Volume 32, Issue 6 (November 1987)
A System for Handwriting Classification
In dealing with questioned document cases, examiners may encounter a questioned writing with no known suspect or a potential suspect with no writing available. The benefit and purpose of a classification system is to put at the fingertips of the examiner a means of filing and retrieving handwriting information on classified individuals who in many instances are repeat offenders and could be potential suspects. For clarification purposes, it should be stated that the classification of handwriting is not synonymous nor should be confused with the identification of handwriting. Classification simply allows the development of a mathematical formula based upon types of handwriting patterns for the purpose of retrieving information. Identification, on the other hand, is concerned not only with patterns that occur in handwriting, but individual characteristics as well as a host of other features. This paper discusses the development and implementation of a handwriting classification system used primarily to expedite the search for potential suspects where no suspects have been developed by the investigating agency, and as a source to project trends in certain handwriting characteristics as they relate to each other and to the sex and the race of known offenders.