Resource Center





The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.




Search results for "crime scene" ...

  • 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)


  • The Hidden Life of Guns

    The investigation details the way guns move through society, from retail sales to street crimes. The Post set out to break the secrecy imposed by Congress and an examination of how gunes are used in crimes. Their investigation included creating a database of more than 35,000 guns traced to crimes; a comprehensive database of 511 police officers killed by firearms; lists from confidential sources of the top 12 gun dealers who have sold the most weapons trace from Mexican crime scenes over the past two years.

    Tags: guns; gun laws; crime; gun dealer; illegal gun trade; Mexico; criminal statistics; Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; National Shooting Sports Foundation; Tiahrt Amendment;

    By David S. Fallis; James V. Grimaldi; Sari Horwitz; Cheryl W. Thompson

    Washington Post


  • The Shadow Economy

    This series of investigations into the Baltimore crime scene was inspired by the public interest in the HBO show The Wire, a show highlighting Baltimore crime. The paper uncovers the shadow economy in which launderers and drug dealers meet and develop political connections to stay in business

    Tags: Milton Tillman Jr.; gangster; money-laundering; bondsman; felony;

    By Jeffrey Anderson; Edward Ericson Jr.; Chris Landers; Van Smith

    City Paper (Baltimore)