Forensic Document Investigation – Hunting for Clues in Typewritten Documents

Not only do the ink from a pen and the kind of paper offer clues to forensic document analysts about the origin of a questionable document, lots of distinctive forms of mechanical products do also. Copiers, printers, and typewriters numerous situations go away exclusive markings on the typed or copied doc. These markings may present that a particular piece of paper has been altered. Such alterations can assist forensic document examiners figure out just which machine developed the questioned doc.

In this report, I will endeavor to explain what forensic document analysts search for when they come throughout a printed document that is made use of in the commission of a criminal offense.

If they are not employing pen or pencil and paper, perpetrators often use typewriters to compose letters of intimidation or ransom notes. The offenders regularly have the wrong perception of protection that committing this kind of an act will make the letter or observe untraceable. Almost nothing could be farther from the fact. Whenever a typewriter is utilized to build a questionable document, the forensic doc analyst attempts to:

  • Discover out the make and model of the typewriter
  • Evaluate the notice with a suspect typewriter

Analyzing the make and design of a typewriter indicates that the forensic document analyst should have obtain to a record of typefaces used in distinct designs of new and outdated typewriters. Numerous typewriter makers use either pica or elite typefaces. Even so, the measurement, form, and model of the letter are distinctive, earning the analyst’s task tricky. After thorough examination of a typed doc, the analyst may well be able to discover out the make and product of the typewriter that designed it. Accomplishing so may assistance shorten the listing of specific equipment that developed the document. On the downside, modern printers may use daisy-wheel, ink-jet, dot-matrix, or laser printing technologies. These printers fluctuate slightly these types of that document analysts many moments can not discern one particular from yet another.

To uncover out irrespective of whether a distinct typewriting device established a questionable document, forensic doc analysts lookup for exceptional traits that can entail misaligned or damaged letters, inconsistent spacing right before or soon after specified letters, and inconsistencies in the pressure applied to the site by some letters. For occasion, specific letters can have grooves or spurs that are imprinted on a piece of paper. These letters can also slant toward a single aspect or print a little bit higher or reduce than the rest of the letters on the site. This kind of abnormalities can be as opposed to a sample web page taken from a suspect typewriter and hence present effective individualizing features that are exceptional only to that typewriter.

To make comparisons concerning a questioned doc and a distinct typewriter, the forensic doc analyst styles up a comparison doc taken from the suspect typewriter. While carrying out this, the analyst makes use of a ribbon that is comparable in style and affliction to the one made use of to develop the first document. The reason for this is that a worn ribbon will show slight abnormalities in the typeface. On the other hand, a model new ribbon made up of contemporary ink may perhaps conceal them.

Typewriting equipment that use ribbons can support the forensic document analyst match a particular typewriter to the doc in issue. If a typewriting machine takes advantage of a one-move ribbon, forensic scientists can simply just examine the message from the ribbon by itself offered that the ribbon is nevertheless in the device. Even if the ribbon has been used for a number of passes, legal investigators can nonetheless retrieve elements of the concept from the ribbon.

Suppose a criminal applied the first typewriter to include things like an excess line or a paragraph to a document? How does the forensic document examiner ascertain that his occurred? If the typeface is similar in the two the primary textual content and the extra-on text, it is difficult for the examiner to determine if an alteration occurred. Having said that, when the paper is inserted again into a typewriter for the second time, the alignment many situations is off. Taking gain of this truth, the examiner puts a specifically designed glass plate with an etched grid pattern on leading of the page. By doing so, he can effortlessly see any inconsistencies in the alignment of the extra lines and paragraphs.

Ellen C. McGowan

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