Sex, Lies, and Handwriting: A Top Expert Reveals the Secrets Hidden in Your Handwriting

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Overview

Handwriting expert Michelle Dresbold—the only civilian to be invited to the United States Secret Service's Advanced Document Examination training program—draws on her extensive experience helping law enforcement agencies around the country on cases involving kidnapping, arson, forgery, murder, embezzlement, and stalking to take us inside the mysterious world of crossed t's and dotted i's.

In Sex, Lies, and Handwriting, Dresbold explains how a single sentence can provide insight ...

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Sex, Lies, and Handwriting: A Top Expert Reveals the Secrets Hidden in Your Handwriting

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Overview

Handwriting expert Michelle Dresbold—the only civilian to be invited to the United States Secret Service's Advanced Document Examination training program—draws on her extensive experience helping law enforcement agencies around the country on cases involving kidnapping, arson, forgery, murder, embezzlement, and stalking to take us inside the mysterious world of crossed t's and dotted i's.

In Sex, Lies, and Handwriting, Dresbold explains how a single sentence can provide insight into a person's background, psychology, and behavior. Throughout the book, Dresbold explores the handwriting of sly politicians, convicted criminals, notorious killers, suspected cheats, and ordinary people who've written to Dresbold’s “The Handwriting Doctor” column for help. She shows you how to identify the signs of a dirty rotten scoundrel and a lying, cheating, backstabbing lover. And she introduces you to some of the most dangerous traits in handwriting, including weapon-shaped letters, “shark's teeth,” “club strokes,” and “felon’s claws.”

Dresbold also explains how criminals are tracked through handwritten clues and what spouses, friends, or employees might be hiding in their script. Sex, Lies, and Handwriting will have you paying a bit more attention to your—and everyone else’s—penmanship.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743288101
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 7/22/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 329,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Dresbold, a graduate of the United States Secret Service's Advanced Document Examination training program, is considered one of the top experts in the nation on handwriting identification, personality profiling, and threat analysis. She consults to private attorneys, police departments, and prosecutors throughout the United States. Dresbold writes a syndicated column, "The Handwriting Doctor." She is also an accomplished artist. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information visit MichelleDresbold.com

James Kwalwasser is the cocreator and editor of "The Handwriting Doctor" syndicated column. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Read an Excerpt

When I first got a call from Commander Ronald Freeman, my heart started pounding. "Oh, no," I thought, "I knew I should have paid those darn parking tickets!" But Freeman didn't even mention the tickets. He said that he had heard through the grapevine that I could "read" people, and asked me to come in for a chat.

At division headquarters, Commander Freeman had a stack of old case files involving handwriting piled on his desk. For hours, he showed me suicide notes, confessions, threatening letters, and other writing, and asked me questions like: "Is this person male or female? How old? Is the writer violent? Suicidal? Honest or dishonest? Straight or gay? Sane or insane? Smart or stupid? Healthy or sick? Go-getter or lazy bum?" After every answer, he smiled. Although he never said so, this was a test.

I must have passed, because a few days later, I got my first assignment: To profile an UNSUB (police lingo for unidentified subject) from a bank robbery note.

"This is a stick up," the note said. "Put $50's, $20's, $10's in bag."

After scanning the note for a few minutes, I turned to the detective in charge of the case. "You're not gonna find this guy's prints in your files, because he probably never committed a crime before. He's not a hardcore criminal. Under normal circumstances, he'd never rob a bank. But he's feeling really desperate." The detective nodded his head politely, but I could tell that he was skeptical.

A few days later, the bank robber was in police custody. As I had predicted, he was not a hardened criminal. In fact, he had no previous arrest record. He was a 52-year-old bus driver who tearfully confessed that he needed money to pay for his son's liver transplant. "Without the operation my son will die," he said.

One day, a woman walking her dog on Aylesboro Avenue in Pittsburgh found a mysterious note on the sidewalk. Printed in purple crayon were the words: Ples rascu me. Thinking it could be a desperate plea for help, the woman brought the note to a police station.

The detectives wondered if the note was a hoax. It appeared to be the writing of a child, but was it? And did the writer really need to be rescued?

"It's not the writing of an adult pretending to be a child," I told the lead detective. "It was written by a girl between the ages of five and seven. And I see absolutely no signs of stress or danger in the handwriting, so the writer is definitely not a kidnap victim." Then I added, "It's signed Kealsey."

But who was Kealsey? And why did Kealsey write the note? We turned to the news media, hoping that someone might recognize the handwriting, or something in the note, that could help us unravel the mystery.

That night when I turned on the six o'clock news, a reporter was interviewing another handwriting analyst who proclaimed that he could tell from the handwriting that the note's author was in "grave danger."

"What if I'm wrong?" I thought.

The next morning, a man and his daughter walked into the police station. They had seen a photograph of the note in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 6-year-old daughter, Kealsey, timidly stated that she had written the message to her teddy bear. Her father explained that Kealsey often played detective with her teddy. Somehow the note must have blown out the window and landed on the sidewalk.

Copyright © 2006 by Michelle Dresbold and James Kwalwasser

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Part I:

Basic Concepts of Handwriting Profiling (a Fun Super-Condensed Mini Course)

1 Brainwriting 101

2 From the Erogenous Zone to the Twilight Zone

3 The Private I

4 How to Read a Signature

Part II:

Stop Reading and Start Running!

5 Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

6 Sabotage in Their Script

7 Cruel and Unusual Letters

8 Crackups and Meltdowns

9 The Dictator, the Mobster, and Me

10 Is That a Phallic Symbol in Your Handwriting or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

11 Crossing the Line

12 Tick...Tick...Tick...

Part III:

The Forensic Files

13 Bad to the Bone

14 The Devil's in the Details

15 Mad Doctors

16 Busted by a Handwriting Detective

Part IV:

Whodunits

17 Profile of an Axe Murderer

18 Who Wrote the JonBenét Ramsey Ransom Note?

19 The Letter from Hell

Part V:

Let's Get Personal

20 The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But...

Resources

Acknowledgments

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    Do yourself a favor and buy this fantastic book!

    Dresbold knows what she's doing, and her analysis of the Ramsey ransom note is not only accurate, but shows her complete mastery of the science of handwriting analysis. No one can copy another person's handwriting and linguistics for three pages. There are variables which only trained analysts can spot. As a handwriting analyst myself, I can testify to Dresbold's expertise. Ms. Dresbold is a credit to the profession.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2006

    You Have to Read this Book

    Not only is this book fun to read, but it's very informative. You should try it - even if you are skeptical you will become a believer. If you doubt that, apply Michelle's analysis to your mother's or spouse's (even your own) handwriting - it works! As for the Jon Benet Ramsey note, Michelle does NOT say that Patsy killed Jon Benet, what she says and shows is that a reasonable analysis of the note's writing points to the fact that Patsy wrote it. It's inconceivable, as another reviewer wrote, that the culprit broke into the house and copied Patsy's writing. In short, this book is recommended reading for everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Analyzing mine and everyone else's handwriting

    Definitely a must-read, especially for those who have been curious about the company they keep. I certainly appreciate the sections in which the author tells those who have creepers in their lives to run, as fast and far as they can. I will be recommending this book and others like it to everyone I know and love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    I couldn't put it down

    I have read other handwriting books, this author keeps your attention and teaches the material in a fun way. The other handwriting books are hard to comprehend and not easy to decipher unless you are already knowledgeable about the subject. This book takes you from beginner to expert (or near expert)!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    Investigative speculation, not educational analysis

    I spent an entire Saturday afternoon in Barnes and Noble reading this book of apparent non-fiction. Michelle Dresbold is a handwriting analyst/expert who has been employed by a variety of criminal departments for analyzing and profiling criminal suspects based on their handwriting. It is clear that she has some sort of gift in handwriting analysis, however¿ Sex, Lies, and Handwriting is an attempt by the author to educate the reader about and teach the reader how to analyze handwriting by using writing and signature samples throughout the book. But while she clearly possesses this gift, she fails in teaching the reader, for she uses the easiest examples possible. That is not her major flaw, however. Dresbold also profiles a number of serial killers and other people of infamy based on their handwriting. The problem here is that she is not able to convince the reader that she has accurately profiled them without previous knowledge ¿ it seemed to me that she knew her subject¿s personality and criminal details, then made the handwriting fit the subject. Ted Bundy was a serial killer? Well, if we had only looked at his handwriting, we could have figured that out long before he killed dozens of innocent co-eds. I don¿t think so. And therein lies two problems. First, as said before, she is profiling subjects of whom she already has distinct knowledge. Second, however, is the idea that a certain characteristic in one¿s handwriting can give way to an individual¿s actions, intentions, personality, perceptions of self, and relationships with his or her mother and father. I don¿t think so. Uh oh¿I noticed my girlfriend doesn¿t close her lowercase cursive `o.¿ This means she is untrustworthy and is likely to lie or not keep a secret. I guess I should break up with her before she cheats and lies to me. Well I don¿t buy it, but perhaps I will become a believer in the future if something occurs. Her book would be more convincing if she also spoke of times where she has been completely wrong or if she gave examples of people who did not match the handwriting profile ¿ every marketer knows the value of gaining trust by giving negative examples as well. Despite her failure to convince the reader of profiling people based on handwriting, she fascinates when discussing her beliefs about who really killed JonBenet Ramsey and the true identity of Jack the Ripper. Her handwriting analysis combined with other circumstantial evidence in both cases is quite convincing, but I will leave you to investigate on your own. Ultimately, Michelle Dresbold¿s Sex, Lies, and Handwriting is an unconvincing look at profiling a person based on handwriting but does give a scintillating new look into at least two fascinating unsolved mysteries in the history of modern times.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2006

    Michelle lies

    How can she say Patsy Ramsay had anything to do with her daughters death just because the letters were similar in the ransom note.Duh do you think the murderer could have copied those letters?Shame on Michelle dont buy her book it is full of lies.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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