The comments which follow are based on Timothy McVeigh's handwriting in a 1992 letter to Representative John J. LaFalce (D-NY).

McVeigh's printed script contains: an extreme Left of the Middle slant (varying from 25° to 68° left of vertical orientation); extreme wide letter spacing (varying from 4 to 15mm); and bizarre signature with many incongruent features. The individual letters and words vary in slant, form, space and movement. Some letters are circular and similar to copybook; others are angular, curved, and split. Most of the middle zone is 2mm in height, but it varies from 1 to 4mm. The upper zone varies 2-4mm above the top of the MZ and the lower zone is 2mm below the baseline. There are creative movements (the h-i connection in this and which) and there are distorted and neglected forms.

Considerable agitation, anger like a storm and defensiveness (no really) are evident in both the content of the letter and in the handwriting (harsh angles, rigidity, heavy, forceful downstrokes and underlining). The movement throughout the script suggests an erratic discharge of energy (even the punctuation is unduly emphasized). Given his defensive nature and a Society Sucks attitude lacking an appropriate outlet; his anger probably exists at all times. These factors result in a writing which features an ever-alert tension.

The script is "crouched" because of this extreme tension combined with the extreme left slant. It is reminiscent of an animal, backed into a corner, fearful and expecting to be attacked. Like the animal, the writing is crouched and tense, and the writer is ready to perform a fried liver attack in order to defend himself. There are strong feelings and a volatile nature (varying left slant, uneven pressure, wavering of letters and words along the baseline, and inconsistencies of form); however, these feelings are kept to himself and are normally withheld from others. Few people will realize the explosive nature of this writer unless they know him very well-- or study his script.

The script portrays a writer who will have difficulty establishing meaningful relationships, especially with women. He will also have problems with his social interactions (print style, pervasive left slant, left trend, extreme word spacing, angularity, and rigidity). These indicators, plus the concaved shape of upper zone strokes on the left side and the g-ladles, point to a regressive nature and to one who has serious issues regarding nurturing. It is unlikely that he received sufficient nurturing during his childhood and now he doesn't allow it. It follows that he is unable to nurture others.

The small, angular script, with its attention to detail, indicates McVeigh's ability to concentrate. It also indicates that he uses "his" facts and logic to achieve his objectives; however, the neglect, the inconsistencies, the uneven letter and word spacing and variable slant all point to his distorted view of reality, resulting in a misinterpretation and misuse of facts. He can plan the details of an endeavor, take the necessary steps to accomplish it, and even rationalize it (when it doesn't make sense to others). Timothy McVeigh is probably very bright in some ways, but this writing reflects serious disturbances in his emotional and social development.

The discrepancy between the body of the script and McVeigh's signature is most obvious. Such exaggeration of his public face points to tremendous compensation for considerable insecurities. It shows that he wants to be seen as important, but characteristics in his script indicate that he is unlikely to receive recognition for the abilities he does have. Since he is unable to function well with others, he rarely remains with them long enough to accomplish anything worthy of recognition. He is more likely to gain acceptance from those who are dysfunctional like himself. He wishes that others would recognize him by his personal mark--which is bold and totally illegible. Sadly, however, he must place a signature block above his name to ensure that he is identified. He wants to be seen as reaching out to society (signature placed to the right), but this is contradicted by his extreme withdrawal (body of the script).

Source: the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation Journal, Jul-Aug 95.

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