Questioned document examination is a mystery to many people. The old adage that "a picture says a thousand words" is very true for the forensic document examiner.
When exhibits are prepared by the questioned document examiner, the lay person will clearly see that which is observed by the trained examiner. Handwriting exhibits and document exhibits must present the science behind the examiner's opinion, yet are written is a manner that the person who is not trained in forensic document examination will find the opinion clear and easy to understand.
Mike's experience in designing and delivering presentations to large audiences has transferred to creating powerful forensic document examination exhibits. The exhibits clearly support opinions that are presented.
A signature may appear to be real yet it is not real.
A number or word that has been changed may appear to have been written in the same black or blue ink as the other numbers.
A page in the contract may appear to have been printed along with the other pages yet it was printed on a different printer.
Cut and paste is done by cutting a known
signature or other writing from a document and placing it onto another document
then making a copy of the manufactured document. The copy is claimed to be a
photocopy of the original document.
In this example,
the signature and date from the tax form were copied and placed onto the signature
line of the check. This was done using Adobe Photoshop™. The question is which
is real or are both signatures cut-and-paste from a third document. Unless an
original document is examined, the document examiner may not be able to
determine whether one is an original or not. Cut and paste is determined by
extracting both signatures then placing one on top of the other. If there is an
exact match, one is a copy of the other or both are a copy of a third
signature. For this reason it is important to request the original document.
To the naked eye this image had the appearance of ink from a rubber stamp. Slight magnification revealed the image was printed on a wax printer. The dots were apparent.
This image taken at 40x magnification shows the process used to create the image is an inked rubber stamp. The case required authentication of these documents.