Here is the
fascinating story of Jill Price, the woman with the amazing
Her secret story was
locked in the annals of scientific research at the University of
California, Irvine for 8 years. Until she agreed to reveal the
details. And then the scientific world and the media went wild.
Encapsulated in the
unique handwriting sample below is the private history, the
unusual personality and the dreams and revelations of Jill
Price, the woman with the perfect memory.
As Jill herself said
when she was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC News; hers is an
This means that she
remembers things in relation to her own life. She reveals that
she was not great at school and that memorizing a poem for
example, would be excruciating for her. Everything she remembers
is related to something that went on in her life.
Scientists at the
University of California, Irvine had studied her in secret for 8
years before the story finally broke in a newspaper story that
appeared in 2006. Since then, she was interviewed by Oprah and
she has written a book about her amazing memory.
Jill, who is 43, spent
most of her life in Los Angeles where she works as a school
administrator. She lives with her parents because she is a
collector of personal memorabilia that she canít bear to part
with. She suffers from separation anxiety to the extent that a
move away from her family home would involve too much for her to
Jillís memory is based
on her own personal history. So much so, that her memory of
events that are not linked in some way to her personal history
are not spectacular.
Letís take a look
at her handwriting.
Jill has chronicled
her life in a journal that contains page upon page of her very
strange handwriting set up in columns like a newspaper. The
excerpt here is reproduced from one of these columns.
impression we gain is one of extreme crowdedness. Crowdedness to
the point of extreme obsession and this I think, is the key to
everything. Her mind is so crowded with events of her personal
life that she is indeed obsessed with it. The phrase
obsessive-compulsive disorder comes to mind. She remembers so
much about herself because she thinks constantly about herself
and her past in an obsessive way.
In the handwriting
sample, spacing is non-existent; lines are so crooked that
they too donít seem to exist.
Everything appears to
be chaotic Ė and yet when you enlarge the picture and follow the
words, there is a strange sort of rhythm that seems to follow
Look carefully and you
will see that the lines are in fact quite straight Ė only the
words bob up and down within them.
In short, Jill seems
to dance to her own tune. Her handwriting does not follow the
norms of communication because there is no desire to
communicate. Itís all about personal reflection.
In some ways it
reminds us of the handwriting of Leonardo Da Vinci who used
mirror writing to avoid being read by those who were merely
Much of Jillís
handwriting when magnified appears to be highly individualized Ė
and this is one of the marks of high intelligence. Angular and
rounded connections abound without any obvious pattern. There
are shortcuts and there are words that are completely connected
with one another:
This is a handwriting
sample to beat all handwriting samples. It would take many
hours of study to try to pin down the personality behind it.
Anyone game for the
Here is Jill Price's
Wired Magazine: Issue