Handwriting Expert Illinois,Iowa,USA  LS Spencer and Associates - Forensic Handwriting Examiner   Suspect signatures and documents
All About Handwriting

Al Capone and forensic handwrting analysis

Did you know that it was forensic handwriting analysis that was key evidence in bringing down the Chicago gangster Al Capone?  Federal Treasury Agents worked to gather evidence that Capone failed to pay his income taxes.  Bureau of Revenue investigator Frank Wilson discovered that Capone did not maintain a bank account and never signed any checks or receipts.  Although Capone lived a lavish lifestyle there was no evidence that he had any income.  A key witness against him was a handwriting expert who compared handwriting on a ledger with that on deposit slips tying Capone to monthly income from a gambling hall. With this evidence they were able to convict Al Capone of income tax evasion and finally send him to prison.

What's revealed in a person's signature?

How a person writes their signature tells a lot about how the person presents themselves to  the world..  The analysis of a signature reveals how the person appears to be in public.  The body of a page of writing reveals the real person.  The signature reveals how they want to be perceived.  This may be basically the same or it may be quite different from the body of the page of writing.  For example many famous people write their signature large and with extra large capital letters with flourishes because they want to appear important and with showmanship.

What does it mean when a person crosses out their signature?

Now and then I come across someone who has crossed a line through their signature. Sometimes the entire signature has a line or several lines through it,
Sometimes just the first name or the last name is crossed through.  What does this say about the writer?

  • A line or even several lines crossing out the signature alerts me to the fact that the person is dealing with a desire to remake them self.
  • Sometimes a line is crossed just through the first name which means the desire is in regard to remaking their personal self.

Original versus Copied Documents

When submitting questioned handwriting documents the handwriting expert will ask  for the original document.  Original documents are always best because they provide the clearest visibility of the strokes ,pen lifts, pressure, eraser marks and other factors in the writing.
Unfortunately, very often, original documents have been destroyed or lost. The handwriting expert can work with copies and most often must do so. Original documents are ideal but not necessary to determine authenticity of a writing. Be sure to provide the best copy available of the handwriting. A scanned version  is preferred over a faxed one as faxed copies often lack strong definition.

The Intrinsic Value of Handwritten Letters

    When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? For most people it has been a long time, maybe years.  There is something really special about finding a handwritten letter from a friend or loved one in the mailbox. A part of the person is there on the paper for you to see. The handwritten letter is personal.

Would you rather receive a handwritten thank you note or an email or text thank you? Most everyone places a high value on their time so a handwritten note indicates the writer feels your generosity is worth the extra time it takes to hand write their appreciation.

Robert Durst Handwriting Controversy, Is it his or is it not his?

National Handwriting Day

Today, January 23rd, is National Handwriting Day so I want to share a fun and informative link on the history of handwriting.The article was published in 2012 but I am betting you didn't see it. It is very interesting to review how handwriting evolved in America.

One of the best sourcesof information on cursive handwriting isCampaignfor Cursive.comHere you will find information on peer reviewed research, help for teaching

Does Cursive Handwriting Need to Be Taught in A High Tech World/



National Handwriting Day is Friday January 23rd so I decided to write again about the importance of cursive handwriting.  It is not only important to learn as a skill but more importantly it is a principle to the learning process itself,

My background: I am a certified Graphoanalyst with over 25 years of experience working as a handwriting expert. I have a masters degree in Human Service Administration. I have six years of experience working in both the public and private sectors of education and have worked with teens with developmentally delayed and high risk concerns.

Research Indicates Why It Is Important For Kids To Learn How To Write In Cursive

Thanks to the discovery of neuroplasticity we now know that groups of neurons in the brain create new connections and pathways amongthemselves every time we acquire a new skill.Before we discard cursive handwritingas no longer necessary we need to examine what research is indicating regarding cursive and the affect it has on the brain. 

Dr. Frank R. Wilson, a leading neurologist, published a remarkable book which was nominated for a Pulitzer prize,The Hand: How its Use Shapes the Brain, Language and Human Culture

What does it indicate about personality when a person always prints when asked to write

 This is a question I often get when talking to people about handwriting analysis.

How does the personality of a person who always prints differ from the personality of a person who writes in cursive? 

Every personality is unique, no one aspect of the writing stands alone.

People who print and prefer to print are preoccupied with the accurate communication of facts unaltered by imagination.  They have learned to leave their feelings out of their communication. They generally are not comfortable discussing their personal feelings.