How exactly do experts go about analyzing someone’s handwriting?

Ink, as well. Our services, and handwriting experts. In reaching a particularly challenging forensic. It tends to identify. Relative dating of.

Yes, with certain limitations. We can determine the first date of commercial availability of the ink used to prepare any handwritten or handprinted material. The type of ink does not preclude this examination. If the initial date of commercial availability is more recent than the supposed date of the examined writing, then the document is not what it purports.

We cannot, however, through this technique, determine the specific or even approximate date of preparation. Other techniques can determine the approximate date of preparation of handwritten entries.

Ink Dating

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A diode‐array detector performed monitoring of ink components at nm for the 6) and was found to be satisfactory, with high accuracy and precision results. Keywords: Ballpoint pens, Ink analysis, Ink dating, Forensic science, HPLC.

There are four major approaches each approach is a group of methods used for dating inks on documents:. Other ink entries are not necessary for comparison. Aginsky has developed the SET as a result of many years of research of the ink aging methodology developed and published by Dr. Antonio A. Cantu in the s. The second ink dating approach analyzes the chemical composition of inks on a contested document with the aim to determine whether these inks as well as other materials used to produce the document — paper, inkjet printing ink, toner, stamp pad ink, etc.

Such intra-comparisons of inks may reveal that the questioned entries were not written contemporaneously with the other entries in the file document. Comparison of the contested document to other similar documents from the same time frame — If other similar documents from the same source and pertinent time frame are available for comparison with the contested document, then:. Writing ink sequencing — Examining intersections areas where two or more pen lines cross to determine the order of writing it may prove that a particular entry was added at a later time.

Sequencing of indented impressions and writings — Examining intersections areas where the visible ink lines cross the indentations may determine the order of writing and thus prove that a particular entry was added at a later time. Paper folds — It is often possible to determine whether an ink line that intersects a paper fold was written before or after the paper was folded. Offset marks — When two pieces of paper are pressed together, marks such as writing and printing may be transferred from one to another.

When the writing on the reverse side of a sheet of paper in a bound ledger intersects with the writing on the front side of the sheet of paper, ink may be transferred from the front page onto an underlying page.

Ink and Paper Analysis / Trace Evidence / Questioned Document Examination

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide. Sauzier curtin. This paper presents a study into the potential of visible spectroscopy with chemometrics as an approach to dating blue ball tip inks on paper documents. Analysis of six inks left under various conditions found that the majority of those kept in the dark could still be matched to the source pen after 32 months of ageing.

field of forensic dating of inks from differentmodern writing instruments. the purpose of determining if this hypothesis was correct or if the ink.

Most enquires regarding signature and handwriting comparisons typically fall into these two categories:. This is not asking who wrote it but instead, was it all written by only one person? The methodology of a signature or handwriting comparison depends on the following factors which influence what documents are required to endeavour to form a definite conclusion:. It is also normally essential to compare handwriting to handwriting and NOT handwriting to a signature as many writers will depart from the normal letter designs of their handwriting to write their signatures.

A sufficient quantity of specimen is required for a reasonably conclusive result. It is not possible to precisely advise on this quantity, as it will depend on the skill of the writer and the exclusiveness and complexity of their writing. When examining specimen, it is important to have a sufficient quantity of samples that will reveal the usual parameters of natural variation that all writers display in their handwriting, i. It is also the case that some writers will use a range of designs or will vary the style or format depending on the circumstances of writing.

A strong opinion is prevented where there is a risk that the specimen handwriting supplied in an examination does not necessarily reveal the full range of variation of the writer. Signatures or handwriting that are low in complexity are problematic for two reasons: -firstly, the simple handwriting of one person is more difficult to distinguish from the simple handwriting of another writer because there are fewer individualising features to compare.

Therefore, if a signature or questioned handwriting is low in complexity, or there is very little of it to compare, it can prevent a definite conclusion irrespective of the other factors that are taken into account in an examination.

Handwriting Expert Witnesses: Their Role, Value, and Admissibility

The present invention relates to an ink and to a method for measuring the age of the ink that has been deposited on a writing surface, and is particularly adapted for analyzing signatures and writings to determine the age of the signature or writing and the age of the signature or writing relative to other signatures or writings. The present invention is particularly applicable to investigations that are intended to combat fraud, including medical fraud, insurance fraud, and fraud involving other time dated documents such as wills, trusts, deeds and legal agreements.

The aging of ink is an important factor in the forensic examination of documents.

In fact, the dating of documents is a key area in the field of forensic of the method using spontaneously written documents whose exact age.

The chemical analysis of writing and printing inks, as well as paper, can be invaluable when trying to prove whether a document is fraudulent. Ink dating is a highly specialized forensic examination and considered to be one of the most accurate and reliable methods to help determine the age of a document. An ink formulation can be identified to a specific manufacturer to ascertain the first date of commercial availability.

If an entry is dated in , but the ink was not available until then the document could not have been created in Inks contain chemical solvents that evaporate and generally go through a drying process that can last up to 2 years. Comparing Writing Inks. Chemical analysis can be conducted on a suspicious entry to determine if it is consistent with other associated or surrounding writings. Multiple inks can be chemically compared with each other to corroborate or refute whether the entries were created contemporaneously or produced over multiple periods of time.

Forensic Analysis of Printers and Copiers. Ink analysis and dating can also be conducted on machine printed document such as inkjet ink and toner from photocopiers, laser printers, and facsimile machines.

NX4092 Document Analysis – Ink Analysis (TLC)