Entries by Mike Wakshull

Is Forensic Document Examination a Science?

In trial or deposition, the question, “Is forensic document examination a science?” is often asked of the expert witness. The expert witness must provide a valid answer to this question to sustain credibility. This article seeks to answer the question from the perspective of legal opinions and practicality. The 1993 United States Supreme Court case, […]

Is the provenance of documents important?

Is correct provenance of documents important for obtaining a correct opinion in a forensic document examination analysis? Forensic document examiners are asked to authenticate documents. Often this authentication requires examination of signatures and handwriting to determine whether the writer of the known documents also wrote the document in question. An issue arises whether it is […]

Patricia Fisher Made Erroneous Conclusions

In the FX program, The Most Dangerous Animal of All, first aired on March 6, 2020, document examiner Patricia Fisher inaccurately critiqued the work I performed in 2012 for the book by the same name. Ms. Fisher said a document examiner must not cherry pick letters and words when comparing the writing on various documents. […]

Zodiac Killer on FX on March 6, 2020

In 2012 I was retained to compare the handwriting of Earl Van Best, jr. with that of the Zodiac Killer. The Zodiac stalked the streets and parks of the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The examination was done for the book “The Most Dangerous Animal of All.” A result […]

Use project management processes for forensic examination

On Tuesday, February 12, I delivered a presentation to the Inland Empire chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI). The title of the presentation was, “The forensic examiner is a project manager.” The essence of the presentation was applying project management skills and techniques to a forensic examination. This essay is focused on forensic document examination […]

Presentation to American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (www.aaepa.com)

On Friday, October 18 I had the privilege of presenting “Document Fraud in Elder Abuse and Probate Cases” to the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys at their conference in Coronado, CA. This organization is excellent at planning. They have speakers perform a microphone check and test presenting the slides the day before the presentation. […]

Examples of document fraud in probate cases

A will is discovered in a book After his father died, the son was looking through a book his father owned. On a page of the book the son discovered a holographic will written allegedly by his father. He filed this will with the Riverside County court. The will left the entire estate to the […]

Rebecca Zahau on ID Discovery

The show #RebeccaZahau: an ID Murder Mystery on Discovery HD that aired last week on Discovery HD had many errors and attempts to bias the audience. Reporter Diane Diamond (@DiDimond) stated I allegedly made estimates about the height of the person who write “SHE SAVED HIM, CAN YOU SAVE HER” on the door at the […]

Electronic cut-and-paste documents

The fake slowed down image of Nancy Pelosi speaking mainly realize how prevalent the use of software is to create false images passed off as legitimate images. In my profession as a forensic document examiner I am seeing this more frequently. I have three #forensic document cases from #attorneys involving what is called a #cut-and-paste […]

A weak forensic opinion helps win a case

A weak forensic opinion helps win a case. You have hired a forensic examiner to analyze evidence for your civil case. After a thorough examination of the evidence, the forensic examiner delivers a weak forensic opinion toward favoring your theory of the case. Will the examiner’s weak opinion help you in trial? When the opinion […]