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DATING A SIGNATURE

NCJ Number
69099
Journal
Forensic Science International Volume: 15 Issue: 3 Dated: (MAY/JUNE 1980) Pages: 243-248
Author(s)
D J PURTELL
Date Published
1980
Length
6 pages
Annotation
TECHNIQUES FOR DATING A DOCUMENT FROM CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SIGNATURE ARE DESCRIBED.
Abstract
SIGNATURES MAY BE PLACED IN A TIME FRAME ON THE BASIS OF THE SLIGHT BUT PERSISTENT CHANGES WHICH MARK INDIVIDUALS' STAGES OF LIFE. THE MOST LIKELY CHANGE IS IN THE QUALITY OF WRITING, ESPECIALLY IN BEGINNING AND ENDING STROKES, WHICH EXTEND, CONTRACT, ELABORATE, SLANT, CURVE, OR DEVELOP DRAG MARKS. ALSO SUSCEPTIBLE TO TRANSFORMATION ARE CAPITAL LETTERS, SIZE AND PROPORTION OF SMALL LETTERS WITHIN WORDS, T-CROSSBARS, POSITIONING OF PARTICULAR LETTERS, AND STROKE ANGULARITY. SEVERAL EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATE HOW THESE CHARACTERISTICS CAN BE USED TO DATE CHECKS OR RECORDS CRUCIAL TO LEGAL PROCEEDINGS. HOWEVER, SIGNATURE DETERMINATIONS ARE ONLY POSSIBLE IF SUFFICIENT HANDWRITING STANDARDS ARE AVAILABLE TO ASCERTAIN THAT HANDWRITING CHANGES ARE CONTINUOUS. THE STANDARDS MUST ALSO BE TESTED FOR TRUSTWORTHINESS. EXEMPLARS MUST BE EXAMINED FOR ALL FEATURES, ARRANGED IN DATE SEQUENCE, AND DIVIDED INTO WEEK-BY-WEEK OR MONTH-BY-MONTH GROUPS. A DETAILED DRAWING IS THEN MADE, ALL SIGNATURES WITHIN ONE SUBDIVISION ARE ANALYZED TO DETERMINE IF THE SAME CHARACTERISTICS ARE PRESENT, SUBTLE TRANSFORMATIONS ARE MARKED WITH COLORED PENCILS, AND DELICATE CHANGES ARRE CATALOGUED TO CHECK IMPORTANCE. RATE OF CHANGE VARIES ACCORDING TO THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CONDITIONS AND CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE OF THE INDIVIDUAL WRITERS. REFERENCES AND ILLUSTRATIONS ARE SUPPLIED.