Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "Chicago" ...

  • Borrowing Trouble

    For years, Chicago taxpayers have been paying an exorbitant price for the faulty financial decisions of school officials – only they didn’t know it. Not surprisingly, leaders of the city’s public schools weren’t advertising the high costs of the losing bets they had placed in a risky debt market. Over the life of the deals, Chicago Public Schools will likely end up paying $100 million more than it would have if officials had stuck with traditional fixed-rate bonds. The story implicated state lawmakers, the school district's financial advisors, and the current school board president in the disastrous deals.
  • ChiMag: Crime Stats

    Written by National Magazine Award finalists David Bernstein and Noah Isackson, this ambitious two-part investigative series, which took the better part of a year to report, exposed how the Chicago Police Department underreported homicides and improperly downgraded scores more serious felonies to lesser offenses in order to bolster the department's crime statistics and make the city appear safer.
  • The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops

    This report broke new ground by investigating the residences of the 34 active Catholic archbishops in the United States and revealing that at least 10 live in homes valued at more than $1 million. At least two archbishops, in New York and Chicago, live in residences worth tens of millions, according to outside appraisers hired by CNN.
  • CLOSING COSTS

    In an unprecedented move -- billed to cut costs -- Chicago Public Schools shut down 49 of their school buildings in the summer of 2013, leaving them vacant and abandoned. Late in the fall of 2013, NBC5 Investigates filed a FOIA request to see how much was still being spent on these empty buildings in utility costs. For months, CPS delayed and then ignored our FOIA request, and it ultimately took a lawsuit by NBC5 to finally get CPS to turn over the documents, They showed that taxpayers were spending nearly as much on utilities for these vacant buildings as they were when the schools were open. NBC5 Investigates also obtained secret CPS reports showing extensive vandalism at some abandoned schools, resulting in additional costs for taxpayers to repair the damage.
  • Chicago police failing to register sex offenders

    These stories detail the Chicago Police Departments systematic failure to register sex offenders. The offenders trying to follow the law are turned away from police headquarters. The department refuses to register them because they don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of offenders. The offenders are then vulnerable to arrest for ‘failure to register.’ The arresting agency is the Chicago police department, the agency responsible for their failure to register.
  • Harsh Treatment

    An unprecedented 18-month investigation in which 50 interns took part in gathering reports and records nationwide exposing widespread problems at residential treatment centers nationwide that posed danger to children and teenager with severe emotional, mental and behavioral problems. The work, done parallel and in collaboration with a Chicago Tribune series on residential treatment centers, found children being brutally attacked, and underpaid staff ill-equipped to protect them; found staff, struggling to maintain control, at times seriously injuring youth they were charged with protecting; found children running away, posing dangers to themselves and to the surrounding community; and found facilities directing staff members to tone down reports so as to minimize the incidents that occurred.
  • NBC5 Investigates: Inside the Frontlines - Kids Who Can't Be Kids

    What do kids in Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods face, on a daily basis, when they walk to school or play in a nearby park? NBC5 Investigates set out to look at these kids’ daily lives with an investigative edge, combing through city crime data and mapping the incidents to show exactly how much danger these children face every day, just by walking out the door.
  • NBC5 Investigates: Sex Trafficking in Chicago

    NBC5 Investigates has embarked on an on-going examination of SEX TRAFFICKING IN CHICAGO. We often hear of international sex trafficking, but many don’t realize it is happening on their own blocks. Young women, often minors, are lured into the sex trade through the Internet, social media or even by the traditional means of promises of love and protection. Many are already victims of sexual assault. They have covered several stories since 2011 and this year took a close look at the people who buy sex; the people who try to help victims, and where the sex trade and trafficking is growing.
  • NBC5 Investigates: Vaccine Vacuum

    By analyzing several rarely-used state databases, NBC5 Investigates found hundreds of Chicago-area schools allowing tens of thousands of schoolchildren into their classrooms with no evidence of immunizations – at levels considered unsafe by state and federal health officials. Yet no one seems to be doing much about it.
  • WBEZ probe leads to indictment of Chicago police commander

    Chicago officials have long treated complaints against police officers as if they were state secrets. Citizens file thousands each year but few lead to administrative discipline and almost none to criminal charges. It’s especially rare for a complaint to get a ranking officer in trouble. Since 2007, the city agency that investigates excessive-force complaints has recommended stripping the police powers of only three officers above the sergeant rank. Only one has involved alleged excessive force while on duty.