As a 35-year international forensic handwriting and body language expert, many have asked for a scientific analysis of Ethan Crumbley. Ethan is the 15-year-old in the Oxford Michigan Township that is accused of taking a gun to his Osborn High School and opening fire, killing four students.
Using the science of forensic handwriting analysis, could Ethan be on the Autism Spectrum?
Ethan's handwriting reveals that he is smart with subjects that he is hyper-focused on, but not necessarily book smart. His handwriting does show atypical emotional detachment, which is common for those on the spectrum as well. Other handwriting indicators reveal that Ethan has extreme difficulty handling change, struggles with anxiety and, has had a life of inconsistencies. Together these would have likely caused significant emotional and behavioral concerns.
Additionally, based on Ethan's handwriting, he never forgets anyone who he believes has caused him physical or emotional pain. Many would argue that violence doesn't just randomly appear overnight but instead, a build-up of triggers may have pushed Ethan too far. For example, could Ethan have experienced trauma such as the death of a loved one or several significant losses of some kind?
If school teachers and other staff members were educated in the science of handwriting analysis to recognize the red flags of potential violence, could acts such as Ethan's be prevented and lives spared? What about other school shootings such as Columbine?
Given Ethan's handwriting profile, I am not suggesting that he is incompetent to stand trial because that is not within my scope of practice. My role as a handwriting expert is not to determine guilt or innocence. Instead, it is to use 100% of the science to help shed light on the truth.
However, I have worked as a Prison Guard and a Forensic Mental Health Professional in both jails and prisons. I was also a Clinical Director and trauma therapist for 20 years.
Because of my mental health experience, I do not believe a standard prison is the best place for him. The main purpose of prison is safety & security, not mental health.
It is a known fact that 95% of all inmates are eventually released. Given that statistic, it would best help protect the general public if Ethan receives intense therapy while detained.