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Solving a murder with graphology

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Graphology is a fascinating study which can be used to not only determine personality traits but can also be utilized to help solve crimes. A professional graphologist can often look at someone’s hand writing and determine whether that person is being honest or not.

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There are many facets of a person’s script to consider when analyzing the many traits shown. While it does take years of study and practice to become a professional graphologist, some of the tell-tale signs shown in writing, are plain old common sense.

In this article, the reader is given the chance to be the graphologist and answer a couple of questions about three handwriting samples in the pictures provided above. Answers to the questions with explanations follow.

Put yourself in the shoes of a graphologist and pretend that a police detective has brought you the handwriting samples of three murder suspects (see slideshow).

The police have strong and plentiful circumstantial evidence, which makes these three suspects appear very guilty, but none of them have confessed to their involvement in the murder.

So the police have come to you for answers. Using the samples provided, answer the questions that the police want to know about the people who wrote the above writing samples.

  1. Which one of these three is most likely to cave in and confess first? In other words, which one should the police put the pressure on to get answers as quickly as possible? 1, 2, or 3?
  2. Which suspect would be least likely to open up and tell the truth? 1, 2, or 3?

[Study the three samples above before reading the answers below.]

Answer to Question 1: Who would most likely confess first?

After looking over the three writing samples, which one seems the most likely to 'sing like a canary'? Did you choose number two? Why? Number two is correct and you don’t need to be a professional graphologist to see it. However, the explanation does require some study of graphology.

Right away, at first glance, there are a few distinct differences that clearly sets writing sample number two apart from the others.. First the pressure of the writing is much lighter. Pressure in script, or lack thereof, is very revealing as it indicates a person with low vitality. These people cannot fight as well as someone who writes with heavy pressure.

People who consistently write with light pressure as in sample No. 2, are followers not leaders. People who write with less pressure are passive, easy going and easily influenced by others. If the writing pressure is extremely light, it indicates someone who is, “. . . timid, submissive, and wholly lacking in willpower . . . “ [McNichol, Andrea; Handwriting Analysis Putting it to Work for You, pg 134.]

On the other hand, people who write with a heavy pressure are intense, aggressive and fighters. The pressure someone exerts while composing a letter can change somewhat depending on his or her mental or emotional state when they write. Someone who is under stress or trying very hard to convey something (or not give away something, ie lying) may increase pressure when they write.

What else sets the second writing sample apart from the others? It is written in a relaxed way with the letters in each word w i d e l y spaced apart. When the letters of each word are elongated as in sample No. 2 it indicates someone who ‘opens up’ more easily than others. There also appears to be more laziness with No. 2 compared with the other samples.

In contrast, writing sample No. 1 shows the letters within each word are crunched tightly together. The narrow spacing between the letters shows someone show is, " . . . feeling extremely uptight and narrow-minded, not open. . . a more tense posture . . " [McNichol, Andrea; Handwriting Analysis Putting it to Work for You, pg 124.]

Simultaneously in sample No. 1, the spacing between each word is very wide. " . . this is a double whammy. The narrow spaces between letters reveal and extremely uptight individual, and the overly wide spaces between the words represent a person who is also extremely paranoid and incapable of intimacy. This is truly a socially maladjusted person." [McNichol, Andrea; Handwriting Analysis Putting it to Work for You, pg 125.]

As a result, writer No. 1 does not relax and relate to others easily, ie. doesn’t ‘open up’ much. He will be a difficult nut to crack for law enforcement. Writing sample No. 1 is Rudy Guede, read a more detailed analysis of his writing here.

Answer to Question No. 2: Who is the least likely to confess?

Did you pick writing sample number three? If so, you would be correct. Why? First of all there is more pressure on the script than in number two. The letters appear rounded and open, however, there is a distinct difference between writing sample No. 3 compared to numbers 1 and 2 (besides the fact that No.3 is written in print form while the other two are in cursive.)

The writing of No. 3 looks almost perfectly free from flaws, too perfect. While this might be desirable to a school teacher when receiving homework from a student, in graphology this type of extreme control has a much more negative connotation.

In their book, Hand Writing Analysis, Karen Amend and Mary S Ruiz refer to this type of penmanship on page 145 which they refer to as “Too slow, Neat, or Artificial.” This indeed describes writing sample No. 3 which is obviously written at a much slower pace than the first two writing samples. [If you are unsure of this, try writing each style yourself and see which one takes the longest to imitate.]

Amend and Ruiz go on to describe the attributes of this type of script found in sample No. 3, “. . .pretentious, calculated to deceive, plays a double role in a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality, hesitancy, lack of spontaneity, desire to create illusion.” This writing sample, No. 3 was written by Amanda Knox.

These three writing samples are from a real murder case, the murder of Meredith Kercher. Raffaele (No. 2) was the one that the police expected to cave in first and he did. The police exerted pressure on Raffaele Sollecito and he revealed much more than the other two suspects.

First, Raffaele admitted to the police on November 5, 2007 that he had lied about his first alibi of being with Amanda Knox all night because she asked him to. He admitted that it was all rubbish and that he had not been with Amanda all night. He said Amanda had gone out and returned to his apartment at 1:00 AM.

Raffaele slipped up again later on when questioned about Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade of a knife found in his kitchen. Raffale quickly concocted a story about cooking with Meredith one evening and accidentally cutting her with the knife.

Most recently, Raffaele Sollecito has been in the news saying that he had questions about what Amanda was doing the day police discovered Meredith Kercher’s body. This has led many to speculate that he is throwing Amanda Knox 'under the bus.'

All three individuals have been found guilty of the crime. Rudy Guede is currently in prison while Amanda and Raffaele have one more appeal before their conviction is finalized by the Italian Supreme Court some time in 2015.