Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century  book cover
1st Edition

Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century

ISBN 9780367251550
Published December 22, 2020 by CRC Press
336 Pages 150 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century covers the latest technology and techniques providing a complete resource on contemporary issues and methods in forensic document examination. Forensic document examiners provide their findings as expert testimony in court. Due to rapid changes in technology, including digital documents, printing and photocopying capabilities, and more, there is a great need for this up-to-date reference.

The examination of documents can include comparison of handwriting or hand-printing; detection of alterations or photocopier and computer manipulation; restoration or decipherment of erased and obliterated writing; visualization of latent impressions; the identification of printing processes; and differentiation of inks. Computer-generated documents are prevalent, and electronically-captured signatures are becoming more widespread, meaning the knowledge of advances in technology and adoption of new validated techniques and methods of document examination are crucial to the reliability of forensic opinions.

Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century includes the latest research on the subject and with contributions from leading experts on their various areas of expertise. The book will be a welcome addition to the literature and support the foundational basis for methods and procedures for use it expert testimony in court, serving as a resource for forensic document examiners, trainees, and those in the criminal and legal communities who use the services of expert document examiners and witnesses

Table of Contents


Preface xi

Editors xiii

Contributors xv

Section I Modern Standards,

Theory, and Practices

1 Forensic Document Examiner Training 3

Brett M. D. Bishop

2 Standards in Forensic Document Examination 7

Rigo Vargas

3 The Logical Approach to Evidence Evaluation 9

R. Brent Ostrum

4 Cognitive Bias and Handwriting Examination: Concepts, Current

Knowledge, and Future Practice 35

Mara L. Merlino

5 Forensic Intelligence 55

Samiah Ibrahim

6 Expert Testimony: The Path to the Jury 63

Lucinda Risi

Section II Handwriting Topics and Research

7 Development of Habitual Handwriting Characteristics in

Elementary School Students 73

Lisa M. Hanson and Marie E. Durina

8 Evaluation of Handwriting Evidence 81

Carolyne Bird

9 Forensic Hand-Printing Examination 105

Linda L. Mitchell

10 Handwriting Complexity 111

Miriam Angel

11 Examination of Foreign-Influenced Handwriting 119

Elaine X. Wooton and Donna O. Eisenberg

12 Frequency of Occurrence Proportions in Handwriting 131

Thomas W. Vastrick

13 Examination and Comparison of Handwriting by Forensic Document

Examiners Compared to Laypersons 137

Marie E. Durina

Section III Applications of Technology

in Forensic Document Examination

14 Forensic Analysis of Handwritten Electronic Signatures 157

Kathleen Annunziata Nicolaides and Khody R. Detwiler

15 Indentation Development and Visualization 173

Tobin Tanaka

16 Examination of Cut, Torn, Shredded, and Perforated Documents 195

Larry A. Olson

17 Electrophotography 211

Tobin Tanaka

18 Typography 225

Zain M. Bhaloo, Tobin Tanaka, and Peter Tytell

19 Computer Generated Documents 241

Timothy A. Campbell

20 Radiography 263

Tobin Tanaka

21 Digital Examination Techniques and Considerations 275

Mark T. Goff

22 Computational Analysis of Documents 289

Timothy A. Campbell

Index 303

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Jan Seaman Kelly has been an FDE since 1987. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in

Criminal Justice from the University of Central Oklahoma. She did her formal training in

forensic document examination from George Lewis at the US Postal Laboratory in San Bruno,

California. Ms. Kelly is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners

(ABFDE) and a Fellow of the Questioned Document Section in the American Academy of Forensic

Sciences (AAFS). She established Forensic Dynamics LLC, a private forensic document examination

firm that provides examinations and consultations in civil and criminal cases from government

and private sectors.

Ms. Kelly’s accomplishments in the field of forensic document examination include serving

as Director, Secretary, and President of the ABFDE from 1995 through 2002. She held the offices

of Program Chair, Section Secretary and Section Chair of the Questioned Documents Section in

AAFS from 2016 to 2020. Ms. Kelly served as Section Chair of the 2020 AAFS Interdisciplinary

Symposium. She is a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Subcommittee for Forensic Documents and

a member of the Academy Standards Board (ASB).

Ms. Kelly received two awards in 2004: the Ordway Hilton Award presented by the Questioned

Document Section of the AAFS and named Safety Officer of the Year by the Rotary Clubs of

Southern Nevada. The ABFDE presented the Charles C. Scott Award to Ms. Kelly in 2002 for her

defense of the forensic document profession as a member of the Daubert Group.

Ms. Kelly is the coeditor and coauthor of several chapters in the second edition of Scientific

Examination of Questioned Documents, released by CRC Press in 2006. She is the author of

Forensic Examination of Rubber Stamps, released by Charles C. Thomas Publisher in 2002. In

1994, the ABFDE published her 62-page monograph, Significant Dates of Typing Methods. Ms.

Kelly has published several articles in professional journals such as the Journal of Forensic

Sciences and the Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners.


Miriam Angel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University

of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from

the University of Southern California (USC). She did her training at the Los Angeles Police

Department (LAPD) from 1994 to 1996 and continues to work as a Forensic Document Examiner

in the LAPD laboratory.

Ms. Angel is a Diplomate of the ABFDE and is currently serving on the ABFDE Board of

Directors. She was the Secretary of the ABFDE from 2017 to 2019. She is a member of the

American Society of Questioned Document Examiners and the AAFS. She also currently serves

on the OSAC Forensic Document Examination Subcommittee.

Ms. Angel has given several presentations and published articles in professional journals on

kinematics and signature complexity. Having recently completed an 8-month online course

on Essentials of Forensic Interpretation from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, she has

presented the application of logical reasoning to handwriting examination at the AAFS and to

colleagues at the LAPD laboratory.