Graphologists have closely studied killers' handwriting in an attempt to gain more insight into any commonalities found in their respective psychological profiles. As a result, there are some who believe that the validity of certain serial killers' letters is easily determined by looking to see if each letter contains so-called killer penmanship. This could provide law enforcement officials with a much-needed advantage when they receive written communication that claims to be from a murderer.
Believe it or not, there are numerous cases of people pretending to be serial killers via fake confession letters and those letters can thwart police efforts to locate and apprehend actual culprits. With a better understanding of killers' handwriting, it may be possible to quickly ascertain if a letter is truly authentic. At the very least, graphology has the potential to provide some insight into the mind of a killer.
What does your handwriting say about you? Would a criminal investigator take one look at it and decide that you have killer handwriting?
Serial Killers May Have A Very-Identifiable Type Of PenmanshipPhoto: PNG crusade bot / Wikimedia Commons
Graphologist Anna Koren studies serial killers' penmanship and has put together handwriting profiles for many murderers. Koren states that the schizoid murderer profile fits for more than 80% of the cases she's worked with. This means that all of those killers share similar handwriting traits. Interestingly, though, the profile she's built contains some contradictions. For example, she concluded that schizoid serial killers typically use very strong pressure but then later contrasts this by indicating that these same killers may occasionally utilize a weak stroke instead.
If her analysis is accurate, there are several common factors to look for in a killer's handwriting. Be wary of anyone who uses unusual spacing between words, broken letters, fake letters, unusual punctuation, printed letters, and inconsistent variances in letter sizing.
Jack The Ripper's Handwriting May Finally Solve The Mystery Of His (Or Her) IdentityPhoto: Whooligan / Wikimedia Commons
Graphology has critics, but it does seem to be very good at matching handwriting samples. In other words, even if there's no truth to the claim that killers share certain penmanship traits, it's still possible to identify a murderer based on his or her handwriting. Graphologist Michelle Dresbold believes that she's uncovered the true identity of Jack the Ripper using only handwriting samples. If she's correct, the infamously at-large serial killer was American abortionist and herb doctor Francis Tumblety.
And indeed, the purported Ripper letters do have many things in common with the killer handwriting profile. Some of the most notable features include odd letter formations, angular connections, and failures to leave typical margin spaces.
You Could Be Dating A Serial Killer And Not Even Realize ItPhoto: Romain Donato / Flickr
It's probably a bit rash to break up with someone because their handwriting is similar to Ted Bundy's or Jack the Ripper's. That doesn't mean that it's necessarily a bad idea to look closely at your paramour's writing style, though. If your significant other has several of the characteristics in the schizoid murderer profile, you may want to start paying closer attention to his or her actions. Killer penmanship combined with any other red flags, such as difficulty maintaining employment, fetishism, antisocial behavior, and animal abuse, could mean that it's time to run!
Don't be afraid to report your concerns to the local authorities. In many serial killer cases, family, friends, and coworkers could have minimized the death count by speaking up.
Handwriting Analyses Can Help Determine InnocencePhoto: Skakerman / Flickr
In most criminal cases, handwriting analysis is a tool used to help figure out if the accused is actually guilty. Graphologists are experts at recognizing written alterations and other signs of forgery. For example, if someone claims not to have a signed a particular document, a graphologist can painstakingly analyze the accused's writing samples to determine if he or she is telling the truth. Everything from fine motor skills to being right or left-handed makes a noticeable impact on each person's individual penmanship.
Some graphologists claim that handwriting is strongly linked to various key personality traits. This has led to the assertion that serial killers and other criminals may reveal themselves with their own written words.