Old Fashioned Type Write With Piece Of Paper In It Forensic Document Analysis – Looking for Clues in Typewritten Documents

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Forensic Document Analysis – Looking for Clues in Typewritten Documents

Not only does pen and paper type provide legal document analysts with clues about a suspected document’s originality, so do many types of mechanical devices. Copiers, printers and typewriters often leave different markings on the printed or copied document. These marks may indicate that a particular piece of paper has been changed. Such changes can help forensic document examiners determine exactly which machine generated the document in question.

In this article, I will try to explain what forensic document analysts look for when they come across a printed document used in the commission of a crime.

If they don’t use pen or pencil and paper, criminals often use typewriters to write threatening letters or ransom notes. Criminals often have a false sense of security that doing something like a letter or note can’t be traced. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whenever a typewriter is used to create a suspect document, the forensic document analyst attempts to:

  • Find the make and model of the typewriter
  • Compare the note with a suspicious typescript

Determining the make and model of a typewriter means that the forensic document analyst must have access to a list of fonts used in various models of new and old typewriters. Many typewriter manufacturers use pica or elite fonts. However, the size, shape and style of the letters are different, making the analyst’s job difficult. After careful examination of a printed document, an analyst may be able to determine the make and model of the typewriter that created it. Doing so may help shorten the list of actual machines that created the document. On the downside, today’s printers can use daisy-wheel, ink-jet, dot-matrix, or laser printing technologies. These printers vary so much that document reviewers often can’t tell one from the other.

To determine whether a particular typewriter produced a suspicious document, forensic document examiners look for unique features that can include misspelled or damaged letters, inconsistent spacing before or after certain letters, and inconsistencies in the pressure exerted by certain letters on the page. apply. For example, special fonts may have grooves or ridges that are printed on a piece of paper. These letters can also be offset to one side or printed slightly higher or lower than the rest of the letters on the page. Such abnormalities can be compared to a sample page taken from a suspect typewriter, thereby providing powerful personalization features unique to that machine.

To make a comparison between a questioned document and a specific typescript, the forensic document examiner writes a comparison document taken from the suspected typescript. When doing this, the scanner uses a ribbon that is similar in type and condition to the one used to create the original document. The reason for this is that a worn card will show small abnormalities in the font. On the other hand, a new ribbon that includes the new setting may hide them.

Typewriters that use ribbons can help a forensic document analyst match a specific typewriter to the document in question. If a typewriter uses a single-pass card, forensic scientists can simply read the message from the ribbon itself, provided the ribbon is still in the machine. Even if the tape has been used for several passes, crime investigators can still retrieve parts of the message from the tape.

Suppose a fraudster used the original typescript to add an extra line or paragraph to a document? How does the forensic examiner determine that it has occurred? If the font is the same in both the original text and the appended text, it is difficult for the researcher to determine whether a change has occurred. However, when the paper is fed back into a typewriter for a second time, alignment is often lost. Taking advantage of this fact, the researcher places a specially designed glass plate in a grid pattern on top of the page. By doing this, he can easily find any inconsistencies in the added lines and paragraphs.

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