1                                                                      IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

                                                                        FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

 2                                                                                   ATLANTA DIVISION


 4                                                          Plaintiff,

                                                                                                CASE NO. 00-CIV-1187(JEC)

 5                                  vs.

 6          JOHN BENNETT RAMSEY and




 8          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


                                                VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF


                                                                        GIDEON EPSTEIN


12                                                                     May 17, 2002

                                                                                    9:35 a.m.


                                    191 Peachtree Street, N.E.

14                                                        Atlanta, Georgia


16         Valerie N. Almand, RPR, CCR-B-531











 1                                                                                   APPEARANCES

 2                      On behalf of the Plaintiff Robert Christian Wolf:

 3                      EVAN M. ALTMAN, Esquire

 4                                  Lake Forrest Place

 5                                  6085 Lake Forrest Drive, Suite 300-B

 6                                  Atlanta, Georgia 30328

 7                                  (404) 845-0695

 8                      .

 9                      DARNAY HOFFMAN, Esquire (via telephonic means)

10                    Law Offices of Darnay Hoffman

11                                Suite 209

12                                210 West 70th Street

13                                New York, New York 10023

14                                (212) 712-2766

15                    .

16                    On behalf of the Defendants, John Bennett Ramsey and

17                    Patricia Paugh Ramsey:

18                    JAMES RAWLS, Esquire

19                    ERIC P. SCHROEDER, Esquire

20                    Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy, L.L.P.

21                                Sixteenth Floor

22                                191 Peachtree Street, N.E.

23                                Atlanta, Georgia 30303

24                                (404) 572-6600

25                    //


 1                      L. LIN WOOD, Esquire

 2                      L. Lin Wood, P.C.

 3                                  2140 The Equitable Building

 4                                  100 Peachtree Street

 5                                  Atlanta, Georgia 30303

 6           (404) 522-1713

 7          .

 8          Also Present:

 9          John Ramsey

10        Matt Wood

11        .

12        .

13        .

14        .

15        .

16        .

17        .

18        .

19        .

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .


 1                       Deposition of Gideon Epstein

 2                       May 17, 2002

 3                      THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are now on the

 4          record, and the time is 9:34 a.m.

 5                      MR. RAWLS: Very good. Let me make

 6          a brief stipulation by way of beginning.

 7          Darnay, can you hear me?

 8                      MR. HOFFMAN: Yes.

 9                      MR. RAWLS: This is the deposition

10        of Mr. Gideon Epstein. The deposition is taken

11        of Mr. Epstein as an expert for the plaintiff,

12        Robert Christian Wolf, in this case.

13                    The deposition is being taken at a

14        time and place determined by agreement of

15        counsel and formalized thereafter by a notice

16        issued by the defendants.

17                    The deposition is taken for all

18        proper purposes under the Federal Rules of Civil

19        Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

20                    Is that a suitable stipulation, Evan

21        and Darnay?

22                    MR. ALTMAN: Yes, it is.

23                    MR. HOFFMAN: Yes, it is.

24                    MR. ALTMAN: Jim, one preliminary

25        thing. Did you also want to limit the


 1          objections, the usual objection sort of thing?

 2          I don't know if you mentioned that.

 3                      MR. RAWLS: Yes, let's agree as I

 4          believe the rules provide that all objections

 5          except as to the form of the question and as

 6          to the responsiveness of the answer will be

 7          reserved until the time of the trial, hearing or

 8          other use of the deposition testimony.

 9                      MR. ALTMAN: That is acceptable.

10                    MR. RAWLS: Darnay, is that --

11                    MR. HOFFMAN: In fact, in New York

12        we usually, when we sit down we say usual

13        stips. That's fine, absolutely.

14                    GIDEON EPSTEIN, having been first

15        duly sworn, was examined and deposed as

16        follows:

17         EXAMINATION

18         BY-MR.RAWLS:

19         Q.     Mr. Epstein, tell us, please, your

20        full name.

21                    A.        Gideon Epstein, G-I-D-E-O-N, Epstein,

22        E-P-S-T-E-I-N.

23                    Q.        Do you have a middle name?

24                    A.        I do not.

25                    Q.        And have you ever had?


 1                      A.        Never had a middle name. Two was

 2          always enough, thank you.

 3                      Q.        Have you ever had a different name?

 4                      A.        Never had a different name.

 5                      Q.        Your date of birth, please?

 6                      A.        July 6th, 1938.

 7                      Q.        And place of birth?

 8                      A.        Riga, Latvia, that's spelled R-I-G-A.

 9                      Q.        At birth were you a U.S. citizen?

10                    A.        I was not. I'm a naturalized

11        citizen. I was naturalized in 1956.

12                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, where do you make your

13        home, sir?

14                    A.        In Rockville, Maryland.

15                    Q.        And how long have you lived there?

16                    A.        I've lived in Rockville since 1988.

17        Prior to that I lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland,

18        just a short distance from there.

19                    Q.        When did you first come to the U.S.?

20                    A.        I came to the United States in July

21        of 1946.

22                    Q.        At approximately the age of --

23                    A.        Eight.

24                    Q.        -- eight. Shortly after your 8th

25        birthday.


 1                      A.        That's right.

 2                      Q.        Would you describe for us,

 3          Mr. Epstein, what you understand to be your

 4          engagement in the case of Robert Christian Wolf

 5          against John and Patsy Ramsey?

 6                      A.        My engagement in the case, as I see

 7          it, is to conduct forensic handwriting

 8          examinations of the disputed ransom note, in

 9          conjunction with the known handwriting that I

10        was provided of the Ramseys, and attempt to

11        establish, if possible, through that forensic

12        examination whether there was common authorship

13        between the known writing and the disputed

14        ransom note.

15                    Q.        When were you first retained in this

16        case?

17                    A.        I was first retained in this case

18        about a little less than two years ago, I

19        believe.

20                    Q.        Can you be more specific?

21                    A.        No, because originally I became

22        involved in this case in a sort of an

23        unofficial capacity as a result of reviewing the

24        documents that another document examiner who was

25        in the case was looking at, Larry Zieglar.


 1                                  At the time I was the chief document

 2          examiner at the immigration laboratory and

 3          Mr. Zieglar was a contractor for me, and so I

 4          became aware of the documents and I saw the

 5          documents prior to officially becoming involved,

 6          but like I say, the best I can recall is that

 7          it was about two years.

 8                      Q.        When you were first retained did you

 9          agree to assist for a fee?

10                    A.        No, I did not. In fact, I -- prior

11        to being officially retained and while still an

12        employee of the department of justice, I

13        contacted the ethics officer at the Immigration

14        and Naturalization Service and asked for

15        permission to become involved in the case on a

16        pro bono basis, and that permission was granted,

17        and it was at that time that I became involved

18        officially in the case, and there was -- I had,

19        from the beginning it was a pro bono basis

20        case.

21                    Q.        Has that ever changed?

22                    A.        Not -- actually, I did receive a fee

23        for the Article 26 report, but prior to that I

24        had put in more than 50 hours of examination

25        time in the case for which I did not bill


 1          anyone.

 2                      Q.        What was your fee for the Rule 26

 3          report?

 4                      A.        Twelve hundred dollars.

 5                      Q.        And was that paid?

 6                      A.        It was.

 7                      Q.        Do you now consider yourself a pro

 8          bono expert or a for fee expert?

 9                      A.        I consider myself a pro bono expert.

10                    Q.        And would you describe your reason,

11        please, for taking this matter on a pro bono

12        basis?

13                    A.        I've been involved in this profession

14        for 35 years, and have always considered that

15        the forensic sciences have a responsibility to

16        the criminal justice system, and I've felt very

17        strongly about that throughout my entire

18        professional career.

19                                I feel that the questioned document

20        profession let the criminal justice system down

21        in this particular case, and I feel very

22        strongly that I would, if possible, like to set

23        that straight.

24                                I don't believe that the forensic

25        reports that have been rendered in this case


 1          thus far by those document examiners who earlier

 2          examined these documents were correct, and I

 3          don't believe that justice has been served, and

 4          that's my only reason for becoming involved in

 5          the case.

 6                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, given all that, why did

 7          you charge twelve hundred dollars for the Rule

 8          26 report?

 9                      A.        Because I had expenses and we all

10        have bills, and there were cases that I had

11        turn down that were fee cases.

12                                In this kind of a case, you have to

13        be prepared to devote a great deal of time to

14        a case like this, and it's not a case that you

15        can bill for. It's not a case where every

16        hour can be counted and charged up to someone.

17                                So there are, however, instances

18        where you do have static things, for instance,

19        this deposition is an example. It's a certain

20        number of hours that we know we're going to

21        devote to it and we can predict what we can

22        charge in it, and so therefore I think that to

23        work for two years on a case and sacrifice

24        other cases in place of it that you have to,

25        if you can, make up some of that, and I feel


 1          that that's the reason I charged for the -- the

 2          twelve hundred dollars for the Article 26 report

 3          as well as for this deposition, is because these

 4          are sort of static hours that we know we've put

 5          in and it's something that can easily be billed,

 6          whereas the amount of time that we actually

 7          devote to the examination of a case like this

 8          can't really be counted.

 9                      Q.        How many hours did you spend working

10        on the Rule 26 report?

11                    A.        Approximately ten hours.

12                    Q.        So the twelve hundred dollars charge

13        was approximately --

14                    A.        I charged for an eight-hour day.

15                    Q.        All right, sir. In fact, was it

16        suggested to you, Mr. Epstein, that you would

17        have trouble charging my clients for your time

18        today if you had not sent a bill for the Rule

19        26 report to Darnay Hoffman?

20                    A.        No, that was never mentioned to me

21        at all.

22                    Q.        That was never any part of your

23        thinking?

24                    A.        No, never part of my thinking.

25                    Q.        And if that was part of anyone


 1          else's thinking, that was never shared with you.

 2                      A.        If it was someone else's thinking it

 3          was never shared with me, no. In fact, if

 4          there had been any indication that there would

 5          be difficulty collecting a fee for today, I

 6          would have been very happy to come here without

 7          a fee.

 8                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, in this case counsel

 9          have been furnished by your side's attorneys,

10        Mr. Altman and Mr. Hoffman, a document that is

11        styled plaintiff's disclosure of expert

12        testimony. On Page 2 of that document there's

13        a paragraph, in fact could you take a look at

14        the second full paragraph on Page 2 --

15                    A.        Mr. Epstein is being compensated

16        (inaudible). Yes. The twelve hundred dollars I

17        received for the Article 26 report, I have a

18        photographer who prepared all of my charts, he

19        received eight hundred dollars, that makes up

20        the two thousand dollars as far as the amount.

21        I didn't feel I could ask my photographer to

22        work pro bono. He has expenses, and so he was

23        paid eight hundred dollars for the preparation

24        of the charts.

25                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, would you look on with


 1          me and tell me if I am reading this paragraph

 2          correctly? "Mr. Epstein is being compensated

 3          for his report and testimony at the rate of two

 4          hundred dollars per hour for his trial and

 5          deposition testimony, and at the rate of one

 6          hundred fifty dollars per hour for his

 7          laboratory examination and discovery report. To

 8          date Mr. Epstein has paid -- excuse me, has

 9          been paid two thousand dollars."

10                                Have I read that correctly.

11                    A.        You've read it correctly, but I'm

12        not exactly sure what is meant by that. I can

13        only tell you what I received and my

14        understanding.

15                                I think that it was always

16        understood that the majority of my work and my

17        examination time would be on a pro bono basis.

18        The only fee that I've received has been the

19        twelve hundred dollars for the Article 26

20        report, which was invoiced at a hundred and

21        fifty dollars an hour for eight hours.

22                                As far as any understanding, at the

23        time that the report was provided, I don't know

24        that there was any discussion about testimony

25        fees, so that's my understanding of it.


 1                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, did your familiarity

 2          with Chris Wolf play any part in your decision

 3          to do any work on this case pro bono?

 4                      A.        I don't know Chris Wolf.

 5                      Q.        Do you know anything about

 6          Mr. Wolf's situation, his story, his career, his

 7          background, his plight, if you will?

 8                      A.        I know nothing about Mr. Wolf, and

 9          that's intentional.

10                    Q.        May I say I don't blame you.

11                                Are you familiar with Mr. Wolf's

12        career in the entertainment industry?

13                    A.        As I say, I don't know anything

14        about Mr. Wolf at all.

15                    Q.        And why was it intentional that you

16        learned nothing about Mr. Wolf?

17                    A.        Because it's always been my policy

18        as a document examiner not to involve myself

19        with those outside things in a case that have

20        nothing to do with the documents that I examine.

21                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, you testified earlier

22        that forensic reports by members of your

23        document examination profession thus far in

24        connection with the ransom note found at the

25        home of John and Patsy Ramsey have not been


 1          correct.

 2                      A.        That's my feeling, yes.

 3                      Q.        Which of those reports have you

 4          read?

 5                      A.        I've read the report by Howard Rile,

 6          and I've read the report by Lloyd Cunningham.

 7          I think those are the only written reports that

 8          I recall seeing. I know that there were other

 9          document examiners who came to a similar

10        conclusion, but I don't know if they ever put

11        those findings into a written report.

12                    Q.        So the only reports that you have

13        observed are those provided in this case by the

14        Ramseys' experts, Howard Rile and Lloyd

15        Cunningham; is that correct?

16                    A.        That's correct.

17                    Q.        What, if anything, have those reports

18        had to do with the criminal justice system, sir?

19                    A.        They have had nothing to do with the

20        criminal justice system.

21                    Q.        You testified earlier that members of

22        your profession had, in your opinion, let the

23        criminal justice system down in this case; did

24        you not, sir?

25                    A.        I did, because I think that


 1          originally if the examinations had been conducted

 2          in a different manner that the results would

 3          have been such that it may have become a

 4          criminal justice matter.

 5                      Q.        But the fact is you don't know how

 6          those original document examination reports were

 7          done at all; do you, sir?

 8                      A.        Well, I know what the findings were

 9          of the people that did it.

10                    Q.        Do you know the names of the people

11        that made the examinations?

12                    A.        I know that the people from the

13        Colorado bureau conducted examinations that were

14        inconclusive. I don't recall now the person

15        that did it, an older gentleman, I can see his

16        face, I can't recall his name. But there were

17        certainly forensic examinations done at the time

18        that there was a criminal investigation into

19        this matter.

20                                Obviously that was significant

21        evidence in this case, and so therefore that had

22        to have been done, and I know that those

23        conclusions were inconclusive.

24                    Q.        The fact is, you know nothing about

25        the manner in which any of the experts retained


 1          by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation rendered

 2          their examinations, their analyses and their

 3          conclusions; am I not correct?

 4                      A.        Specifically, I don't know what they

 5          concluded, but generally I know that the

 6          conclusions were inconclusive.

 7                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, I want to come back

 8          later to the subject of the other reports and

 9          analyses of handwriting that were done as part

10        of the criminal justice part of the

11        investigation of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

12        I'll come back to that later. I want to learn

13        a little bit more about you, if you don't

14        mind --

15                    A.        Not at all.

16                    Q.        -- sharing some additional information

17        with us.

18                                First I'd like to know how you

19        prepared for this deposition.

20                    A.        I prepared for the deposition by

21        going over the work that I had done in this

22        case and going over my report and the

23        illustrations that are attached to it.

24                    Q.        Did you confer with any of the

25        attorneys for Mr. Wolf before this deposition in


 1          preparation?

 2                      A.        I did not.

 3                                  (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

 4          1 was marked for identification).

 5                                  MR. ALTMAN: Jim, with respect to

 6          the last question, when you say conferred, I

 7          mean, we had discussions regarding the case. I

 8          guess my question is could you maybe be a

 9          little bit more specific about what you want to

10        know regarding that?

11                                MR. RAWLS: Thank you, Evan.

12                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, what I want to know is

13        did you consult Mr. Altman or Mr. Hoffman about

14        this deposition?

15                    A.        I did not.

16                    Q.        Were you told anything about the

17        testimony earlier this week of Ms. Cina Wong?

18                    A.        I learned of that testimony this

19        morning.

20                    Q.        From whom did you learn of that?

21                    A.        From Mr. Altman.

22                    Q.        Have you ever seen Ms. Wong's

23        report?

24                    A.        Yes, I did, almost two years ago.

25        I believe it was shown to me when I first


 1          became involved in this case.

 2                                  MR. HOFFMAN: Jim.

 3                                  MR. RAWLS: Yes.

 4                                  MR. HOFFMAN: I'd just like to add

 5          a note here, it can be on or off the record.

 6          Mr. Epstein has never been shown the most recent

 7          report by Cina Wong.

 8                                  THE WITNESS: No, the most recent

 9          one, the one I saw was several years old.

10                                MR. RAWLS: I certainly take

11        Mr. Epstein at his word that if he saw a Cina

12        Wong report two years ago it could not have

13        been what Ms. Wong has later put together.

14                                But Darnay, thank you for your

15        explanation.

16                    BY MR. RAWLS:

17                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, may I show you a

18        document that has been marked Defendant's

19        Exhibit-1 to your deposition? What is this,

20        please, sir?

21                    A.        This is my fee schedule.

22                    Q.        Did you provide that to Mr. Hoffman

23        and Mr. Altman?

24                    A.        I think I did at one time, but I

25        never, I never really adhered to this fee


 1          schedule.

 2                      Q.        And does anything on this fee

 3          schedule indicate that you are serving in this

 4          case pro bono?

 5                      A.        It does not.

 6                      Q.        And do you know that this was given

 7          us as if it were your fee schedule in this

 8          case by Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Altman?

 9                      A.        I'm not aware of under what

10        conditions that was given to you, but I can

11        tell you that I think they both understand that

12        I'm working this case on a pro bono basis.

13                    Q.        I don't know what they understand, I

14        only know what they have given me to believe

15        before today, Mr. Epstein, and that was this

16        Defendant's Exhibit 1.

17                    A.        And that, I'm not aware of.

18                    Q.        You did not thorough Mr. Hoffman or

19        Mr. Altman to misrepresent to me your fee; did

20        you, sir?

21                                MR. ALTMAN: Object as to the form.

22                    A.        No, I know nothing about this whole

23        matter of the fee. I think it was rather

24        clear from the very beginning that I was working

25        this case on a pro bono basis. It hasn't


 1          changed, and it will not change.

 2                                  MR. HOFFMAN: Jim.

 3                                  MR. RAWLS: Yes.

 4                                  MR. HOFFMAN: Did I include with

 5          that the letter of agreement that I had signed

 6          with Mr. Epstein, I think it was in January or

 7          late December, whereby I had agreed in a letter

 8          agreement with him -- it was one page -- to,

 9          you know, pay him for his time and whatever

10        else? I don't know if that was included there.

11                                MR. RAWLS: I don't think so,

12        Darnay.

13                                MR. HOFFMAN: Okay, because I have

14        it, and I don't know if I can find it like

15        during this deposition period, but I can fax

16        your office a copy of it.

17                                MR. WOOD: Why don't you do that?

18                                MR. RAWLS: That will be

19        appreciated.

20                                MR. HOFFMAN: Because I think

21        there's some confusion here. There was a period

22        late December, early January where I got an

23        e-mail from Mr. Epstein to the effect that

24        because there was so much time involved in the

25        case that he needed at the very least nominal


 1          compensation, and he faxed me a -- and, Gideon,

 2          I don't know if you remember this or not --

 3          faxed me a letter of understanding, agreement,

 4          whatever you want to call it, it was a couple

 5          of paragraphs, which I signed, duly signed and

 6          faxed back to him, and that's the basis by

 7          which it was my understanding that he would be

 8          appearing at least for parts of the deposition

 9          as a paid consultant.

10                                So there's been no attempt to try to

11        misrepresent Mr. Epstein's understanding or my

12        understanding. There may be a little confusion

13        here. And to clear that up, I will fax you a

14        copy of the agreement that Mr. Epstein had me

15        sign, I think it was in January or late

16        December.

17                                MR. SCHROEDER: Darnay, Eric Shroeder

18        here. Would you mind faxing that to my

19        attention?

20                                MR. HOFFMAN: To your attention,

21        Eric?

22                                MR. SCHROEDER: Yes.

23                                MR. HOFFMAN: Yeah, fine.

24                    BY MR. RAWLS:

25                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, would you agree with me


 1          that for justice to be served candor is

 2          necessary?

 3                      A.        Absolutely.

 4                      Q.        Are you, Mr. Epstein, a trained

 5          graphologist?

 6                      A.        I am not.

 7                      Q.        Do you need to be a trained

 8          graphologist in order to be a qualified forensic

 9          document examiner?

10                    A.        No, you don't.

11                    Q.        Does graphology add anything to your

12        ability to be a qualified document -- forensic

13        document examiner?

14                    A.        I don't believe it does, no.

15                    Q.        What is graphology, sir?

16                    A.        The study and examination of

17        handwriting with the purpose of establishing a

18        person's personality and character traits.

19                    Q.        Do you do that?

20                    A.        I do not.

21                    Q.        Have you ever aspired to do that?

22                    A.        I have never aspired to do that.

23                    Q.        Does that business of graphology

24        impress you as a science?

25                    A.        It does not.


 1                      Q.        Does it have credibility with you in

 2          any manner?

 3                      A.        It does not.

 4                      Q.        Do you believe in it?

 5                      A.        I do not.

 6                      Q.        When did you leave government

 7          service, Mr. Epstein?

 8                      A.        I left government service in December

 9          of the year 2000.

10                    Q.        And at that time your employer had

11        been the United States Immigration and

12        Naturalization Service; am I correct?

13                    A.        Forensic document laboratory, that's

14        correct.

15                    Q.        And you were in charge of that

16        laboratory, if I'm not mistaken.

17                    A.        I was in charge of the forensic unit

18        of that laboratory. There's also an

19        intelligence unit that's a part of that

20        laboratory that I was not in charge of.

21                    Q.        When you sought permission to assist

22        Mr. Wolf pro bono, whose permission did you

23        seek?

24                    A.        I first went to the laboratory

25        director and then I went to the ethics officer


 1          at headquarters, INS, and received permission

 2          from both of them.

 3                      Q.        And the name of the lab director?

 4                      A.        Katherine Sheehan, S-H-E-E-H-A-N, and

 5          she's still the laboratory director today.

 6                      Q.        And who is the ethics officer in

 7          Washington?

 8                      A.        That I can't remember. I did

 9          receive an e-mail back from him, and Ms. Sheehan

10        would certainly know who the ethics officer is,

11        but I -- at the moment it slipped my mind who

12        he is.

13                    Q.        Do you still possess a copy of that

14        e-mail?

15                    A.        I probably do, yes.

16                    Q.        We would like to see that if you

17        will agree to --

18                    A.        Certainly.

19                    Q.        -- seek it, and if Mr. Hoffman and

20        Mr. Altman will agree to permit you to share it

21        with us.

22                                MR. ALTMAN: We have no objection.

23        Darnay? No objection.

24                    A.        I will try to find that e-mail. I

25        know that I kept it because I felt that it was


 1          important in case I was ever asked why or how

 2          or under what circumstances I became involved.

 3                      Q.        If I have done my math right, you

 4          are approximately 63 years old now, is that

 5          correct?

 6                      A.        Sixty-four, will be sixty-five in

 7          July.

 8                      Q.        And are you -- do you consider

 9          yourself now to be semiretired, or a nonretired

10        businessman?

11                    A.        Well, I don't consider myself a

12        businessman. Actually I'm a pretty poor

13        businessman, I found. But I am, I would say,

14        semiretired although sometimes I feel that I'm

15        busier now than when I was working, so . . .

16                    Q.        How many hours in a typical week do

17        you practice your field of forensic document

18        examination?

19                    A.        I have a contract at the present

20        time with the immigration service forensic

21        document laboratory to train their new document

22        examiners, and I devote about five hours in the

23        morning, five days a week, to that.

24                                And then in the afternoons I have a

25        private practice and I devote, depending on the


 1          cases, a good part of the afternoon to that.

 2          So I would say that I devote probably pretty

 3          close to eight hours a day to forensic document

 4          examination.

 5                      Q.        Well, that doesn't sound very retired

 6          to me.

 7                      A.        Sometimes it's not.

 8                      Q.        Tell me what is involved in the

 9          training program which -- or by which you train

10        immigration and naturalization service document

11        examiners, please.

12                    A.        Certainly. It's a 30-month program

13        at the laboratory where I was and where I'm

14        presently training people. The handwriting

15        portion of the training is approximately one

16        year in length, and it consists of a reading of

17        all of the recent and past literature, all of

18        the books on questioned document examination to

19        familiarize all of the trainees with the basic

20        principles of the profession.

21                                It involves the reading of papers

22        and various research type projects that have

23        been conducted on the subject of handwriting.

24        It involves the study of handwriting systems,

25        and then a great portion of that training is an


 1          apprenticeship-type training where actual cases

 2          are used, past cases where exhibits have been

 3          photographed and retained and where the cases

 4          are assigned, and then the trainees will work

 5          them and the cases are critiqued, and they move

 6          from that into actual life cases where original

 7          documents are available, and this goes on for

 8          about a year to build a base and a foundation

 9          for knowing and understanding how the basic

10        principle for document examination apply to the

11        work.

12                    Q.        How many individuals are being

13        trained by you in the training program which you

14        are operating at present?

15                    A.        Right now there are three.

16                    Q.        And when did this 30-month program

17        begin which you are now in the midst of?

18                    A.        In June of last year.

19                    Q.        So the idea is that those three

20        students who have been in the program less than

21        one year now will complete 30 months of study.

22                    A.        Eventually. My contract has just

23        been extended for another year. We will be

24        finishing the handwriting block of the

25        instruction next month, and at that time they


 1          will move on to other areas of document

 2          examination.

 3                      Q.        And are those three students being

 4          paid as employees of the INS while they are

 5          taking your training course?

 6                      A.        They are. They are actually

 7          employees. They were brought into the

 8          laboratory as permanent employees and the

 9          positions are the positions of trainee, and then

10        after they've completed their training they will

11        go into permanent positions as forensic document

12        examiners.

13                    Q.        And what credentials did they need

14        to have before they could get admission into

15        your training program, if you know?

16                    A.        I do know. All three of them have

17        master's degrees in forensic science from the

18        George Washington University of Forensic

19        Sciences.

20                    Q.        Did you select these people?

21                    A.        These three, I did not. I've been

22        training people, though, for a number of years,

23        and previous trainees I have selected, but these

24        three were selected by my predecessor.

25                    Q.        At the end of the 30-month course


 1          that you have described what will these three

 2          individuals be qualified to do, in your

 3          judgment, at least as you hope?

 4                      A.        Well, hopefully, and so far we've

 5          been very successful, is that they will be able

 6          to assume a caseload of their own. The first

 7          year or so afterwards their work will all be

 8          check and countersigned by a more senior

 9          examiner, but they will be in a position to

10        take cases to court, should testimony be

11        necessary, and they will conduct independent

12        examinations of handwriting, handprinting matters,

13        altered and counterfeit document cases, various

14        miscellaneous problems having to do with

15        documents.

16                    Q.        In your 30-month program how much

17        time is devoted to the study of graphology?

18                    A.        None -- well, let me say that I

19        spend time only to identify what graphology is

20        and that it is not a part of forensic document

21        examination, and that it is not something that

22        we consider in our work.

23                    Q.        What are the major books in the

24        literature which your training program asks these

25        students to read?


 1                      A.        Well, there's only really a handful.

 2          There's Suspect Documents by Harrison, Questioned

 3          Documents by Osborn, Problem of Proof by Osborn,

 4          Scientific Examination of Documents by Hilton,

 5          Forensic Document Examination by Huber and

 6          Hedrick, Conway's book on disputed documents.

 7          That pretty much is the majority of the accepted

 8          texts.

 9                                  MR. RAWLS: May we take a brief

10        recess at this time? Is that convenient?

11                                MR. ALTMAN: Sure.

12                                MR. RAWLS: We're off the record

13        at --

14                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: 10:13 a.m.

15                                (Recess).

16                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Back on the

17        record at 10:26 a.m.

18                    BY MR. RAWLS:

19                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, we have a book here

20        that I'll show you, let me put it in the way

21        of the camera for just a moment, and, for the

22        record, this book was spoken of by Ms. Cina

23        Wong earlier this week.

24                                Do you understand that Ms. Wong is

25        your co-expert on handwriting in the case of


 1          Chris Wolf? Was that a smile captured just

 2          then or an effort not to smile?

 3                      A.        An effort not to smile. I don't

 4          know what you mean by co- -- what was it you

 5          said?

 6                      Q.        My word was co-expert on handwriting

 7          in the case of Chris Wolf.

 8                      A.        I really don't know how to answer

 9          that question, to tell you the truth, because I

10        was not aware until this morning on my way here

11        that she had, in fact, been deposed and that

12        she had, in fact, written another report.

13                                MR. HOFFMAN: Jim, can I interject

14        here, because this is a thing that involves

15        counsel and you can put this on the record or

16        keep it off, whichever you like.

17                                MR. RAWLS: Well, Darnay, first I'd

18        like for Mr. Epstein to finish his answer. I

19        didn't think he was finished, but he might have

20        been.

21                                MR. HOFFMAN: I'm very sorry.

22                    Q.        Mr. Epstein.

23                    A.        I don't consider her as my co-expert

24        in this case.

25                    Q.        Why is that?


 1                      A.        Someone else may consider her as a

 2          co-expert in this case, but I don't.

 3                      Q.        Why?

 4                      A.        Because I don't believe that she

 5          meets what I and the profession consider to be

 6          the necessary qualifications for forensic

 7          document examination.

 8                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, I don't either.

 9                                  MR. RAWLS: Darnay, if this is when

10        you would like to make your remark, please feel

11        free to do so.

12                                MR. HOFFMAN: Yeah. One of the

13        things that I was most concerned about with

14        respect to both Cina and Gideon was that there

15        would be no opportunity for either person to

16        really be able to comment on the work of the

17        other individual, on the theory that keeping the

18        handwriting experts from knowing about the work

19        of the other person could lead to truthful

20        answers that, in fact, they were not influenced

21        in any way by the work being done by the other

22        person. So that was really the reason.

23                                MR. RAWLS: Thank you. Darnay, are

24        you finished?

25                                MR. HOFFMAN: Yes, Jim, thank you.


 1                                  MR. RAWLS: Good. And back -- I

 2          think it's true that perhaps all of us

 3          digressed, including me.

 4                      BY MR. RAWLS:

 5                      Q.        The book I referenced earlier,

 6          Mr. Epstein, is called Attorney's Guide to

 7          Document Examination, it's written by Katherine,

 8          with a K, Koppenhaver with a K,

 9          K-O-P-P-E-N-H-A-V-E-R. Are you familiar with

10        this text, Mr. Epstein?

11                    A.        I am familiar with her. I'm not

12        familiar with her book.

13                    Q.        What can you tell us about your

14        familiarity with her?

15                    A.        I consider her another one of the

16        people practicing on the fringe of forensic

17        document examination who probably have a

18        background in graphology, who have opposed a

19        number of qualified document examiners in the

20        Washington area.

21                                I believe she's in Baltimore; is

22        that correct?

23                    Q.        I'm not certain.

24                    A.        I think she's in Baltimore. But

25        I've seen some of her findings and I don't have


 1          any respect for her work, I guess is the

 2          easiest way to say it.

 3                      Q.        Do you agree that Ms. Koppenhaver is

 4          not a qualified forensic document examiner?

 5                      A.        As far as my profession is

 6          concerned, yes.

 7                      Q.        Is her book a book that has gained,

 8          to your knowledge, credibility in the field of

 9          forensic document examination?

10                    A.        I've never seen that book before,

11        and I've been in the field 35 years.

12                    Q.        Now, it is a relatively new book.

13        Is this one that's going to show up on your

14        reading list --

15                    A.        No, it won't.

16                    Q.        Why is that?

17                    A.        As I said, I have absolutely no

18        respect for her or her work, so there's no

19        reason for me to read her book.

20                    Q.        She, we were told, is actually the

21        president of an organization -- or is immediate

22        past president of an organization called National

23        Association of Document Examiners. Is that a

24        bona fide group of forensic document examiners?

25                    A.        It is not.


 1                      Q.        What is that group, if you know?

 2                      A.        It's a group that's composed

 3          primarily of graphologists.

 4                      Q.        Do you recognize board certifications

 5          by the National Association of Document Examiners

 6          of forensic document examiners?

 7                      A.        The only recognized body for the

 8          forensic profession in document examination in

 9          North America is the American Board of Forensic

10        Document Examiners. They're the only recognized

11        board to certify document examiners. A lot of

12        these fringe organizations, and there are others

13        besides that one that certify their own members,

14        and that's so that the individual can go into

15        court and state that they're board-certified, and

16        the court doesn't know the difference between

17        one board and another.

18                    Q.        Unless, of course, an expert

19        qualified by the American Board of Forensic

20        Document Examiners is hired by another party in

21        the case.

22                    A.        That's correct.

23                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, in the course in which

24        you train representatives of the Immigration and

25        Naturalization Service in document examination,


 1          do you give feedback on the work done by your

 2          students?

 3                      A.        Certainly. The entire program is

 4          monitored in such a way as to evaluate any

 5          weaknesses or any progress that the student

 6          makes or any particular area of the program that

 7          has to be -- where you have to devote more

 8          time.

 9                                  Different people learn at different

10        speeds and different levels and have come into

11        the program with different backgrounds, and so

12        to some degree you have to be monitoring this

13        kind of thing very closely.

14                    Q.        Do you give critiques on the work

15        done by the students?

16                    A.        Absolutely.

17                    Q.        Do you critique them on their work

18        on past cases that have been solved?

19                    A.        They're critiqued on the cases that

20        they work and whether they correctly recognized

21        the elements of that particular case that either

22        resulted in an elimination or an identification

23        or resulted in a qualified conclusion.

24                                I think during the training program

25        it's important for the trainees to develop


 1          certain skills that will allow them in the

 2          future to be able to recognize such things as

 3          disguise, as individual highly unique

 4          characteristics, as class characteristics, as

 5          what is handwriting variation versus what is a

 6          difference.

 7                                  I mean, these are all important

 8          elements of handwriting, and if you don't learn

 9          these things at the beginning, they affect you

10        the rest of the time that you're in the

11        profession.

12                    Q.        Do you critique the work done by

13        these students on live cases?

14                    A.        I am doing that now. They now have

15        gotten to the point where they are assigned live

16        cases.

17                    Q.        Is 30 months enough to enable a good

18        student in your class to become a qualified

19        forensic document examiner?

20                    A.        It's enough time for them to reach a

21        point where they can start to do independent

22        work that is checked by a more senior examiner.

23        None of the work, even after the 30-month

24        program, will go out without a more senior

25        examiner looking at their work.


 1                      Q.        So what they need is 30 months plus

 2          perhaps a year's apprenticeship in which their

 3          work is checked out by an experienced INS

 4          forensic document examiner?

 5                      A.        Yes, and the length of time that

 6          their work is reviewed will depend on the

 7          individual and the progress that individual

 8          makes.

 9                                  When the senior examiner feels that

10        they have developed their skills to such a

11        degree that they can be relied upon to send a

12        report out on their own without it being

13        reviewed, then they will move into that phase of

14        their career.

15                    Q.        And that is thirty months at five

16        days per week and five hours per day; am I

17        correct?

18                    A.        It's five hours a day of my

19        instruction. They have assigned beyond that

20        five hours other things, reading assignments,

21        special projects, so they are training more than

22        five hours a day, but my actual involvement with

23        them is for about five hours a day.

24                    Q.        So it's five hours a day plus

25        homework five days a week for thirty months.


 1                      A.        That's correct.

 2                      Q.        Did you ever train Cina Wong?

 3                      A.        I did not.

 4                      Q.        Did you ever train David Leibman?

 5                      A.        I did not.

 6                      Q.        Do you know David Leibman?

 7                      A.        I know that he rendered a report

 8          early on in this case. I think I remember

 9          seeing something a couple of years ago that he

10        wrote.

11                    Q.        Is he a qualified forensic document

12        examiner?

13                    A.        He is not, no.

14                    Q.        Why not?

15                    A.        Again, for the same reasons. I

16        don't believe that he ever went through any kind

17        of recognized or accepted training program.

18                                The profession requires that for a

19        person to be qualified to do this work, they

20        must complete, at a minimum, a two-year resident

21        training program in a recognized laboratory or

22        by a recognized forensic document examiner.

23                                Many of these people are self-taught.

24        This is not a profession that you can learn by

25        yourself. I mean, this is an apprenticeship


 1          type of profession. You have to learn from

 2          others, people who have been doing this for

 3          years.

 4                      Q.        Do you have any information about

 5          the International Society of Handwriting

 6          Sciences?

 7                      A.        I don't know that I've ever heard of

 8          them. It sounds like one of the many

 9          organizations that sound so much alike, but I

10        don't know about that one, I don't believe.

11                    Q.        What is involved, if you know, in

12        the forensic science Master's Degree program at

13        George Washington University?

14                    A.        Well, I taught that program for

15        seven years. I taught questioned document

16        examination at George Washington University until

17        about 1992, from 1985 to 1992, so I'm pretty

18        familiar with the program.

19                                It's an overview of forensic science

20        is basically what the program involves. It has

21        classes in all of the various forensic areas,

22        firearms and tool marks, serology,

23        instrumentation, chemistry, criminal law, personal

24        identification, pathology, odontology, questioned

25        document examination, which I taught.


 1                                  In fact, one of my -- all of my

 2          students are graduates of that program and one

 3          of them is just graduating, actually graduating

 4          tomorrow, I believe.

 5                                  It's a good program. It's one of

 6          the few programs in the country where you can

 7          get a master's in forensic science. There

 8          aren't a great many universities that allow you

 9          to get that.

10                                It's good in that it allows a person

11        to try to determine whether they're interested

12        in this profession or not, and so it's good for

13        that reason. But it doesn't in and of itself

14        qualify a person to go into questioned document

15        work upon completion of the master's program.

16                                (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

17        2 was marked for identification).

18                                MR. ALTMAN: Jim, do you have a

19        copy for me, by any chance?

20                                MR. RAWLS: Yes, I do.

21                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, let me show you a

22        document that's been marked Defendant's Exhibit-2

23        to your deposition. Do you recognize this, sir?

24                    A.        Yes, I do.

25                    Q.        Is this your resume?


 1                      A.        It's my CV, yes.

 2                      Q.        Your CV. And, in fact, you yourself

 3          received not only a bachelor's degree in

 4          criminal justice, but also a Master's of

 5          Forensic Science degree; did you not?

 6                      A.        Yes, I did.

 7                      Q.        And when did you receive your

 8          Bachelor of Science degree from the University

 9          of Nebraska?

10                    A.        I received that in, I believe --

11        let's see, I was in Japan '79 to '82. I

12        believe it was in 1983, or was it -- let's

13        see, I was in Japan from 1979 to 1982, yes, I

14        believe it was -- no, I wasn't in Japan, from

15        1969 to -- okay. I was in Japan from 1969 to

16        1972, so I graduated from Nebraska in 1973, I

17        believe.

18                    Q.        And when did you receive your

19        Master's of Forensic Science?

20                    A.        1982.

21                    Q.        And that was from Antioch School of

22        Law?

23                    A.        Yes.

24                    Q.        You've been with the INS, as I

25        understand it, from approximately 1980; is that


 1          correct?

 2                      A.        That's correct.

 3                      Q.        Until about -- well, until December

 4          2000, as you told us earlier.

 5                      A.        Correct.

 6                      Q.        When did you become active in

 7          administration of the document examination

 8          laboratory at the INS?

 9                      A.        I first became involved in a limited

10        way because we had a small laboratory at that

11        time, around 1985, and became more involved as

12        we added additional staff and as the budget of

13        the laboratory grew over the years, but until my

14        retirement in the year 2000.

15                    Q.        You were chief forensic document

16        examiner beginning in what year?

17                    A.        I believe it was around 1985.

18                    Q.        How many document examiners reported

19        to you in about 1985, approximately?

20                    A.        I think at that time we probably had

21        only about three.

22                    Q.        And when you retired from the INS in

23        December 2000, approximately how many document

24        examiners reported to you?

25                    A.        About 14.


 1                      Q.        In the year 2000 were you handling,

 2          yourself, individual cases, or were you

 3          supervising the work of other document examiners

 4          on individual cases?

 5                      A.        I always remained a working

 6          supervisor. Because of my desire to remain in

 7          this work I always assign myself cases, and they

 8          were primarily handwriting cases, because that's

 9          my true love as far as this work is concerned.

10                    Q.        How many cases in a year did you

11        assign yourself in the year 2000, approximately?

12                    A.        Oh, I don't know. It would probably

13        be in the neighborhood of 30 or 40, perhaps a

14        little bit more than that. I can't really be

15        sure because I really don't have any figure like

16        that, but I would say it might -- it was

17        certainly a much smaller number than the work,

18        full-time working examiners.

19                    Q.        And approximately how many would they

20        be assigned in a year?

21                    A.        Total cases or just handwriting

22        cases?

23                    Q.        Total handwriting cases.

24                    A.        Well, that would -- that actually

25        fluctuated, because it depended upon what the


 1          primary concern of INS was at any particular

 2          period in time. There were times when we were

 3          involved with marriage fraud where there was a

 4          lot of handwriting involved.

 5                                  It's hard to say, but I would say

 6          probably a couple of hundred cases a year in

 7          handwriting would be probably an average. There

 8          may have been times when it was more. INS

 9          always has certain priorities that they have,

10        and you sort of work those kinds of cases that

11        are a priority at that time.

12                    Q.        What were -- and let's take the

13        decade of the 1990's ending in December 2000.

14        What were the principle INS priorities that

15        related to handwriting examination in that

16        decade?

17                    A.        Well, to give it a broad category,

18        of course, they were fraud cases. There's all

19        kinds of fraud. Handwriting becomes involved in

20        numerous ways.

21                                As I mentioned, they could have been

22        marriage fraud cases, they could have been

23        counterfeit document cases with authorizing

24        signatures, they could have been student fraud

25        cases, they could have been outright criminal


 1          cases that involved the various task forces that

 2          INS was involved in: drug enforcement task

 3          forces, gang task forces where INS people were

 4          assigned, when documents would come up they

 5          would submit them to the laboratory. So it

 6          really was a whole mixture of different types of

 7          cases that came in.

 8                                  There were handprinting cases, there

 9          were support -- a lot of times the various

10        types of actions in INS require support

11        documents, in other words where a person is

12        claiming something on behalf of someone else,

13        and many times these types of documents are, in

14        fact, fraudulent.

15                                You have cases where three or four

16        different people were supposed to have written

17        letters and you find that, in actuality, one

18        person wrote all of them.

19                                There's just a whole different array

20        of cases.

21                    Q.        The INS does not have jurisdiction

22        over ransom cases; does it?

23                    A.        Ransom cases, per se?

24                    Q.        Yes.

25                    A.        No.


 1                      Q.        How many ransom notes did you

 2          yourself examine as an employee of the

 3          Immigration and Naturalization Services?

 4                      A.        I don't believe I examined any

 5          ransom notes.

 6                      Q.        In your career as a questioned

 7          document examiner before you looked at the

 8          ransom note that was found at the home of John

 9          and Patsy Ramsey, how many ransom notes have you

10        looked at?

11                    A.        I don't know that I've looked at any

12        ransom notes, but a ransom note is nothing more

13        than handwriting, and I don't know that it is

14        any more unique than any other kind of

15        handwriting on a document.

16                                MR. RAWLS: I object to the

17        responsiveness of the answer and move to strike

18        it after the words "I don't know that I've

19        looked at any ransom notes", and I would like

20        the record to reflect a period there.

21                    BY MR. RAWLS:

22                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, to the best of your

23        knowledge you have looked at only one ransom

24        note in your life for the purpose of analyzing

25        it as a document examiner; am I correct?


 1                      A.        My recollection, I can't recall that

 2          I've examined -- I may very well have when I

 3          was a military examiner, I worked thousands of

 4          cases over the years. I can't recall every

 5          single case that I worked.

 6                                  (Off-the-record discussion).

 7                                  (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibits

 8          Numbers 3 and 4 were marked for identification).

 9                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, let me show you

10        Defendant's Exhibit-3. This purports to be a

11        list of court testimony of yourself from 1997 to

12        present. Am I correct that that is a complete

13        list of your court testimony from 1997 to

14        present?

15                    A.        I believe it is, yes.

16                    Q.        And were -- as you look at those

17        cases, were any of those cases concerned with

18        the authorship of a ransom note?

19                    A.        They were not.

20                    Q.        And let me show you, please,

21        Defendant's Exhibit-4. This purports to be a

22        list of cases in which you have given court

23        testimony from January 1990 to present. Is it

24        a complete list?

25                    A.        To the best of my knowledge, it is,


 1          yes.

 2                      Q.        And as you look at that list, and

 3          please take a few moments if you need to to

 4          refresh your recollection about each case, my

 5          question is the same: Are any of those cases

 6          cases in which you testified about authorship of

 7          a ransom note?

 8                      A.        They are not.

 9                      Q.        As you look at those cases or that

10        list, Mr. Epstein, is there any case on the

11        list in which any of the judges or hearing

12        officers ruled that you would not be permitted

13        to give testimony?

14                    A.        No.

15                    Q.        Has any judge ever ruled that you do

16        not have sufficient expertise to be permitted to

17        give expert testimony on any given matter that

18        you recall?

19                    A.        No, I have not.

20                    Q.        Are you familiar with a Daubert

21        motion?

22                    A.        I am.

23                    Q.        For the benefit of the judge and

24        jury, would you describe your familiarity with

25        what a Daubert motion is, please?


 1                      A.        The Daubert motion challenges the

 2          scientific -- well, the Daubert motion

 3          challenges, I guess questioned document

 4          examination, the scientific basis upon which

 5          handwriting examination is based, whether or not

 6          it's based on empirical data, whether the person

 7          who is being identified as the expert witness

 8          is, in fact -- does, in fact, have the

 9          necessary qualifications to testify on the

10        matter.

11                    Q.        Do you familiarize yourself or try

12        to stay current on judicial decisions about

13        whether document examination and forensic

14        handwriting analysis is a field of science that

15        is sufficiently established that experts in the

16        field can provide their opinions on that subject

17        matter?

18                    A.        I try to. It's sometimes difficult

19        because cases come up all over the country, but

20        I make an effort to, and it is a subject that

21        is covered in the training.

22                    Q.        Did you read the ruling last year

23        from a federal district judge that refused to

24        permit a handwriting analyst to provide

25        testimony?


 1                      A.        Is this the one in Alaska?

 2                      Q.        Yes, sir. Did you agree or disagree

 3          with the judge's ruling?

 4                      A.        I disagreed with the judge's ruling.

 5                      Q.        Do you know the expert involved in

 6          that case?

 7                      A.        I believe he was a postal service

 8          document examiner out of the postal lab in San

 9          Francisco.

10                    Q.        Do you know of that individual's

11        credentials?

12                    A.        No, I don't. And I actually don't

13        know the person either, I just know where he's

14        from. I believe that he's actually been

15        involved in two Daubert challenges, the same

16        individual.

17                    Q.        Did he prevail, to your knowledge?

18                    A.        I don't believe he did.

19                    Q.        How many Daubert challenges have ever

20        been made against you as a testifying witness,

21        to the best of your recollection?

22                    A.        To the best of my recollection,

23        there was a case in Nevada involving the

24        president of a Latino organization, but the

25        judge immediately, as soon as the challenge was


 1          made, informed the attorneys that he would, in

 2          fact, accept the testimony, so it didn't go very

 3          far.

 4                                  And then I believe there was an

 5          attempt made in Cleveland on the part of the --

 6          on the part of the Tiger law firm in the case

 7          of John Demjanjuk to try to use Daubert to

 8          prevent my testimony in that case, that I --

 9          again, the judge ruled very quickly that he

10        would accept it.

11                    Q.        You mentioned the Cleveland case of

12        John Demjanjuk, I believe that's

13        D-E-M-J-A-N-J-U-K, am I correct?

14                    A.        (Nods head). You are.

15                    Q.        A number of accusations were made

16        with respect to criticizing your testimony at

17        various times in that long series of lawsuits;

18        were there not?

19                    A.        There were some accusations made

20        regarding the initial examinations back in 1980,

21        I think, but they were totally inaccurate. The

22        court record clearly reflects exactly what I

23        said, and my findings on that case never changed

24        from over the 21 years that I was involved in

25        that case.


 1                      Q.        Was it your position in that case

 2          that John Demjanjuk was quote Ivan the Terrible

 3          close quote?

 4                      A.        It was not, and that was not what I

 5          concluded. My determination was that the

 6          document, the identity document that identified

 7          him as a prison guard was a genuine, unaltered

 8          document, and that the signatures of the camp

 9          commander that appeared on that document as well

10        as the quartermaster were, in fact, written by

11        those people.

12                    Q.        And the ultimate outcome, at least

13        up to this time in the case of John Demjanjuk

14        I believe was just most recently determined

15        earlier this year; am I correct?

16                    A.        That's correct.

17                    Q.        And that is that while Mr. Demjanjuk

18        might not be Ivan the Terrible, he was ruled to

19        be a former prison guard in a Nazi concentration

20        camp; am I correct?

21                    A.        That's correct.

22                    Q.        And at every course of that

23        proceeding throughout the U.S. and also in

24        Israel, your own testimony was important; was it

25        not?


 1                      A.        It was, yes.

 2                      Q.        Did you testify in Israel?

 3                      A.        I did.

 4                      Q.        How many times?

 5                      A.        One time over a period of three

 6          days.

 7                      Q.        Has your work in connection with the

 8          case of John Demjanjuk been published in any

 9          publication, journal or article so that it can

10        be studied or reviewed by your peers?

11                    A.        There was an initial paper that was

12        written and given out at a professional meeting

13        some years ago, but I was aware that the case

14        was not over and I didn't feel it appropriate

15        for me to discuss or publish the -- anything

16        pertaining to the case until after it had been

17        totally adjudicated.

18                    Q.        Who wrote the -- I'm sorry, please

19        finish.

20                    A.        And that's the reason that it was

21        never published in total, the total examination.

22                    Q.        Who wrote the original paper that

23        you just referred to?

24                    A.        I did do an initial paper, I

25        believe. It was probably after the -- it was


 1          probably after the Israeli trial, I'm not sure

 2          when it was, but it was simply a paper that

 3          dealt primarily with the types of examinations

 4          that could be conducted on a document of this

 5          type, the various types of examinations that

 6          could authenticate a document of this type.

 7                      Q.        To whom did you present that paper?

 8                      A.        I believe it was presented to the

 9          American Society of Questioned Document

10        Examiners, or it may have been presented to the

11        American Academy of forensic Sciences, I'm not

12        sure which organization I presented. Probably

13        the society, I would think.

14                    Q.        Do you retain a copy of your paper?

15                    A.        I do, but I would have to see if I

16        could find it. I'm not sure that I have it.

17        I think, though, that if you -- I think you

18        can find it, though, by going to the -- the

19        ASQDE, the American Society of Questioned

20        Document Examiners, has a database of papers

21        that you can search by author, and I know that

22        I have 17 papers listed, I believe, under my

23        name, and so you probably would be able to

24        obtain that paper that way.

25                    Q.        We will try that. If not, we may


 1          ask you for assistance in locating that.

 2                                  Have you yourself published any

 3          books, Mr. Epstein?

 4                      A.        I have not.

 5                      Q.        Have you published any articles in

 6          professional or scholarly or scientific journals?

 7                      A.        I have, not recently. Earlier I

 8          published articles, I know there was an article

 9          on a Joseph Mengele handwriting case that I

10        worked which was published in the American

11        Academy of Forensic Sciences Journal. I

12        published some articles in the International

13        Association for Identification News, and some in

14        the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Journal. Some

15        were probably published in a publication called

16        the Detective, which was a CID army criminal

17        investigation publication. But these should all

18        be listed in that database.

19                    Q.        In the same American Society for

20        Questioned Document Examination database.

21                    A.        Yes.

22                    Q.        Is the database a place where one

23        can find copies of the articles, or simply a

24        bibliography of the articles?

25                    A.        Actually, the articles are now being


 1          retained by the FBI laboratory. They have now

 2          taken over the storage of all of the

 3          professional papers, and I think there's about

 4          eight thousand now in the database, and they are

 5          now the keepers of that file.

 6                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, we spoke about some of

 7          the priorities of the Immigration and

 8          Naturalization Service in the field of document

 9          examination while you were the chief document

10        examiner at the INS.

11                                Let me ask you how many times did

12        you yourself have experience with the authorship

13        of documents that I will categorize as extended

14        handwriting documents.

15                    A.        That's -- it's a common, common

16        case. There are various types of cases that

17        involve extended writing: letters, applications

18        of various kinds, threatening letters, obscene

19        letters, sometimes -- there's all kinds, and

20        when I was with the military we had -- I had a

21        great deal of exposure to suicide notes and

22        other extended writings of that type.

23                    Q.        How many times, Mr. Epstein, in your

24        career, to your knowledge, have you observed

25        extended handwriting samples where the


 1          handwriting took place within just a few minutes

 2          before or after the murder of any individual?

 3                      A.        I recall two cases, where one was a

 4          suicide where the writing had been done just

 5          moments before the woman committed suicide.

 6          Actually, there were a number of suicides that I

 7          recall now in France where, for whatever reason,

 8          we had a great many suicides and I was -- but

 9          at that time I was not a document examiner, I

10        was a criminal investigator, but I kept a lot

11        of suicide notes, photographs of suicide notes

12        that I was involved in, and later when I became

13        a document examiner I actually did a study of

14        suicide notes.

15                                But anyway, there was another

16        situation involving a homicide that was committed

17        by a prostitute in Wisconsin, and she had --

18        shortly after she had committed the crime she

19        wrote a very long letter to her family, and I

20        examined that writing.

21                                So there have been occasions, and

22        there may have been others, I just can't

23        remember all of them.

24                    Q.        When was the situation involving the

25        homicide committed by the prostitute in


 1          Wisconsin?

 2                      A.        It was while I was with the Alcohol,

 3          Tobacco and Firearms laboratory, so it had to be

 4          between 1978 and 1980, probably around 19 --

 5          probably around 1979.

 6                      Q.        What was your position with the

 7          BATF?

 8                      A.        I was a senior document examiner.

 9                      Q.        For the most part, the INS is not

10        the agency that is likely to be principally

11        involved in the analysis of an extended document

12        such as a threat, an extortion demand or a

13        blackmail demand; am I correct?

14                    A.        Well, normally, if you apply the

15        word normally to the case, that would be

16        correct. But there are exceptions to that, and

17        they are brought in by task force members. The

18        INS has members assigned to various task forces

19        in the government, and these task force members

20        often work various types of cases involving

21        these kinds of things and they submit the cases

22        for laboratory work.

23                                In addition, I oftentimes accepted

24        cases from other government agencies. I did not

25        only do cases for INS. There are a number of


 1          government agencies that don't have forensic

 2          capabilities, and if the case warranted a

 3          document examination and they had nowhere to go

 4          with it, I would accept those cases and work

 5          them for the federal prison system and various

 6          other government agencies.

 7                      Q.        What was the purpose of your

 8          examination of the letter written by the

 9          prostitute in Wisconsin to her family shortly

10        after the homicide?

11                    A.        They were trying to identify -- the

12        letter was unsigned, it was found on the woman's

13        desk, and it was incriminating in the sense that

14        it said that she had committed a terrible thing

15        and that she would go away for awhile and for

16        the family not to worry, basically that was the

17        text of the letter, and it was -- there was --

18        the purpose of the examination was to attempt to

19        identify whether she, in fact, had written the

20        letter.

21                    Q.        The purpose was to identify

22        authorship --

23                    A.        Authorship.

24                    Q.        -- by a given individual.

25                    A.        That's right.


 1                      Q.        Did you do so? Did you identify

 2          the author?

 3                      A.        I didn't identify her completely.

 4          There were a number of factors in this case

 5          that restricted a definitive conclusion. There

 6          were indications, strong indications that she

 7          could have written this letter, but there were

 8          -- this is one of those situations that I've

 9          come across a number of times over the years

10        when a woman oftentimes becomes involved in a

11        violent type of crime.

12                                The handwriting oftentimes reverts, I

13        think unconsciously, to a previous lower level

14        or style of writing. I saw the same thing in

15        the suicide case. I don't know, since I'm not

16        a psychiatrist I can't explain why that happens,

17        but I know that it happens in women. I

18        haven't seen it in men.

19                                Oftentimes it's a style of writing

20        that they may have used earlier in their life,

21        and when you get writing, known writing that's

22        produced under stress, under the same sort of

23        conditions, if you can, you find the handwriting

24        characteristics that you're looking for.

25                                What I did in the case in the


 1          Philippines in the suicide case was I wrote the

 2          family and asked them to send me letters that

 3          the woman had written when she was under stress

 4          with her husband -- it was a bad marriage --

 5          and when I received those letters I was able to

 6          positively identify the writing, but prior to

 7          the receipt of those letters there were

 8          handwriting characteristics present that I was

 9          not able to identify.

10                                In the case of Wisconsin I received

11        writings made while the woman was in prison, and

12        some of those writings were comparable and

13        others were not. By that I mean there was

14        unlike text for comparison. And so I was able

15        to state that there were indications that this

16        woman had written it, but I was not able to

17        state with any definitive conclusion that she

18        was.

19                    Q.        We've talked, Mr. Epstein, about the

20        training that you feel is necessary to qualify a

21        person to be a forensic document examiner.

22                    A.        Well, that the profession considers

23        to be necessary.

24                    Q.        Is a weekend survey course taught

25        over three or four weekends, even by a person


 1          as qualified, say, as Larry Zieglar, sufficient

 2          to train a professional forensic document

 3          examiner?

 4                      A.        No, and Larry Zieglar would be the

 5          first to tell you that.

 6                      Q.        Actually, sir, with all due respect,

 7          you're the first to tell me that, but I did

 8          have my suspicions about the matter.

 9                                  In addition to a three- to

10        four-weekend survey course taught, for example,

11        by Larry Zieglar at a local community college,

12        would it be sufficient if the person not only

13        had that Larry Zieglar three- to four-weekend

14        survey course but also had a three- to four-day

15        course conducted by a Secret Service investigator

16        such as John Hargett at a conference held by

17        the Northwest Fraud Investigators Association?

18        Would that be sufficient?

19                    A.        No, it wouldn't.

20                    Q.        Taken together?

21                    A.        Wouldn't matter.

22                    Q.        When were you certified by the

23        American Board of Forensic Document Examiners?

24                    A.        1982, I believe. The board actually

25        came into existence -- I was the 36th person to


 1          be certified by the board. It might have been

 2          a little earlier. It was shortly after the

 3          board was formed and after it came into

 4          existence.

 5                      Q.        Do you know approximately how many

 6          members the American Society of Questioned

 7          Document Examiners is comprised of?

 8                      A.        It's not a very large organization.

 9          It's actually quite small. I don't believe that

10        there are probably -- they have various

11        categories of membership. They have

12        corresponding members, which are people outside

13        the country; they have regular members who are

14        people from the United States and Canada; but I

15        would say right now that there are probably, I

16        would say, 60, 50, 60, 70 members, something

17        like that.

18                    Q.        And how many, to your knowledge,

19        board-certified forensic document examiners are

20        there? And by that I mean certified by the

21        American Board of Forensic Document Examiners,

22        which you told us was the recognized -- the

23        only recognized body to certify such

24        professionals?

25                    A.        I would say a couple of hundred,


 1          probably, something like that. All of these

 2          organizations, by the way, do have their

 3          websites, in ABFDE.org, ASQDE.org, all of that

 4          will give you all of their members.

 5                      Q.        If a person claims to be a

 6          board-certified questioned document examiner but

 7          has no certification from the American Board of

 8          Forensic Document Examiners, is that person being

 9          misleading when the individual states he or she

10        is a board-certified questioned document

11        examiner?

12                    A.        Unless they truly believe that the

13        organization that they belong to has the

14        authority and is recognized by the profession to

15        do that, but again, if that's what they think

16        then they really don't know the profession at

17        all.

18                                Any mainstream document examiner in

19        this country knows what the certifying body for

20        this profession is, and if they, in fact, know

21        that and then inform the court that they are

22        board-certified, then I believe they're

23        misleading the court.

24                    Q.        Does the American Society of

25        Questioned Document Examiners discriminate?


 1                      A.        Discriminate in what way?

 2                      Q.        In any way.

 3                      A.        Not to my knowledge. I was

 4          president of that organization two years, and

 5          the only thing it requires is that the people

 6          who join have the credentials necessary to meet

 7          the standards. They have to take the tests,

 8          they have to have the proper training. They

 9          have to be recommended by people within the

10        profession who know their work. But if they

11        meet those standards, that's the only

12        requirement.

13                    Q.        Does the American Society of

14        Questioned Document Examiners discriminate against

15        document examiners who are in private practice,

16        as opposed to government service?

17                    A.        Not at all. That organization

18        actually was established by private examiners,

19        and for many years there were very few

20        government examiners in that organization.

21                                Albert Osborn, when he started that

22        organization and for many years after that, it

23        was strictly an organization of private

24        examiners, and today there are probably --

25        certainly there are as many, if not more,


 1          private examiners in that organization as there

 2          are government examiners.

 3                      Q.        Does the American Board of Forensic

 4          Document Examiners discriminate against those

 5          documents examiners who are in private practice?

 6                      A.        No, not at all, and again, that

 7          organization, I'm sure, has probably more private

 8          examiners than government examiners.

 9                                  Again, the only thing that those

10        organizations require is that the people meet

11        the requirements. I mean, that's the only

12        thing.

13                    Q.        If a person testified that she

14        received board certification from the National

15        Association of Document Examiners because the

16        American Board of Forensic Document Examiners and

17        the American Society of Questioned Document

18        Examiners discriminated against her based on her

19        private as opposed to government practice, would

20        that individual, would that person's testimony

21        simply indicate the person is misinformed?

22                    A.        Well, I know for a fact that that

23        is not a reason for disallowing membership in

24        either or any of those professional

25        organizations. They will disallow membership if


 1          a person doesn't have at least a bachelor's

 2          degree. They will disallow membership if the

 3          person hasn't gone through at least a two-year

 4          training program.

 5                                  There are those reasons why a person

 6          would be denied membership, but not because

 7          they're in private practice, because a majority

 8          of the people, like I say, are in private

 9          practice that are members.

10                    Q.        Do the American Board of Forensic

11        Document Examiners and the American Society of

12        Questioned Document Examiners practice nepotism?

13                    A.        No, they don't.

14                    Q.        Do you know of any forensic science

15        organization that accredits the National

16        Association of Document Examiners?

17                    A.        No, I don't.

18                    Q.        Do you refer business to -- ever, to

19        Cina Wong?

20                    A.        Never.

21                    Q.        To David Leibman?

22                    A.        Never.

23                    Q.        But you have from time to time

24        referred business to Larry Zieglar.

25                    A.        I have.


 1                      Q.        Have you not?

 2                      A.        I consider Larry Zieglar to be a

 3          qualified forensic document examiner.

 4                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, do you have your own

 5          laboratory?

 6                      A.        I do.

 7                      Q.        Is that in your home or do you have

 8          an office outside your home?

 9                      A.        It's in my home.

10                    Q.        What equipment is in your home lab?

11                    A.        I have all of the necessary

12        instrumental equipment. I have a video

13        spectrocomparator that allows for paper and ink

14        examinations. I have an electrostatic

15        deciphering apparatus that allows for the

16        examination of indented writing.

17                                I have stereoscopic microscopes,

18        photographic equipment, measuring instruments, a

19        very extensive library. I can do most

20        examinations that are necessary to be done.

21                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, in your career have you

22        been mentioned or quoted in the news media, to

23        your knowledge?

24                    A.        I have.

25                    Q.        When?


 1                      A.        Over the years I've been fortunate

 2          in having been involved in some interesting

 3          cases that received public attention.

 4                                  My 20 years with the office of

 5          special investigations in the war crimes area,

 6          many of those cases such as the Viral Trifa

 7          case, the Archbishop of Romania, the Joseph

 8          Mengele, a number of others that were important

 9          at the time.

10                                I was also involved in the Noriega

11        case in Miami, as a special request by the

12        attorney who was handling that case to do the

13        work in that case, which I did. So over the

14        years there have been cases where the news media

15        has been interested.

16                    Q.        To the best of your knowledge have

17        you been quoted in the tabloids?

18                    A.        I have, yeah.

19                    Q.        On what matters?

20                    A.        On the types of examinations that

21        were conducted in a particular case, the

22        circumstances surrounding the examinations that

23        were performed.

24                    Q.        Have you spoken to the news media

25        about the anthrax letters?


 1                      A.        I was, I forgot about those.

 2                      Q.        Were you approached by reporters, or

 3          did you initiate the calls?

 4                      A.        No, I was approached by some

 5          reporters out of Royters and also out of the

 6          New York papers, as well as I think USA Today.

 7                      Q.        Have you given any statements to the

 8          responsible press or the tabloid press about the

 9          murder of JonBenet Ramsey?

10                    A.        Absolutely not.

11                    Q.        Have you said anything to any

12        reporter about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey?

13                    A.        Absolutely not.

14                    Q.        Or about your having signed on as an

15        expert witness on behalf of Chris Wolf?

16                    A.        Absolutely not.

17                    Q.        Or about your having analyzed or

18        studied the ransom note that was found at the

19        home of John and Patsy Ramsey?

20                    A.        I have told no reporter anything

21        that I'm doing in this case.

22                    Q.        Has any reporter called you about

23        anything you're doing in this case?

24                    A.        I don't believe they have, no.

25                    Q.        Have you spoken to any broadcast


 1          entity, radio or television, or any cablecast

 2          entity concerning the death of JonBenet Ramsey?

 3                      A.        I have not, no.

 4                      Q.        Did you authorize anyone to give

 5          your report or any report you have given to

 6          Mr. Darnay Hoffman to any news entity?

 7                      A.        I have not.

 8                      Q.        To any tabloid?

 9                      A.        I have not.

10                    Q.        Did you know that it was given to

11        the tabloids?

12                    A.        I have seen the -- yes, in answer

13        to your question, I did know that it was given,

14        but I never gave permission for that.

15                    Q.        How do you know it was given?

16                    A.        I read it.

17                    Q.        What did you read and when?

18                    A.        I don't recall really when it was.

19        It was an article stating that -- basically my

20        findings.

21                    Q.        Do you recall in which publication

22        that was found?

23                    A.        It was in one of the trash, trash

24        sheets, the Globe or World or whatever those

25        things are called.


 1                      Q.        Enquirer?

 2                      A.        Enquirer, yeah, I guess it was the

 3          Enquirer.

 4                      Q.        Did you suggest to Mr. Hoffman that

 5          you'd prefer that not happen?

 6                      A.        I didn't -- I didn't really discuss

 7          it with him. I didn't feel it was my position

 8          to tell him that.

 9                      Q.        With respect -- jumping back to the

10        anthrax letters, did the United States government

11        ask you to study those letters?

12                    A.        No, they didn't.

13                    Q.        Or officially provide you with any

14        of those letters?

15                    A.        They did not, no. The news media

16        provided me with copies of the envelopes and the

17        letters.

18                    Q.        Did you ever see the original

19        anthrax envelopes or letters?

20                    A.        I did not see the originals, no.

21                                MR. RAWLS: Let's take a brief

22        recess, if this is a convenient time.

23                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is the end

24        of Tape 1 to the deposition of Mr. Epstein.

25        The time is 11:34 a.m., and we're off the


 1          record.

 2                                  (Recess).

 3                                  THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is Tape

 4          Number 2 to the deposition of Mr. Epstein, the

 5          time is 11:53 a.m. and we're back on the

 6          record.

 7                      BY MR. RAWLS:

 8                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, have you kept records

 9          of your own accuracy and your own errors during

10        your career as a questioned document examiner?

11                    A.        I have not, no.

12                    Q.        As best you recall, how many times

13        have you been mistaken on the authorship of a

14        document?

15                    A.        To the best of my knowledge, if I

16        have made a mistake it's never been brought to

17        my attention.

18                    Q.        So is it your view that your success

19        at questioned document examination has been 100

20        percent throughout your career?

21                    A.        As I say, if I have made a mistake

22        in this work, it has never been brought to my

23        attention. So I'm not aware of my mistakes

24        that I've made in the identification of

25        handwriting.


 1                      Q.        Have board-certified, by the right

 2          board, the American Board of Forensic Document

 3          Examiners, have board-certified examiners ever

 4          disagreed with you before the case of the ransom

 5          note in this case?

 6                      A.        I'm sure they -- yes, they have,

 7          certainly. In government service you don't have

 8          as much disagreement as you have in the private

 9          sector, but in some of the war crimes cases,

10        now that I think back, there were some document

11        examiners on the other side who did not conclude

12        the same way I did.

13                    Q.        Have judges ever disagreed with you?

14                    A.        Not to my knowledge, no.

15                    Q.        Have juries ever disagreed with your

16        conclusion?

17                    A.        Oh, I'm sure they have. That would

18        be almost an impossibility to have 100 percent

19        with juries.

20                    Q.        But you have never after the fact

21        looked back and said that your identification of

22        authorship of a questioned document has been

23        wrong.

24                    A.        I have not.

25                    Q.        Not ever, not once.


 1                      A.        Not once.

 2                      Q.        Even after juries have disagreed.

 3                      A.        Juries disagree for various reasons.

 4                      Q.        Even after board-certified, qualified

 5          document examiners have disagreed.

 6                      A.        Absolutely.

 7                      Q.        Now, when you first signed on to

 8          accept this case on a pro bono basis while you

 9          were still in government service sometime during

10        the year 2000 --

11                    A.        Correct.

12                    Q.        -- what documents had you examined

13        with reference to this case at that time?

14                    A.        I examined the copies of the ransom

15        note and I examined some normal course of

16        business standards of Patsy Ramsey.

17                    Q.        What ones in particular?

18                    A.        Could I refer to my notes?

19                    Q.        Please.

20                    A.        I examined a copy of a three-page

21        handprinted ransom note, and then as far as the

22        standards there was a copy of a two-page letter

23        dated Wednesday, June 4th that was signed,

24        "Fondly, Patsy and JonBenet."

25                                I examined a copy of the inside of


 1          a greeting card with the entry starting, "Hi,

 2          Bob," and additional writing.

 3                                  I examined a color copy of a

 4          hand-printed sign. I examined some color copy

 5          of package wrappers with the name Ramsey and

 6          Ramsey Christmas written on it.

 7                                  I examined a copy of a color

 8          photograph with the writing Rainbow Fish Players.

 9                                  I examined a copy of a photo album

10        pages with hand-printed entries, copy of an

11        ornamental circle with some handwriting in there.

12                                I examined a two-page document which

13        was a copy of an entry form for the 1996

14        Lights of December parade bearing the known

15        handwriting of -- attributed to Patsy Ramsey.

16                    Q.        From whom had you received those

17        documents?

18                    A.        Those documents originally I received

19        from Larry Zieglar.

20                    Q.        What steps did you take to confirm

21        the authenticity of those documents and the fact

22        that they originated from the hand of Patsy

23        Ramsey at that time?

24                    A.        They were submitted to Larry Zieglar

25        as known writings, and I accepted them as known


 1          writings.

 2                      Q.        You did not independently seek to

 3          verify that they were known writings of Patsy

 4          Ramsey.

 5                      A.        I did not.

 6                      Q.        By whom had Mr. Zieglar been hired,

 7          if by anyone, to your knowledge?

 8                      A.        By Mr. Darnay Hoffman.

 9                      Q.        He disclosed that to you at the

10        outset.

11                    A.        Disclosed what?

12                    Q.        Mr. Zieglar disclosed to you that he

13        had been hired by Darnay Hoffman.

14                    A.        Yes.

15                    Q.        And for what purpose did Mr. Zieglar

16        tell you he had been hired?

17                    A.        To conduct the examinations of the

18        ransom note.

19                    Q.        With a view to doing what?

20                    A.        Attempting to identify its authorship.

21                    Q.        Well, actually, Mr. Hoffman's purpose,

22        you've known all along, was to try to pin the

23        ransom note on Patsy Ramsey; was it not?

24                    A.        Well, there was also a writing from

25        Mr. Ramsey that was also involved, and I don't


 1          -- I don't use the word pinned on anyone.

 2                                  The writing -- it was an examination

 3          to establish authorship, and that was the known

 4          writing that was submitted. If that was not

 5          the writer, you know, in other words, you don't

 6          -- I don't enter a case with a preconceived

 7          notion of any writer having done a particular

 8          writing. My findings rest on what I find once

 9          I do the examination, and so I don't accept any

10        case with the notion that a particular writer

11        has been preidentified. That's what I do.

12        That's the purpose of my being there is to

13        determine that.

14                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, this was a yes or no

15        question, and I object to all of your remarks

16        just now that were something other than yes or

17        no as unresponsive.

18                                Let me remind you of the question.

19                                MR. ALTMAN: Let me object, Jim, in

20        all due respect. I'll object to that. I

21        think he did respond to the question.

22                    Q.        Here's the question, Mr. Epstein:

23        Mr. Hoffman's purpose, you've known all along,

24        was to try to pin the ransom note on Patsy

25        Ramsey; was it or was it not?


 1                                  MR. ALTMAN: Objection to form.

 2                      A.        Again, no, I didn't -- I was never

 3          told when I was retained that the purpose of my

 4          being retained was to pin the writing of the

 5          ransom note on Patsy Ramsey.

 6                      Q.        Now, did you at the time you were

 7          first retained have a report from Cina Wong?

 8                      A.        I did.

 9                      Q.        Did you study it?

10                    A.        No.

11                    Q.        Did you read it?

12                    A.        I did read it.

13                    Q.        Did you know of her conclusion?

14                    A.        I know of her conclusions.

15                    Q.        At that time what was her

16        conclusion, as you recall?

17                    A.        Her conclusion was that Patsy Ramsey

18        wrote the ransom note.

19                    Q.        Now, as you sit here today, are you

20        telling us that when you first signed onto this

21        case in the year 2000 you did not know that

22        Darnay Hoffman had a prior history with regard

23        to the case of JonBenet Ramsey?

24                    A.        Quite honestly, I didn't know

25        Mr. Darnay Hoffman or his history as it involved


 1          this case. I became involved in this case, and

 2          when I did is when I learned of Mr. Hoffman's

 3          involvement. I did not know prior to my

 4          involvement in this case anything about him or

 5          actually not very much about the case.

 6                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, are you telling us

 7          today under oath that when you took this case

 8          pro bono you neither knew about or cared about

 9          Darnay Hoffman's previous efforts with respect to

10        the murder of JonBenet Ramsey to blame her

11        parents?

12                    A.        I knew that Mr. Hoffman had been

13        working on this case for a number of years, and

14        I was aware of other document examiners, if you

15        will, and I put it in quotes, who examined the

16        documents.

17                                But my entry into this case, as far

18        as I was concerned, had nothing to do with what

19        had been done previously or what any intentions

20        were. My entry into this examination was to

21        conduct an examination and be able to examine

22        the known handwriting of the people involved.

23                    Q.        Well, let's take the first words you

24        just used in the part of your answer that was

25        responsive. Quote, I knew that Mr. Hoffman had


 1          been working on this case for a number of

 2          years, end quote.

 3                      A.        Right.

 4                      Q.        What side did you know he was on?

 5                      A.        Well, obviously I knew that he was

 6          not on the Ramsey's side.

 7                      Q.        You say obviously. Why was that

 8          obvious to you?

 9                      A.        Well, I was aware that -- actually,

10        I really don't know how much I was aware of at

11        the time. I was aware of very little.

12                                I mean, Mr. Hoffman contacted Larry

13        Zieglar, who then contacted me and asked me to

14        take a look at this writing.

15                                At that point in time I really

16        didn't know very much about the involvement of

17        Mr. Hoffman in the case or his past history.

18        All I knew was that he was representing

19        individuals who had sued the Ramseys, and,

20        therefore, I knew what side he was on. But as

21        far as the details or the other things that

22        went on, I was not familiar to them and I

23        really am not even today that familiar with it.

24                    Q.        Did you know that Mr. Hoffman had

25        been involved for years with the matter of


 1          JonBenet Ramsey, even before he had the benefit

 2          of having a client in the matter?

 3                      A.        I did not, no.

 4                      Q.        Have you ever met Darnay Hoffman?

 5                      A.        I have not.

 6                      Q.        Your only contact with Darnay Hoffman

 7          has been by telephone and by correspondence?

 8                      A.        That's correct.

 9                      Q.        I'm going to show you, Mr. Epstein,

10        a copy of a letter from 1997 that was sent by

11        Darnay Hoffman to Thomas C. Miller, Esquire, of

12        Denver, Colorado.

13                                This document, I'll tell you for the

14        benefit of yourself and Mr. Hoffman and

15        Mr. Altman, is Defendant's Exhibit-9 to the

16        deposition of Cina Wong, which was taken on May

17        13, 2002, Monday of this week.

18                                Have you seen that document before,

19        sir?

20                    A.        No, I haven't.

21                    Q.        Mr. --

22                                MR. WOOD: Ask him to read it.

23                    Q.        Would you please read that letter?

24                    A.        Okay.

25                    Q.        Have you, before today Mr. Epstein,


 1          have you -- and since you didn't see the letter

 2          before today, were you aware from Mr. Hoffman of

 3          what he says in that letter before today?

 4                      A.        No, I wasn't aware.

 5                      Q.        Would you read, sir, please, into

 6          the record Mr. Darnay Hoffman's remarks? And

 7          I'll show you where I'd like for you to begin.

 8          The second full paragraph of Mr. Hoffman's

 9          remarks about Paul Osborn.

10                    A.        "You might be interested to know

11        that I spoke with handwriting expert Paul A.

12        Osborn, who is, as you probably already know,

13        the grandson of Albert S. and son of Albert D.

14        Osborn. He refuses to touch the Ramsey case

15        with a ten-foot pole. His reasons: He knows

16        the handwriting experts who gave their reports

17        to the defense team and to CBI -- four in all.

18        According to Osborn these experts are supposedly

19        top of their field. (He won't give me their

20        names) with impeccable ethical credentials.

21        Their verdict: the similarities between Patsy

22        and the ransom note writer's handwriting is at

23        the very lowest of the spectrum. There is

24        little or no basis for a match."

25                    Q.        The "he won't give me their names"


 1          was in parentheses, was it not, of the letter?

 2                      A.        Uh-huh.

 3                                  (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

 4          5 was marked for identification).

 5                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, I'm going to show you a

 6          document that's been marked Defendant's

 7          Exhibit-5. This purports to be a letter of

 8          December 11, 1997 from John Paul Osborn,

 9          forensic document examiner in New York, to

10        someone whose name has been obliterated. Have

11        you ever seen this document before?

12                    A.        I have not, no.

13                    Q.        This document, you will notice,

14        Mr. Epstein, has a BPD document number on it.

15        The BPD is the Boulder Police Department. Would

16        you take a look -- would you read this document

17        to yourself and familiarize yourself with its

18        contents for a moment?

19                                MR. HOFFMAN: Evan, would you read

20        this document to yourself also, because I've

21        never heard of this document.

22                                MR. ALTMAN: Okay.

23                    Q.        Have you finished reading that

24        document to yourself?

25                    A.        I have.


 1                      Q.        And do you know John Paul Osborn?

 2                      A.        I do, yes.

 3                      Q.        Is he well-qualified?

 4                      A.        He meets all the qualifications of

 5          the profession.

 6                      Q.        Is he an author of one of the texts

 7          that you described earlier?

 8                      A.        No, he's not.

 9                      Q.        That was a different Osborn.

10                    A.        That was his father and grandfather.

11                    Q.        In fact, the name of his father is

12        on the same letterhead on Defendant's Exhibit 5;

13        is it not?

14                    A.        Albert, yes, Albert and Albert D.

15        Albert S. is the author of the books, and

16        Albert D. was his son.

17                    Q.        And who is Paul A. Osborn?

18                    A.        He's the son of Albert -- no, of --

19        John Paul Osborn is the son of Paul Osborn, who

20        is, I guess, the fifth generation.

21                    Q.        Would you please read into the

22        record the paragraph that's the fourth paragraph

23        of the letter, it begins with the words "in

24        your letter"?

25                    A.        "In your letter, which accompanied


 1          the reproductions you submitted, you indicate

 2          that you may wish to have a more detailed

 3          analysis," in parentheses, "should I find any

 4          similarities between the writing samples --"

 5                                  MR. WOOD: Excuse me, the two

 6          writing samples.

 7                      Q.        The two writing samples.

 8                      A.        "-- the two writing samples. There

 9          are some similarities between the handprinting in

10        the ransom note and the writing you submit as

11        that of Christian Wolf. However, there are also

12        similarities between my own handprinting and that

13        on the questioned note, if you disregard the

14        poor line quality. Similarities, while playing

15        a role in the process of examination and

16        comparison of writing, are not as significant as

17        fundamental or significant differences. Many

18        people share common handwriting characteristics

19        and even been some distinctive handwriting

20        characteristics. The proper weight must be

21        given to differences which cannot be accounted

22        for by natural variation of a single writer."

23                    Q.        Do you agree with that paragraph you

24        have just read?

25                    A.        I agree with the paragraph, but not


 1          its application in this case.

 2                      Q.        Do you agree with that paragraph

 3          with respect to Christian Wolf in this case?

 4                      A.        No. I can't say, because I really

 5          did not do a comprehensive examination of the

 6          Christian Wolf writing.

 7                      Q.        Why not?

 8                      A.        Because I had already been working

 9          on the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey, and after I

10        concluded that examination, which was more than

11        50 hours of work, I felt that I had identified

12        sufficient significant handwriting characteristics

13        with no significant differences, and that's where

14        I differ with Mr. Osborn is where he states

15        that there are significant differences.

16                    There are no significant differences.

17        There are variations to the same basic

18        handwriting patterns, but there are no

19        significant differences. So once I've identified

20        a writer, there's no reason for me to examine

21        the handwriting of another person. If I didn't

22        identify it or if I had qualified the

23        identification, there would have been reason to

24        continue to look at other writers. But once

25        you've identified a person as having produced


 1          the writing, there is no reason to look for

 2          other writers.

 3           Q.     And what was the date that you made

 4          that identification of Patsy Ramsey as the

 5          author of the ransom note?

 6                      MR. ALTMAN: Do you need to refer

 7          to something?

 8           A.     Well, there was a prior report to

 9          this -- to the Article 26 report, so it was

10        the initial, the initial report that I

11        submitted, and let me see if I have that.

12                    It was after the exemplars had all

13        been released to me, and I produced the report

14        prior to the Article 26 report, and that was

15        probably in late -- in late 2001, but I don't

16        have -- I don't have that particular report.

17                    MR. WOOD: We have it. We have it,

18        we'll show it to you.

19         Q.     Why did you look at Chris Wolf's

20        handwriting at all if you had already decided

21        who wrote the ransom note?

22         A.     I didn't examine Chris Wolf's

23        writing. It had been sent in to me, and I

24        don't recall exactly at what point in time I

25        received it in relation to when I actually


 1          completed the writing of Patsy Ramsey, but if I

 2          had not completed that examination or if I had

 3          not already reached a conclusion in the case,

 4          then I would have probably examined that, but I

 5          didn't because I had already completed my

 6          examination of the Patsy Ramsey writing.

 7                      (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

 8          6 was marked for identification).

 9                      MR. HOFFMAN: Jim, just as a point

10        here, I never heard who the Paul Osborn letter

11        was addressed to.

12                    MR. RAWLS: Darnay, the --

13                    MR. WOOD: It's been redacted.

14                    MR. RAWLS: There was a redaction

15        after the word "dear", so none of us has ever

16        seen the word or the name.

17                    MR. HOFFMAN: So basically, for the

18        record, there is no identification as to who

19        that letter was sent to; is that correct? Do

20        you know who that letter was sent to?

21                    MR. WOOD: It was in the Boulder

22        Police Department files.

23                    MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, I see. Okay. Is

24        this something that was turned over to you by

25        the Boulder police?


 1                      MR. RAWLS: Yes.

 2                                  MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. And they did

 3          not identify through any other document or list

 4          or anything else who the person that that was

 5          addressed to, was addressed to.

 6                                  MR. WOOD: No, they redacted the

 7          name.

 8                                  MR. HOFFMAN: Okay.

 9                                  MR. WOOD: The Boulder police did.

10                                MR. HOFFMAN: All right, thank you.

11                    BY MR. RAWLS:

12                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, I'm showing you

13        Defendant's Exhibit-6. Do you recognize that

14        document, sir?

15                    A.        Yes, that's the report, that's the

16        previous report.

17                    Q.        This is the only previous report

18        that you made in the year 2001 to Mr. Hoffman;

19        is it not, sir?

20                    A.        Yes, it is.

21                    Q.        There was not another written report

22        that you prepared other than this written report

23        to Mr. Hoffman and the Rule 26 report concerning

24        this case; am I correct?

25                    A.        I believe that's correct.


 1                      Q.        This is important, so if there is

 2          some other report that you have rendered, please

 3          tell us now.

 4                                  MR. ALTMAN: Well, Jim, if you're

 5          asking are these the reports that were prepared

 6          based on, you know, the actual reports, these

 7          are the only reports, I think is what he's

 8          saying.

 9                                  If you're saying there was any other

10        communication between attorney and expert,

11        obviously we've communicated.

12                                MR. HOFFMAN: And, Jim, I take it

13        to the best of Mr. Epstein's current

14        recollection; correct?

15                                THE WITNESS: Yes, that's right.

16        There were correspondence over a couple of

17        years, but I believe that this is the only

18        report other than the Article 26 report.

19                    Q.        You had made only two written

20        reports, to the best of your knowledge,

21        concerning the ransom note found at the home of

22        John and Patsy Ramsey; true?

23                    A.        I believe so, yes.

24                    Q.        And I want to talk for a moment

25        about several parts of this exhibit, Defendant's


 1          Exhibit 6, your report dated February 25, 2001.

 2          And you're a trained questioned document

 3          examiner, so I'd like for you to look at Page

 4          3 and tell me is that, indeed, your signature?

 5                      A.        It is.

 6                      Q.        Back to Page 1, please, you have

 7          listed several items as quote the known

 8          documents on Page 1 and Page 2; have you not?

 9                      A.        That's correct.

10                    Q.        You say, "Exhibit 2 is a copy of a

11        two-page letter dated Wednesday, June 4, signed

12        quote fondly, Patsy and JonBenet, end quote,

13        bearing known handwriting attributed to Patsy

14        Ramsey".

15                    A.        That's attributed to Patsy Ramsey.

16        That's how it was given to me, and that's how

17        I have to accept it. I was not there when the

18        writing was done, so if someone gives me writing

19        and says this is the known writing of an

20        individual, then that is the writing -- that is

21        the way that I have to accept it.

22                    Q.        How did you verify that Exhibit 2

23        was, in fact, written by Patsy Ramsey?

24                    A.        By comparing it against other writing

25        within the known samples to see if there is


 1          similarity in the same handwriting

 2          characteristics.

 3                      Q.        And to what documents did you

 4          compare Exhibit 2?

 5                      A.        Well, all of the documents were

 6          compared one to the other. Whatever comparable

 7          text there was within each document was compared

 8          against similar texts if it appeared in other

 9          documents.

10                                As an example, like letter

11        combinations were compared to like letter

12        combinations; like letter forms were compared to

13        like letter forms within the various documents

14        that were submitted.

15                    Q.        Did you make notes of those

16        comparisons?

17                    A.        I did make notes. I don't have

18        those notes with me, however.

19                    Q.        Are they still in your office?

20                    A.        I'm sure they are, yes.

21                    Q.        Can you share those with us, please?

22                    A.        Certainly.

23                    Q.        Did you take any steps to

24        authenticate Exhibits 2 through 9? And I'm

25        using the exhibit numbers that you used in what


 1          is Defendant's Exhibit 6 to this deposition.

 2          Did you take any steps to verify that those

 3          documents contained the handwriting of Patsy

 4          Ramsey except to compare them to one another?

 5                      A.        No, I did not.

 6                      Q.        Did you ask Mr. Darnay Hoffman for

 7          verification that those documents contained the

 8          handwriting of Patsy Ramsey?

 9                      A.        I asked Mr. Hoffman for additional

10        writings. I asked him from the very beginning

11        to attempt to locate the same normal course of

12        business writings that had been previously used

13        in the examinations when they were first done by

14        the Boulder people and by Howard Rile and the

15        Ramsey document examiners. That was something

16        that I requested from the very beginning of my

17        involvement in the case.

18                    Q.        Now, I first want to, before I

19        follow up on what you did answer, I want to

20        ask you please to answer the question I asked

21        you, which was this: Did you ask Mr. Darnay

22        Hoffman for verification that those documents

23        contained the handwriting of Patsy Ramsey?

24        That's a yes or a no.

25                    A.        I'm not sure that I can answer that


 1          as a yes or a no, because -- and the reason is

 2          because we spoke about known writings a lot, and

 3          I made it, you know, clear that we would need

 4          additional writings, additional known writings.

 5          Whether I --

 6                      Q.        I'm not talking about --

 7                      A.        Whether I specifically asked that

 8          these particular documents be further verified, I

 9          don't believe I did.

10                    Q.        Thank you.

11                                Now, why did you need additional

12        documents?

13                    A.        Because I didn't have enough verbatim

14        material. I didn't have enough of the same

15        words, the same letter combinations, repeated

16        sufficiently to be able to establish habituality,

17        to be able to establish handwriting patterns.

18                    Q.        And that's why you were constantly

19        seeking more writings.

20                    A.        That's correct.

21                    Q.        Now, let's look at some of your

22        findings that are in Defendant's Exhibit 6.

23                                First of all, Finding Number 1, you

24        state, and this is Page 2 of Defendant's Exhibit

25        6, "The handwriting on the ransom note is a


 1          classic example of an attempt to disguise the

 2          true handwriting habits of the writer."

 3                                  In your judgment is it prudent for a

 4          person who is writing by hand a ransom note to

 5          try to disguise his or her handwriting?

 6                      A.        It is prudent.

 7                      Q.        You would be very surprised if the

 8          author of a handwritten ransom note did not try

 9          to disguise his or her handwriting; would you

10        not, sir?

11                    A.        It would be unusual.

12                    Q.        Now, did you, when you made this

13        finding about the ransom note itself, did you

14        consider whether the ransom note was written

15        under stress?

16                    A.        I did consider that.

17                    Q.        Did you find any indication that the

18        author of the ransom note had lapsed into an

19        earlier type or style of handwriting?

20                    A.        No. The poor line quality of the

21        writing can be attributed to stress, it could be

22        attributed to disguise, it could be attributed

23        to an unconscious return to an earlier form of

24        writing. But in my evaluation of the writing I

25        felt that it was most likely that it was --


 1          the poor line quality was due to disguise,

 2          rather than to other reasons.

 3                      Q.        So you found no indication at all --

 4          you did not conclude in 2001 and you do not

 5          conclude now that the author of the ransom note

 6          lapsed into earlier handwriting habits; am I

 7          correct?

 8                      A.        I found that the writing was of a

 9          poor quality; that the writing, the

10        microstructure of the writing line was such that

11        it could have been either the person writing

12        under stress or a conscious attempt to disguise.

13        I felt there was more evidence of a conscious

14        attempt to disguise.

15                    Q.        You never ruled out the effect of

16        stress with regard to the handwriting in the

17        ransom note; did you, sir?

18                    A.        Not entirely, no.

19                    Q.        You never ruled it out in 2001, you

20        never ruled it out in the year 2000, and you

21        have not ruled it out today; have you, sir?

22                    A.        I haven't ruled out that it could be

23        a contributing factor to the poor line quality.

24                    Q.        And, as a matter of fact, is it

25        possible that the author of this ransom note was


 1          not under stress, under severe stress, if the

 2          author of the ransom note had murdered JonBenet

 3          Ramsey shortly before writing the note or did

 4          murder JonBenet Ramsey shortly after writing the

 5          ransom note?

 6                      A.        Are you asking would the person be

 7          under stress at that time?

 8                      Q.        I'm asking is it possible that the

 9          author of the ransom note was not under stress?

10                    A.        I don't know how I could answer a

11        question like that. I mean, I have to go by

12        what I have in front of me to examine, and

13        based on my experience and having seen disguise

14        for so many years, I felt that it was more as

15        a result of disguise than it was as a result

16        of stress.

17                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, have you seen any of

18        the photographs that depict the brutality of the

19        murder of JonBenet Ramsey?

20                    A.        I have not.

21                    Q.        Have you read articles about the

22        brutality of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey?

23                    A.        I have not.

24                    Q.        Turn, please, to the third page of

25        Defendant's Exhibit 6. Am I correct,


 1          Mr. Epstein, that you reminded Mr. Hoffman in

 2          your paragraph numbered 3, found on Page 3 of

 3          Defendant's Exhibit 6, that, "This forensic

 4          examination was not undertaken with the belief

 5          that a definitive finding concerning the

 6          authorship of the note could be established with

 7          the type and quantity of known writing presently

 8          available, end quote?

 9                      A.        That's correct.

10                    Q.        And what I've just read from your

11        report is true; isn't it?

12                    A.        It is true, yes.

13                    Q.        From what you had available, you

14        knew you could not make a definitive finding;

15        correct?

16                    A.        That's correct.

17                    Q.        And, therefore, did you not make a

18        definitive finding; correct?

19                    A.        That's correct.

20                    Q.        In fact, your whole purpose and your

21        whole assignment as you and Mr. Hoffman had

22        worked it out at that time, in February of

23        2001, or by that time, was to quote determine

24        if further forensic examinations of Patsy

25        Ramsey's handwriting is justified, end quote.


 1                      A.        That's correct.

 2                      Q.        You said that was your purpose and,

 3          indeed, it is true that that was your purpose;

 4          correct?

 5                      A.        That was my purpose.

 6                      Q.        And you also told Mr. Hoffman

 7          exactly what you needed; true?

 8                      A.        I did.

 9                      Q.        You needed the originals of Exhibits

10        2 through 9.

11                    A.        And we also discussed other known

12        documents.

13                    Q.        By this time in February 2001 when

14        you completed this report, how many hours had

15        you spent on the matter of this ransom note

16        assisting Darnay Hoffman?

17                    A.        Up to this point, the majority of

18        the time was involved with the ransom note

19        itself, not so much with the known writing,

20        because I recognized that the known writing was

21        inadequate for any kind of a definitive finding.

22                                So the majority of the time, and I

23        would say, I don't know, 20, 25 hours, was

24        devoted to identifying the habitual handwriting

25        characteristics and the consistency of those


 1          habits within the ransom note and to try to

 2          identify whether or not the degree of disguise

 3          would somehow limit the possibility of an

 4          identification.

 5                      Q.        And about how much time in total up

 6          to now?

 7                      A.        Once I received the exemplars, which

 8          if you will recall in my report I relied on

 9          the exemplars only in my report and not the

10        standards, when I stated my conclusions, after I

11        received the exemplars I devoted a great deal of

12        time to going over all of the handwriting of

13        Patsy Ramsey taken at various times to determine

14        whether or not I had enough and sufficient

15        significant handwriting characteristics in

16        comparison with the ransom note to be able to

17        reach any kind of a definitive conclusion.

18                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, by February 25, 2001,

19        how much total time had you spent assisting

20        Darnay Hoffman with regard to the ransom note

21        found at the home of John and Patsy Ramsey?

22                    A.        About 20 to 25 hours.

23                    Q.        Thank you. And let me make sure

24        that we're all clear, that before February 25,

25        2001 you had agreed, for the reasons you've told


 1          us earlier, you had agreed to be an expert

 2          witness and to assist Darnay Hoffman on a pro

 3          bono basis; correct?

 4                      A.        I had agreed to do the examinations

 5          of the writing, right, on a --

 6                      Q.        On a pro bono basis.

 7                      A.        -- on a pro bono basis.

 8                      Q.        For the reasons you've given us

 9          earlier.

10                    A.        Exactly.

11                    Q.        When did you first see the original

12        of the ransom note in this case?

13                    A.        I've never seen the original of the

14        ransom note.

15                    Q.        Well, what generation copy was the

16        copy you saw?

17                    A.        I couldn't tell you what generation

18        it was because I don't know -- it was not

19        possible to establish from the copy I received

20        what generation it was, but it was a copy that

21        was sufficient in quality to identify those

22        areas of the handwriting that had to be

23        examined.

24                    Q.        When did you first see the original

25        of what you in your report refer to as Exhibit


 1          2?

 2                      A.        I never received -- I don't believe

 3          I received copies -- could I look at my next

 4          report?

 5                      Q.        Please, indeed.

 6                      A.        Yes, I always referred to those

 7          documents as copies. I don't believe I was

 8          ever given the originals of those documents.

 9                      Q.        You say those documents. I was

10        asking you about Exhibit 2.

11                    A.        Exhibit 2.

12                    Q.        Did you ever receive or review or

13        see the original of Exhibit 3?

14                    A.        No, nor 4, nor 5, nor 6, nor 7, nor

15        8, nor 9.

16                    Q.        To your knowledge, Mr. Epstein, have

17        any of your reports been sent to the Boulder

18        Police Department?

19                    A.        I would have no knowledge of that.

20        If they have, I'm not aware of it.

21                    Q.        Did Mr. Hoffman not tell you that he

22        was going to send your report to the Boulder

23        police?

24                    A.        He did not.

25                    Q.        You did not authorize that?


 1                      A.        I was not aware of it.

 2                      Q.        Have you ever spoken to anyone with

 3          the Boulder police?

 4                      A.        I have not.

 5                      Q.        Have you ever spoken to anyone with

 6          the district attorney's office in Colorado that

 7          investigated the murder of JonBenet Ramsey?

 8                      A.        I have not.

 9                      Q.        In 1996, 1997, 1998 or 1999, were

10        you contacted by any law enforcement

11        representatives with respect to the authorship of

12        the ransom note found at the home of John and

13        Patsy Ramsey?

14                    A.        I was not.

15                    Q.        Did you volunteer your assistance in

16        any way in 1996, 1997, 1998 or 1999 to any law

17        enforcement official with respect to the ransom

18        note or its authorship?

19                    A.        I did write actually two letters.

20        When I became familiar with the case, and, I

21        think, in fact, I may have even mentioned it to

22        Mr. Hoffman, I did contact the previous district

23        attorney's office in Boulder, along with my CV,

24        offering my services on a pro bono basis, and I

25        never received an answer from him.


 1                                  When the new district attorney took

 2          office, I did the same thing. I wrote a

 3          letter to her and also never received a reply.

 4                      Q.        Can you tell us approximately the

 5          dates that you wrote those letters?

 6                      A.        I believe I have a copy of the

 7          second letter. I don't believe I have a copy

 8          of the first letter.

 9                                  The dates, the letter going to the

10        present one was shortly after she took office,

11        when she replaced the previous district attorney,

12        and the original letter, I really can't recall

13        when that was. I mean, it was after I had had

14        an opportunity to look at the writing and study

15        the note, but prior to my being retained by

16        Mr. Hoffman.

17                    Q.        Do you have any of those letters

18        here with you today?

19                    A.        I do not, no.

20                    Q.        Do you have the second letter back

21        in your office?

22                    A.        I do.

23                    Q.        Can you please share that with us?

24                    A.        Certainly.

25                    Q.        Is there a copy of the first letter


 1          back in your office?

 2                      A.        No. I looked for the first letter.

 3          Actually, I don't know why it wasn't in my

 4          files or my database. But I couldn't locate

 5          the first one. But I did send one and they

 6          may have it, I don't know.

 7                      Q.        And did you, in either one of those

 8          letters, did you volunteer any conclusion about

 9          the matter?

10                    A.        I did not.

11                    Q.        Any opinion about the matter?

12                    A.        I did not.

13                    Q.        Did you hold any opinion about the

14        matter?

15                    A.        The only thing I stated was that I

16        felt that I could be of assistance to them, and

17        that I would be willing to work the case on a

18        pro bono basis.

19                    Q.        At that time had you seen any

20        reproduction or copy of the ransom note in any

21        medium whatsoever?

22                    A.        I did have copies of the ransom

23        note, yes.

24                    Q.        How had you obtained them?

25                    A.        I believe that those copies were


 1          given to me by Mr. Zieglar, but it was prior

 2          to my involvement with Mr. Hoffman. I had

 3          already seen -- or seen the copies of the

 4          ransom note, and I had also seen some of the

 5          known writing --

 6                      Q.        Of?

 7                      A.        -- of Patsy Ramsey.

 8                      Q.        But you did not say so to the

 9          Boulder district attorney.

10                    A.        I did not, no. All I was doing was

11        telling -- I simply offered my services to them.

12                    Q.        Did you ever get a phone call in

13        return?

14                    A.        No, I never received any answer from

15        them.

16                    Q.        Had you reached any conclusion when

17        you wrote your second letter to the Boulder

18        district attorney?

19                    A.        No, I hadn't, because I had not done

20        all of the examinations that were necessary.

21        All I was doing was offering my services to do

22        the examinations.

23                    Q.        When did you first do a detailed

24        study of the ransom note itself?

25                    A.        It was probably around the end of --


 1          the end of 2000 or the very beginning of 2001

 2          when I was given copies of the ransom note.

 3                      Q.        Did you draw up a master plan as a

 4          result of your study of the ransom note?

 5                      A.        A master plan?

 6                      Q.        Yes.

 7                      A.        I don't know what you mean by that.

 8          I went through the note and identified the

 9          significant handwriting similarities, and I

10        numbered the lines, I identified various

11        combinations of habits that were repeated

12        throughout the note. I studied the writing over

13        a considerable period of time. I did those

14        kinds of things.

15                                But as far as a master plan, I'm

16        not sure what you mean by that.

17                    Q.        And did you commit to writing your

18        observations about the ransom note that you've

19        just described to us, the significant handwriting

20        similarities, the various combinations of habits

21        that were repeated throughout the note?

22                    A.        They were reflected in my work right

23        here (indicating).

24                    Q.        Well, you're showing us pages of

25        your report, but did you, when you first studied


 1          the ransom note, create a written document or

 2          any notes that --

 3                      A.        I did not.

 4                      Q.        -- summarized your study of the

 5          ransom note?

 6                      A.        What I created was the information

 7          that led to the creation of these charts.

 8                      Q.        And did you create that in writing?

 9                      A.        I did not create it in writing. I

10        created it through actually cutting out the

11        various combinations and various words within the

12        ransom note and comparing them against the known

13        similar writings from the exemplars.

14                    Q.        When you wrote your first letter to

15        the Boulder district attorney, this being Alex

16        Hunter, I assume; am I correct?

17                    A.        Yes.

18                    Q.        Had you at that time seen the ransom

19        note?

20                    A.        Yes, I had.

21                    Q.        Had you at that time seen any

22        documents attributed to Patsy Ramsey?

23                    A.        Yes, I had seen some copies of the

24        normal course of business writings.

25                    Q.        And are those exhibits listed in


 1          your report?

 2                      A.        They are.

 3                      Q.        Which ones, please?

 4                      A.        I believe they were the Exhibits 2

 5          through 9.

 6                      Q.        So you had seen Exhibits 2 through

 7          9, as you used those numbers in your report

 8          dated February 25, 2001, at the time of your

 9          first and at the time of your second letter to

10        the Boulder district attorney.

11                    A.        I did not identify any exhibits in

12        my letter.

13                    Q.        No, sir, my question is different.

14        You had seen --

15                    A.        Yes.

16                    Q.        -- Exhibits 2 through 9 as you used

17        those numbers in your February 25, 2001 report

18        before either one of your letters to the Boulder

19        district attorney that you've told us about

20        today; true?

21                    A.        Would you ask that again? I'm not

22        sure exactly what you're asking.

23                    Q.        You wrote to district attorney Alex

24        Hunter volunteering your services.

25                    A.        Right.


 1                      Q.        You later wrote to his successor,

 2          Mary Keenan; did you not, sir?

 3                      A.        Right, that was the name, yes.

 4                      Q.        And before sending the first of

 5          those letters, you had seen both the ransom note

 6          and Exhibits 2 through 9, as you use those

 7          exhibit numbers in your February 25, 2001

 8          report.

 9                      A.        I had seen -- I had seen those

10        exhibits, yes.

11                    Q.        And did you state in either one of

12        those letters that there was any indication

13        known to you that Patsy Ramsey authored the

14        ransom note?

15                    A.        I did not.

16                    Q.        And did you have any information or

17        conclusion or opinion at the time you wrote

18        either letter that --

19                    A.        No, and I didn't -- and I didn't --

20                    Q.        -- excuse me, let me finish, please.

21                                Mr. Epstein, this is an important

22        case.

23                    A.        I --

24                    Q.        Mr. Wolf is accusing Patsy Ramsey of

25        murder.


 1                      A.        Right.

 2                      Q.        He's accusing John Ramsey of covering

 3          it up, and it's important that this record has

 4          both my question and your answer.

 5                      A.        I understand.

 6                      Q.        So would you please let me finish?

 7                      A.        Certainly.

 8                      Q.        When you wrote district attorney Alex

 9          Hunter and when you wrote district attorney

10        Keenan, did you hold any opinion or conclusion

11        that there was any indication that Patsy Ramsey

12        authored the ransom note?

13                    A.        I did not. I -- from what I had

14        seen, I felt that there were additional

15        examinations that were warranted, and that I

16        felt that if additional known writing that was

17        necessary to do a proper examination could be

18        collected and obtained, that an examination could

19        be conducted.

20                    Q.        In volunteering your services or

21        assistance to the Boulder district attorney, did

22        you inform the Boulder district attorney that

23        your investigation would be limited to Patsy

24        Ramsey?

25                    A.        No, I did not.


 1                      Q.        Did you suggest that your examination

 2          would involve Patsy Ramsey?

 3                      A.        No, I did not.

 4                      Q.        Did you use the name of any person

 5          in your letter --

 6                      A.        I didn't.

 7                      Q.        -- other than JonBenet Ramsey?

 8                      A.        I did not. I did not indicate in

 9          any way which way, you know, I would reach any

10        kind of conclusion. My whole point of this and

11        what I've always said from the beginning is that

12        I just felt that there was not -- a sufficient

13        type or proper examination had not been

14        conducted.

15                    Q.        Did you ask the Boulder district

16        attorney to furnish you the originals of

17        Defendant's Exhibits --

18                    A.        No, I didn't, because I first --

19                    Q.        -- I'm sorry, of Exhibits 2 through

20        9?

21                    A.        I did not ask them for anything. I

22        was simply introducing myself.

23                    Q.        Turn with me, please, to Page 3,

24        again of Defendant's Exhibit 6. At the top of

25        the page in the first full sentence on that


 1          page your report states as follows: "Based on

 2          the presently available documents, there are

 3          strong indications that Patsy Ramsey is the

 4          author of the ransom note."

 5                                  Did I read that correctly?

 6                      A.        You did. Strong indications is not

 7          a definitive conclusion, it's only indications.

 8          There were characteristics within the known

 9          writing that I had at that time that were

10        comparable, and that were -- that if additional

11        known writing could be obtained of a sufficient

12        amount that there were indications that the

13        findings could be strengthened, but at this

14        point in time, it was strictly indications.

15                    Q.        When you wrote Alex Hunter and

16        volunteered your assistance, did you tell him

17        there were such strong indications?

18                    A.        I did not.

19                    Q.        Did you believe there were?

20                    A.        Myself?

21                    Q.        Yes, sir.

22                    A.        In my own mind, I believed there

23        were. But I never expressed them to anyone.

24                    Q.        When you wrote to district attorney

25        Keenan and volunteered your assistance, did you


 1          tell her that in your judgment there were quote

 2          strong indications close quote?

 3                      A.        No, I did not. I did not.

 4                      Q.        Did you believe there were?

 5                      A.        I believed there were, but I didn't

 6          express it.

 7                                  MR. RAWLS: All right. This is a

 8          good time for a lunch break.

 9                                  THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record at

10        12:56 p.m.

11                                (Recess).

12                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: On the record at

13        2:12 p.m.

14                    BY MR. RAWLS:

15                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, in 1996, 1997, 1998 and

16        1999, what was your familiarity with the murder

17        investigation into the death of JonBenet Ramsey?

18                    A.        Only what I had read in the

19        newspapers and magazines, which was just

20        basically a description of the crime. I didn't

21        know any more than the average person who read

22        the paper.

23                    Q.        Have you read about the lawsuit

24        which Mr. Darnay Hoffman had filed against

25        district attorney Alex Hunter?


 1                      A.        No, I didn't.

 2                      Q.        Were you aware that Mr. Hoffman had

 3          sued and claimed that the district attorney,

 4          Alex hunter, should be required to charge the

 5          Ramseys with murder?

 6                      A.        No, I'm not familiar with that.

 7                      Q.        Do you know the outcome of that

 8          case?

 9                      A.        I don't, no.

10                    Q.        That's never been shared with you by

11        Mr. Hoffman.

12                    A.        No.

13                    Q.        Or by anybody else.

14                    A.        No.

15                    Q.        Did you review any handwriting report

16        of Larry Zieglar?

17                    A.        Yes, I did.

18                    Q.        With respect to the ransom note?

19                    A.        Right.

20                    Q.        Left -- or found at the home of

21        John and Patsy Ramsey?

22                    A.        The initial report. I don't believe

23        he ever did a final Article 26 report.

24                    Q.        And when did you read the initial

25        report of Larry Zieglar?


 1                      A.        As far as the date, I really can't

 2          tell you. He -- after he had done the

 3          examination he showed me the report and asked me

 4          to read it over to see if it -- you know, if

 5          there was anything that I saw in there that he

 6          had left out or, you know, that didn't -- where

 7          he didn't use the proper wording or whatever.

 8                                  It was just basically to see if it

 9          was -- if he had covered the subjects that he

10        was required to cover, that kind of thing. I

11        don't even really recall, you know, exactly what

12        he had said in the report because we did our

13        work independently. He did his examinations and

14        I did mine. And -- but I did have occasion to

15        see his report prior to him finalizing it.

16                    Q.        Did you see any report of his in

17        the year 2000?

18                    A.        I only saw one report. I don't

19        know whether that was the report in 2000 or

20        whether it was a different report.

21                    Q.        Well, let me --

22                    A.        I think he only provided one report.

23        I don't know.

24                    Q.        He only provided one to you; is that

25        true?


 1                      A.        I've only seen one that I know of.

 2                      Q.        And do you know if you saw that

 3          while you were still employed by the Immigration

 4          and Naturalization Service?

 5                      A.        I believe I was.

 6                      Q.        Did you see Larry Zieglar's report

 7          before you were retained by Darnay Hoffman?

 8                      A.        I think I had already been retained

 9          by Darnay Hoffman and I think I had just

10        retired. Really, the date of when I first saw

11        it is not that clear in my mind, but I recall

12        that -- I think that I had already been

13        retained.

14                    Q.        And what did you tell Larry Zieglar

15        about whether his report covered the subjects

16        that it should cover?

17                    A.        I recall that there was nothing in

18        the report that I really found, you know, that

19        I could comment on. I mean, I read the

20        report, it sounded fine. Larry Zieglar writes

21        a, you know, a good report, he's been writing

22        them for years. I think he just wanted to

23        show it to me, basically, before he sent it

24        out. But I don't recall making any comments

25        about anything that he had to change in the


 1          report.

 2                                  Basically it was -- it covered, I

 3          imagine, whatever it was supposed to cover. I

 4          don't really recall.

 5                                  (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

 6          7 was marked for identification).

 7                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, let me show you

 8          Defendant's Exhibit-7 and ask you to take a look

 9          at it, please, and tell us if this is the

10        report you saw.

11                    A.        This looks like, best of my

12        recollection, what I remember seeing.

13                    Q.        Did you copy from Mr. Zieglar's

14        report any language for your own?

15                    A.        I did not. Mr. Zieglar saw my

16        report. I don't know whether he saw my report

17        first or his report came to me first. I just

18        don't remember the sequence of events, but I

19        know that I didn't take anything from his

20        report.

21                    Q.        Let me share with you, or ask you

22        to focus, please, on the following language on

23        Page 2 of Defendant's Exhibit 7, and this is

24        from the paragraph numbered 2.

25                    A.        Okay.


 1                      Q.        It's in the sentence beginning "but

 2          rather", and the quote I want to --

 3                      A.        You said Page 2?

 4                      Q.        Page 2, Number 2.

 5                      A.        Okay.

 6                      Q.        The language --

 7                      A.        Oh, but rather. I see it, yes.

 8                      Q.        Do you see the language that

 9          follows, quote was undertaken to determine if

10        further forensic examinations of Patsy Ramsey's

11        handwriting is warranted. Do you see that?

12                    A.        Uh-huh.

13                    Q.        Did I read it correctly?

14                    A.        You did.

15                    Q.        That identical verbatim language is

16        found in Paragraph 3 of your report, which is

17        Defendant's Exhibit 6. How can you account for

18        that, please?

19                    A.        I can account for that because my

20        report -- Larry Zieglar saw my report before I

21        saw his report and he probably borrowed that

22        sentence. We were asked -- we were asked the

23        same questions. We were asked to establish the

24        same thing.

25                                After I had done my draft report, I


 1          know I showed it to Larry, he showed me his,

 2          and now that that's in there I know that I

 3          didn't take it from him, so if it's the same

 4          sentence then he must have taken it from mine

 5          because I didn't take it from his report.

 6                      Q.        And would I be correct in stating

 7          this as fact, Mr. Epstein: Before you finalized

 8          your 2001 report to Mr. Hoffman you showed it

 9          to Larry Zieglar; is that true?

10                    A.        After I had done my examination,

11        yes.

12                    Q.        And before Larry Zieglar finalized

13        his 2001 report, which is Defendant's Exhibit 7,

14        he shared it with you.

15                    A.        That's correct.

16                    Q.        And at least one of you borrowed

17        language of the other.

18                    A.        It appears to be. But I can tell

19        you that I did not borrow his language, so

20        therefore he must have borrowed mine.

21                    Q.        Did you suggest any language for

22        Mr. Zieglar's report?

23                    A.        No, I didn't suggest any language.

24        Larry was well aware of the limitations that we

25        had at the time, and his examinations -- it's


 1          not unusual to come to similar language because

 2          basically in questioned document work there are

 3          certain standard sentences that are used in

 4          different types of conclusions, and we were both

 5          working with the same documents, we both came to

 6          the same conclusions. But as far as that

 7          particular sentence, it's very possible that he

 8          borrowed it from me.

 9                      Q.        Well, when you read his report

10        before he completed it, did it strike you as

11        strange that he used verbatim identical

12        phrases --

13                    A.        I really --

14                    Q.        -- from your report?

15                    A.        I'm sorry for interrupting you. But

16        I really didn't remember that that sentence was

17        verbatim from mine when I read it. I mainly

18        was looking to see whether the exhibits were

19        listed, whether or not, you know, he had

20        answered the question. But as far as the words

21        that he used, I wasn't really that concerned

22        with it.

23                    Q.        Who is James Gardiner?

24                    A.        James Gardiner?

25                    Q.        Yes, sir.


 1                      A.        I think he's the individual that I

 2          also received some writing from, or he was

 3          somehow involved, I think he was a homeless

 4          person. Is this the homeless person that was

 5          living in --

 6                      Q.        I don't know, I'm asking you.

 7                      A.        And I say, my memory is very sketchy

 8          because I didn't really do very much with

 9          anything from James Gardiner, but I remember

10        that the name rings a bell, but I'm not

11        specific as to exactly who he is.

12                    Q.        So Mr. Darnay Hoffman furnished you

13        with handwriting exemplars which he told you

14        were from Patsy Ramsey; correct?

15                    A.        That's correct.

16                    Q.        He furnished you with handwriting

17        exemplars which he told you were from Chris

18        Wolf; is that correct?

19                    A.        I believe so, yes.

20                    Q.        And he furnished you with handwriting

21        exemplars which he told you were from James

22        Gardiner; am I correct about that as well?

23                    A.        Whether those were exemplars or some

24        other kind of writing, I did receive something

25        from James Gardiner, but I don't know if you


 1          could classify them as exemplars, that is

 2          collect writings, or not. I don't believe they

 3          were exemplars. I think they were some kind of

 4          writing.

 5                      Q.        Now, did you eliminate Chris Wolf as

 6          the author of the ransom note based on Chris

 7          Wolf's handwriting alone at any time?

 8                      A.        No, I didn't, because again --

 9                      Q.        "No" is sufficient, Mr. Epstein.

10                    A.        Okay.

11                    Q.        Did you at any time eliminate James

12        Gardiner as the author of the ransom note based

13        on his own handwriting alone?

14                    A.        I did not, no.

15                    Q.        Now, you gave a Rule 26 report to

16        Mr. Hoffman containing a conclusion of yours

17        that Patsy Ramsey authored the ransom note; did

18        you not, sir?

19                    A.        I did.

20                    Q.        What is your degree of certainty

21        yourself as you sit here today that Patsy Ramsey

22        wrote the note?

23                    A.        I am absolutely certain that she

24        wrote the note.

25                    Q.        Is that 60 percent certain?


 1                      A.        No, that's 100 percent certain.

 2                      Q.        You are 100 percent certain that

 3          Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom note in this case;

 4          is that your testimony?

 5                      A.        Yes, it is.

 6                      Q.        And the word 100 percent came out of

 7          your mouth, not mine; correct?

 8                      A.        That's correct.

 9                      Q.        At least first.

10                    A.        That's correct.

11                    Q.        And you are an individual who, to

12        the best of your knowledge, has never made an

13        error in determining the authorship of a

14        document; am I correct?

15                    A.        As I stated, if I have, and it's

16        very possible that I have, it's never been

17        brought to my attention.

18                    Q.        You will acknowledge that as a human

19        being the possibility of error is a part of

20        your genetic makeup.

21                    A.        Absolutely.

22                    Q.        But you will not testify that

23        there's any possibility of a mistake on your

24        part with respect to Patsy Ramsey; am I correct?

25                    A.        No, that's -- in regards to Patsy


 1          Ramsey I feel that the conclusion that I reached

 2          is the correct one, and that is that she is

 3          the author of that note.

 4                      Q.        And again, that is with not just a

 5          little bit certainty, that is with 100 percent

 6          positive conviction.

 7                      A.        Yes, sir.

 8                      Q.        Do you know Lou Smit?

 9                      A.        Lou Smith. I don't believe so.

10                    Q.        Do you know who he is?

11                    A.        I don't think so.

12                    Q.        Have you seen him on television?

13                    A.        Not that I can recall.

14                    Q.        You are, by the way -- you have had

15        some contact with Nebraska, I believe I recall

16        in your testimony and in your resume. I

17        believe that was your college; is it not?

18                    A.        Right.

19                    Q.        University of Nebraska? Did you

20        ever come to know Mr. Robert Stratbucker?

21                    A.        I don't believe so.

22                    Q.        Do you know who he is?

23                    A.        I don't.

24                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, Lou Smit, for your

25        information, is a retired former homicide


 1          investigator who was asked by the Boulder Police

 2          Department to come out of retirement and assist

 3          in the investigation into the murder of JonBenet

 4          Ramsey. Does that ring a bell for you of any

 5          sort?

 6                      A.        No.

 7                      Q.        That does not help you determine who

 8          he is.

 9                      A.        No.

10                    Q.        We have in the case called upon

11        Mr. Smit to share some of the results of his

12        investigation, and we've asked him to place that

13        in evidence and I'm going to share with you

14        some of the portions of Lou Smit's own personal

15        presentation as he has shared it with us.

16                                Would you please mark this

17        Defendant's Exhibit-8, I believe is next.

18                                (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

19        8 was marked for identification).

20                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, this is a series, this

21        Defendant's Exhibit 8 which I'm about to hand

22        you, is a series of one, two, three, four,

23        five, six, seven pages of information which

24        comes -- these pages come from one portion of

25        Lou Smit's presentation.


 1                                  First, Mr. Smit -- and this is Page

 2          1, if I could ask you to direct your attention,

 3          please, to this case. Mr. Smit identifies six

 4          individuals who have evaluated the ransom note.

 5          First I want to ask you, are you familiar with

 6          Chet Ubowski?

 7                      A.        I've met him many years ago. I'm

 8          not really acquainted with him, but I think I've

 9          met him.

10                    Q.        Do you know that he is --

11                    A.        I do know that he's a document

12        examiner at the Colorado bureau.

13                    Q.        Have you seen his name in the press

14        reports you have followed about the Ramsey case?

15                    A.        I have, yes.

16                    Q.        Do you know Leonard Speckin?

17                    A.        He's a chemist. Yes, I know him.

18                    Q.        Is he a qualified document examiner?

19                    A.        Not in my view, no.

20                    Q.        Do you know Edwin Alford?

21                    A.        Ed Alford I've known for many years.

22                    Q.        Is he a qualified document examiner?

23                    A.        He is.

24                    Q.        Do you know Lloyd Cunningham?

25                    A.        I do know him, yes.


 1                      Q.        Is he a qualified document examiner?

 2                      A.        He has all of the credentials.

 3                      Q.        Do you mean to say he is or he is

 4          not?

 5                      A.        I really don't know much about his

 6          work.

 7                      Q.        But by all of the credentials, does

 8          that include board certification?

 9                      A.        I believe he's board certified. I'm

10        not sure.

11                    Q.        By the proper board, not by the --

12                    A.        Yeah, whenever I say board certified

13        I'm only assuming one board. And I believe he

14        is, but I don't really know for sure.

15                    Q.        Do you know Richard Dusick?

16                    A.        Secret Service, yes.

17                    Q.        Is he a qualified document examiner?

18                    A.        Best of my knowledge, he is.

19                    Q.        The Secret Service is more often

20        involved with criminal investigations than the

21        INS is; is it not, sir?

22                    A.        Dusick has a special job there. He

23        works with a particular database. I don't know

24        how much actual handwriting work he does.

25                                I mean, he works with what's known


 1          as the Fish database, it's a database for

 2          handwriting, and he's pretty much responsible for

 3          that. But I have -- you know, I have no

 4          qualms about his qualification.

 5                      Q.        What is the Fish database?

 6                      A.        It's an automated database that was

 7          developed by the Germans to track similar

 8          handwriting characteristics, and they use it for

 9          their threatening letters against the president

10        and members of the cabinet.

11                                What they do is they capture these

12        particular notes and later they're able to

13        search these notes by handwriting characteristics

14        to see whether or not that particular writer has

15        ever been identified before, ever written a note

16        before.

17                    Q.        And now back to the question that I

18        asked you a couple of questions ago, is this

19        true or is this false, that the Secret Service

20        is more often involved with criminal

21        investigations than is the INS?

22                    A.        That's true.

23                    Q.        Thank you. And do you know Howard

24        Rile?

25                    A.        I do.


 1                      Q.        Is he a qualified document examiner?

 2                      A.        He meets all the qualifications.

 3                      Q.        And you don't mean to be criticizing

 4          him or his skills when you say that; do you?

 5                      A.        Again, I've never really seen Howard

 6          Rile's work. I know that he's one of the

 7          busiest private document examiners in the

 8          country. Probably has one of the largest

 9          practices, and he's been doing it for 20 years,

10        so -- but I've never seen his work. We've

11        never been involved in the same case. So he

12        meets all the qualifications.

13                    Q.        The fact is you have never seen his

14        work before this case.

15                    A.        That's correct.

16                    Q.        Am I correct? You have seen it in

17        this case; have you not?

18                    A.        I have.

19                    Q.        You have seen Lloyd Cunningham's work

20        in this case.

21                    A.        I have.

22                    Q.        Turn, please, to Page 2 of

23        Defendant's Exhibit 8. And according, at least,

24        to Lou Smit's presentation, Chet Ubowski of the

25        CBI found indications, that's the first bullet


 1          point.

 2                                  The second bullet point is Chet

 3          Ubowski found there is evidence which indicates

 4          that the ransom note may have been written by

 5          Patsy Ramsey.

 6                                  You found the same to be true, did

 7          you not, sir? There is such evidence.

 8                      A.        Yes, I did.

 9                      Q.        Mr. Ubowski, however, went on to

10        find, according to Lou Smit, as we see it here

11        in Defendant's Exhibit 8, that, quote, the

12        evidence falls short of that necessary to

13        support a definite conclusion, end quote. Did

14        you know before today that Mr. Ubowski had

15        reached that conclusion?

16                    A.        I don't believe I knew exactly what

17        conclusion he had reached, but I believe I did

18        know that he had some degree of indications. I

19        knew that his conclusion of the document

20        examiners that had been retained or used was the

21        strongest of the others, as compared to the

22        others.

23                    Q.        Where did you get the information

24        you've just told us that you knew?

25                    A.        Recently I was given a list of the


 1          document examiners that had work on the case.

 2                      Q.        From whom?

 3                      A.        From, I think, Mr. Darnay Hoffman.

 4                      Q.        Do you have that with you?

 5                      A.        No, I don't.

 6                      Q.        Do you have it in your office?

 7                      A.        I don't know that I even kept it.

 8          It may be in my office, but I didn't consider

 9          it, you know, that important.

10                    Q.        We would like a copy if you can

11        find that, please, sir.

12                    A.        Okay.

13                    Q.        When was the first time that you had

14        any information about Chet Ubowski's findings or

15        conclusions concerning the Ramsey note in this

16        case?

17                    A.        Well, I knew that Chet Ubowski had

18        worked on the case because he was a member of

19        the Colorado bureau and I think he was the

20        senior person in the Colorado bureau, or he's

21        not. But anyway, I knew that he was there.

22                                I knew that he had worked on it,

23        but I did not know what his findings or

24        conclusions were up until recently when I

25        received the note or the letter stating who the


 1          different --

 2                      Q.        How recently did you receive the

 3          note or letter from Darnay Hoffman stating who

 4          the different document examiners were who were

 5          involved in the case?

 6                      A.        I don't know. It might have been

 7          30 days, 45 days ago. I mean, it was fairly

 8          recent.

 9                      Q.        It was after you did your Rule 26

10        report in this case.

11                    A.        Yes, it was.

12                    Q.        Let's turn to the next page, please,

13        of Defendant's Exhibit 8, that being the page

14        concerning Leonard Speckin.

15                    A.        Speckin.

16                    Q.        Speckin, thank you. According to

17        Lou Smit's presentation, Mr. Speckin is a police

18        expert and a private forensic document analyst.

19        Do you agree that those are among Mr. Speckin's

20        credentials?

21                    A.        I know that that's what he

22        advertises himself to be, yes.

23                    Q.        When did you learn of Mr. Speckin's

24        conclusions about the ransom note?

25                    A.        At the same time as I did about all


 1          the others, about 30 to --

 2                      Q.        Thirty to forty-five days ago.

 3                      A.        That's correct.

 4                      Q.        When Mr. Hoffman sent you that

 5          letter did he send you these pages from Lou

 6          Smit's report?

 7                      A.        No.

 8                      Q.        Did Mr. Hoffman send you information

 9          that is consistent with this page that you're

10        now looking at, which is Page 3 of Defendant's

11        Exhibit 8?

12                    A.        So far it is, yes.

13                    Q.        Is it consistent with the entire

14        page of -- the entire third page of Defendant's

15        Exhibit 8?

16                    A.        I believe it's very similar to what

17        I read. I can't be sure that it's word for

18        word, but it's basically the same thing.

19                    Q.        According to Mr. Smit, and apparently

20        according to what you received independently from

21        Darnay Hoffman, Mr. Speckin concluded quote I

22        can find no evidence that Patsy Ramsey disguised

23        her handprinting exemplars, end quote.

24                                Do you yourself agree that there's

25        no evidence that Patsy Ramsey disguised her


 1          handprinting exemplars?

 2                      A.        No, I don't agree.

 3                      Q.        Okay. Mr. Speckin also, according

 4          to Lou Smit and apparently also according to

 5          what Mr. Hoffman shared with you before today,

 6          but sometime this year, am I correct?

 7                      A.        Yes.

 8                      Q.        Mr. Speckin also concluded, quote,

 9          when I compare the handprinting habits of Patsy

10        Ramsey with those presented in the questioned

11        ransom note, there exists agreement to the

12        extent that some of her individual letter

13        formations and letter combinations do appear in

14        the ransom note, end quote.

15                                Now, you would agree with that

16        bullet point; would you not, sir?

17                    A.        I would substitute the word "some"

18        for a different word, but I would not say some.

19        I would say all.

20                    Q.        You would edit one word.

21                    A.        Well, in that particular sentence.

22                    Q.        Exactly. And Mr. Speckin went on,

23        did he not, according to Lou Smit and to

24        previous information you received this year from

25        Darnay Hoffman, to conclude, "When this agreement


 1          is weighed against the number, type and

 2          consistency of the differences present, I am

 3          unable to identify Patsy Ramsey as the author of

 4          the questioned ransom note with any degree of

 5          certainty. I am, however, unable to eliminate

 6          her as the author."

 7                                  It is proper in the field of

 8          document examination, is it not, sir, to

 9          consider differences as well as similarities?

10                    A.        Absolutely.

11                    Q.        And you yourself are unable to

12        eliminate Patsy Ramsey as the author; are you

13        not?

14                    A.        I'm unable to eliminate her?

15                    Q.        Yes, sir.

16                    A.        I have identified her.

17                    Q.        You're unable to eliminate her, am I

18        not correct?

19                    A.        I could not eliminate her, no.

20                    Q.        Let's turn to the next page on Edwin

21        F. Alford, Jr. This is Page 4 of Defendant's

22        Exhibit 8. Did you learn about Mr. Alford's

23        conclusions from Darnay Hoffman this year for

24        the first time as well?

25                    A.        That's correct.


 1                      Q.        Did Mr. Hoffman's information given

 2          to you this year agree with Lou Smit's summary

 3          on Page 4 of Defendant's Exhibit 8?

 4                      A.        As I remember it, it's close to

 5          this, to the same thing.

 6                      Q.        He too did not find quote a basis

 7          for identifying Patricia Ramsey as the writer of

 8          the letter, end quote, as you understand the

 9          facts; am I correct?

10                    A.        That's what he says, yes.

11                    Q.        Indeed, as Lou Smit characterizes it,

12        he found quote lack of indications, end quote.

13                    A.        That's what he says.

14                    Q.        Now, if you assume, as you were told

15        by Darnay Hoffman and as Lou Smit tells us in

16        these three pages we have just seen, that Chet

17        Ubowski did find what is summarized on Page 2,

18        that Leonard Speckin did find what is summarized

19        on Page 3, and that Edwin Alford did find what

20        is summarized on Page 4, is it your best

21        judgment that these men were dishonest or

22        incompetent?

23                    A.        I wish I could tell you that I knew

24        what caused them to reach their conclusions, but

25        obviously I don't. But I do have my own


 1          feelings as to how the chain of events, starting

 2          from the very beginning, led up to a number of

 3          other document examiners coming to the same

 4          conclusion. And if you would like me to tell

 5          you what that is, I will.

 6                      Q.        Do you base it on facts?

 7                      A.        No, I can't base it on fact. I can

 8          base it on my experience with these people and

 9          with the profession as I know it, and what

10        happens within a profession as small as this

11        one.

12                    Q.        Let me ask you to turn for a moment

13        past the Lloyd Cunningham page to the page on

14        Richard Dusick. And I think there may be a

15        spelling error on this page of Lou Smit's

16        materials, but this is the next to last page.

17        Do you see that?

18                    A.        Richard Dusick.

19                    Q.        Yes, sir.

20                    A.        Okay, I have it.

21                    Q.        Did Mr. Hoffman give you earlier

22        this year for the first time a summary of

23        Mr. Dusick's conclusions that is consistent with

24        Lou Smit's presentation page on Richard Dusick?

25                    A.        Prior to receiving the letter that


 1          had all of these document examiners on it, I

 2          had heard, I believe from someone in the Secret

 3          Service or some document examiner in the

 4          government, that Richard Dusick had done some

 5          examinations in the case, and that he had --

 6          they didn't tell me exactly what his conclusion

 7          was, but they said that he had reached a

 8          conclusion where he felt that Patsy Ramsey had

 9          not done the ransom note, but I did not see

10        anything in writing or I didn't see anything as

11        to exactly what he said until I received the

12        letter.

13                    Q.        That is the letter from Darnay

14        Hoffman this year.

15                    A.        Right.

16                    Q.        Perhaps 30 to 45 days ago.

17                    A.        I believe so. I'm not exactly sure

18        of the time.

19                    Q.        And did Mr. Hoffman's letter provide

20        you information that is consistent with the page

21        that you see in Lou Smit's report?

22                    A.        Yes, I believe it is.

23                    Q.        So that, according both to Lou Smit

24        and to Darnay Hoffman, Richard Dusick found,

25        quote, lack of indications, end quote; true?


 1                      A.        That's what he seems to say, yes.

 2                      Q.        And according to Lou Smit and to

 3          Darnay Hoffman, Richard Dusick, document analyst

 4          for the United States Secret Service, concluded

 5          that a study and comparison of the questioned

 6          and specimen writing submitted has resulted in

 7          the conclusion that there is no evidence to

 8          indicate that Patsy Ramsey executed any of the

 9          questioned material appearing on the ransom note;

10        true?

11                                MR. ALTMAN: Jim, I would object to

12        form on that. You say according to Darnay

13        Hoffman. Are you indicating that he supplied

14        the document or are you indicating that

15        according to him this gentleman, Mr. Dusick, I

16        believe, stated what was stated? Maybe you want

17        to rephrase it.

18                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, what Darnay Hoffman told

19        you that Richard Dusick concluded is essentially

20        the same thing that Lou Smit's page tells you

21        Richard Dusick concluded; correct?

22                    A.        I believe so, yes.

23                    Q.        Now, of these individuals that we've

24        talked about so far -- they are Chet Ubowski,

25        Leonard Speckin, Edwin Alford and Richard Dusick


 1          -- is it your understanding that each of them

 2          was retained by the Colorado police and

 3          investigative authorities?

 4                      A.        I really don't know who retained

 5          them. I would just be guessing if I told you

 6          that I did.

 7                      Q.        You do know that the Colorado

 8          authorities for a time sought to make a case

 9          against Patsy Ramsey; do you not?

10                    A.        I do know that, yes.

11                    Q.        And employed several handwriting

12        analysts to attempt to determine whether a case

13        could be made to prosecute Patsy based on the

14        ransom note. Do you not know that?

15                    A.        I do know that such examinations

16        were done, yeah.

17                    Q.        If these individuals were, in fact,

18        hired by the Colorado authorities, do you know

19        of any reason to believe they would be biased

20        in favor of Patsy Ramsey?

21                    A.        No, I don't have any reason to

22        believe they were biased of Patsy Ramsey, but if

23        I -- could I continue with my answer, or were

24        you going to stop me there?

25                    Q.        I think you're finished with your


 1          answer.

 2                      A.        Well --

 3                      Q.        I think the answer was no.

 4                      A.        No, I'm not really finished.

 5                                  MR. ALTMAN: I think he's entitled

 6          to explain.

 7                      A.        I think there are some very

 8          important points that have to be made in order

 9          to really answer the question.

10                    Q.        To answer the question of bias?

11                    A.        Yes.

12                    Q.        Are you telling me you want to

13        speculate about the motives of these individuals?

14                    A.        I don't want to speculate, but I

15        feel that it's important to consider why some of

16        these conclusions were made.

17                    Q.        Do you have any information that is

18        going to tell us why these conclusions were made

19        that is not based on rank speculation on your

20        part?

21                                MR. ALTMAN: Objection as to the

22        form.

23                    A.        No.

24                    Q.        The answer was no? Does the record

25        have that? Was that your answer?


 1                      A.        That was my answer.

 2                      Q.        So if you added to your answer,

 3          which you told me you wanted to do, you would

 4          be adding material based purely on speculation?

 5          Am I correct?

 6                      A.        I don't know if you would call it

 7          pure speculation. It would certainly be -- it

 8          would be based on my experience with the

 9          profession over the many years, and if you want

10        to call that speculation then I suppose it would

11        be speculation.

12                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, I think you've told us

13        enough about whether that's based on speculation

14        or not.

15                                Now --

16                                MR. ALTMAN: So, Jim, I guess you

17        don't want him, then, to state the rest of his

18        response; is that correct?

19                                MR. WOOD: Rank speculation.

20                                MR. ALTMAN: I don't know that it's

21        rank speculation. If he has an opinion I feel

22        he's entitled to finish.

23                                MR. ALTMAN: Look, this is an

24        expert's opinion deposition. By definition, when

25        you ask an expert an answer normally it's their


 1          opinion, to the degree that it's their opinion,

 2          it's speculation, so it's almost a redundancy

 3          here.

 4                                  It's not rank speculation for him to

 5          comment on his observations concerning Patsy

 6          Ramsey's handwriting. It's not rank speculation

 7          to comment on his observation after 40, 50 years

 8          in the profession about how certain decisions

 9          are reached by groups of handwriting experts, so

10        to that degree I don't think it's more or less

11        than what you've been asking him or any other

12        expert this whole time.

13                                MR. RAWLS: I am ready to move to

14        the next question as soon as I'm permitted to

15        do so by opposing counsel.

16                    Q.        Would you turn, please, Mr. Epstein,

17        to the page on Lloyd Cunningham in Defendant's

18        Exhibit 8?

19                    A.        Okay.

20                    Q.        Did Mr. Hoffman share with you Lloyd

21        Cunningham's findings in his letter earlier this

22        year?

23                    A.        Lloyd Cunningham was listed as one

24        of the examiners.

25                    Q.        And, in fact, you have also read


 1          Lloyd Cunningham's expert witness report

 2          submitted under Federal Rule 26 for use in this

 3          case; have you not?

 4                      A.        I have.

 5                      Q.        You are, then, aware that

 6          Mr. Cunningham does find a lack of indications;

 7          are you not?

 8                      A.        I am.

 9                      Q.        That he concluded he cannot identify,

10        nor eliminate, Patsy Ramsey as the author of the

11        ransom note.

12                    A.        I'm familiar with that.

13                    Q.        That he has spent 20 hours examining

14        the samples and documents and found that there

15        were no significant individual characteristics,

16        but much significant difference between Patsy's

17        writing and the note.

18                                And may I say that Lou Smit's

19        presentation was based on the report Lloyd

20        Cunningham submitted before the Rule 26 expert

21        witness report in this case.

22                                And with that in mind, are you aware

23        that this page of Lou Smit's presentation is

24        accurate?

25                                MR. ALTMAN: Jim, I'd ask you to


 1          define if you would what you meant by accurate.

 2                      Q.        An accurate summary of Lloyd

 3          Cunningham's conclusions.

 4                      A.        This page is a summary of his

 5          conclusions.

 6                      Q.        And insofar as it summarizes his

 7          conclusions, you understand that Mr. Cunningham

 8          did, indeed, reach those conclusions.

 9                      A.        I understand that he did, yes.

10                    Q.        And turn, please, to the last page

11        of Lou Smit's report. This is the page on

12        Howard Rile. And do you know that Mr. Rile

13        was a -- was formerly with the CBI as a

14        document examiner?

15                    A.        Yeah, I'm aware of that.

16                    Q.        Do you know that Howard Rile, in

17        fact, trained Chet Ubowski?

18                    A.        I think it's the other way around.

19        I think Chet Ubowski trained Howard Rile.

20                    Q.        Well, according to -- well, it may

21        be that neither of us is correct. We --

22                    A.        I think Chet --

23                    Q.        We know that Lloyd Cunningham, if

24        Lou Smit is to be believed, on Page 1,

25        certified Chet Ubowski. In any case, regardless


 1          of who trained whom and who certified whom, did

 2          you understand that Howard Rile concluded that

 3          Patsy Ramsey probably did not author the ransom

 4          note?

 5                      A.        Yes, I'm familiar with that.

 6                      Q.        And that his opinion is that the

 7          likelihood that Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom

 8          note is between probably not on the one hand

 9          and elimination of Patsy Ramsey on the other.

10        Were you aware of that?

11                    A.        I was.

12                    Q.        And do you have any fact,

13        Mr. Epstein, that any of these individuals made

14        a report based on incompetence? And these

15        individuals, I mean Chet Ubowski, Leonard

16        Speckin, Edwin Alford, Lloyd Cunningham, Richard

17        Dusick and Howard Rile.

18                    A.        I, to be perfectly honest, don't

19        know how they reach their conclusions.

20                    Q.        But you certainly have no fact that

21        indicates it was based on incompetent.

22                    A.        I have no facts.

23                    Q.        And you have no facts that indicates

24        it was based on dishonesty.

25                    A.        I don't know why they reached or how


 1          they reached those conclusions.

 2                      Q.        Now, how many prosecutors, to the

 3          best of your knowledge, have looked at the

 4          evidence, at all of the evidence, not just

 5          handwriting analysis, concerning the murder of

 6          JonBenet Ramsey?

 7                      A.        I would have no idea.

 8                      Q.        But you would be surprised if only a

 9          small number of trained, experienced prosecutors

10        have looked at all of the body of evidence,

11        would you not, sir, in an unsolved murder case

12        dating from 1996?

13                    A.        I really don't know how many people

14        have looked at it.

15                    Q.        You certainly know that Alex Hunter

16        looked at it.

17                    A.        I would assume so.

18                    Q.        You certainly know that Ms. Keenan

19        looked at it?

20                    A.        Again, I would hope so.

21                    Q.        You know that each of their -- that

22        a group of assistants to each of them looked at

23        the evidence; do you know?

24                    A.        Again, I really don't know who

25        looked at it.


 1                      Q.        You know that a grand jury looked at

 2          the evidence; do you not, sir?

 3                      A.        I know that there was a grand jury,

 4          but I don't know what evidence they looked at.

 5                      Q.        You know the grand jury did not

 6          indict; do you not, sir?

 7                      A.        I'm aware of that.

 8                      Q.        Does Alex Hunter have credibility to

 9          you, sir?

10                    A.        I don't know Alex Hunter.

11                    Q.        You wrote to him volunteering your

12        assistance. Did you at the time believe him to

13        be a qualified, able district attorney and

14        prosecutor?

15                    A.        I wrote to him because he was the

16        district attorney, period.

17                                (WHEREUPON, Defendant's Exhibit Number

18        9 was marked for identification).

19                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, I'm showing you

20        Defendant's Exhibit-9, and for your benefit and

21        that of the record, this is -- this exhibit

22        consists of the cover page and Page 2 and 3 of

23        the initial pages of the transcript of the

24        deposition of Alex Hunter.

25                                Have you before today become familiar


 1          with anything Alex Hunter testified about in

 2          this case?

 3                      A.        Nothing.

 4                      Q.        So Mr. Hoffman's letter to you of

 5          some weeks earlier this year with reference to

 6          handwriting analysts did not including any

 7          reference to Alex Hunter's testimony; correct?

 8                      A.        It did not.

 9                      Q.        And I will tell you, Mr. Epstein,

10        that this deposition was taken by my co-counsel,

11        Lin Wood, and my colleague, Derek Bauer, out in

12        Boulder, Colorado in November of last year.

13                                I want to ask you to turn, please,

14        to the page that is actually the fourth page of

15        this exhibit, Defendant's Exhibit 9, but has at

16        the top of it Page Number 119.

17                    A.        Very well.

18                    Q.        And I'd like for you to simply read

19        to yourself from Line 9, and you'll see there's

20        a mark right above that line -- these are

21        questions by Mr. Wood, by the way, for your

22        information -- over to Page 122 and you'll see

23        a line there, but I want you to go a little

24        further.

25                                I want you to go down through Line


 1          11 on 122 and simply familiarizing yourself with

 2          this testimony before I ask you some questions

 3          about it.

 4                                  In fact, while you're doing so,

 5          Mr. Epstein, I think we're going to need the

 6          court reporter -- the videographer to change the

 7          video tape, so may we go off the record briefly

 8          while she does so?

 9                                  THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is the end

10        of Tape 2 to the deposition of Mr. Epstein.

11        The time is 3:01 and we're off the record.

12                                (Recess).

13                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is Tape

14        Number 3 to the deposition of Mr. Epstein. The

15        time is 3:10 p.m. and we're back on the record.

16                    BY MR. RAWLS:

17                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, did you have a chance

18        to view those pages --

19                    A.        I did.

20                    Q.        -- of former district attorney Alex

21        Hunter's testimony?

22                    A.        I did.

23                    Q.        Thank you. And of course, you do

24        understand, do you not, that part of the system

25        of justice in the United States is that a


 1          prosecutor has discretion whether to charge

 2          someone or not.

 3                      A.        I understand that.

 4                      Q.        That some crimes require an

 5          indictment by the grand jury under the United

 6          States Constitution.

 7                      A.        I understand that also.

 8                      Q.        And are you aware that prosecutors

 9          can decide that some cases should be pursued and

10        some cases should not?

11                    A.        Of course.

12                    Q.        And in your career with the

13        Immigration and Naturalization Service, you found

14        some evidence of crimes, did you not, from time

15        to time?

16                    A.        I have.

17                    Q.        But you alone could not make the

18        decision to accuse an individual of a crime

19        based solely on your own handwriting analysis;

20        could you, sir?

21                    A.        No, of course not.

22                    Q.        In our system it's vitally important

23        to the concept of justice and to the proper

24        prosecution of criminals that we have what's

25        called prosecutorial discretion to enter in; is


 1          it not?

 2                      A.        Yes, it is.

 3                      Q.        You've always understood that.

 4                      A.        I have.

 5                      Q.        You have always been comfortable with

 6          that decision; have you not?

 7                      A.        I have.

 8                      Q.        You yourself have never sued a

 9          prosecutor to claim that someone should be

10        prosecuted; have you, sir?

11                    A.        No, I haven't.

12                    Q.        You yourself have never been a

13        prosecutor.

14                    A.        I have not.

15                    Q.        And, consequently, where your own

16        role has come into contact with the criminal

17        process, you have been in the role of an expert

18        witness on handwriting; have you not, sir?

19                    A.        I have.

20                    Q.        Or on document examination.

21                    A.        That's correct.

22                    Q.        Correct? You have never been in the

23        role of making a decision whether to prosecute

24        someone or not.

25                    A.        No, I haven't.


 1                      Q.        And sometimes that decision by a

 2          prosecutor is a difficult decision; is it not?

 3                      A.        I would think it is.

 4                      Q.        And was Alex Hunter right, in your

 5          judgment, to arm himself with the evidence

 6          supplied by way of the reports of persons such

 7          as Chet Ubowski, Leonard Speckin, Edwin Alford

 8          and Richard Dusick?

 9                      A.        That's a very difficult question for

10        me to answer, and the reason it is is because

11        Howard Rile and Lloyd Cunningham are private

12        examiners, and I don't know -- and you certainly

13        do, but I don't -- whether or not they were

14        retained by the Ramsey family initially or

15        whether they were retained by the Colorado

16        bureau.

17                    Q.        Let me remind you my question, which

18        did not mention Mr. Rile and did not mention

19        Mr. Cunningham.

20                    A.        But you said the document examiners

21        that were retained.

22                    Q.        Here's my question: Was Alex Hunter

23        right, in your judgment, to arm himself with the

24        evidence supplied by way of the reports of

25        persons such as Chet Ubowski, Leonard Speckin,


 1          Edwin Alford and Richard Dusick?

 2                      A.        Okay, Speckin I don't consider a

 3          document examiner. Speckin has a document

 4          laboratory. He's basically a chemist, he does

 5          ink and paper work. He's a young fellow with

 6          very little experience. If he has done

 7          handwriting, it's been very little handwriting.

 8                                  I don't know the circumstances under

 9          which these examinations were done and I don't

10        know what kind of evidence was provided for the

11        district attorney to present to the grand jury.

12                                Obviously I have a problem with the

13        findings in this case, otherwise I wouldn't be

14        here, and I believe that there are document

15        examiners out there, and I know there are

16        because they've come forward and told me so, who

17        believe as I do.

18                                But the point is they were not

19        involved in this case, and the people that were

20        selected to do this examination, I don't know

21        what influences, outside influences played a part

22        on their findings and I don't know that they

23        were completely free to conduct their

24        examinations and to reach the conclusions in the

25        manner that they felt was necessary.


 1                                  So there's a lot of different

 2          factors here. The evidence is there, the

 3          physical evidence is there. Was it -- was it

 4          used to its maximum? No, obviously I don't

 5          think it was. And was that the fault of a

 6          particular person or the system? I don't know.

 7                      Q.        My question, Mr. Epstein, had to do

 8          with Alex Hunter's decision. Was he right to

 9          rely on people such as Chet Ubowski --

10                    A.        And I tried to answer that.

11                    Q.        -- Leonard Speckin?

12                                MR. HOFFMAN: Jim, I think he

13        answered no. I think his answer was no because

14        he questioned their qualifications. I think the

15        answer was no.

16                                MR. WOOD: You say he questioned

17        their qualifications?

18                                MR. HOFFMAN: Such as those

19        particular individuals, it sounds to me like

20        Gideon is saying no, those are not the experts

21        he should have relied on, maybe questioned

22        document examiners in a generic sense, but those

23        individuals, it sounds to me like he's saying

24        no.

25                                MR. RAWLS: Well, I object to the


 1          remarks, Mr. Hoffman, that you have made just

 2          now and I object to the witness's interruption

 3          of my question. Please don't interrupt until

 4          I'm finished, and then I'd like for you, sir,

 5          Mr. Epstein, to please answer.

 6                      BY MR. RAWLS:

 7                      Q.        Was Alex Hunter right -- and I'll

 8          leave Leonard Speckin out because you have told

 9          me he's young, he's inexperienced and he's a

10        chemist, so we'll leave him out.

11                                The first thing I want to ask is

12        was Alex Hunter right to try to get trained

13        document examiners --

14                    A.        I think he was right in trying to

15        get trained document examiners. Whether he got

16        them is the question.

17                    Q.        And you've previously told us that

18        you believe Edwin Alford, Richard Dusick and

19        Chet Ubowski to be qualified document examiners;

20        do you not?

21                    A.        I know them to be qualified document

22        examiners, but I don't know the circumstances of

23        this case, how they worked.

24                    Q.        So one can only conclude that Alex

25        Hunter was correct to consult and to obtain a


 1          report from Chet Ubowski, from Edwin Alford and

 2          from Richard Dusick; am I correct?

 3                                  MR. ALTMAN: Objection as to form.

 4                      A.        He was correct in what he attempted

 5          to do.

 6                      Q.        Thank you. And his decision was not

 7          necessarily easy; was it?

 8                      A.        I would not think so, no.

 9                      Q.        This is the original of Defendant's

10        Exhibit 8, Mr. Epstein. Tell me if I'm right

11        or wrong about this, based on your

12        understanding.

13                                Am I correct that Chet Ubowski had

14        access to the original ransom note?

15                    A.        I would certainly expect that he

16        would have had access to the originals.

17                    Q.        And you did not.

18                    A.        I did not.

19                    Q.        Have you ever requested the

20        opportunity to view the original ransom note?

21                    A.        Of course.

22                    Q.        When?

23                    A.        From the very beginning.

24                    Q.        To whom did you make that request?

25                    A.        When we -- when I first became


 1          involved in the case I told Mr. Hoffman that,

 2          you know, that we would like to see all of the

 3          original documents, if they were still available,

 4          of the documents that were examined previously,

 5          and obviously that included the ransom note.

 6                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, I believe your

 7          microphone may have slipped.

 8                      A.        Slipped off.

 9                      Q.        Were you finished with your answer?

10                    A.        Yes. Between, I -- when I first

11        became involved in this case I asked to see

12        whatever original documents were previously

13        examined by the document examiners before.

14                    Q.        And why did you want to see the

15        original ransom note?

16                    A.        Whenever an original is available,

17        it's just standard and automatic to want to see

18        it.

19                    Q.        There are some things you can tell

20        from the original that you cannot tell from a

21        copy; correct?

22                    A.        The line quality can be more

23        adequately examined. You can do a microscopic

24        examination of the microstructure of the line.

25        You can sometimes get a better idea of why the


 1          line quality is what it is. There are obvious

 2          advantages to having the original.

 3                      Q.        You can determine the amount of

 4          pressure that was used on the writing implement;

 5          can you not, sir?

 6                      A.        You can. But from what you could

 7          see already in the ransom note you could see

 8          that the pressure was probably fairly even.

 9          There was no feathering or up stroke and down

10        stroke differences, so --

11                    Q.        Is it your understanding that Chet

12        Ubowski also had access to the originals of the

13        exemplars which he compared to the original

14        ransom note?

15                    A.        I would certainly expect that he

16        would.

17                    Q.        Was that an advantage?

18                    A.        It is an advantage to have the

19        originals. It's not always absolutely necessary,

20        but it's always an advantage.

21                    Q.        And did you understand that Chet

22        Ubowski also had access to original historical

23        writings of Patsy Ramsey?

24                    A.        Yes, and I felt those were very

25        important.


 1                      Q.        And did you have access to any of

 2          those?

 3                      A.        None other than those that were

 4          listed in my report. Not originals.

 5                      Q.        Did you have access to the originals

 6          of any historical writings?

 7                      A.        I did not.

 8                      Q.        To the best of your knowledge did

 9          Leonard Speckin, Edwin Alford and Richard Dusick

10        have access to the original ransom note, to the

11        original handwriting exemplars of Patsy Ramsey

12        and to the original historical writings of Patsy

13        Ramsey?

14                    A.        I don't know. I don't know what

15        they had access to. I would imagine that

16        Howard Rile had access to the original documents

17        and Lloyd Cunningham would have had original

18        documents.

19                    Q.        As well.

20                    A.        As well.

21                    Q.        And for Lloyd Cunningham and Howard

22        Rile, were those advantages, i.e. the access to

23        the original ransom note, historical writings of

24        Patsy Ramsey and handwriting exemplars of Patsy

25        Ramsey?


 1                      A.        They are advantages.

 2                      Q.        You've read the testimony of Alex

 3          Hunter --

 4                      A.        I have.

 5                      Q.        --that is part of Defendant's Exhibit

 6          9; have you not?

 7                      A.        Yes.

 8                      Q.        And you understand that from Alex

 9          Hunter's perspective, the sum total of the

10        handwriting analysis done by the investigation on

11        Patsy Ramsey was that she was somewhere at about

12        a          4.5 on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being

13        elimination.

14                    A.        (Nods head).

15                    Q.        Do you not, sir?

16                    A.        That's what he says.

17                    Q.        Thus, that from Alex Hunter's

18        perspective, Patsy Ramsey was not eliminated by

19        the experts chosen by the district attorney, but

20        she was close to elimination; correct?

21                    A.        That's what he says, yes.

22                    Q.        And from Alex Hunter's perspective,

23        you also understood that there were other

24        individuals under suspicion who were not

25        eliminated; correct?


 1                      A.        That's what I understand, yes.

 2                      Q.        Who were not eliminated as the

 3          author of the ransom note.

 4                      A.        I understand that, right.

 5                      Q.        Mr. Epstein, I thought about during

 6          our break your desire, seconded by Mr. Hoffman

 7          and Mr. Altman, your desire to share with us

 8          your theory on how all these other document

 9          examiners that we've talked about here got it

10        wrong except for you and your co-expert, Cina

11        Wong.

12                                And I'm going to ask you to tell us

13        your theory in a minute, but first I want to

14        ask you if you were in a Daubert hearing in

15        front of our judge, Judge Julie Carnes in this

16        case, and if Judge Carnes asked you should she

17        permit Cina Wong to give expert opinion

18        testimony about the authorship of the Ramsey --

19        excuse me, of the ransom note found at the home

20        of John and Patsy Ramsey in this case, what

21        would you tell her?

22                    A.        I would say that she may well be

23        correct in her findings, but that she does not

24        meet the standards of a forensic document

25        examiner as accepted by the profession.


 1                      Q.        And, therefore, as you understand the

 2          Daubert rules, there is no sufficient scientific

 3          basis in her qualifications, her training and

 4          her credentials, for her to be permitted to

 5          testify about the subject of handwriting

 6          authenticity; correct?

 7                      A.        If it was strictly interpreted, that

 8          would be correct.

 9                      Q.        And the "it" you refer to is

10        Daubert.

11                    A.        Yes.

12                    Q.        The Daubert test.

13                    A.        Right.

14                    Q.        It is your view under your

15        understanding of the Daubert test, and I know

16        you're not an attorney --

17                    A.        I'm not.

18                    Q.        -- but it is your view under your

19        understanding of the Daubert test, and given

20        your knowledge, your education, your expertise,

21        your training and your experience as a

22        board-certified document examiner, that Cina Wong

23        is not qualified under Daubert to render an

24        opinion about authorship of the ransom note at

25        issue in this case; correct?


 1                      A.        I would say that's correct.

 2                      Q.        Now, Mr. Epstein, what exactly is

 3          your theory about how all these individuals,

 4          Chet Ubowski, Leonard Speckin, Edwin Alford,

 5          Lloyd Cunningham, Richard Dusick and Howard Rile,

 6          got it wrong and you, sir, beginning in the

 7          year 2000, almost four years after the murder in

 8          this case, and without access to any original

 9          handwriting of any party you analyzed, got it

10        right?

11         A.     Very well. First of all, I'd like

12        to say that the field of forensic document

13        examination in the United States is a very small

14        profession, as you may well have found out,

15        especially within the ranks of those people who

16        are board-certified and who are the mainstream

17        examiners in this country.

18                    Everyone knows everyone else. There

19        are certain document examiners who, because of

20        their exposure in the profession, because of the

21        work that they do, because of the workshops that

22        they may present, are looked upon by other

23        examiners as leaders in their field.

24                    A lot of these examiners are in

25        private practice, and they're retained oftentimes


 1          by one side or the other. In this particular

 2          case I think the fact that Howard Rile and

 3          Lloyd Cunningham, who became involved in this

 4          case very early on, and who were retained by

 5          the Ramsey family, coupled with the fact that

 6          Lloyd -- that Howard Rile came out of the

 7          Colorado bureau and knew the people in the

 8          Colorado bureau, I believe that that connection

 9          was very instrumental in the Colorado bureau

10        coming to the conclusion that they did, because

11        Howard Rile had come to the conclusion that he

12        did.

13                    Lloyd Cunningham works very closely

14        with Howard Rile and they were both on this

15        case, and then it was a matter of chain of

16        events, one document examiner after another

17        refusing to go up against someone who they knew,

18        someone who was large in the profession, for

19        fear that they would be criticized for saying

20        something that another examiner -- it's sort of

21        like an ethics within the medical community,

22        where one doctor protects the other doctor.

23                    The fact that I think the whole

24        scenario may have been completely different if

25        Howard Rile had not been one of the first


 1          document examiners and who was not in private

 2          practice, and if he had not been connected so

 3          closely with the Colorado bureau; if it had been

 4          a document examiner totally separate and apart;

 5          if the document examiner had actually been a

 6          document examiner in government service who had

 7          nothing to gain by his conclusions, who was on

 8          a salary rather than on a large retainer.

 9                      All of these things influence a

10        case, and when it came down to Dusick and it

11        came down to Speckin and it came down to

12        Alford, by that time a number of well-known

13        document examiners had already rendered

14        conclusions, and I feel personally that the

15        other examiners were simply afraid to state what

16        they believed to be the truth, or that they

17        simply didn't devote the necessary time.

18                    This is the kind of case that you

19        have to devote a tremendous amount of time and

20        effort to. I've spent a lot of my years

21        working cases where you don't count the hours,

22        you simply count the weeks and you count the

23        months and you devote the time that's necessary.

24                                If a document examiner is working

25        this kind of a case and counting the hours,


 1          he's going to get to a point where it's going

 2          to be too expensive for him to bill, and so

 3          he's either not going to do the case in the

 4          time that's required or he's going to cut the

 5          time short.

 6                                  And I just don't believe that some

 7          of these people devoted the necessary amount of

 8          time to the case to come up with the correct

 9          conclusions, and I think they simply went along

10        with what had been previously said because it

11        was the most expedient thing to do.

12                    Q.        I want to ask one question,

13        Mr. Epstein, and then take a brief recess. And

14        the purpose of the recess is to try to wind up

15        the questions I want to ask in order to

16        conclude our part of this deposition.

17                                The question I have for you is this:

18        Do you know how much time was devoted to the

19        formulation of the conclusions of Chet Ubowski?

20                    A.        I do not know, no.

21                    Q.        Same question for Leonard Speckin.

22        Do you know how much time was devoted to

23        forming his conclusion?

24                    A.        I do not, no.

25                    Q.        Same question with Edwin Alford.


 1                      A.        (Shakes head).

 2                      Q.        Same question, Lloyd Cunningham.

 3                      A.        I think Lloyd Cunningham said he

 4          spent 20 hours on the case.

 5                      Q.        That was what Lou Smit said, and

 6          that was before Lloyd Cunningham made his Rule

 7          26 report.

 8                      A.        Okay.

 9                      Q.        Am I correct?

10                    A.        I'm not sure.

11                    Q.        Do you know how much time Richard

12        Dusick or Howard Rile spent arriving at their

13        conclusions on this case?

14                    A.        I do not know.

15                                MR. RAWLS: May we take a brief

16        recess?

17                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record at

18        3:34 p.m.

19                                (Recess).

20                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We're back on the

21        record at 3:44 p.m.

22                    BY MR. RAWLS:

23                    Q.        Mr. Epstein, the answer that you

24        have given us about why in your judgment Chet

25        Ubowski, Leonard Speckin, Lloyd Cunningham,


 1          Richard Dusick and Howard Rile got it wrong,

 2          was, in fact, as you had told me earlier, rank

 3          speculation; was it not?

 4                      A.        It's -- that's my opinion.

 5                      Q.        And your opinion is based on

 6          speculation; is it not?

 7                      A.        My opinion is based on my knowledge

 8          of the profession and the people involved.

 9                      Q.        And, in fact, you have no

10        information at all about the sequence of the

11        analyses done by Chet Ubowski, Leonard Speckin,

12        Edwin Alford, Lloyd Cunningham, Richard Dusick

13        and Howard Rile; correct?

14                    A.        That's correct.

15                    Q.        To the best of your knowledge, Chet

16        Ubowski might have been first.

17                    A.        I would expect that he would have

18        been first, as far as the examination is

19        concerned.

20                    Q.        And for all you now, Howard Rile

21        might have been last; correct?

22                    A.        I don't believe he was last.

23                    Q.        What's your basis for having a

24        belief about sequence at all?

25                    A.        I know when Howard Rile came into


 1          the case it was early in the case. I mean, I

 2          -- it was common knowledge in the profession

 3          that he had been retained by the Ramseys early

 4          on, so I don't believe he came in last.

 5                      Q.        Do you know whether any of these

 6          individuals even had access to Howard Rile's

 7          findings, conclusions, reports or analyses when

 8          he rendered his finding?

 9                      A.        I don't know that for a fact, no.

10                    Q.        You don't know that Chet Ubowski had

11        any access to Howard Rile's findings, do you,

12        sir, when he reached his own conclusions?

13                    A.        I don't know any facts to that, no.

14                    Q.        You don't know if Chet Ubowski had

15        any access to Lloyd Cunningham's report or

16        conclusions when Chet Ubowski reached his

17        conclusion; do you, sir?

18                    A.        I don't know that they had any

19        access, but they certainly were aware of what

20        had been previously done, I mean --

21                    Q.        What been previously done?

22                    A.        I mean, they were aware of the

23        people that had been retained on which side at

24        the time that they did their examinations. And

25        it's -- these people communicate by way of the


 1          -- by e-mail on a regular, constant basis, so I

 2          don't know how much information passed from one

 3          individual to another through e-mails and other

 4          ways.

 5                      Q.        If any.

 6                      A.        If any.

 7                      Q.        The fact is you're guessing; are you

 8          not, sir?

 9                      A.        I think it's a little bit stronger

10        than guessing, but if you want to say that I'm

11        guessing, that's fine.

12                    Q.        And as I understand what you've just

13        said, you think that Chet Ubowski, Leonard

14        Speckin, Edwin Alford and Richard Dusick may

15        have been so concerned about the mere retention

16        of Howard Rile that they pulled their punches;

17        is that your testimony?

18                    A.        No, I didn't say that. You did.

19                    Q.        Do you think that's what happened?

20                    A.        No, I don't think it has anything to

21        do with fear that anybody was retained. I

22        think it was a sequence of events of what had

23        been done previously, and people talk, it's a

24        small profession, everyone knows what everyone

25        else does in these kinds of cases, and there


 1          are certain people who don't have the stomach

 2          for going up against someone else if they feel

 3          that, you know --

 4                      Q.        Which of these individuals does not

 5          have the stomach to go up against Howard Rile?

 6                      A.        I don't -- I'm saying that there are

 7          people in the profession who may fear -- it's

 8          the same thing, if I attempted to contact

 9          individuals after I became involved in this case

10        to see whether or not they would be interested

11        in doing some pro bono work in this case, and

12        I did try to contact some people who I had

13        confidence in, and to a person, even though some

14        of them were familiar with the case and were

15        familiar with the findings in the case, chose

16        not to get involved because it's not the kind

17        of case everybody wants to be involved in.

18                                And some people consider that it's

19        not worth it. Whether they may agree or not

20        agree, that's not the thing that they weigh.

21        They weigh how difficult is it going to be on

22        me, what am I going to have to go through, am

23        I going to have to sit through a deposition for

24        eight hours, I don't need that.

25                                So to a person, the people I


 1          contacted who I know can do this work and do

 2          it right said that at this point in the case

 3          they didn't want to become involved.

 4                      Q.        Did you contact anybody who was

 5          comfortable being co-expert with Cina Wong?

 6                      A.        I didn't mention Cina Wong and until

 7          I -- as I told you, I didn't know until this

 8          morning riding over here that Cina Wong was even

 9          involved, and you're trying to push my buttons,

10        I realize that.

11                    Q.        Sorry, sir, I have no opportunity to

12        push your buttons.

13                    A.        You do know which ones to push.

14                    Q.        I'm only given the right to ask you

15        questions.

16                    A.        And I'm here to answer them.

17                    Q.        Thank you. And if you have any

18        buttons visible, I'll try to stay away from

19        them.

20                    A.        I hope I can keep them concealed.

21                    Q.        You told us earlier that other

22        document examiners have come to you to say that

23        they believe that Patsy Ramsey authored the

24        ransom note; did you not, sir?

25                    A.        I did have some document examiners


 1          -- I'm -- if you're going to ask me who they

 2          were, I'm not going to mention their names

 3          because they did not -- some of them were given

 4          access to these documents, and had an

 5          opportunity to look at them, and I don't --

 6          they didn't want their names mentioned, and I

 7          don't think it would be right for me to mention

 8          them.

 9                                  But I can tell you that I -- that I

10        did contact some people, and that was their

11        response. I would prefer to leave it that way.

12        I don't think -- if they wanted to come forward

13        they would have come forward themselves, and

14        it's not up to me to mention who they are.

15         Q.     Well, no need for you to mention

16        Larry Zieglar, Cina Wong --

17         A.     I wouldn't mention Cina Wong.

18         Q.     And I don't say that to push a

19        button. There's no need to mention David

20        Leibman. But apart from those three, are there

21        other experts --

22         A.     I can tell you that Richard

23        Williams, who is an ex retired FBI document

24        examiner who I have a lot of respect for and

25        who had an opportunity to see the documents


 1          because he is also a contract document examiner

 2          for the Department of Justice, and at one time

 3          we considered -- he considered becoming involved

 4          in the case because he, after he had seen the

 5          documents he -- and examined them he believed

 6          that our findings, my findings and Larry

 7          Zieglar's at the time were correct.

 8                      But there were personal circumstances

 9          that came up involving another case in England

10        and it's a very large case, and he couldn't

11        jeopardize his position in that case because of

12        the circumstances of this case, and so he chose

13        not to become involved.

14                    But there are other -- there are

15        some other document examiners who also are

16        familiar with the documents, who, when I

17        contacted them to see if they would be willing

18        to take this on on a pro bono basis -- and I

19        don't think it was the fact that it was pro

20        bono, it was simply the fact that I could tell

21        that they simply didn't want to become involved,

22        even though they knew that the findings that had

23        been previously reached were not correct.

24         Q.     What documents did Richard Williams

25        have access to?


 1           A.     Well, he certainly had access to a

 2          copy of the ransom note, the copies of the

 3          normal course of business writings that we

 4          originally received.

 5                      I'm trying to think if he was still

 6          considering involvement at the time that we got

 7          the exemplars. I'm pretty sure that -- I'm

 8          pretty sure that he may have seen the exemplars.

 9                      MR. HOFFMAN: Jim, do you need

10        anything more definitive than what he knows?

11        Because I can tell you either on or off the

12        record.

13                    MR. WOOD: Is Williams the guy you

14        withdrew as an expert?

15                    MR. HOFFMAN: Yeah, uh-huh, I can

16        tell you because I actually sent material --

17                    MR. WOOD: I don't think we need

18        anything further.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, okay.

20                    MR. WOOD: If he's not an expert,

21        he's not an expert. He didn't have the stomach

22        for it.

23                    MR. HOFFMAN: Okay. Well, then if

24        he's not then I'm just wondering why the

25        questioning about what he looked at. If he's


 1          not in the case, he's not in, but if he's in

 2          in terms of your questions in the deposition, if

 3          you really need the answers to that, I can

 4          answer them for you.

 5                      Q.        Without the benefit of the exemplars

 6          here in late 2001, there's not any expert that

 7          can reach a definitive conclusion about

 8          authorship of the ransom note; is there, sir?

 9                      A.        That's correct.

10                    Q.        Tell us why you felt the need to

11        recruit other questioned document examiners in

12        this case for Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Altman and Chris

13        Wolf.

14                    A.        I suppose it could be answered

15        strength in numbers, I guess. You have five

16        people on your side and I'm on this side by

17        myself. I think that answers it pretty well.

18                    Q.        By yourself, along with an individual

19        whom you'd prefer that I not name again.

20                    A.        An individual who I didn't know was

21        part of this until I got here this morning.

22                    Q.        You told us one reason some of these

23        individuals you spoke to were concerned about

24        coming into the case was that it might become

25        too expensive; did you not?


 1                      A.        Well, too expensive for them, but I

 2          think it was more than that. I think it was

 3          more a desire not to become involved in this

 4          case, period.

 5                      Q.        Do you know approximately how many

 6          millions of dollars have been spent on this

 7          investigation by the people of the State of

 8          Colorado?

 9                      A.        I have no idea.

10                    Q.        By the Boulder Police Department?

11                    A.        I would imagine that it's

12        considerable.

13                    Q.        By the Colorado Bureau of

14        Investigation?

15                    A.        I don't know.

16                    Q.        By the Boulder County District

17        Attorney's Office?

18                    A.        Again, don't know.

19                    Q.        By the FBI?

20                    A.        (Shakes head). I don't know. I

21        would imagine it would be considerable.

22                    Q.        You're not saying, Mr. Epstein, are

23        you, in this case, that Patsy Ramsey murdered

24        her daughter?

25                    A.        Absolutely not.


 1                      Q.        You told us earlier that your charge

 2          for an eight-hour day is twelve hundred dollars;

 3          am I correct?

 4                      A.        Examination time. Deposition and

 5          testimony time is sixteen hundred.

 6                      Q.        And I believe that is exactly the

 7          fee that Mr. Hoffman quoted to me for your

 8          deposition day, and he also quoted to me the

 9          amounts of your airfare and hotel expenses.

10                                I am, therefore, handing you a check

11        now for $1,877. Please let me know if that

12        does not cover your travel expenses plus your

13        $1600 for your deposition today.

14                    A.        Fine, thank you.

15                    Q.        Does that appear to cover it?

16                    A.        It seems to. I think the air are

17        was -- round trip was $240 or something like

18        that, and I imagine the hotel is being paid for

19        directly.

20                    Q.        If there is more that is needed,

21        please let us know.

22                                I've got just another question or

23        two, Mr. Epstein.

24                                Early in the day, in talking about

25        your reasons for becoming involved in this case


 1          pro bono, and I think that under the

 2          circumstances we can consider that now partially

 3          pro bono and partially for fee; am I not

 4          correct?

 5                      A.        Certain portions of it I have billed

 6          for.

 7                      Q.        But your reasons for coming into

 8          this case had to do with justice.

 9                      A.        That was my only reason for coming

10        into this case.

11                    Q.        And you've told us here, however,

12        that you do not accuse Patsy Ramsey of murder.

13                    A.        No. There's no way I could do

14        anything like that. I am only involved in the

15        handwriting.

16                    Q.        And you also know that Patsy Ramsey

17        has never been indicted for murder; do you not,

18        sir?

19                    A.        I know that.

20                    Q.        You know that she has never been

21        charged for murder; don't you?

22                    A.        I know that also.

23                    Q.        And you know that whatever the

24        course of the criminal investigation going on in

25        Colorado, this case filed by Chris Wolf is a


 1          civil case; do you not?

 2                      A.        I understand that.

 3                      Q.        If Chris Wolf wins this case, you

 4          understand he will win money; do you not, sir?

 5                      A.        I imagine that's normally the

 6          outcome, yes.

 7                      Q.        And the criminal prosecution will not

 8          be affected.

 9                      A.        That, I don't know. I had always

10        hoped that perhaps this could lead to -- one

11        could lead to the other.

12                    Q.        One could lead to the prosecution of

13        whom?

14                    A.        If the evidence is finally recognized

15        as being stronger than it was previously

16        portrayed to be, then perhaps --

17                    Q.        Prosecution of whom?

18                    A.        I don't know. That would be up to

19        the investigation. But I think that the ransom

20        note was an extremely important piece of

21        evidence.

22                    Q.        And you have no reason to believe

23        that the Colorado authorities asked Chris Wolf,

24        former reporter, former entertainer, to pursue a

25        civil action against John and Patsy Ramsey for


 1          libel; do you, sir?

 2                      A.        I know nothing about that.

 3                      Q.        As a matter of fact, you know

 4          nothing about what was said in the Ramseys' book

 5          about Chris Wolf, do you, sir?

 6                      A.        I have not read the Ramseys' book.

 7                      Q.        And whatever was said by the Ramseys

 8          about Chris Wolf, you don't have any information

 9          about whether it was true or false; do you,

10        sir?

11                    A.        I do not, no. I haven't read the

12        book.

13                    Q.        Nor do you have any information

14        about the reputation of Chris Wolf; do you, sir?

15                    A.        I know nothing about Chris Wolf

16        either.

17                    Q.        But you'll agree with me, will you

18        not, sir, that for anyone to use the media to

19        attack Patsy Ramsey, to call her a murderer when

20        she has been unindicted by the responsible

21        authorities is unfair, unseemly, improper and

22        unjust; would you not?

23                    A.        I think that's obviously the logical

24        thing is that you, you know, a person is always

25        innocent until they're proven guilty, and I


 1          believe that very strongly. But I also believe

 2          that evidence, if it's there, it should be used.

 3                      Q.        It should be used in a court of

 4          law; should it not?

 5                      A.        In a court of law, absolutely.

 6                      Q.        It should be used in a grand jury;

 7          should it not?

 8                      A.        Absolutely.

 9                      Q.        Not in the media.

10                    A.        Not in -- I'm -- I've never believed

11        in trying a case in the media. I don't like

12        the media. I try to stay away as far as I

13        can from the media.

14                    Q.        In fact, were you unhappy when

15        Darnay Hoffman on Court TV used your name to

16        accuse Patsy Ramsey of murder?

17                    A.        I had not seen that, but somebody

18        had told me about that, and I would have

19        preferred it go a different way.

20                    Q.        Were you unhappy when your name was

21        used to the National Enquirer with an accusation

22        that Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom note?

23                    A.        I was.

24                    Q.        And are you unhappy, Mr. Epstein,

25        that the only co-expert recruited by Chris Wolf


 1          in this case as a result of all the efforts of

 2          Darnay Hoffman, all the efforts of Evan Altman

 3          and all the efforts of yourself on the question

 4          of handwriting is Cina Wong?

 5                      A.        I'm very disappointed in my

 6          profession right now over this whole case, and

 7          that's why I'm here.

 8                                  MR. RAWLS: Darnay, my part of

 9          today's examination is concluded.

10                                You have earlier told us that you

11        would like to ask some questions. I want to

12        make sure you and I are in accord; that you

13        have a perfect right to ask questions by way of

14        clarification or correction of previous answers,

15        but because I have paid for the witness' day,

16        you have no right to use the time I have paid

17        for for any direct examination of this witness

18        to support any motion or any position on any

19        motion that may be filed in this case.

20                    Do we agree?

21                    MR. HOFFMAN: Well, I don't know

22        what you mean by that. Obviously if you attach

23        his deposition to a summary judgment motion I'm

24        going to use whatever is -- I'm going to use

25        the complete transcript of this.


 1                      However, I'm certainly going to treat

 2          this as cross-examination with respect to his

 3          testimony having been a direct examination, and

 4          I will certainly not try to go outside the

 5          bounds, so I'm not going to open up areas that

 6          you haven't already previously discussed.

 7                      MR. WOOD: You're going to treat

 8          your examination as cross-examination, Darnay?

 9                      MR. HOFFMAN: No, I'm going to treat

10        my examination as if it were a cross-examination

11        in the sense that -- or I guess that's the

12        best way, for the purposes of just simply

13        limiting my questioning to all those areas that

14        were brought in your testimony as if yours have

15        been -- your questioning, as if yours has been

16        a direct examination. So I'm following that

17        rule.

18                    MR. WOOD: What rule is that? We

19        just took the discovery deposition of your

20        expert witness on cross-examination.

21                    MR. HOFFMAN: Come on, Lin, stop

22        trying to be a wise guy.

23                    MR. WOOD: Now, I'm not trying to

24        -- you don't have the right --

25                    MR. HOFFMAN: Stop trying to be a


 1          wise guy, Lin, which is what you're doing right

 2          now.

 3                      MR. WOOD: You do not have the --

 4                      MR. HOFFMAN: I'm just analogizing.

 5          I'm treating it as if it were a direct

 6          examination for the purposes of trying to make

 7          this analogy understandable, and, very simply, I

 8          will not go outside the bounds of what was

 9          asked at this deposition as if it had been a

10        direct examination at trial.

11                    MR. ALTMAN: I think we're on the

12        same page on that.

13                    MR. HOFFMAN: That's a pretty simple

14        concept.

15                    MR. WOOD: I thought the question

16        was whether -- don't you agree you don't have

17        the right to conduct a direct examination on our

18        dollar.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: Absolutely not. All I

20        want to do is just simply allow him to answer

21        a few of the questions that he might not have

22        been allowed to answer more fully that were

23        asked on your, you know, on your dime, so to

24        speak.

25                    MR. WOOD: So you do agree that you


 1          do not have the right to do a direct

 2          examination on our dime.

 3                      MR. HOFFMAN: Well, no, no. I

 4          don't agree that there's any law or authority to

 5          that effect so to that degree I don't agree

 6          that you have a legal right to make that as a

 7          requirement.

 8                      However, as far as to just simply

 9          what I'm going to do is I'm certainly not going

10        to try and take advantage of the situation.

11        You certainly could have gone the full seven

12        hours. I appreciate the fact that you're

13        extending my witness the courtesy of letting him

14        leave so he can catch his flight and also

15        shorten your examination to give me a little

16        time to what I hope will be a legitimate

17        attempt to try and just let him augment some of

18        the answers that he had given in response to

19        your earlier questioning.

20                    But you have no legal authority, in

21        my opinion, to limit it, and in that degree I

22        don't agree with you. However I'm telling you

23        that I will simply abide by our gentleman's

24        agreement that we're making right here that I

25        will limit it only to those areas that were


 1          gone into when you questioned him originally.

 2                      MR. WOOD: I haven't made any

 3          agreement with you today. I don't think Jim

 4          Rawls has made any agreement with you today.

 5                      MR. ALTMAN: Why don't we do this?

 6          Why don't we proceed forward, and if you have

 7          an objection, state your objection as we go.

 8                      MR. RAWLS: Let me -- Darnay, I

 9          don't know if we're together. I understand what

10        I said to you, I'm not sure I understand your

11        intentions.

12                    But rather than your explaining them

13        to me, let me say we will object if you

14        attempt to use any part of today's deposition,

15        all of which we've paid for, none of which

16        you've paid for, nor, as I understand the

17        witness' testimony, are you ever going to pay

18        for.

19                    So if you attempt to use any part

20        of this in a way that I consider the subject

21        of a direct examination designed to get any

22        opinions of this witness into evidence in the

23        case, we will not only object, but we're late

24        in the afternoon on a Friday, we'll need to

25        call Judge Carnes about that.


 1                      MR. HOFFMAN: You know what normally

 2          happens in depositions?

 3                      MR. WOOD: Darnay, we don't need to

 4          hear that. I've been taking depositions for 25

 5          years. You haven't taken depositions -- I bet

 6          you haven't taken five depositions in your whole

 7          life.

 8                      MR. HOFFMAN: Hey, Lin, given the

 9          fact that you've never tried a libel case in

10        front of a jury --

11                    MR. WOOD: Darnay Hoffman, let me

12        tell you something -- Darnay, you've never --

13        the only case you ever tried you got hit for

14        $45 million when Bernie Getz was found guilty

15        for a crime he walked from in a criminal case.

16                    Listen, I have tried cases for 25

17        years. I've tried more cases than you could

18        count in your sleep, big boy.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: -- your first libel

20        case, okay.

21                    MR. WOOD: Darnay, I don't have to

22        try a libel case to know how to try a case,

23        but after listening to Fleet White's deposition

24        it was obvious to me that you don't know how

25        to take a deposition.


 1                      MR. HOFFMAN: That's okay.

 2                      MR. WOOD: Why don't you tell us

 3          how many depositions you've taken in your

 4          illustrious career?

 5                      MR. HOFFMAN: I've taken plenty.

 6                      MR. WOOD: I bet you haven't taken

 7          25.

 8                      MR. HOFFMAN: Can I tell you

 9          something? I'm the only --

10                    MR. WOOD: I've tried more cases

11        than you've taken depositions. So don't lecture

12        me.

13                    MR. HOFFMAN: Hey, I'm the only man

14        on the planet that's taken Patsy Ramsey's

15        deposition, and plenty have tried, so don't --

16                    MR. WOOD: Let me tell you

17        something, and it was a joke. You didn't know

18        what you were doing.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: I hope that's what you

20        believe because I hope you prepare your trial

21        case accordingly, underestimating me.

22                    MR. WOOD: You're not going to see

23        a trial in this case. You're going to get

24        booted on summary judgment just like you got

25        booted out in Linda Hoffman Pugh's criminal


 1          case.

 2                      MR. HOFFMAN: Sorry, you're wrong.

 3          I'm sorry, you're wrong. When you went --

 4                      MR. WOOD: I'm sure you're 100

 5          percent certain like this guy sitting across the

 6          table is.

 7                      MR. HOFFMAN: If I was supposed to

 8          be out of here, I would have been out on that

 9          motion to dismiss, but you guys --

10                    MR. WOOD: You got by that motion

11        to dismiss by the thinnest of threads, only

12        because you were willing to plead anything,

13        despite the fact that you can't prove it.

14                    MR. HOFFMAN: And the judge paid me

15        the complement of actually quoting extensively

16        from my brief.

17                    MR. WOOD: I don't think the judge

18        paid you any complements.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: Hey, I'm here, and all

20        I can tell you --

21                    MR. WOOD: You're here and you

22        haven't even bought the deposition --

23                    MR. HOFFMAN: And you guys couldn't

24        do what 95 percent of the lawyers in

25        America --


 1                      MR. WOOD: You're so proud of Patsy

 2          Ramsey's deposition, you haven't even bothered to

 3          pay for it. You haven't even paid the court

 4          reporter for taking it down yet.

 5                      MR. HOFFMAN: Come on, who cares --

 6                      MR. WOOD: You haven't even paid the

 7          court reporter for taking down Patsy Ramsey's

 8          deposition.

 9                      MR. HOFFMAN: All right, so what?

10                    MR. WOOD: You never got a copy of

11        it. I thought you were proud of it.

12                    MR. HOFFMAN: So what's your

13        problem?

14                    MR. WOOD: You don't have the money

15        to pay for it. It's a frivolous lawsuit filed

16        by a frivolous lawyer and you don't even have

17        the money to pay to come down and sit with

18        your own deposition witness. You never even met

19        your own client.

20                    MR. HOFFMAN: Hey, Lin, don't talk

21        to me about frivolity and the fact that I had

22        to go to an expert because your daughter had a

23        horse show that you had to attend and you

24        couldn't be a real lawyer over a weekend, you

25        actually had to twist everything into God knows


 1          what in order to be able to --

 2                      MR. WOOD: I just wanted to make

 3          damned sure that I would be there in Nebraska

 4          to shred Robert Stratbucker.

 5                      MR. HOFFMAN: -- your family

 6          outings --

 7                      MR. WOOD: I'm going to eat him

 8          alive. Be there. Be there, okay. Guess

 9          what? I'm going to be at my daughter's horse

10        show and I'm also going to be in Omaha,

11        Nebraska to rip Stratbucker a new rear end, and

12        I bet you what, you aren't going to be there.

13                    You ain't going to bother to be

14        there, neither is Evan Altman, because you don't

15        have the money and you're not willing to spend

16        the money on this frivolous case. You got

17        that? I'll see you in Omaha. Are you going

18        to be there or are you going to show up by

19        telephone?

20                    MR. HOFFMAN: How can I not miss

21        this invitation to be in Omaha? Okay?

22                    MR. WOOD: You be there. You be

23        there. I bet you a thousand dollars you won't

24        be there. Want to bet?

25                    MR. HOFFMAN: Lin --


 1                      MR. WOOD: Because you're afraid to

 2          fly.

 3                      MR. HOFFMAN: -- I would never,

 4          never bet you, you know better than that.

 5                      MR. WOOD: You're afraid to fly;

 6          aren't you? That's what you told Susan Bennett

 7          -- Jamison.

 8                      MR. HOFFMAN: I liked the AirTran to

 9          Atlanta, I told you that when I got there.

10                    MR. WOOD: It looked like you were

11        scared to death.

12                    MR. HOFFMAN: Only of you, Lin.

13        You frighten me.

14                    MR. WOOD: Well, that may be the

15        only smart damned thing you've said since I laid

16        eyes on you the first time. All right, I've

17        vented enough.

18                    All I'm saying is this: I don't

19        intend to sit here and listen to you lecture me

20        one damned second about how to take a

21        deposition. I know more about taking

22        depositions on the thumbnail of my right thumb

23        than you'll ever learn in your damn life. Do

24        we understand each other?

25                    MR. HOFFMAN: Lin, I'll just have to


 1          take your word on that one.

 2                      MR. WOOD: You can take the word of

 3          anybody that's ever had the opportunity to go up

 4          against me in a courtroom. I'll talk to people

 5          you've -- if we can find somebody.

 6                      MR. HOFFMAN: Lin, this sounds like

 7          rank speculation on your part. Just drop it.

 8                      MR. WOOD: Let me tell you

 9          something, if I am lucky enough, you will have

10        your day with me, sir.

11                    MR. HOFFMAN: Oh, I hope so, and I

12        hope --

13                    MR. WOOD: And it will be the

14        pleasure of my career when I take you down, and

15        that day may yet come because you still run

16        your mouth to the media so much that you're

17        going to get yourself sued eventually, you're

18        going to get your experts sued eventually, so

19        you just keep the business coming, Darnay. It's

20        really good for my pocketbook. I'm taking a

21        recess.

22                    MR. HOFFMAN: I know in this case

23        that the Ramseys aren't paying a penny, the

24        insurance company is paying you finally, okay,

25        which is nice --


 1                      MR. WOOD: Hey, I made more money

 2          handling the Ramsey case than you've made in

 3          your whole damn career practicing law, Darnay.

 4                      MR. HOFFMAN: -- instead of settling

 5          for chump change, which you've done in all these

 6          other cases, you're actually getting paid a

 7          decent --

 8                      MR. WOOD: I've made more money in

 9          the Ramsey case than you've made in your entire

10        career as a lawyer, you want to bet on that?

11                    MR. HOFFMAN: You mean you've made

12        more than a hundred dollars?

13                    MR. WOOD: Yes, I have made for

14        than a hundred dollars, Darnay.

15                    MR. HOFFMAN: -- in this case.

16        Well, good.

17                    MR. WOOD: I'd just like to know

18        the poor person that paid you the hundred

19        dollars. Maybe we'd have a good legal

20        malpractice claim.

21                    MR. HOFFMAN: All right. Are we

22        ready?

23                    MR. RAWLS: Do we want to take a

24        short recess?

25                    MR. ALTMAN: Maybe we ought to.


 1                      MR. HOFFMAN: Jim, if you'd like to,

 2          that's fine.

 3                      Jim, just one thing I just want to

 4          say. If at any point during my questioning or

 5          whatever I'm in an area that you feel is

 6          inappropriate, just simply tell me and I'll move

 7          on.

 8                      MR. RAWLS: I guarantee you I will

 9          do that.

10                    MR. HOFFMAN: I appreciate the

11        courtesy you're extending me. And if there

12        becomes an issue as to how this is used in

13        court or whatever, just simply raise the

14        objection with the judge and that will certainly

15        settle the issue too, okay? We'll leave it

16        like that.

17                    MR. RAWLS: Indeed, for now we will,

18        and let's have a brief recess.

19                    MR. HOFFMAN: Thank you.

20                    THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record at

21        4:16 p.m.

22                    (Recess).

23                    THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We're on the

24        record, 4:21 p.m.

25        //


 1           EXAMINATION

 2           BY-MR.HOFFMAN:

 3           Q.     Okay, Mr. Epstein, there is an area

 4          in handwriting which is probably considered one

 5          of the most important areas, which states this

 6          proposition, that even though you may find

 7          similarities, maybe even significant similarities

 8          between a questioned document and known documents

 9          of a particular author, that there can be

10        significant differences between the writings to

11        thereby allow the elimination of the author in

12        question.

13                    Did you find that to be true in

14        this particular case when you looked at the

15        handwriting exemplars of Patsy Ramsey and the

16        ransom note?

17                    MR. RAWLS: Darnay, I'll note an

18        objection as to form, and I do think this is

19        exactly what you are not entitled to do.

20                    MR. HOFFMAN: Then I won't. You

21        asked earlier about the differences and the

22        distinction. Then I won't go into it if this

23        is an area that you think he is not called

24        for, in terms of your other area.

25                    Can I ask him this question: With


 1          respect to when you look at handwriting and you

 2          look for what you'd call significant characters

 3          or connections or whatever, do you look for any

 4          particular number of similarities to have any

 5          confidence in your conclusions?

 6                      MR. RAWLS: That too, Darnay, in my

 7          view, is the conduct of a direct examination,

 8          and I don't think it's appropriate.

 9                      MR. HOFFMAN: Okay, because in

10        answering a question of yours he had actually

11        used the term significant characteristics or

12        whatever, okay? All right, let me go into this

13        area.

14         BY MR. HOFFMAN:

15         Q.     You were asked about the element of

16        stress versus disguise in terms of poor quality

17        handwriting, I think you were asked very early

18        on in that, and I want to ask you if you drew

19        any conclusion with respect to whether or not

20        Patsy -- the ransom note writer, I should say

21        this, showed any stress in their writing.

22                                MR. RAWLS: And I must agree, this

23        is a question of clarification of something I

24        asked, and I have no objection to that question.

25                                MR. HOFFMAN: Okay, very good.


 1                      A.        And in answer to that question, I

 2          never totally excluded the possibility that

 3          stress was a part of what line quality was

 4          composed of, because I don't know that any two

 5          people under stress would react in the same way

 6          to where you could say that you are totally --

 7          can be totally familiar with how a person's line

 8          quality will look when under stress.

 9                                  But I felt that the elements of

10        disguise were much more prominent and were more

11        consistent with those elements of disguise that

12        are normally identified to where that was the

13        prominent reason for the line quality being as

14        it was.

15                    Q.        I think that when you talked about

16        disguise you talked about it in explaining the

17        poor line quality that you noted in the

18        handwriting; is that true?

19                    A.        Yes, that's right. And actually,

20        even in the exemplars, in the exemplars that are

21        given by Patsy Ramsey, those exemplars are not

22        written as rapidly and as smoothly as she would

23        normally write in her normal course of business.

24                                Is that intentional? It may well be

25        somewhat intentional, because she is certainly


 1          conscious of the exemplar writing phase and she

 2          may still be attempting to alter some of the

 3          habits that she knows she does, but on the

 4          other hand it could also be the element of

 5          stress that's injected at that time when someone

 6          is being asked to provide handwriting samples in

 7          a situation such as this.

 8                                  The point is the handwriting in the

 9          exemplars is not as naturally and freely and --

10        freely executed as a normal course of business

11        writing that she would have done.

12                                MR. RAWLS: I'll object to the

13        responsiveness of the answer after the words,

14        "Yes, that's right."

15                                MR. HOFFMAN: Okay.

16                    Q.        Now, with respect to today's

17        deposition or whatever, you haven't been asked

18        to show any of your exhibits; is that correct?

19                    A.        That's correct.

20                    Q.        Okay. Have you attended many

21        depositions in the past?

22                    A.        I attended one just last week, and

23        over the years I've attended a number of them,

24        yes.

25                    Q.        In all of those depositions that you


 1          remember, were you asked to show your charts and

 2          comment on them?

 3                      A.        I was asked to certainly show what I

 4          was going to testify to and to illustrate and

 5          actually provide copies of what those

 6          illustrations would be, yes.

 7                      Q.        And were you actually questioned at

 8          that time about your charts and asked to

 9          actually give demonstrations with them?

10                    A.        I was asked to illustrate what it

11        was that I would demonstrated it at the time of

12        testimony.

13                    Q.        Using your charts?

14                    A.        That's correct.

15                    Q.        But you weren't asked that today;

16        were you?

17                    A.        I was not.

18                    Q.        Is this the first time this has ever

19        happened?

20                    A.        To the best of my recollection, it's

21        an unusual situation. If it has happened

22        before, I don't recall it.

23                    Q.        All right. And are you aware that

24        on Monday Cina testified for seven hours and was

25        not asked to demonstrate any of her charts?


 1                      A.        The whole thing about Cina is a

 2          total surprise to me.

 3                      Q.        Okay. But would you be surprised to

 4          hear that Cina was not asked to demonstrate any

 5          of her charts at that deposition?

 6                      A.        No, I wasn't aware of that.

 7                      Q.        Okay. Now, with respect to a

 8          concept called blow smoke, is that a term of

 9          art that you've actually heard in the

10        handwriting profession?

11                    A.        It's often used in the handwriting

12        profession when a document examiner comes into a

13        case simply to cast doubt or dispersions on a

14        particular finding, primarily to inject out into

15        the minds of the jury or to attempt to add

16        some sort of confusion to the case, without

17        specifically saying that the previous examiner

18        was wrong, in other words, they simply say there

19        wasn't enough evidence or the evidence was not

20        comparable, that kind of thing. So they -- the

21        term blowing smoke comes from that particular

22        type of testimony, if you will.

23                                MR. RAWLS: Darnay, I can understand

24        your thoughtful questions to the witness about

25        my not having asked him to go over his own


 1          exhibits, his own charts, and the same of Cina

 2          Wong. I know you're trying to help me learn

 3          how to become a cross-examining counsel.

 4                                  But I must say that I find no

 5          purpose at all in the deposition record today in

 6          the questions that I asked this witness for any

 7          concept about blowing smoke.

 8                                  I had that reaction to your

 9          question, and that reaction is even more

10        profound having listened to the answer.

11                                MR. HOFFMAN: Well, look, I'll tell

12        you what my followup question is to that,

13        because that sets up -- lays the foundation for

14        the next question, which is -- and if you don't

15        want him to go into this area we'll just talk

16        about it.

17                    BY MR. HOFFMAN:

18                    Q.        Did you find any examples of blowing

19        smoke in either the report of Howard Rile or

20        Lloyd Cunningham.

21                                MR. RAWLS: I object to this as

22        having no basis whatsoever in anything covered

23        today; as being a blatant effort to attempt to

24        take this deposition, for all of which we have

25        paid for, for none of which you have paid for,


 1          and to turn it into a piece of direct evidence

 2          to use to attempt to impeach our two experts.

 3                                  And, Darnay, with respect to our two

 4          experts, not only have you failed to show them

 5          any exhibits, including yours or their own, but

 6          you've told us you don't even plan to take

 7          their deposition testimony. So if you want to

 8          impeach them, I suggest that you reconsider, and

 9          you try to do that with the use of their own

10        testimony.

11                                MR. HOFFMAN: Well, I would have

12        said the same thing with Cina Wong, but

13        apparently you wanted to use the deposition

14        testimony of Gideon to impeach her yourself, so

15        I think --

16                                MR. RAWLS: Well, and I had a lot

17        of trouble with that as well.

18                                MR. WOOD: Took awhile for him to

19        get there; didn't it?

20                                MR. RAWLS: But, Darnay, I remind

21        you, I paid for the time of this witness, and

22        I asked questions that were proper. If I had

23        not, you would have objected to them. So I do

24        object to this line that you're now pursuing.

25                                MR. HOFFMAN: Okay, well, then I


 1          won't continue in that line, all right? I'm

 2          going to ask Gideon another question with

 3          respect to the -- some of the earlier experts

 4          that you were asked to comment on.

 5                      BY MR. HOFFMAN:

 6                      Q.        You were asked to comment on Cina

 7          Wong and her qualifications, and from what I

 8          understand you do not believe she's a qualified

 9          document examiner within your understanding of

10        that term used in your field; is that correct?

11                    A.        Within the requirements that the

12        profession has laid down.

13                    Q.        Do you feel her conclusions were

14        wrong with respect to her identifying Patsy

15        Ramsey as the ransom note writer?

16                    A.        No, I don't believe that her

17        conclusions were wrong. But, you know, this is

18        something that we certainly discussed earlier,

19        and, you know, how a person reaches those

20        conclusions and how they support those

21        conclusions is just as important as the

22        conclusions themselves.

23                    Q.        Okay. Now, with respect to David

24        Leibman, I think you were also asked about David

25        Leibman's professional credentials and I believe


 1          you also said that you didn't feel that he met

 2          the credentials that you believe the profession

 3          has established; is that correct?

 4                      A.        That's correct.

 5                      Q.        But do you feel that David Leibman

 6          arrived at the wrong conclusion when he

 7          concluded that Patsy Ramsey was, in fact, the

 8          ransom note writer?

 9                      A.        No, I don't believe he reached the

10        wrong conclusion.

11                    Q.        Were you aware of a report by a

12        Donald Lacy that was attached as an exhibit, I

13        believe, to the complaint?

14                                MR. RAWLS: Darnay, I don't believe

15        the name Donald Lacy came up today before now.

16                                MR. HOFFMAN: I wasn't sure whether

17        it had or hadn't, because I know that you had

18        talked about the other handwriting experts in

19        the case and I wasn't sure whether I had heard

20        his name or not. If you didn't mention his

21        name then I won't continue along those lines.

22                                MR. WOOD: Lacy's one of the

23        graphologists?

24                                MR. HOFFMAN: Well, he likes to

25        think of himself as a questioned document


 1          examiner, but you know how people are with that.

 2                      BY MR. HOFFMAN:

 3                      Q.        I'll just ask for some clarification.

 4          You were asked very specifically toward the end

 5          of your deposition examination here about some

 6          of the professionals that you had contacted

 7          regarding their involvement in the case. Do you

 8          remember that?

 9                      A.        Yes, I do.

10                    Q.        Do you remember you were asked to

11        name some of them, and one of which you named

12        was Dick Williams or Richard Williams?

13                    A.        Yes, that's correct.

14                    Q.        Okay, now, I wasn't clear what it

15        was that you were saying. Did you say that

16        Richard Williams had actually reached a

17        conclusion in this case?

18                    A.        Richard Williams at one time was

19        willing to come into the case because he

20        believed that the conclusions that we had

21        reached were the correct conclusions.

22                    Q.        Which was?

23                    A.        That the ransom note was written by

24        Patsy Ramsey.

25                    Q.        And that is the same conclusion that


 1          Larry Zieglar had reached; is that correct?

 2                      A.        That's the same conclusion that Larry

 3          Zieglar had reached, that's correct.

 4                      Q.        Let's see. I think I'm coming to

 5          the end of my list here.

 6                                  Oh, okay, you were also asked about

 7          the district attorney's office and how hard this

 8          type of decision making could be, and I believe

 9          you were asked also whether or not they had

10        been wise in availing themselves of questioned

11        document examiners.

12                                Were you surprised that you never

13        heard anything from the district attorney's

14        office after you had contacted them with your

15        credentials and your letter offering to help

16        them pro bono?

17                    A.        I wasn't really that surprised,

18        because so many crackpots have come out of the

19        woodwork in this case that I assume that they

20        just considered me another one of them, and

21        maybe if I had been one of the district

22        attorneys and been exposed to what they had been

23        exposed to I may have taken the same action.

24        But I would have liked to have heard from them,

25        but I wasn't totally surprised that I didn't.


 1                       Q.      See, I haven't seen your letter.

 2          Was there anything in your letter indicating

 3          that you were actually, in fact, something other

 4          than a crackpot, like a qualified document

 5          examiner?

 6                       A.      I attached my CV, but that doesn't

 7          mean that it was read.

 8                                  MR. WOOD: Did he say anything in

 9          the letter about being hired by you?

10                                MR. HOFFMAN: Case closed there.

11                                MR. WOOD: You're right about that.

12                                MR. HOFFMAN: Okay, gentlemen, I've

13        had my fun, so to speak, and I've finished the

14        questioning of Mr. Epstein.

15                                Jim, if you have any other

16        questions, please, at this point.

17                                MR. RAWLS: Thank you for that

18        invitation, Darnay. We're completed.

19                                MR. HOFFMAN: Great.

20                                MR. ALTMAN: Darnay, could we have

21        about two minutes?

22                                MR. HOFFMAN: Sure.

23                                THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record at

24        4:35 p.m.

25                                (Recess).


 1                                  MR. HOFFMAN: I've had an

 2          opportunity to talk with Evan and with Gideon.

 3          We're finished as far as our questioning is

 4          concerned, so unless you have other questions

 5          we're prepared to end the deposition whenever

 6          you are.

 7                                  MR. RAWLS: Well, I just want to

 8          know, the conversation you just had with Evan

 9          and with Mr. Epstein, was that on my nickel?

10                                MR. HOFFMAN: I hope not.

11                                MR. ALTMAN: It certainly wasn't

12        being recorded.

13                                MR. RAWLS: Well, I move to strike

14        it.

15                                I think we're all done. Thank you,

16        let's go off the record.

17                                (WHEREUPON, the deposition was

18        concluded.)

19        .

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .


 1                      STATE OF GEORGIA:

 2                      COUNTY OF FULTON:

 3                       I hereby certify that the foregoing

 4                      transcript was reported, as stated in the

 5                      caption, and the questions and answers

 6                      thereto were reduced to typewriting under my

 7                      direction; that the foregoing pages represent

 8                      a true, complete, and correct transcript of

 9                      the evidence given upon said hearing, and I

10                    further certify that I am not of kin or

11                    counsel to the parties in the case; am not

12        in the employ of counsel for any of said

13        parties; nor am I in anywise interested in

14        the result of said case.

15        .

16        .

17        .

18        .

19        .

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .


 1           Disclosure Pursuant to Article

 2          8(B) of the Rules and Regulations of the

 3          Board of Court Reporting of the Judicial

 4          Council of Georgia, I make the following

 5          disclosure:

 6           I am a Georgia Certified Court

 7          Reporter, here as a representative of

 8          Alexander Gallo & Associates, Inc., to report

 9          the foregoing matter. Alexander Gallo &

10        Associates, Inc., is not taking this

11        deposition under any contract that is

12        prohibited by O.C.G.A. 5-14-37 (a) and (b).

13         Alexander Gallo & Associates,

14        Inc., will be charging its usual and

15        customary rates for this transcript.

16        .

17        .


19         VALERIE N. ALMAND, CCR-B-531

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .


 1           CAPTION

 2           The Deposition of Gideon Epstein,

 3          taken in the matter, on the date, and at the

 4          time and place set out on the title page

 5          hereof.

 6           It was requested that the deposition

 7          be taken by the reporter and that same be

 8          reduced to typewritten form.

 9           It was agreed by and between counsel

10        and the parties that the Deponent will read

11        and sign the transcript of said deposition.

12        .

13        .

14        .

15        .

16        .

17        .

18        .

19        .

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .


 1           CERTIFICATE

 2          STATE OF :

 3          COUNTY/CITY OF :

 4           Before me, this day, personally

 5          appeared, Gideon Epstein, who, being duly

 6          sworn, states that the foregoing transcript

 7          of his/her Deposition, taken in the matter,

 8          on the date, and at the time and place set

 9          out on the title page hereof, constitutes a

10        true and accurate transcript of said

11        deposition.


13         Gideon Epstein

14        .

15         SUBSCRIBED and SWORN to before me this

16         day of , 2002 in the

17        jurisdiction aforesaid.


19        My Commission Expires Notary Public

20        .

21        .

22        .

23        .

24        .

25        .



 2          .

 3          RE: Alexander Gallo & Associates

 4          File No. 1637

 5          Case Caption: Robert Christian Wolf vs.

 6           John and Patricia Ramsey

 7          Deponent: Gideon Epstein

 8          Deposition Date: May 17, 2002

 9          .

10        To the Reporter:

11        I have read the entire transcript of my

12        Deposition taken in the captioned matter or

13        the same has been read to me. I request

14        that the following changes be entered upon

15        the record for the reasons indicated. I

16        have signed my name to the Errata Sheet and

17        the appropriate Certificate and authorize you

18        to attach both to the original transcript.

19        .

20        Page No. Line No. Change to:


22        Reason for change:

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25        Reason for change:


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 6          Reason for change:

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 9          Reason for change:

10        Deposition of Gideon Epstein

11        .

12        Page No. Line No. Change to:


14        Reason for change:     

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17        Reason for change:     

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20        Reason for change:     

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23        Reason for change:     

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 1          Reason for change:     

 2          Page No.         Line No.         Change to:


 4          Reason for change:     

 5          .

 6          .

 7          SIGNATURE:_______________________DATE:___________

 8           Gideon Epstein

 9          .