Freshwater: DIY Handwriting Analysis

In my recent post on testimony on December 30 I noted that Freshwater’s attorney, R. Kelly Hamilton, engaged in some theatrics about an exhibit introduced by the Board’s attorney, characterizing it as a forgery. I also described some of the similarities in the writing on two documents. One is a copy of an article on building tall structures decorated with handwritten comments about the Tower of Babel, found in Freshwater’s classroom. The other is a lesson plan written by Freshwater in 2006 and introduced by his attorney as an exhibit. Freshwater testified that the handwriting on the lesson plan was his.

I’ve put scans of the relevant portions of both documents on the web, and I invite readers to make their own comparisons. Note that when one clicks on one or the other document there is a button towards the top right of the screen to magnify the displayed document.

For reference the similarities I noted earlier are below the fold.

  1. The trailing leg of the capital “R” is noticeably extended to the right, tracing a significantly ‘flatter’ slope in both documents than that, say, in a typewritten “R”.

  2. The half-circle of the capital “P” in both documents is noticeably elliptical, with the major axis of the ellipse sloped up roughly 45 degrees from the horizontal.

  3. The same is true of the half-circle of the capital “R” in both documents.

  4. Similarly, the right half-circle of the capital “D” is sloped up to the right in both documents rather than being symmetrically convex to the right.

  5. In both documents the cross-bar of the capital “T” is fully extended to the left of the vertical stroke but is truncated (a few instances) or wholly absent (most instances) on the right side of the vertical stroke.

  6. The vertical stroke of the capital “L” leans slightly to the right in both documents, with the angle between the vertical and horizontal strokes 10 or 15 degrees less than 90 degrees.

  7. The capital “K” has a characteristic and obvious distortion of the upper right quadrant that is identical in the two documents.

No doubt there are others, but the specific and obvious similarities I described together with the impression of overall similarity induced by such things as the relatively close spacing between letters within words as compared with a relatively wide spacing between words strongly suggests to me that the same person wrote both documents.