When entries are made on a sheet of paper resting on top of other sheets of paper (e.g., notepads) using a hand held writing instrument such as a ball-point pen or pencil, impression of the writings from the top page will be found on the underlying pages of the notepad. For example, a bank robber uses page 1 of a notepad to write down the telephone numbers of his co-conspirators, removes that page, and then writes his robbery note on page 2 of the notepad. Examination of the original robbery note (page 2) would reveal indented into the note the entries the criminal made of his co-conspirators telephone numbers. Prior to submission of the robbery note the investigator must not treat the document for latent prints using fluids, fold or abrade the document.
Drexler Document Laboratory, LLC utilized state-of-the-art instrumentation to examine Enhancement and Deciphering of Indented Writings. The tests are non-destructive and results of illumination reactions are documented. It is noted that this examination can only be performed on the “original” document. In addition, examinations of this type, because of the non-portability of the equipment required, must be conducted in the laboratory.
In the example below once the pertinent information recovered from the original threatening note (Gator, spa, greenhouse and fish pond) was given to the victim, the suspected sender of the note was immediately identified. DDL is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, the ESDA 4 by Foster & Freeman, that allows examination for indented writings without damaging or altering the questioned document in any way.