Identify HIGH-RISK
Employees, Students, Patients, Prisoners, Suspects and Partners





Denis Mee-Lee, MD

James F. Craine, Ph.D.

Dennis G. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Danger Between the Lines Manual
By Kimon Iannetta

The seeds for this manual were sown in the early 1980's when I attended a lecture given by a well-known criminal attorney in Hawaii. His focus was the overcrowded conditions of prisons in the State of Hawaii and his talk suggested that there is a vital need for a method of differentiating between dangerous and non-dangerous offenders in order to place the non-dangerous ones in work and study programs, to ready them for release into the community. I began to think that perhaps handwriting analysis could contribute positively toward this end.

Kim Iannetta - Author of Danger Between the Lines Manual  
Kimon Iannetta  
      Two other events happened serendipitously which further sparked my interest in the criminal mind. First, a terroristic threat letter addressed to the Chief of the Honolulu Police Department stated that the chief and some of the police officers would be shot. Wilbert Kaimikaua, a detective from the Honolulu Police Department, brought me the handwritten letter and asked that I assist him in identifying the writer's character traits. I was able to successfully pinpoint the suspect from among 48 other possible suspects and I provided Detective Kaimikaua with a profile of the writer's personality which proved to be beneficial in his questioning and arrest. Within 48 hours the letter writer was apprehended and confessed to the crime.

      I was subsequently hired as document examiner by the Honolulu Police Department on a contractual basis. I was submersed in thousands of handwritings, including extortionist, terrorist and ransom letters, bomb threats, and bank robbers' demand notes. I also studied the writings of suspects in various crimes including forgeries, homicide, and serial murders. I had the opportunity to work with the Criminal Investigations Division, Homicide Department, Department of Internal Affairs, Narcotics Division, and White Collar Crime Division and to testify to cases for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.

      The second event came about when Dr. Denis Mee-Lee, the then chief of the Mental Health Division of the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, invited me to speak to the psychiatric and clinical staff at Hawaii State Hospital, which houses the criminally insane. The talk was well received and it led to my teaching a six-week class where the doctors brought in patients' handwritings for discussion. They were impressed with the accurate and efficient way that handwriting could uncover attitudes and characteristics of the patients with whom they were so familiar.

      James Craine, Ph.D., the then Head of Neuropsychology at Hawaii State Hospital, and Dr. Howard Gudeman, Administrator of Hawaii State Hospital, approached me with the possibility of pursuing a research project related to dangerousness. The research team initially consisted of Dr. Craine, Dr. Gudeman and Dr. Dennis McLaughlin, Head of Research and Evaluation for the Mental Health Division, State of Hawaii, who designed the project, and myself. After the initial research design was set up in 1984, we were joined by Joy Kauper, Ph.D. and Mike Compton, Ph.D., present Head of Neuropsychology at Hawaii State Hospital.

      Without any prior knowledge of their histories or personalities, I rated 24 subjects' handwritings on a 5-point scale where 0 = no signs of dangerousness and 5 = extremely likely to exhibit dangerous behavior. The psychologists rated the same subjects based on their personal contact with the patients and their medical, clinical and criminal histories.

      A rating sheet was designed, utilizing handwriting traits I found to be significant. Along with the team, I began to design a manual describing the handwriting characteristics we found to be significant to dangerousness, and illustrating it with hundreds of handwriting samples. I also included in this manual handwriting characteristics which were not considered statistically significant in our pilot study. The subjects of our initial study were both dangerous and legally criminally insane and we discovered there were characteristics which did not fit this group but which were significant to dangerous people who had not been judged insane.

      Together, Dr. James Craine and I assembled the psychological meanings for the traits described in this study. We spent many long hours together, with me explaining what each symbol meant behaviorally, and he translating it into psychological terminology. Dr. McLaughlin then spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours calculating statistics, using Pearson correlation coefficients and stepwise regression analyses.

      Other graphologists, Amber Armstrong, MSW, CGA, Reed Hayes, MGA, and Denise Loo, CGA, successfully replicated the process of rating the subjects for dangerousness potential using the manual. The results of the pilot study were that the graphologists' ratings for dangerousness was 0.83, while the psychologists' ratings were only slightly higher at 0.92. The initial study indicated that the research was worth pursuing.

      We realize this project is only a glimpse into the world of violence as seen through handwriting. Our pilot research was limited to subjects who were both legally insane and criminally insane. We intend to further this research and we encourage those with the heart and stomach for such work to do further research with other groups.

      It is our unanimous hope that this may be the beginning of a path leading to the deeper understanding of emotionally tortured people who turn their dangerous impulses toward their fellow man.

                                                        Kimon Iannetta
                                                        Kailua, Hawaii

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October 19th, 2012