May, 2015

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Alterations, Additions & Rewritings of Medical and Business Records

Alterations, Additions & Rewritings of Medical and Business Records

Lawyers are interested in the forensic examination of disputed records for three main reasons: Case value, avoiding client perjury, and due diligence to the client. Many attorneys are aware that Forensic Document Examiners can determine the authenticity of a signature and do various examinations on typewriters (see below) and printed documents. However; many attorneys are not aware of examinations to detect additions, alterations, or rewritings.
Our laboratory can:
1. Detect an alteration made with a different pen, albeit a color matched ink.
2. Determine the age of a document.
3. Determine the age of a particular ink.
4. Determine when an ink was first commercially available.
5. Determine if additions, alterations, or rewritings of records have occurred, when it happened, who did it, and what pages were replaced.

In a case regarding the record tampering issue to be deemed significant, an addition to a record should have at least one of the following criteria:
1. The intentional concealment of a change that is not clearly noted but takes instrumentation to detect.
2. An addition or change to a critical entry.
3. An entry that was not made contemporaneously with the other entries with no notation of late charting.
4. A pattern of alterations to the critical entries.
5. Testimony is different than the forensic evidence present.
6. The whiting-out, scribbling out or obliteration of an entry.
7. The removal of pages from the records, or expanding the chart with pages created after the fact.

Additions that are made with a color matched ink can usually be detected by the use of an infra-red image converter or possibly an argon or krypton laser. The difference in the ink in this range of light is caused by the different excitation levels in the inks. If the inks are different, one ink may luminesce while the other will not and filters out. This can be captured photographically and makes an excellent court exhibit as shown in figures A through C below, or on closed circuit video.
This is especially important when the questioned entry is the lynch-pin entry in a case. Some signs to look for that may indicate record tampering: 1. Crowded entries. 2. Entries compressed around other entries. 3. Entries made in the margins or along the bottom of the page. 4. Slant, pressure, and uniformity of handwriting. 5. Relative length of questioned entries to other entries in the chart. 6. Unnatural spacing between entries. 7. Entries that shift the blame onto the patient such as pt. refused or non compliant. 8. Differences between what the client says and what the records indicate. 9. Strange notations such as complained of NO chest pain.
We also have the ability to chemically or optically remove obliterating inks, stamps, white out, or factors blocking the reading of a particular entry.

DNA Serology Fingerprints Palm Prints Ink Dating Arson Investigation and Fraud – Contact Speckin Forensics!

DNA Serology Fingerprints Palm Prints Ink Dating Arson Investigation and Fraud - Contact Speckin Forensics!

Speckin Forensic Laboratories is an International forensic firm specializing in consulting with plaintiff and defense lawyers involving issues concerning: Forgery, Sequencing of Entries, Examinations of Medical and Business Records for Alterations, Additions, Rewritings, Ink Dating and Paper, Typewriting, Facsimiles, Photocopies, FingerprintsAnalytical and Forensic Chemistry, Biological Fluid ID & DNA, Firearms and Toolmark Examination, Shoe and Tire Prints, Trace, Toxicology, Handwriting, Crime Scene Reconstruction, Cell Phone Forensic, Mortgage Fraud, “Robo Signing” Examination and Fraud,  Criminal Forensic Matters and Computer Forensics.

Contact us today to help with your case!

Read About Our Success – Speckin Forensics

Read About Our Success - Speckin Forensics

http://4n6.com/category/testimonials/

Hear what our clients have to say about their success with Speckin Forensics. What a more in-depth look at our cases, click on our “Media” link and read more!

 

 

Fingerprints and Palm Prints

Fingerprints and Palm Prints

Fingerprints can have several different applications in litigation. The first is showing a person was in a particular place, such as a crime scene. Other evidential values which are often overlooked are fingerprints on anonymous notes or other documents where someone denies a connection to or authorship of a particular document. We have the ability to develop fingerprints which have been on paper for up to several years.

The theory for the use of fingerprints and palmprints as a positive means of identification is based on two principles:

* 1) They are “permanent” in that they are formed in the fetal stage, prior to birth, and remain the same throughout lifetime, barring disfiguration by scarring, until sometime after death when decomposition sets in.

* 2) They are “unique” in that no two fingerprints, or friction ridge area, made by different fingers or areas, are the same (or are identical in their ridge characteristic arrangement).

Read more at http://4n6.com/fingerprints-and-palm-prints/

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States Message for Decoration Day (Memorial Day)

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States Message for Decoration Day (Memorial Day)

“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day.

I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it.

We honor them in a joyous, THANKFUL, triumphant commemoration of what they did. ” — Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States

From the Speckin Forensic FAQ’s – Is it possible to determine when a questioned document was produced?

Handwriting and Forgery Examination Speckin Forensics

Yes, through several different methods that can be conducted in our laboratory.
Some Methods Dating for Handwritten documents
1) Dating of the ink
2) Dating of the paper
3) Impressions found and sequencing of writing with impressions

Some Methods for Dating Photocopied documents
1) By comparing the unique photocopy damage pattern that changes over time, to a series of documents of unquestioned date from the same office.
2) Comparison of the toner used as in the same manner above, noting the time frames that toners matching the questioned document were used.

Some Methods for Dating Computer Generated documents
1) Examination of the computer and hard drives that created the document.
2) Toner analysis as described above for copiers.
3) Damage patterns that may exist from the printer, commonly seen in inkjet printers.
4) The type of paper used and any associated watermarks.

Contact Speckin Forensics at www.4n6.com.

Ink Dating Experts!

ink-identification-dating-expert-witnesses

Ink Dating is done in two primary forms. The first is the static approach, which determines when the ink being examined was manufactured. The second is the dynamic approach, this method is to determine when the writing occurred, or in simple terms, how long the ink has been on the paper.

The static approach is typically more useful as the difference between the date on the document and the present time increases. Several different tests exist in this form of ink dating. These methods include the comparison of the examined ink to a known library of standards, commonly called the library approach, the detection of chemical date tags placed in the ink purposefully by the manufacturer, commonly called the date tag method, and also the determination of the type of ink writing instrument used.

The determination of the type of writing instrument is probably the oldest method of ink dating. This primarily involves microscopic examinations and can also incorporate some basic chemical solubility testing. Some examinations can be performed on fountain pens to determine type of nib, type of ink and the first date of introduction of each of these.

Speckin Forensics have the experts in ink dating to solve your case! Contact Speckin Forensics at www.4n6.com.

Gauging the Value of Evidence – Crime Scene Investigation

Gauging the Value of Evidence - Crime Scene Investigation

It is unique – If an item is found that helps narrow the possibilities of who might be considered a suspect, or the manner in which a crime was committed, this evidence would be of use. Is an impression from a vehicle tire found in the dirt at the scene? The tread impression can be compared to others to determine the type of tire that was on the car. Is a shoe print left in the soil? The tread may help to identify the size and type of shoes it came from and the wear pattern could be used to match it to a specific pair.

It has a low probability of occurring by chance – Considering the mathematical probabilities will help to determine the odds that a piece of physical evidence found at the scene could appear merely by coincidence. If DNA evidence found at the scene matches a suspect, the chances are exceedingly low that another person can have left this sample. But even evidence that has a much higher probability – for instance, a common type of shoeprint that is left in the soil – is still valuable. When combined with other high probability evidence, these can help narrow the list of possible parties and build a compelling case.

It is consistent – If an item is found that is out of place or inconsistent with the settings, or is out of character for the victim – for instance id he victim was a non-smoker but a cigarette butt is found at the scene – this could be an important bit of evidence.

It is a physical match – If trace evidence is found on the suspect or in his possession that matches something at the scene, this makes this item valuable as evidence. For instance, broken plastic parts or a broken fingernail that can be matched by fracture marks can demonstrate that two pieces were once a part of the same item.

A Simplified Guide to Crime Scene Investigation – Principles of Crime Scene Investigation – Speckin Forensics

Crime Scene Investigation - Speckin Forensics

 

The key principle underlying crime scene investigation is a concept that has become known as “Locard’s Exchange Principle”. It states that whenever someone enters or exits an environment, something physical is added to and removed from the scene. This principle is generally summed up by stating: “Every contact leaves a trace.”

The logic behind this principle allows investigators to link suspects to victims, to physical objects, and to scenes. Any evidence that can link a person to the scene is referred to as associative evidence. This may include items such as fingerprints, blood and bodily fluids, weapons, hair, fibers and the like. This type of evidence answers the question “Who did this”?

While associative evidence links people to the place of the crime, reconstructive evidence allows investigators to gain an understanding of the actions that took place at the scene. A broken window, a blood splatter pattern, bullet paths and shoe prints can all reveal that actually happened. This type of evidence answers the question, “How did it happen?”

To help establish the linkage of people and things to a scene, the investigator may also collect known substances, called control samples. These can be items such as fibers from carpeting at the scene, glass fragments, soil, vegetation and other trace evidence. If these are found on the suspect’s clothing, in their vehicle or at their residence, it could provide circumstantial evidence linking the person to the scene.

For example, police are called to a residential neighborhood where a home invasion and burglary has just occurred. Investigators collect glass fragments from a shattered cabinet door with a distinct pattern etched into the glass. A tip leads investigators to a local man with a known history of burglary. Examination of the suspect’s clothing yields glass fragments with the same distinct pattern as the smashed cabinet doors.

Eliminating people who could not be the perpetrator is also important. Control samples of fingerprints and DNA are often collected from any person(s) who have access to the scene who are not considered suspects.

Speckin Forensics to Launch Tumblr Blog

Speckin Forensics to Launch Tumblr Blog

http://speckin-forensics.tumblr.com/

Speckin Forensics will soon launch it’s Tumblr blog. You can begin to follow our Tumblr blog at http://speckin-forensics.tumblr.com/.

What is Tumblr?

Tumblr blogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp and owned by Yahoo! Inc.

As of May 1, 2015, Tumblr hosts over 234.2 million blogs.The company’s headquarters is in New York City.

Yahoo! announced its intention to acquire Tumblr on May 20, 2013, for approximately $1.1 billion. The deal closed on June 20, 2013.

Tumblr ranks as one of the top 10 social networking sites in the world by Social Media Today. See their article at:  http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/2015-04-13/worlds-21-most-important-social-media-sites-and-apps-2015