Roy A. Huber

ASQDE President - 1996-1998

  Roy A. Huber  

Roy A. Huber was the 24th President of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners.

After joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1940, Roy Huber worked as a police constable at various detachments in the Province of Saskatchewan.  In 1949, he transferred to the Document Section of the RCMP’s Regina Laboratory to commence a career that would span more than fifty years.  Under the tutelage of senior document examiners Hugh Radcliffe and Chester Eaves, Mr. Huber completed his training program and moved to the RCMP’s eastern laboratory in Ottawa. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Carleton University in 1959. Commissioned in 1963, he moved back to Regina to assume command of the Regina laboratory.  Six years later, he returned to the Ottawa laboratory and occupied various positions before being appointed Director of the RCMP’s Laboratory and Identification Services - a position he held until 1975 when he retired to operate a private practice in Ottawa.

He wrote and presented more than 30 papers including such titles as Typist Identification, Modern Trends in Counterfeiting, The Production and Identification of Embossing Seals , and The Quandary of “Qualified” Opinions.  In 1999, he published a book entitled “Handwriting Identification - Facts and Fundamentals," which has become an important text in the training of forensic document examiners.

Mr. Huber’s interest in sharing information was responsible for two seminars hosted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during the 1950’s.  Seminar No. 4, simply titled The Examination of Questioned Documents, was held in Ottawa during May of 1956.  This was followed two years later by Seminar No. 5, Questioned Documents in Crime Detection.  Attendance at these gatherings was by invitation only and participants included such influential document examiners as David Purtell, Herbert Walter, Linton Godown, Jean Gayet, and others.  The proceedings of these seminars were eventually published largely through Mr. Huber’s persistent efforts.

Roy Huber was an active member of several organizations and honored societies.  He attended meetings of the American Academy during the 1950’s.  Along with Ordway Hilton, Clark Sellers and others, he helped establish its Questioned Documents Section.  He was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1961 and served as Secretary of its Questioned Documents Section from 1962-63 and as Chair from 1963-64.  He joined the Canadian Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) in 1954, almost early enough to qualify as a charter member.  He served on its Board of Directors for many years, as President from 1967-69 and as Journal Editor from 1975-80.  He was one of the first members to be elected a Fellow at the 1997 CSFS meeting in Regina.  Mr. Huber was also one of the first document examiners to be certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners.  He received his certificate in 1979 and later served as an ABFDE Director, Treasurer, and Vice President.

The first ASQDE conference he attended was the 1955 meeting that was held in Houston.  He presented his first ASQDE paper titled, The Potentialities of the Blink Microscope Principle in Typewriting Comparisons.  Mr. Huber joined the Society as a Provisional Member in 1961 and was elected a Regular Member in 1964.  For over 40 years, he regularly attended ASQDE annual conferences and missed only two meetings for reasons beyond his control.  He served on its Board of Directors as Secretary and Vice President prior to his election to President.  Elected a Life Member in 2001, he continued to support the Society as a member of its Nominating and Journal Committees.  In 2003, Roy Huber received the Albert S. Osborn Award of Excellence in recognition of his distinguished career and many contributions he made to both the ASQDE and the profession as a whole.

Adapted from an article by Dan Purdy, which appeared in the November 2003 issue of The Society News.