Document Examination and Handwriting Comparison in a Homicide Investigation
"The prosecution case against a man accused of murdering his missing mother is "entirely circumstantial" and will rely on bank details and handwriting analysis, a Perth court has heard today."
Document Examination Solutions were approached by Police to provide specialist support to a homicide investigation. The investigation centred around the disappearance of a woman (the deceased) some 20 months prior.
Our involvement saw a variety of examination techniques employed on various documents. This identified how, and in some cases where and when, these documents had been produced.
Evidence was gleaned from business documents created between December 2008 and August 2010 when the investigation commenced. Over this period, genuine signatures of the deceased had been manipulated and utilised to create the belief that she was alive and maintaining her business arrangements.
One central document was a greeting card (see the video embedded in the wa today news article in the below link) bearing a passage of reproduced (printed) handwriting which we determined as being the handwriting of the deceased. Our examination results informed the investigators that documents bearing original handwriting of the deceased could provide crucial evidence in relation to the greeting card. As a result, a further search warrant was executed and documents bearing original handwriting of the deceased were located.
From these documents, it was confirmed that the text on the greeting card was a composite, made up of original handwriting of the deceased.
Ultimately, evidence was gleaned through handwriting and signature examinations, impressions in paper, printer defects / identification methodologies and preliminary ink analysis. Significantly, our examination results were used as an investigative tool and as evidence in the prosecution case.
Further information on this case, including the outcome, is described in the following link.
Text from the suspicious greeting card (above) and text from a specimen document written by the deceased (below).
A comparative analysis between specimen and questioned handwriting.