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As we mentioned, the letter sent to Tom Daschle's office was similar to the anthrax-contaminated letter to sent to NBC News in New York. Susan just went through some of that. Are there clues in the handwriting to help determine who is behind them?
Bart Baggett comes to us from Dallas. He is the president of handwritinguniversity.com. Didn't know there was such a place, but now I do.
Thank you so much for joining us this morning.
BART BAGGETT, HANDWRITINGUNIVERSITY.COM: Thank you. Glad to be here.
ZAHN: Thanks, Bart.
So what we want to do is put up a graphic showing the two letter, the one that went to New York, and one that went to Washington, and give us your first impressions about the handwriting and what it tells us about the people behind these letters.
BAGGETT: Well, Paula, the first thing we notice is that I do think it's the same person writing it. And again, without the originals, again, it can't be definitive. But there are very much similarities in the twos, the way it was written, as are as methodical, and if you had a microscope, which the FBI obviously has, experts on the case, you can tell small glitches, and I think that's probably where they're getting the similarity.
The second thing that is really unusual about the envelope and how they are written is they are really slanted downhill. If you look at the envelopes, they're slanted kind of down to the right, and that's an unusual trait, and it's sign in handwriting analysis and psychology of depression, cynicism, pessimism and even suicidalness actually, in a lot of suicide notes I have seen.
ZAHN: Actually, if they ultimately tie this to anybody involved with terrorism, I guess your analysis would hold true then.
BAGGETT: Well, the psychology of it is someone who is mentally unstable, and perhaps needs some medication, so it's interesting instead of being angry, that they may be clinically depressed. I thought that was an interesting finding on my part.
ZAHN: Bart, as we analyze this, how seriously do investigators take any analysis of handwriting? I mean, do they take this as junk science, or do they take this stuff seriously?
BAGGETT: I think it is very serious, especially when you are doing criminal investigations. You are trying to get the psychological profile. There is a lot of books written on the FBI profiling, and when you are trying to find to the psychology behind somebody, any clue is very helpful, just the reason a lot of companies hire me to analyze writing to screen employees or relationships. It is a very valid science, and there are a lot of people who are not very good out there, but when you get up to the high levels, it is a very accurate science.
ZAHN: Bart, earlier on, you mentioned the similarities in the twos and the zip codes, and we are going to highlight that now so all of the folks out there watching can see what are you talking about. We highlighted it with a yellow highlighter here. What is the similarity? My eyesight is bad, but...
BAGGETT: Well, the twos almost look like a backwards S, and that's kind of unusual. Most people write a two with a loop on it, or perhaps even a straight line, and this is kinds of a backwards s, which is kind of unusual in handwriting, and considering on the envelope we only have a limited number of characters, and that's a pretty good symbol that the same person wrote it, as well as the pressure of the writings and some of the other similarities. So that kind of gives us a clue it's probably the same writer.
ZAHN: I do not study this stuff the way you do, but when you look at how defined the block letters look, it almost looks like somebody had to pick up the pen or the highlighter between each letter. Do you see that?
BAGGETT: Yes, that is a good observation, Paula. The Patsy Ramsey note was very similar as far as someone trying to contrive the writing so that someone couldn't see who wrote it, because obviously someone didn't write it straight through very fluid. They have inkspots on almost every letter, which means they took a lot of time, very precise, and that's a lot harder to compare. When we do have a suspect in custody, it would be hard to compare them and say, oh, that's his handwriting, because this is obviously contrived to look like a child's, and they did a good job looking that way, and I think probably, that's why they got opened.
ZAHN:, And, Bart, you obviously are connected to the handwriting analysis community. Are you aware of investigators coming to any of your colleagues to ask them to do what you've done for us this morning?
BAGGETT: Well, I'm not aware of it, but I think the FBI has pretty amazing people on staff that are privy to information that I probably have not have, being that I'm an author and a trainer and we just have students around the world.
ZAHN: I'll tell you one thing, Bart, I'm never going to let you analyze my handwriting.
BAGGETT: Oh, Paula, I'm sure it would be just fine.
ZAHN: I would be scared about what you might find.
Actually, you couldn't read it, Bart. I would challenge you to figure out my handwriting. Nobody could read it.
BAGGETT: I thinks some of my favorite people have sloppy, messy handwriting, and just jump on the Web site, Paula, and you can analyze it all by yourself.
ZAHN: All right, Bart, thanks so much. Appreciate your expertise this morning.
BAGGETT: You're welcome. Have a great day.
ZAHN: You too.
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