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Rebecca Zahau on ID Discovery
From:
Michael Wakshull -- Forensic Document Examiner Michael Wakshull -- Forensic Document Examiner
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Temecula , CA
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

 

The show #RebeccaZahau: an ID Murder Mystery on Discovery HD that aired last week on Discovery HD had many errors and attempts to bias the audience. Reporter Diane Diamond (@DiDimond) stated I allegedly made estimates about the height of the person who write “SHE SAVED HIM, CAN YOU SAVE HER” on the door at the Spreckels Mansion on Coronado, CA. I never made these estimates. The ability to estimate a person’s height based on where they write on a door or wall is not part of my training, nor do I know any literature describing this skill. A human factors expert made these observations.

@DiDimond said I was cross examined by Dan Webb. I was cross examined by David Elsberg.

There were other misstatements by the narrators.

@DiDimond stated that I used Photoshop to doctor the handwriting. This is not a true statement. I did use Photoshop to create the courtroom exhibits. The implication by Ms. Diamond was that Photoshop results in manipulation of the images. Photoshop is used to extract portions of the writing, such as signatures. It is used to perform comparative analysis of two or more documents. Photoshop also has powerful tools for ink differentiation and finding artifacts on the page that are not visible to the naked eye.

Ted Rowlands stated that bringing up on cross examination that I used Photoshop discredited me. Since @KeithGreer won the case, the jury was not swayed by the cross examination.

Examples of these uses of Photoshop were shown in the TV show. These included comparison of the writing of Adam and Rebecca with that on the door.

My suggestion is that you listen to the interviews and testimony of the experts who worked on the case rather than the words of the narrators.

About the Author: Michael Wakshull, president of Q9 Consulting, is a civil and criminal court-qualified forensic document examiner providing services throughout the U.S.A. Cases include authentication of handwritten and computer-generated documents. Wakshull holds a Master of Science in technology management, a graduate school certificate in forensic document examination and has spoken at international forensics conferences including the World Congress of Forensics in China. He authors and presents document examination courses for minimum continuing legal education (MCLE). Wakshull is a member of the National Association of Document Examiners, past president of the San Diego Chapter of Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), ASTM International, and a senior member of the American Society for Quality.

Mike has authored two books on the topic of forensic document examination. 

A National Speakers Association member, he is available to speak on these subjects.

 
Q9 Consutling, Inc.
Temecula, CA
1-951-252-4929
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