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Fascinated by criminals’ handwriting?

by admin on December 16, 2010

I am sure everyone who reads this is fascinated by the handwriting of celebrities, politicians and ‘criminals’ which appears from time to time on the front page of our newspapers and equally intrigued by the people’s comments who are invited to pronounce upon their character from the handwritten notes the reporters or police have managed to obtain.

It always amazes me that the inference is always that the handwriting proves that they were born ‘stupid’, ‘wicked’ or ‘evil’ and that the events which they engender were an inevitability.

Allowing always for the sub-editors making cuts in the prose, and thereby putting some of the comments of the graphologist or criminal psychologist out of context – it is most frightening to see that they generally echo of cries of the mob – and are incapable, it seems, of being both professional and objective in their assessment.

In very recent, tragic events – the handwriting of the perpetrator of a terrible tragedy – was neither evil or responsible for his actions. He was a victim of a society that has lost all sense of community, responsibility and respect for both themselves, their children or authority. Today, generally speaking, the general attitude is – ‘I can do as I say and please and accept no responsibility for the effect that this has upon others’.

‘Employed professional expert’

Hence I see very little in the employed professional expert’s character analysis about the true emotions, fear, lack of education, loneliness and despair of the writer. They concentrate solely on emphasising the lack of personal discipline, the anger and apparent hatred and spite. As professional graphologist or psychologists they should always remain aware that within us all there is a very complex mix of emotions : – love, hate, fear, frustration, likes and dislikes, to name but the most obvious.

At the time of the Hungerford Massacre I was asked by a tabloid newspaper to analyse the very small samples available of Michael Ryan’s handwriting – which consisted mainly of his signature and dates when he signed the register at the gun club he belonged to.

Small handwriting samples – signature and dates when he signed the register

When I reached their offices, the samples were placed before me by a rather self-important young reporter who said – ’now tell us how evil this man is’ – I was, perhaps, naively astounded, by this remark and told him, there was very little I could assess from such small samples except the blatantly obvious which was ’Ryan was totally without control of his thinking and actions, he was literally having a brainstorm which had been building up over the past few days, from the signature. He knew what he was doing, but he didn’t know how to stop’. The nearest I could explain it was an ’out of body experience’. Needless to say no mention was made of his handwriting in the next morning’s newspaper.

Some of you will dispute the phenomenon of out of body experiences, indeed the medical profession is divided on this matter. However, they happen and historically have been recorded in such diverse situations – and I have experienced one myself – that it is apparent that at times our brain or personality splits in to ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and Jekyll is very aware of the actions of Hyde but is incapable of taking over control.

So back to the ‘experts’ who pronounce on the behaviour of people and the reason for it. Why do they do it – there are only two probable answers :

1. They are incompetent – and unaware of their limited knowledge and ability
2. They are consciously or unconsciously without scruples and seeking ‘cheap’ publicity for themselves and their profession.

Credentials should always be checked

Credentials should always be checked before employing any professional – of course you cannot always be certain they will live up to expectations – but every opportunity should be taken to ensure that the people employed are fully trained and experienced.

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