Law enforcement officials use many kinds of evidence to solve crime. Sometimes that evidence takes the form of a written document. Investigators can come closer to solving certain crimes by finding out who wrote a document and when. Investigators look closely at the following characteristics when examining handwriting:
a. The form of the handwriting, such as the shapes of the letters and their slant, angles, connections, and curves
b. The line quality, or the thickness of the line as a result of the type of writing instrument used and the pressure exerted while writing
c. The arrangement on the page, including spacing, alignment, formatting, and unique punctuation
d. The content, including the spelling, phrasing, punctuation, and grammar
In addition to analyzing the style of the handwriting, forensic scientists analyze the paper used. Scientists look at what the paper is made of, what additives have been used, whether watermarks are present, and whether surface treatments, such as heat or resins, have been used. By analyzing the paper, scientists can often tell how old a document is. Scientists also analyze the ink to help figure out what kind of pen was used to write the document.
There are many cases in which handwritten documents have played a role, and a few are particularly famous. For this assignment, we will explore the ransom notes in the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., on March 1, 1932. Please use these web sites to learn about the case:
The Lindbergh Kidnapping: The Crime
After reviewing the case, please complete a paper (300 words minimum) which answers the following questions:
1. What role did the ransom notes play in the Lindbergh case?
2. What conclusions did investigators come to about the notes?
3. In general, do you think that document analysis alone can lead to the solving of a case? Make sure you give reasons to support your ideas.
4. Suppose you were a detective called to a crime scene....