In Memoriam: Peter V. Tytell, BA

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Sources: Carl R. McClary, MS, AAFS President Elect, Thomas W. Vastrick, BS, AAFS Board of Directors, and Karen J. Nobles, MFS, Questioned Documents Section Chair

The Questioned Documents section is sad to announce the passing of member Peter V. Tytell of New York after a long illness. Peter was known to many in the forensic arena, having been an active participant for numerous years in the Academy (Ordway Hilton Award), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) (Forensic Sciences Award and Award of Merit), the Academy Standards Board (ASB), the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Document Examination (SWGDOC), the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), and the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (Albert Osborn Award of Excellence). He was instrumental in creating the first standardization group for document examination through ASTM and was especially involved in standardizing terminology, both for forensic document examination and for general forensic terms. He was also involved, directly or indirectly, in the creation of at least 20 Questioned Document standards.

Peter first worked for his parent’s typewriter business in New York, one of the last in that city, and was, therefore, the section’s expert in everything involving typewriters and fonts. He worked many high-profile and influential cases, both domestically and internationally. He was known for having quite long answers (with analogies) to very short questions! Peter has been described as a Renaissance man, and one of the professions he enjoyed as a young man was as a carpenter for the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin!

Peter was a beloved member of our section and leaves a tremendous void in many organizations and hearts. He is survived by his wife, Tikva, mother, Pearl, and sister, Pamela. Memorials may be made to the Thoracic Oncology Department of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (, the New York Public Library (, the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (, or the AAFS (