Bridgeville Area Historical Society hosts handwriting expert
The Bridgeville Area Historical Society presented its first program meeting of the new year on the last Sunday afternoon of the month, as is the group’s seasonal custom.
This program featured Valerie Weil, C.G., discussing “Mass, Spree and Serial Killers (Evil is as Evil Does, Behavior in Handwriting).”
Weil is an interesting person; C.G. stands for certified graphologist. Her certification is from the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation, an organization she serves as chair of education. The organization includes about 200 individuals interested in graphology, “the study of personality in handwriting as it relates to aptitude, attitude, integrity, intelligence,and more.”
The speaker’s presentation began with an overview of handwriting analysis, focusing on the correlation between penmanship and behavior. Young children learn discipline and the expected rules of society when they learn to write. Instinctively, we each develop our own individual style, based on our own behavioral preference.
She then introduced a number of “red flags” apparent to handwriting analysts that indicate the probability of non-normal behavior. First is temper or anger, illustrated by heavy pressure, underscoring and emphasized punctuation. Uncontrolled emotions are shown by an unstable baseline and inconsistent letter slant. Both of these were easy to understand; “warped or twisted thinking” was more difficult. It was shown by letters created backwards and by twisted formations.
The speaker subdivided homicides by victim quantity, in accordance with FBI vernacular. More than three related homicides qualifies as “mass murder.” “Spree murders” are defined as several separate incidents occurring in a short time, without a cooling off period. They are typically committed out of anger/rage or retaliation. The FBI defines serial killing as “the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s) in separate events.”
Weil focused on the handwriting of serial killer Ted Bundy. It includes “barbed harpoon shaped lead-ins” (deep resentment), “over-connectedness” (need to be in control), “misapplied heavy pressure” (displaced energy), and “shark-tooth formations in some letters” (extreme dishonesty). According to her, “these are all signs of his capacity for evil.” This was corroborated by a list of antisocial statements attributed to Bundy.
She concluded her presentation with the popular parlor game called “Draw a Pig.” Each person in the audience was given a blank sheet of paper and instructed to draw a pig. She then explained the significance of the location of the pig on the paper, the direction the pig was looking, the amount of detail in the drawing, the size of the pig’s ears and the length of its tail, so we could analyze ourselves.
I turned out to be a realist, a friendly traditionalist, analytical but cautious, secure but stubborn, a mediocre listener, and reasonably intelligent, in addition to being a lousy cartoonist. I leave it to my readers to evaluate the effectiveness of this analysis.
Weil is an entertaining speaker, sincere about the scientific basis of the technology that she practices.
The next BAHS program meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Chartiers Room of the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department. Dr. John Aupperle will discuss John McCain’s 1998 book “The Faith of My Fathers” and the premise that “Values of country, duty, and honor affect the historical development of our country.”