Experts in forensic handwriting in Phoenix are often called upon to verify the authenticity of a signature or an important document such as a will. One of the ways they do this is through graphology—the study of the unique characteristics of handwriting. The methods graphologists use have been around for thousands of years, although they continue to evolve today.
The idea of graphology has been around since as early as the ancient Chinese civilizations. In the 1500s and 1600s, authors such as Juan Huarte de San Juan and Camillo Baldi began publishing the first books regarding handwriting analysis. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it began to be more commonly used and studied throughout Europe.
The Lindbergh Kidnapping
One of the first and most public instances where graphology was used in a criminal case was the Lindbergh kidnapping. In 1932, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., was abducted from his home in New Jersey. A series of ransom notes was left, and the handwriting was analyzed by a group of experts. When Richard Hauptmann was eventually arrested and charged with the crime, his handwriting was submitted to the court and the expert witnesses confirmed that it was the same handwriting as that on the ransom notes. Hauptmann was eventually convicted and executed for the crime.
Handwriting Analysis Today
The acceptance of graphology as evidence varies from court to court, but it is usually allowed as long as it is presented by an expert who uses generally accepted scientific methods. It is commonly used to verify the authenticity of important documents, detect alterations to documents, and analyze threatening letters or ransom notes. Many graphologists even claim to be able to analyze a person’s mood and character by the way they write and are used to screen job candidates and help police analyze written statements made by witnesses or suspects.
While there is still some debate as to how much graphology can really accomplish, there is no doubt that forensic handwriting in Phoenix has established itself as a useful means of analysis, especially in combination with other forensic document analysis methods.
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