Volume 24, Issue 2 (April 1979)
Handwritten Entry Research
The document examiner will infrequently encounter a handwritten entry problem. When such a problem does arise, it is usually to determine if an entry is spurious. Generally, the problem is to prove that a group of diaries, logs, or similar entries were not written on several different occasions over an extended period as purported but rather were all written at the same time. Most examiners, because of the lack of experience and published reference literature dealing with such problems, find they know neither how to approach such problems nor how to develop or interpret the value of possible latent evidence. The problem as stated cannot always be answered in a satisfactory fashion, even by examiners with extensive experience. A lot of valuable information dealing with such problems, most of which was not published, has been exchanged. In many instances, the information formulated has been a direct result of examination of cases. Many of these cases did not have adequate contemporary reference diaries, logs, calendars, or similar exemplars on which to base an opinion. This is not to say that a reliable opinion on a set of questioned entries cannot be given without comparable exemplars. In many instances, the opinion rendered depends a great deal on the evidence in each case. However, the scientific process dictates that opinions concerning an unknown be based on its deviation from a compatible known or reference.