Thanks for these comparisons. It is intriguing, Anne's handwriting does bear a suspicious similarity to the diary. Almost what it might look like after an attempt to disguise her style slightly.
The question of course is, how likely is this so by chance alone, and how many others could be said to bear such a resemblance. True investigation would need dozens if not hundreds of samples from everyone associated with the diary. And, a clear indicator that Anne's is only one to consistently display troubling similarities.
Absolutely. One can't sensibly conclude from the similarities I've posted that Anne was the Diary's author. This is what I've been trying to stress from the start. It's possible that Anne's handwriting comes from a basic template which is and has been taught and shared by a lot of people, including the Diary author. The only point I want to make from this exercise is that it is quite a coincidence that the one person identified by Mike Barrett (in an affidavit) as the author of the Diary does happen to share a number of characteristics in her handwriting compared with the Diary author. One might say it is a coincidence which easily matches the coincidence of electrical work being carried out in Battlecrease House on the day that Mike contacted Doreen Montgomery's agency.
Is it safe to suggest that Anne Graham is a left-handed writer?
The Diary writing appears to be written by a right-handed person.
Did you read my introductory post to the handwriting images in #34 Scott?
I'll repost below if it makes it easier:
This is from "Disguised Handwriting" by John J. Harris in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 43, Issue 5, 1953:
"A few persons are ambidextrous and, therefore, have quite a talent for disguising handwriting."
This is from "Scientific Examination of Questioned Documents", Second Edition by Jan Seaman Kelly Brian S. Lindblom (eds), 2006:
"Disguise can be accomplished by writing with the hand opposite to that which is habitually used. This can be a very effective disguise as long as standards of wrong-handed writing are not available. Opposite-hand writing can sometimes be inferred from its relatively low degree of writing skill. Once a suspect is located, steps should be taken to obtain writings executed with both hands wherever possible. A small group of people can write with the same ease and skill using either hand. These ambidextrous writers have practiced and developed their writing to such a degree that writings produced by left and right hands do not contain features associated with disguise. In spite of a developed skill to write with both hands, writing done with the right hand differs in many ways from writing done with the left."
So if we are comparing the Diary handwriting with the handwriting of any individual we need to consider whether they might have attempted to disguise their handwriting by using their "other" hand. This could account for a different direction in the slope of such handwriting.
I understand that some 1% of the population is ambidextrous.
This could account for a different direction in the slope of such handwriting.
It makes sense. I don't have time to post an example at the moment, but there are many places in the Diary where the slant (or more correctly, the 'slope') seems inconsistent. The idea of a lefty writing with their right-hand but not quite pulling it off is definitely worth considering.
Purely my amateur opinion. But the slant (or more properly the 'slope') looks a little 'drunken' to me, rolling up and to the right, not fully sure what it wants to do. Check for instance the third line from the bottom, 'the gentlest of men he had..."
The angle looks like it shifts on the last two words. Throughout, some strokes are upright, others are slanted. It seems like the hand isn't completely at easy with these movements. Agree? Disagree?
Anyway, I'm stepping back now, as I don't want to derail the thread, but when the time comes, I would like to reprint an observation made about the handwriting made by Melvin Harris back in January, 2004, to see what the assembled scholars think.
Thanks RJ, that's a great page (being page 3 of the Diary) because you can clearly see the unusual way that the word "If" is written, which can be compared with the way Anne writes those two letters, and you can also see the "f" in "fly".
Posting one more example of handwriting. This is a letter dated 18 July 1994 (transcribed on p.104 of Inside Story, although not with 100% accuracy) in which Anne tells Mike she wants to divorce him because "I am afraid you left me with no choice after speaking to the newspapers" (although she hasn't at this point told Mike, or anyone else, that the Diary had been in her family since at least 1950 and that she gave it to Tony Devereux to give to him).