Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "crime scene" ...

  • ATF Gun Tracing

    CBS News obtained exclusive access to the National Tracing Center operated by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Martinsburg, West Virginia In our piece, we took the public behind the scenes of this massive facility in the heart of rural West Virginia to show how a gun is traced, guns used in crimes such as the Newtown Ct. mass shootings, Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, and that of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

    Tags: Newtown

    By Scott Pelley

    CBS News


  • Return to Benghazi

    In Return to Benghazi, Arwa Damon takes viewers back to the scene of a deadly embassy attack by unknown assailants. Damon's landmark reporting in this program led the U.S. to name the first suspect believed to be involved in the attack. On the night of September 11, 2012, four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed. It was a violent, well-coordinated attack that shocked the world. No one took responsibility for the killings. Libyan and U.S. officials did not know who to blame. A political firestorm erupted in the U.S. amongst lawmakers demanding to know what U.S. officials knew about the leadup to the attack. CNN's Arwa Damon arrived in Benghazi just days after the attack to cover the story. She spoke to witnesses and visited the compound where the Ambassador lived. It was there where she found Ambassador Stevens' diary. The FBI and the Libyan government vowed to find those responsible and bring them to justice, but justice did not come swiftly. It would be weeks before FBI teams would inspect the crime scene. Months passed and still no suspects were identified. Several months after the attack, Arwa Damon goes back to Benghazi to get an update on the investigation. She finds a changed city where westerners have fled and citizens face unexplained violence. Militias increasingly rule the streets and security forces struggle to keep control. Even more omonous, are the alarming signs of support for Al Qaeda that have emerged in less than a year. Damon tracks down the headquarters of Ansar Al Sharia, a group many Libyans and U.S. officials suspected might be behind the attack, but the group isn't talking. She also speaks to a Libyan rebel intelligence chief who blames a factions of Al Quada for the attack. The government is reluctant to move against either of them. In a rare interview, Arwa Damon sits down with a man U.S. officials have often suggested they would be interested in speaking to about the night of the attack: Ahmed Abu Khattala. He admits to Damon that he was at the compound that night while the attack was taking place. He also tells her no one from the FBI had tried to contact him, but that he would be willing to meet with them if it was a conversation and not an interrogation. After the program aired, an outraged U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz told reporters, "News out today that CNN was able to go in and talk to one of the suspected terrorists, how come the military hasn't been able to get after them and capture or kill the people? How come the FBI isn't doing this and yet CNN is?" U.S. federal authorities then filed charges against against Khattala, suspecting him for being involved in the attack. Arwa Damon's reporting in Return to Benghazi not only showcased the powerful investigative journalism that CNN is known for, but it also sparked movement in the stalled investigation of the September 11, 2012 embassy attack.

    Tags: Benghazi; al-qaeda; 9/11

    By Jon Adler



  • Scenes of a Crime

    'Scenes of a Crime' explores a 10-hour interrogation culminating in a disputed confession, and an intense, high-profile murder trial in New York state. In September 2008, an infant named Matthew Thomas lies brain dead in a hospital, and his doctor misdiagnoses a skull fracture. The doctor tells Troy, New York police that the child has been murdered, and the detectives bring the baby’s father, Adrian Thomas, in for questioning. Police video of the interrogation reveals the complicated psychological contest between detectives and their suspect over many hours, including lies, threats and coercion that are legally permitted by most courts.

    Tags: murder trial; interrogation; Matthew Thomas; Adrian Thomas

    By Blue Hadaegh; Grover Babcock



  • The Real CSI

    Evidence collected at crime scenes—everything from fingerprints to bite marks—is routinely called upon in the courtroom to prosecute the most difficult crimes and put the guilty behind bars. And though glamorized on commercial television, in the real world, it’s not so cut-and-dried. A joint investigation by FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley examines the reliability of the science behind forensics in The Real CSI. From the sensational murder trial of Casey Anthony to the credentialing of forensic experts, “The Real CSI” documents how a field with few uniform standards and unproven science can undermine the search for justice. The investigation follows a landmark study by the National Academy of Sciences that called into question the tenets of forensic science. For the first time, Harry T. Edwards, a senior federal appellate court judge and co-chairman of the report, sits for an interview to discuss what the report means. And, FRONTLINE examines one of the most high-profile terrorist investigations since 9/11: the case of Brandon Mayfield, an attorney who was wrongfully identified and arrested as a suspect in the Madrid commuter train bombings after the FBI erroneously matched his fingerprint to a partial print found at the scene. In “The Real CSI,” FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman finds serious flaws in some of the best known tools of forensic science, wide inconsistencies in how forensic evidence is presented in the courtroom and no system in place for establishing the credibility of so-called “forensic experts” whose testimony can lead to a conviction.

    Tags: Terrorism; Forensic science; CSI

    By Raney Aronson-Rath

    PBS Frontline


  • Forensic Science

    A nine-month investigation found that Justice Department officials had known for years that flawed forensic evidence might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people but had not performed a thorough review of the cases. In addition, prosecutors did not notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled, forcing innocent defendants to stay incarcerated or on parole. The Post identified two District of Columbia men convicted largely on the flawed forensic work and testimony of FBI hair analysts who wrongly placed them at crime scenes. Since the Post report, both men have had their convictions vacated and judges have taken the unusual steps of fully exonerating the men so they can seek compensation from the government. As a result of The Post’s work, the Justice Department is reviewing more than 21,000 FBI Laboratory cases handled before 2000 to identify convictions that might merit exoneration, re-trial or re-testing of evidence.

    Tags: Forensics; FBI; Hair analysis; Exoneration

    By Spencer S. Hsu; Jennifer L. Jenkins; Ted Mellnik

    Washington Post


  • A Threat Ignored: The Aurora Theater Shooting Investigation

    As police were cordoning off the crime scene, the KMGH-TV investigative team immediately focused on the shooter and how he was able to carry out his deadly mission. Within a few hours, Investigative Reporter John Ferrugia was on the air reporting specific and exclusive details of how 24-year old James Holmes had gained access to the theater and carried out his deadly mission. In subsequent weeks, KMGH-TV team uncovered information showing that the University of Colorado Threat Assessment team had known about Holmes' mental health issues and his potential for harming others. In multiple exclusive reports Ferrugia detailed how Holmes psychiatrist had contacted not only the University "BETA Team", but University police with concerns that Holmes could be a threat because he had told her about his fantasies of "killing a lot of people". These stories made national headlines with the stories attributed the KMGH-TV.

    Tags: Aurora; Mental Health; Shooting

    By John Ferrugia; Arthur Kane; Tak Landrock; Jason Foster; Jeff Harris; Byron Grandy

    KMGH-TV (Denver)


  • Trail of the Gun

    After a wave of gun violence in Seattle, KING 5 examined some of the most basic techniques that police use to solve gun crimes. By analyzing documents received through public records requests the television station learned that most large police departments in Washington state are not conducting routine ballistics tests on the so-called “crime guns” they seize from suspects and crime scenes. This means that guns, that could hold clues to unsolved crimes, are sitting right under investigators’ noses in their own evidence rooms. The investigative series "Trail of the Gun" also unearthed the results of federal firearms “traces”, which police use to determine how a gun ended up in the hands of a criminal. These trace results revealed that a large number of Seattle’s crime guns came from an unexpected place. After the stories aired, several large police departments pledged to begin ballistics testing programs for their crime guns. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms offered to assist local police agencies to test every gun in their evidence rooms. And, the feds unveiled a warrant targeting one of the gun dealers identified in the series.

    Tags: Guns; gun crimes; police

    By Chris Ingalls, Reporter; Steve Douglas, Photographer/Editor; Kellie Cheadle, Executive Producer; Mark Ginther, News Director

    KING-TV (Seattle)


  • Broken Shield: Police force fails to protect state’s most vulnerable residents

    Decades ago, California created a special police force to investigate crimes and unexplained injuries inflicted upon some of society’s most vulnerable citizens – men and women with severe autism and cerebral palsy living in taxpayer-funded institutions. This police force, the Office of Protective Services, works exclusively at state developmental centers that have been the scene of horrific abuses. We sought to bring this story to readers in many forms, from working on all platforms, distributing condensed versions and delivering broadcast video stories to our partners, to creating a graphic novel video on one particularly human story -- a woman who was raped, apparently by a janitor. We also created an ebook of the series of stories and an interactive tracker that detailed key milestones of legislation drafted and signed into law. Producing this work on every platform helped to maximize audience reach and heighten the impact.

    Tags: Autism; cerebral palsy; taxes; taxpayers; Office of Protective Services; abuse

    By Ryan Gabrielson

    California Watch


  • Fast and Furious: Arizona Crime Ties

    When a Border Patrol agent was shot to death near the Arizona/Mexico border in Dec 2010, KNXV-TV quickly learned that guns found at the murder scene were linked to a controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives case called Fast and Furious.

    Tags: Border Patrol; Alcohol; Tobacco; Firearms; Fast and Furious; Arizona; Mexico

    By Lori Jane Glina; Scott Sherman; Matt Anzur; Aaron Wische

    KNXV-TV (Phoenix)


  • Fast and Furious: Arizona Crime Ties

    When Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot to death near the Arizona/Mexico border in December 2010, we quickly learned the guns found at the murder scene were linked to a controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives case called Fast and Furious. Phoenix ATF agents testified in front of Congressional leaders about the flawed gun case and the strategy in which they knowingly allowed criminals to obtain deadly assault weapons. The agents admitted to watching straw buyers purchase weapons on behalf of criminals. The agents said they did nothing to stop the purchases or to track the guns in a meaningful way after they were purchased. As a result of the Fast and Furious case, approximately two thousand weapons went missing. They are presumed to be on the streets somewhere in the United States, near the border, or in Mexico. The agents' testimonies sparked a slew of Congressional hearings and a major shuffle within the leadership ranks of the ATF and other areas of the Department of Justice.

    Tags: Fast and Furious; missing weapons; ATF agents

    By Lori Lane Gliha; Scott Sherman; Matt Anzur; Aaron Wische

    KNXV-TV (Phoenix)