Graphology: Handwriting Analysis of Scott Peterson

Picture a man standing bolt upright–the very image of independence, separateness. In Figure 1, look at line AD-it is straight. When one writes in such a fashion more or less consistently, we say that his writing is vertical. The slant of writing is one of the most basic and important points in graphology. When you write, your intention is simple-to tell the other person what is on your mind, to communicate. When your approach is “cool,” your head (as opposed to your heart) is in control. The vertical writer may indeed have intense emotions, but they are held in check. Scott Peterson’s handwriting is vertical.

Notice the left margin as it descends. It is perfectly aligned. This reflects order, organization, and control. To return consciously to the beginning of each line, starting exactly where the line above began manifests strong discipline. Every “T” bar is perched exactly on top of each stem and all are of equally halved. The middle stem in every capital “E” is exactly in the middle. These points plus the upright slant indicates excessive need to control. There is an unnecessary dot after the title, “VOLUNTEERS.” This displays precaution. The pace of writing is slow and deliberate.

In handwriting analysis, the base line-how straight the subject writes-reflects mood. In order to ensure that the base line is accurately read it is best that the paper be unlined, for lined paper has a way of guiding the writer in a course, which may not be his real self. There are two paragraphs, the first ascends and the second descends. This reveals inconsistency in mood swings between elation and depression. The beginning paragraph, “the face” put on for the outside world, clearly expresses the ‘up’ type of personality – one full of charm. The falling lines, in great contrast to the ascending lines, broadcast a despondent nature. A great disparity between excessive need to control and depression coexist. Yet he can seem deceptively attractive to women. When courting, it’s hard to tell the difference between danger and love because he devotes so much attention to you. Nevertheless, this type of depression is held in check. The fact that, in spite of this, Mr. Peterson starts each line repeatedly aligned, discloses that he is very capable of methodical planning.

According to graphology, a word in a paragraph that is particularly set off drops a very subtle hint as to the writer’s feelings. The key word in a written document, which the writer singles out for special speed or hesitancy, is characteristic of his true relation and particularly his immediate aims in relation to what that key word stands for. Such changes of pace are detected either through a change in slant or the position on the page, which the writer gives to such key word. An increase in right-slantedness is indicative of a (perhaps unadmitted) warm feeling, and a lifting up into a higher zone is characteristic of hope, joy, and elation. A sudden decrease in a profoundly upright slant that now turns leftward, against the normal direction of communication in writing, reflects the writer’s opposition to this set off word. Observing the word “felt,” (second paragraph, second line, first word) the first three letters stand perfectly upright, consistent with all of the text, except for the last letter “t” – it turns decidedly leftward. What subtle (unadmitted) hint is he revealing about his feelings by setting off this emotionally charged word? Why does Scott Peterson want others to think that he has strong feelings for Laci, when in fact, his ‘feelings’ for her are cold, turned off?

It is clear that Laci emotionally threatened Scott Peterson. The tension between them built up. Obsessed with control, no one (except a masochist) could continuously live harmoniously with him. Scott wanted, demanded to run his life according to his own rules – to control all. Laci got in his way. Becoming dangerously despondent, Scott Peterson systematically plotted to once and for all, be in control.

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