Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I try my hand at handwriting analysis

I've mentioned before that I'm working on a degree in forensic science and I'm hoping to one day work in a crime lab. However, I'm just not sure I'd be able to handle a dead body in the field, so I'm trying to explore other options--toolmarks examination, questioned documents, even handwriting analysis. There are tons of books on this last area of expertise, so I've been reading about the finer points of looking at handwriting samples for comparison, probable state of mind, and so forth.

I’m sure many of you have seen this handwriting comparison of Richard Nixon’s signatures right after his election in 1968, in 1969, in early 1974, and then again in late 1974, when everything had pretty much gone into the crapper for him. Six years of corruption, lying, manipulating, and lawbreaking could turn one’s John Hancock from a once-legible signature to a shaky line.
The “official” interpretation by a handwriting expert was that the 1974 illegible signature expressed Nixon’s “avoidance of the present, and inability to take a stand.” With all he was going through, it's not much of a stretch to think he might've wanted to avoid his present situation back then.

So I thought it would be interesting to look at Chimpy’s signature. Here are signatures from a reading certificate Chimpy signed in 2000 while still governor of Texas, his signature in 2006 on some NASCAR racing car’s hood, and his signature on his latest veto:

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I can almost believe that he is scribbling little bombs constantly. I mean, he's got nothing really to do but doodle, right, and what's a guy like him gonna doodle?

Nixon makes me really sad. He was, in my opinion, a genuinely talented guy. Where did he go wrong in life, that he became such a monster? And even being such a monster, he was capable of some worthy acts, such as creating EPA (?).

Truthfully, I feel a little sad for W too. I heard the guy who wrote Bush on the Couch on the Hartmann show - his upbringing was seriously ****ed up.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I think both of them were poopy heads.

dguzman said...

Fillip, while I may feel some pity for Nixon (obviously mentally ill), I feel no such empathy for W. What was he, one of those poor little rich boys? He's had every advantage since childhood, with a father and his friends propping him up at every failed business turn, and a free ride through global politics. He's done more damage to this country than a hundred Dick Nixons could ever do.

Right on, Dr. M.

Sorghum Crow said...

Here is an ever so slightly related link about evidence.
that you might find interesting.

dguzman said...

Thanks for that awesome link, SC--I would LOVE to work there, cataloging and maintaining all that evidence!

The entirety of that link should read

FranIAm said...

My handwriting can be great one minute and a mess the next. An old friend used to use that Nixon stuff on me and say I was a lunatic!

I think that the first two Bush signatures were forgeries. Clearly that last one is it.

Sorghum Crow said...

Me, too, but what does one do with 80 years of skateboards?

dguzman said...

Fran, I would probably be considered insane as well--my handwriting changes all the time.

Crow: too true... or hair samples.

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