Until the News and Observer published "Mental Disorder," most North Carolinians had no idea that their state mental health system was a disaster. The five-part series examined each major failure of an 8-year reform effort. Major findings included that the sate had wasted at least $400 million on services that were ineffective or unneeded and various cases of money mismanagement. They also found that at least 82 patients in state mental health hospitals and homes for the developmentally disabled had died of homicide, suicide, accidents or medical errors. In dozens of cases, hospital officials had covered up the true circumstances of the deaths by falsifying records and telling family members the patients had died of natural causes.