|When I was asked to review Detection of Criminals Through
Hand Analysis, I tried to keep an open mind about palmistry. I have long
been skeptical about the use of palmistry as a means to determine one's future
and/or character. I admit that prior to reading this book, I had read no other
information on how the analysis of the palmar side of the hand is conducted and
how the information is used.
In this book, divided into four parts, the author first introduces
palmistry and its use as a science to predict events in someone's
life. He presents his definition of crime and his opinion of what
and who a criminal is. His list of criminal descriptions and definitions
include, but are not limited to, his opinions of causes for criminal
behavior, classification of criminals, and the role genes and heredity
play in a criminal's behavior.
Palmistry, known also as cheirosophy, is divided into two parts.
- Cheirognomy deals with the shape, division, texture, fingers,
thumbs, nails, and mounts (raised areas) of the hands.
- Cheiromancy deals with the main and secondary lines on the hand
and their biological and psychological significance, respectively.
The author presents illustrations of the "maps" of the
hands that show how the lines or creases in the palms are named
and used to read the information that determines the type of character
and future of a person. Dr. Panse acknowledges that these lines
do change over the course of a life, thus requiring a person's palms
to be analyzed numerous times. This reader is curious to know how
the author addresses one's occupation or a medical condition like
arthritis, for instance, as a factor when reading the lines or creases
of the palm or the shape of the fingers.
Dr. Panse used a study of the palm prints of 200 criminal and 200
noncriminal men to show percentages of occurrences of certain signs
that are present in the palm prints and are used in conjunction
with the lines, mounts, and other factors. He narrowed down the
types of signs present in both groups to seven and used the rate
of occurrence or nonappearance of those signs in the criminal palm
prints to conclude that those with a higher appearance rate of certain
signs have criminal tendencies. It is not that these same signs
did not appear in both groups; that information is shown is his
data as well. This reader's opinion is if these same signs, lines,
and other data are present in the palms of the noncriminal, how
can an analysis of these palms be accurate? It would seem that mistakes
can and will be made.
In Part 2, the author further explains the cheirognomical factors
of hand analysis, which include the shape and division of the hand,
fingers, thumbs, and mounts of the hands. By analyzing these factors,
an individual's character and personality and his predisposition
to criminal behavior can be determined.
In Part 3, the author explains the cheiromantical factors that include
the primary and secondary lines of the hands. These lines link the
two divisions of cheirosophy and according to the author may determine
whether there is a possibility that an individual will commit a
Part 4 lists the 45 different signs denoting criminal tendencies
(19 cheirognomical, 19 cheiromantical, and the remaining seven specific),
sums up the author's research work, and profiles a few criminal
Many times throughout this book, the author describes his opinion
of criminal behavior as observed through the analysis of the hand.
His analysis also includes statements too broad for this reader
to give credence to. One such statement is, "A person with
long fingers, if he takes to crime, will not commit any type of
crime in a fit of anger." He also shows examples of how he
arrives at his analyses by showing a hand print and his opinion
of how it depicts criminal behavior.
As a professional in the fingerprint field, it was interesting
to read another use of hand prints. This book, however, has not
changed my opinion of the use of hand analysis to detect criminals
or foresee the future. The use of 400 men as a study base does not
convince me that this is an exact science. Furthermore, the possibility
and, in my opinion, likelihood that mistakes will be made in these
analyses would not allow me to accept or refer to its use in deterring
or detecting criminals.