1st Edition

Forensic Document Examination in the 21st Century

Edited By Miriam Angel, Jan Seaman Kelly Copyright 2021
    336 Pages 150 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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


    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


    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.