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Oswald's handwriting


Gil Jesus
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Two experts gave testimony to the WC concerning questioned documents: Alwyn Cole and James C. Cadigan. Cole apprenticed as a questioned document examiner for 6 years, from 1929 to 1935, and had been an examiner of questioned documents for the U.S. Treasury Department since then. Cadigan had been a questioned document examiner with the FBI for 23.5 years, following a specialized course of training and instruction. Both had testified many times in Federal and States courts. ( WCR, App. X, pg. 566 ) Their conclusions were identical. The mail order and envelope for the C2766 rifle were photographed by Klein's on microfilm, and then destroyed. ( ibid., pg. 569 )

The money order was never microfilmed.

In his testimony, Cadigan was careful to say that CADIGAN 11 had been prepared by LHO and NOT CE 788. The reason he said it that way is because Cadigan never compared the ORIGINAL, CE 788, to Oswald's handwriting. He compared a PHOTOGRAPH of CE 788, which was Cadigan 11. ( 7 H 423 )

Likewise, Cole examined a COPY of the original, which is CE 789, and not the original, CE 788. ( 4 H 374 )

In fact, ALL of the Commission's handwriting examinations, by BOTH Cadigan and Cole were made of PHOTOGRAPHS of the original exhibits, not the exhibits themselves. In addition, since each handwriting expert was not trained in photographic processing, the photographs they examined were not made by the examiners themselves, but rather "under their supervision".

Meaning someone else.

And because someone else was involved in the "creation" of this evidence, the person or persons responsible for that creation also created a chain of custody of the evidence.

Unfortunately, the chain of custody of those photos was never ESTABLISHED because those "under their supervision" remained unnamed, never marked the photos after they processed them and were never called to testify and identify the photos as the ones they took or to describe the technical processes they used in creating them.

And for that matter, neither Cole nor Cadigan was asked any technical questions about the photos even though they admitted supervising their creation. Instead of photographic technicians, the legitimacy of the photographs were confirmed VISUALLY by the examiners, Cadigan and Cole.

In spite of the lack of a chain of custody, the Commission did what it usually did numerous times in its hearings and accepted ALL of the photographs as evidence and designated them as exhibits.

Both Cole and Cadigan testified that the photographs they examined were clear enough to permit an identification through examination. Their opinions covered both the copies of the standards ( the known handwriting of Lee Harvey Oswald ) and the copies of the questioned documents, like the money order.

WHY NOT COPIES ?

Likewise, the House Select Committee on Assassinations examined the Oswald handwriting in 1978 using a three member panel consisting of Joseph P. McNally, David J. Purtell, and Charles C. Scott.

The conclusions of the HSCA handwriting panel indicate that there are problems with comparing copies with originals.

Scott concluded that while all of the original handwriting purported to be Oswald's was made by the same person, only a "tentative opinion" could be reached as to the reproductions. ( 8 HSCA 247 )

McNally agreed, saying that while the writing on the envelope and the money order matched, there was a caveat ( condition ) that the writing on the envelope was a photo reproduction from microfilm. ( 4 HSCA 355 )

Earlier he explained why the conditional identification when discussing the panel's examination of Oswald's Cuban visa application. He said that because it was not an original document, it "could not be examined microscopically". ( ibid. )

During his testimony, McNally was forced to admit that copies were never as good as originals for handwriting comparison:

Mr. FAUNTROY. Are photocopies as good as original handwriting for analysis purposes?

Mr. McNALLY. No, never.

( 2 HSCA 393 )

BTW, the money order ( Item 29 in 8 HSCA 230 ) which was examined by both McNally and Purtell was described as a XEROX COPY. ( 8 HSCA 234, 239 ) Purtell described it as a Xerox copy of a microfilm copy. ( 239 )

IOW, a copy of a copy.

In his examination of the "Dear Mr. Hunt " letter, McNally said that it would not be "particularly difficult" to forge Oswald's signature.

Mr. MCNALLY. ....Oswald's general writing pattern is simple and tends to be rather legible, and to turn out something like that would be not particularly difficult.

( 4 H 360 )

On the next page, he described HOW Oswald's signature could be faked:

Mr. McNALLY. ......It could very well be a situation where this thing has been patched together from original writing of Oswald. It can be done using a photo reproduction process.

( 4 HSCA 361 )

Purtell explained the process further, adding that the final product would be "reworked to eliminate all signs of alteration" :

"....it is possible to incorporate or insert changes and alterations into copies. A method frequently used is to paste together parts of documents to make one fraudulent document, which is then copied. If the first copy can pass inspection, it will be used; if not, it will be reworked to eliminate all signs of alteration. This amended copy is then recopied for the finished product. This is usually referred to as the "cut and paste" method."

( 8 HSCA 239 )

And THAT'S why you don't use COPIES when comparing handwriting.

Edited by Gil Jesus
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Hey Greg...

Found a few things in my files...

at least its a start... but as Gil points out... copy of a copy of a copy ...... anything could have happened along the way

DJ

David, that's the point. I can't tell. Can anyone? Maybe.

I am not convinced Oswald used the "HIdell" name at all - ever. If that is true, then the "Hidell" signature's may well be in Oswald's hand - but made up of individual letters from his writings put together to form the needed words. I assume this would necessitate copies of copies of copies. Is it possible to detect copies that are more than one generation removed from the Original?

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In fact, ALL of the Commission's handwriting examinations, by BOTH Cadigan and Cole were made of PHOTOGRAPHS of the original exhibits, not the exhibits themselves.

I just want to correct this by saying that all of the handwriting analysis of Oswald's WITH REGARD TO THE ORDERING AND PURCHASING OF THE RIFLE were made from COPIES and not the original documents themselves. For example, ALL of the Waldman Exhibits are COPIES, not originals. I just think that when researchers are reading the testimony, they probably should keep this in mind.

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Nice job Gil.

This is quite interesting for the obvious reasons. This could not have happened in a real court of law. There would have been all kinds of questions about where the originals were and why they were not available.

On this particular issue, when you add in all the other bizarre stuff which you have already detailed, the handwriting analysis goes off the cliff.

BTW, this will likely be a key point in the the John McAdams book that was delayed. Today, with the revelations of the ARRB, its about all he has left.

Thanks. I find it bizarre as well that Klein's would have microfilmed the envelope, but not the money order. I just can't imagine WHY they WOULDN'T microfilm the method of payment. You're right, had this case gone to court, a competent defense attorney would have ripped this case to shreds like a rabid dog.

It appears that, at least, the handwriting experts from the HSCA were much more honest than those who testified for the WC. While Cole and Cadigan were firm in their identification from COPIES and adamant that they could not have been fooled by a forger, the HSCA panel's identification was "conditional" and they even explained HOW a forgery could have been accomplished without detection.

Standards are the known, verifiable handwriting samples that are compared to the disputed handwriting. It is important to remember that, in an examination involving disputed handwriting, the standards will make or break your case. If the examiner has poor standards, this will impact the strength of the opinion.

The standards should be relevant, contemporaneous, in sufficient numbers and, as always, ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS.

http://www.forgeryfinder.com/Standr.htm

Many of the standards in the examination of Oswald's handwriting were COPIES.

Signature and other handwriting identification problems examined from photocopies limit the ability of the forensic document examiner to observe evidence such as speed of execution, lifts of the writing instrument, pauses of the writing instrument and other important evidence.

In addition, the ease with which an individual can reproduce an original genuine writing from one document onto another document using the photocopier is always a consideration. It is possible to make such a transfer with little or no evidence which would reveal such a fraudulent preparation.

HERE'S THE KICKER ---- reproductions from microfilm or microfiche tend to be of LESSER quality than standard photocopies.

http://www.osbornandson.com/examphoto.html

The "Oswald" documents were copies made from microfilm.

Finally, we should always keep in mind that a document examiner's conclusion is correctly considered a professional opinion, not evidence.

http://www.forgeryfinder.com/Hand.htm

Edited by Gil Jesus
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Hey Greg...

Found a few things in my files...

at least its a start... but as Gil points out... copy of a copy of a copy ...... anything could have happened along the way

DJ

David, that's the point. I can't tell. Can anyone? Maybe.

I am not convinced Oswald used the "HIdell" name at all - ever. If that is true, then the "Hidell" signature's may well be in Oswald's hand - but made up of individual letters from his writings put together to form the needed words. I assume this would necessitate copies of copies of copies. Is it possible to detect copies that are more than one generation removed from the Original?

... at this point does it really matter?

Let's say Oswald did indeed initiate this order... that there was a rifle in his posession - even though the shipping address did not exist.. nor was the Money Order actually cashed... nor was it processed to the correct final location, being found 15 miles form Langley in Alexandria, VA..

let's even say that rifle of his was in the Paine's garage... thursday eve but gone friday morn... the one in the TSBD SHOULD be the same one he ordered... it's not. So the one in the Paine garage was made to disappear... wasn't Ruth the last person in the garage that night... turning off the light she assume Lee left on? just saying...

Could Oswald been told to use Hidell as an alias to test the delivery process of rifles to PO Boxes... did I dream this or wasn't that actually going on at the time?

My goodness, it's as if one has a hard time believing that this event and the history behind it could not be orchestrated... as if so much of what transpires every day is not part of some scheme, some plan for one group to gain advantage over another with far reaching consequences... how wonderful to be so blissfully ignorant of that possible reality... :ph34r:

Taking a needed break... sacramento river is at peak levels... I live right by the levee...

and when the levee breaks... B)

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