Henderson was a handwriting analyst who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at FBI Headquarters. She was a friend of Special Agent Fox Mulder and, in 1994, she analyzed several taunting notes that criminal John Barnett had written for him, in an effort to determine who had written the notes before the culprit's identity was discerned by the FBI. (TXF: "Young at Heart")


First Analysis of Barnett Note

Henderson and Fox Mulder

Agent Henderson with Mulder.

Agent Henderson studied one of the handwritten notes from the as-yet unidentified John Barnett, shortly after it had been found in a jewelry store that had recently been robbed by a man matching Barnett's description. While examining the note – which read, "Fox can't guard the chicken coop" – through a microscope, Agent Henderson sarcastically asked if the writer of the note was a friend of Mulder's acquaintance, to which he jokingly answered positively before adding that they played golf every Sunday. After Mulder asked her what she thought, Henderson at first complained at the fact that he had brought the note in only ten minutes ago. She subsequently used sexual innuendo by commenting that ten minutes might be okay for him but that she wouldn't know that from personal experience.

Henderson soon got down to the business of listing her initial impressions of the note, revealing aloud that the ink was fresh and that the message had been written by a right-handed person, obviously using a ballpoint pen, in the past forty-eight hours. Henderson also noted that the message had been written by someone sitting down but admitted that she was now just showing off. Reacting to Mulder's impatience to know whether the note had been written by John Barnett, Henderson finally admitted that she was ninety-five percent sure it had been, adding that the writing was sloppy. She acknowledged Mulder's suggestion that the note could have been a tracing of an old note written by Barnett but told him that, if this was true, it was a good copy. After Mulder appreciatively remarked that he owed her one as he left, she – in mock disappointment – mumbled, "promises, promises."

Discussion of Conclusions

Shortly thereafter, Mulder's FBI partner, Special Agent Dana Scully, asked him about Henderson's findings and he responded by notifying Scully that the specialist had been ninety-five percent certain that the note was in Barnett's handwriting. However, Mulder later called his former ASAC, Agent Reggie Purdue, with news that the only thing he could not make sense of was that Henderson had said the note had been written by a right-hander but that an inmate at a prison where Barnett had been held had sworn that he saw Barnett's right hand amputated. During the phone call, Agent Purdue was killed by Barnett, who had crept into the FBI agent's home.

Second Examination

Soon after Agent Purdue's murder, Henderson analyzed a note that Barnett had left on his victim's lifeless body. While peering through her microscope at the note, she remarked that the handwriting, which read "Funeral for Fox's friends – then for Fox", consisted of ink that was both fresh and had been slightly smeared. Henderson regretfully informed Mulder, adding that she was not known to be wrong about such things, that the note had definitely been written by a right-hander. She leaned further away from the microscope, allowing Mulder to use the device so that she could show him the evidence that had lead her to this determination. In response to him asking her if she could ascertain whether the writer had been using a prosthetic hand, Henderson returned her view to the microscope's contents where, continuing to outline her thought processes to Mulder, she told him that she was assuming the note had been written by a male and implied that she doubted the possibility that the note had been written with a prosthetic arm.

Henderson again moved away from the microscope to nod to Mulder asking her if she believed both notes she had analyzed had been written by the same person. She then made a point of indirectly suggesting to him to have the notes checked for fingerprints, mentioning that – since her examination of the first note – the thought had occurred to her that he had not yet had it checked and deducing that the writer had not been wearing a glove on his pen-hand. (TXF: "Young at Heart")