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TerryB

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Reply with quote  #46 
But again, you're not talking about the same sort of business.

Handwriting analysis has a more definitive basis and interpretation isn't a factor as it would be in trying to analyze x-rays. You're not comparing apples to apples in making the comparisons to those two very different fields of expertise.

Fingerprints, that's gonna depend on the quality and amount of material to work with, the same might be said of one single sample of handwriting but not when comparing several documents.

Yes, anybody can claim that they are an expert at anything but if some of those folks haven't  got the credentials; then they aren't valid experts. In the Ramsey case a person by the name of Leibman tried to offer his analysis of the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note, not only was he rejected but was  sent a strongly worded letter telling him that he failed to provide valid credentials and  his methodology was attacked in that same letter, he was given the heave-ho in some very strong words, he wasn't credible.

Again, had anyone with valid credentials been able to show that Patsy Ramsey penned the note, she would have been indicted.....period. Persons with valid credentials said and showed that she did not pen that document....no if's and's or but's about it.

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TerryB

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Reply with quote  #47 
The reality in the Ramsey case is; that LE tried too hard to lay the murder on the parents.

The reality in the Chicago Lipstick murder case is that they railroaded Heirens into jail via a forced confession using totally illegal and unethical methods. 

The reality in the Anthax/Amerithrax case is that they tried to railroad Dr Hatfill into jail, then later on they took a whack at  Bruce Ivans, then when they destroyed his life and reputation; he either killed himself or was murdered and made to look like a suicide. Now that he's dead; they treat it as "case closed" despite the many unanswered questions,  the main one being "why did it take them nearly ten years to come to their fuzzy conclusion". It was physically impossible for Ivans to have done it alone and I doubt he had anything to do with the Anthrax attacks.

The reality is, is that there were so many things wrong with the 911 event; that I don't wanna even go there on the subject.

All of those cases have one thing in common......domestic terrorism and psychological warfare forced upon the public, perpetrated by persons that make up their own rules.

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Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #48 
I disagree that citing studies from other fields when speaking of the influence of human influence or subjectivity on an analysis means that I am not comparing apples to apples. But to show you that it applies to handwriting analysis as well:

The National Institute of Justice has awarded grants for the study of this very issue:

1. NIST/NIJ Expert Working Group-  "Human Factors in Question Document Analysis"

2. Kentucky State University- "Validity, Reliability, Accuracy, and Bias in Forensic Signature Identification"

Here are some peer-reviewed journal articles which indicate that there is variability in agreement between document examiners reviewing the same handwriting samples:

Quote:
Professional document examiners incorrectly identified 9.3% of hand printed documents

M. Kam "Writer Identification Using Handprinted and Non-Handprinted Questioned Documents". 2003 Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 48, No. 6

Quote:
The group of professionals incorrectly matched 6.5% of the documents in the unknown packages with documents in the database packages

M. Kam, G. Fielding, and R. Conn. 1997. Writer identification by professional document examiners. Journal of Forensic Sciences 42(5):778-786

Quote:
That study found that professional handwriting examiners erred in 3.4 percent of their judgments.

J. Sita, B. Found, and D. Rogers. 2002. Forensic handwriting examiners’ expertise for signature comparison. Journal of Forensic Sciences 47:1117. 


No matter the level of training/ expertise, or specific rules and measurements, there is always the possibility of differing opinions in any scientific field because when humans are involved you cannot eliminate the "human factor". 
Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #49 
Interpretation by the examiner is most definitely a factor in document analysis, just as it is in other scientific fields like radiology, histopathology, fingerprint analysis, etc.

From Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/228091.pdf

 

p.188
Quote:

Wide variability is found across forensic science disciplines not only with regard to techniques and methodologies (see Chapter 5), but also with regard to reliability, error rates, reporting, research foundations, general acceptability, and published material. Some of the disciplines are laboratory based (e.g., nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis, toxicology and drug analysis, and analyses of fibers and fire debris); others are based on expert interpretation of observed patterns (e.g., of fingerprints, writing samples, toolmarks, bite marks, and hairs). 
In most areas of forensic science, no well-defined system exists for determining error rates, and proficiency testing shows that some examiners perform poorly. 

 

habituation

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Reply with quote  #50 
Sorry I haven't jumped in here before now, I really really, I mean Really wanted to, but I was busy moving my daughter back home after too long of a stay with her father, and that was my priority.

Jupiter, I respectfully disagree with you and your statements, and no you cannot compare other fields of scientific study like a medical diagnosis to handwriting. First and foremost, that is why you can get a second opinion.....No two doctor's experience the same patient with the same symptoms in the same way another has. It is trial and error throughout their career, and hopefully experience and years will help them to better diagnose and recognize certain diseases and illnesses. But, then no two people develop symptoms exactly the same, and this is why there is errors in diagnosing them. Dr.'s are merely practicing medicine, and there are many areas, especially when dealing with the brain where there is no exact science. Just finished Biological Psychology, and my professor, 30 years in this field of science, still admits they do not have a grasp on it.

This is not so in the realm of handwriting. If I say that the slant is similar between two exemplars, you can visually see that they are. If I say that they cross their t bars in the same exact position on the stem or more to the left than the right, you can visually see this. If I say that they space their cross bars on the F in exactly the same width, height, and length as one another, again, you can visually see this. If I say that you can overlay words and the spacing between the letters are identical, again, this is verifiable by simply looking at it. I would never say that something was happening in handwriting that wasn't because you can simply verify what I am saying by looking at it.

There are many people in this industry that do not belong in it. No matter how much training some people get, they just never really get it or do not have the capability. The only reason McFarland indicated that I should qualify my opinions more is because as she said, "she wasn't there to see them write it, and therefore could not make a definitive conclusion." This made me feel like she is saying she could not determine the authenticity of the writing, and someone like that should not be holding themselves out as a document examiner if what she is saying is that there is no science behind it to assist us in our decisions. This is simply not true, we have come leaps and bounds in the past couple of years including handwriting recognition software. The computer is not human and cannot be subjective, but it was only accurate to a rate of 85% when it came to disguised handwriting, and this is why a human examiner is still very much necessary. What the handwriting is portraying is never subjective, only objective, and any good document examiner will see the same thing as any other document examiner. Is their human error, of course there is, but that means they weren't focusing and doing their job correctly.

The only thing that is subjective with handwriting is which factors are pointed out because they are the easy and obvious points of interest that proves your point. Whether it be slant, spacing, form, construction, similarities or dissimilarities, it is what I choose to report on that makes it subjective in any way. I might point out the four stroke "N" as a significant factor and another document examiner may have reported on a different letter altogether as what they found to be significant, but nevertheless, it is easy to verify by simply looking at it, unlike a lesion on the brain or scarring in the lungs and what may have caused them. You can argue all day long what the symptoms might indicate, just watch House the TV series and you will see them theorizing as to what the symptoms mean to the patient whereas if I say that the t bar crosses more to the left than the right, it either is or it isn't, and I would be stupid to get on the stand and attempt to tell the court that a letter is doing something that it obviously is not doing. That would be idiocy... If there are mistakes to be had, it is purely in the work the doc examiner is doing, or should I say the lack there of.

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TerryB

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Reply with quote  #51 
That was very well stated Nanette.

When Jupiter began reporting things that had to do with handwriting; that was at least comparing apples to apples, even though I don't agree with her take on the handwriting ID business in general.

While I'm not an expert on handwriting I have learned what a lot of the criteria is from Nanette's work and I do see it with my eye's and generally I know what to look for. These days I find myself paying attention to some of the aspects of handwritten and printed documents, that has improved my ability to  identify certain things and what to look for. Again, I'm no expert but I am observant.

I will say that when you review the very outrageous behavior of the so-called linguistics Prof. Foster in the Ramsey case, then the human factor point is well taken, in his case he was just trying hard to force himself into the case, perhaps to cash in on a book and advance his own career, except that he tripped on his own tongue, so to speak. Maybe that was his intention all along?

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Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #52 
In a short Google search (results listed above) I found 3 journal articles that have found variability in the opinions of document examiners that analyzed the same documents. I also found 2 grants from the National Institute of Justice intended to examine the problem of bias and subjectivity by document examiners, as well as a book by the US DOJ indicating, among other things, that expert interpretation can result in differing opinions and that this human factor needs to be mitigated in order to strengthen the validity of this type of forensic science in criminal cases.

It seems that a good portion of the law enforcement community recognizes this weakness (not human error, but bias and subjectivity) as a proven fact within the field of document analysis, as well as other fields open to expert interpretation like blood spatter analysis, fingerprinting, dental imprints, etc. I think that the amount of resources that have gone into investigating this problem and looking for ways to potentially lessen the impact of the human factor in these fields is convincing evidence that this issue does exist. 

habituation

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Reply with quote  #53 
But, the difference with a doctor and an examiner is that there is no one to tell the doctor he is wrong if he were to show his findings say to a judge who has no knowledge or background in the field whereas if I try to tell the judge the handwriting is doing something that it is not, or try to say it is not doing something that it obviously is, the judge would know the difference just due to common sense...
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TerryB

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Reply with quote  #54 
Let's look at the Ramsey case, every single legitimate document examiner has said that they could not say the ransom letter was penned by either of the Ramsey's, some like Dusek made a stronger statement saying in no uncertain terms that Patsy Ramsey did not pen the thing. Then entered a couple of fraudulent document examiners, those being Leibman and Wong, they both claimed Patsy penned the thing and both were rejected for legitimate reasons and rightfully so.

If you take the two screwballs like Leibman and Wong and compared them with eight valid document examiners, then applied a statistical analysis of the group of 10 people, you would get a 20% difference in results, this is a somewhat exaggerated example but that seems to be the way Jupiter is acting here.

Jupiter, you claimed that when you came here that you didn't wanna argue but then you take that very tact. You would have others believe that there is a percentage of error in the business, so that explains why it's got problems of credibility.

Jupiter, I've also taken note of the fact that you point out things that tend to bolster your position but your willfully ignore things that tend to favor either Nanette's or my position.


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Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #55 
TerryB-

In order to willfully ignore something I would have to think that what you were saying was correct but because it didn't support what I was saying I pretended I didn't hear it. My opinion is completely the opposite of yours and Nanette's in this, and in some other matters. I elaborate on my opinions when asked to do so and provide documentation that I feel may help explain how I formed them. I disagree with opinions, I don't ignore them. I acknowledge that you both think the science of handwriting is basically free from human (as in the handwriting expert) influence. I disagree and I showed evidence that people within law enforcement and within the field of forensics also disagree and how they are actively working to mitigate it. I supported my opinion with the facts as I am aware of them.

Honestly, if you consider this arguing with you then it's probably best you just ignore my posts from now on. I've never been disrespectful to you or Nanette, even though when I first joined this board you certainly gave me ample reason to be so.
Nanette asked for one of us to stop the unnecessary back and forth and I vowed to do that. I'll make that vow again, but this time I'll go a step further and if I choose to continue posting here I will direct my comments only to information that Nanette posts and will no longer address you or your comments.
TerryB

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Reply with quote  #56 
Jupiter, I don't mean this as a personal attack, I mean that your bias against the validity of Nanette's handwriting report is what I'm bugged by and I think you will keep up that tact no matter what we say.

I've carefully studied her methodology, workmanship and results and I can see it to my own satisfaction that she has made a valid match. I saw the examples posted by Dennis Kaufman on his site a long time ago and the similarities to Jack's writing and the Zodiac killer writings were pretty darn good. When I say "to my own satisfaction", I'm a student of technologies and I'm a student of scientific methodology and I'm very particular about correctness. If I have any doubts about something; I will say so . If I say that I'm convinced about something....you can bank on it!

When I discovered the JT initials all over the JonBenet Ramsey ransom note, I went back and double checked Nanette's workmanship, that is why I say what I say with perfect certainty! Many other pieces of  evidence bolster my conviction about Zodiac Jack being the actual main perpetrator.


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Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #57 
Let me be clear- if you can agree to have a reasonable discourse with me, I've no problem addressing your concerns. Your tone and language (willfully ignore, bias, you claimed you didn't, leaps in logic) suggest your intentions are different. There is a way to ask questions in a respectful manner, even of those who fundamentally disagree with you on many issues. I don't tolerate people being disrespectful to me or my opinions in my daily life, so, of course, I will not tolerate it here. I give the respect that human beings are due one another and I expect the same in return. If those are not tenets you are comfortable with, then I'll stop responding to your posts. 

Bias implies an inability to recognize an alternative opinion to my own. I've clearly indicated the things that would make me more inclined to change my mind and to think that the handwriting analysis is accurate, in this and other threads. I said that as a juror, the handwriting alone would never cause me to convict someone because of what I (and other researchers, law enforcement, and members of forensic fields) believe is an inherent weakness in any field that relies on the interpretation by a human being. It is not a slight against Nanette or a slight against handwriting analysis, its based upon extensive research and consideration on my part. If you or Nanette presented something I felt added a layer of evidence that more definitively tied Jack to a particular crime, I'd be more than happy to modify my opinion. I am quite familiar with what you have both presented but I have not yet read anything that has changed my mind. And, even though I disagree with things you and she might find significant, I do not and would not pick through every single post each of you makes to point out why I feel the way I do as that would serve no purpose for any of us. 

TerryB

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Reply with quote  #58 
Except that, for instance; your summary view of the field of handwriting analysis is just plain wrong. It's nowhere and in no way something to be compared with a medical doctors opinion. If you don't get that or acknowledge that, then you operate on a faulty basis. 

So the question is: "If you don't buy any of what we are saying, then why are you here?"

Don't put words in my mouth; like saying "you'll address my concerns. Your whole tact has been mostly condescending and don't make like it hasn't been. If that hurts you feeling(?), then I'd say you brought it on yourself. I'm being pointed, not mean.

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Jupiter

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Reply with quote  #59 
When you stated I compared apples to oranges with the doctor comparison, I did as you suggested and provided numerous examples dealing with handwriting directly (apples to apples) to show that this is not merely my opinion but also the opinion of many individuals in law enforcement and the forensic sciences. 

As to your question of why am I here, I addressed that many times over when you asked on this and on other threads. Please refer to them if you are interested. 

The words in parentheses above are yours, no one put them in your mouth.

If you can disagree that you are disrespectful, I can disagree that I've been condescending.

I'm not that delicate; you can't hurt my feelings. I'll address all future posts to Nanette only.



TerryB

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Reply with quote  #60 
Jupiter, perhaps I've been a little too harsh, please try to understand that I'm(we're) talking about handwriting as it relates to the Zodiac killer, JonBenet Ramsey, Chicago Lipstick killer etc, cases that have an abundant number of samples to work with, despite the fact they were mostly made with felt-tipped markers.

When we're talking about handwriting analysis as it relates to a very limited or small number of samples, then the point(I think) you're making becomes much more pertinent. Additionally, trying to find a match without a valid suspect.... then it would seem be an exercise in futility.

Sorry, but I'm a little punchy from dealing with a bunch of evil jokers that skew the evidence in these heinous murder cases, I'm not yet accusing you of that and we both should hope that I never do.

Just as a layperson and before I really studied Nanette's methodology; I studied Patsy Ramsey's exemplars and studied the so-called ransom letter and I could tell there was no match. After I became more familiar with her methodology, I reviewed that document again and I got pretty darn angry with anyone that claimed that they matched, those same people are either damn lairs or complete idiots and/or both.

Don't bail out on me now, because I want you to answer the points I last posted on the OCCK thread.

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