Enhancement of Handwritings on Selected Charred Documents using Video Spectral Comparator (VSC)

T. Nataraja Moorthy, Kethaambigai Narayanan


Questioned documents are documents whose authenticity is disputed. Documents are destroyed by fires and other means to conceal criminal activities. Charred or burnt documents are a type of questioned document that are likely to contain vital information. These documents are mainly linked to ransoms, forgery, fraud, suicide and other white collar offences. This study aimed to evaluate the ability of a Video Spectral Comparator (VSC-6000) for the enhancement of writings on charred documents and to determine the effectiveness of flood light and white spot beam in VSC on charred documents. A passage was written by different types of writing instruments on different types of writing paper available in Malaysia. Then the handwritten documents were burned until the writings became invisible. The charred documents were viewed under flood light and the white beam by adjusting the wavelengths. Results showed that the writings on the charred document exhibited appreciable enhancement suitable for forensic investigation. The writings were comparatively more visible under the white spot beam than the flood light beam. These findings were recorded through photography. The present study provides a promising method and an effective alternative way to enhance writings on charred documents.


Forensic Science; Charred/Burnt Document; Handwritings Enhancement; Video Spectral Comparator

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12816/0033134


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