Someone trying to sell a baseball allegedly signed by Babe Ruth in the early s, or pass off documents as older than they really are, is up against a serious foe: The United States Secret Service. You might know that the Secret Service is on guard against counterfeit currency. You might not know, however, that it also keeps a one-of-a-kind International Ink Library with more than 11, specific writing ink fingerprints on hand. The ink library handles a variety of cases, from threat letters — the Secret Service protects not only the President but also other high-profile government officials — and ransom letters, baseballs, and phony documents where someone is “trying to obscure the truth in some way,” says Joseph Stephens, ink library document analyst. Want to cover up insider trading by adding information to a stock worksheet after the fact? Then you should have used the same exact pen as the original, since the FBI and the Secret Service have teamed up to crack those kinds of cases simply through ink analysis. Anytime you write something down, it’s more than your handwriting that can give you away.
Over 15, listings of expert witnesses, investigators, process servers, court reporters, consultants and litigation support professionals from every region of the United States. Publications Publications Law. Contact Us Sales – Find Experts. All States.
The consultants found through this page may provide reports on forged checks, signatures, questioned documents, ink analysis, and forensic ink dating, as well.
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In this article, Forensic Document Examiner, Mark Songer provides an overview of the cases where forensic document examination can be applied, the techniques and technologies used, and standards that exist in the field. In , an intruder broke into the home of an elderly couple living in California. The couple was robbed, beaten, and forced to write checks from their personal account before being murdered.
The suspect denied having anything to do with the murders. He claimed the checks were payment for landscaping work he had done for the couple two weeks earlier. While detectives were able to link the suspect to the crime scene using DNA evidence, they still had questions about the checks the suspect attempted to cash.
EUROFINS FORENSIC SERVICES is fortunate in having the backing of For these reasons a direct dating of ink lines is seldom carried out by.
One of the downsides of this however is that client expectations on what is possible in certain areas of forensic science often greatly exceed what can actually be done. Usually the enquiry involves a signature on a will or a commercial document. The signature itself may not be in dispute but the actual date of signing may be critical to the resolution of the matter. Often the client believes that the document can be easily analysed to give an exact date the ink was placed on the paper.
This testing has the disadvantage that the original document must be released to a laboratory, something that is problematic for many legal documents and potentially expensive for the client. Depending on the scientific method used, some results of such testing are of questionable value, and have been successfully challenged in court. To determine the commercial availability of a specific ink based on its chemical constitution, ink reference libraries do exist, but they are generally the preserve of government agencies and as such are not available to the vast majority of professionals working privately in the FDE field.
Other techniques offer more possibilities. Examination of the document as a whole may offer clues to its age. The type of print method used, typeface, paper, stamps or seals can be examined. If the document is a form or template, investigations can be made as to the version of such a template and what date it became available. Headed paper may contain the names of company directors or company logos, both of which change over time.
If enough comparison signatures are available from the individual concerned over a long period in time, then they can be evaluated to determine how these signatures may have changed over time.
Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide. Sauzier curtin. This paper presents a study into the potential of visible spectroscopy with chemometrics as an approach to dating blue ball tip inks on paper documents. Analysis of six inks left under various conditions found that the majority of those kept in the dark could still be matched to the source pen after 32 months of ageing.
This review paper covers the forensic-relevant literature in Most of the ink dating research concerned pen inks, yet Von der Kall V. and al .
But this technique is also able to overcome other stumbling blocks relating to the amount of ink deposited when writing and the type of paper used, as these variables hamper the dating of a document by means of traditional methods. What is more, the new technique reduces the number of punctures needed to analyse the writing on a document to just one. Determining the age of a document to find out whether it is authentic is a task influenced by the type of paper on which it has been written, the pressure of the stroke -the amount of ink deposited when the writing was done- or even the technique used.
Until now, document dating methods have been able to indicate whether the writing was relatively new less than 90 days or older over two years , yet this chronological accuracy is insufficient in certain cases, above all in judicial ones. Each document was produced at different moments using a different ink stroke pressure, factors that may alter the results and lead to dating errors. During the natural ageing process of each sample, which had a known age, the research team analysed the evolution in the various volatile components.
When analysing the kinetics involved in its disappearance, the research group established a pattern that links the state of the ink with the time that has elapsed. After observing this natural evolution and once the base guideline had been established, the next challenge to be overcome was to check the viability of the method using spontaneously written documents whose exact age was known, such as diaries, laboratory logs and judicial evidence from judicial processes that had been closed.
So the team used the same procedure as that used to analyse the samples produced for the research. And Datink also passed the test.
Foothill Boulevard. Provides investigation, forensic and litigation support to individuals, companies and firms. Our services include ink age, handwriting, questioned documents, crime scene evaluation, ink analysis, age determination, printer and toner analysis, authenticity, fraud investigations, fingerprints, review of expert witness findings, Daubert and cold case re-investigations. We would be pleased to discuss the aspects of your case with you.
In that role, managed up to scientists, technicians, and support staff in the areas of document analysis, handwriting, fingerprints, trace evidence, audio and video analysis, photography, toolmarks, computer evidence and counterfeit analysis.
Provides investigation, forensic and litigation support to individuals, companies and firms. Our services include ink age, handwriting, questioned documents.
There’s more to a piece of paper than meets the eye – and paper analysis can find it. This specialized investigative process extracts historical and physical evidence from documents, photographs, art prints, books, and other paper-based objects. These tools are used, alone or in combination, to characterize the properties of paper in a number of ways. For example, a qualitative analysis shows what materials are in the paper, fiber, ink; quantitative analysis measures how much.
Chemical analysis evaluates composition and pH; physical analysis measures gloss, strength, color. Organic analysis detects carbon-based traces of plants and organisms; while inorganic analysis identifies mineral evidence in pigment and ink. Each of these approaches provides a set of facts about an artifact’s condition, age or origins. The method of choice for any given situation is determined by several factors, including: the objectives of the investigator authentication, preservation, personal curiosity ; the relative value of the paper historically, legally, personally ; and whether the information gained from destructive testing will outweigh the loss of material samples.
The authenticity of the mysterious Vinland Map was debated for decades.
Forensic document examiners are an essential part of the success of the forensic science community. Their main responsibility is examining written, typed, or printed documents using a scientific methodology and equipment. Their essential responsibilities go beyond evaluating different documents. They prepare demonstrative exhibits, write expert reports, and state their opinions regarding the documents which are being analyzed.
This means they testify in court proceedings if the case goes to trial. Forensic document examiners can be found in local, state, and federal crime laboratories.
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Have questions? Give us a call IPS Testing is able to determine likely age ranges for paper products by using wood fibers, pulping chemistry, paper additives and surface treatments to serve as dating markers. Our experienced fiber science team, led by Walter Rantanen, has developed an international reputation for paper and document forensics. While exact age dating of papers is not possible, the process is often able to exclude samples as being made in the time period of question.
Walter Rantanen has developed a large database of paper with known ages.
The chemical analysis of writing and printing inks, as well as paper, can be invaluable when trying to prove whether a document is fraudulent. Ink dating is a highly specialized forensic examination and considered to be one of the most accurate and reliable methods to help determine the age of a document. An ink formulation can be identified to a specific manufacturer to ascertain the first date of commercial availability.
as forensic document examination, patent law, ink differentiation and dating, forensic handwriting analysis, digital printing and imaging, and other such issues,.
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