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 "Milwaukee Journal" ...

  • Unsolved: The Devil You Know

    The body of Fr. Alfred Kunz, his throat slit, was found on the floor of St. Michael School in Dane, Wisconsin, on March 4, 1998. Twenty years later, the murder remains unsolved. Kunz was a conservative cleric and exorcist who clung to the Latin Mass and preached of a vengeful God. Some believed his death was linked to his battle against evil. Others believed his all-too-human flaws were to blame. The murder has never been solved, largely because police spent decades going after the wrong man, teacher Brian Jackson, our investigation found. Police never impounded Jackson’s car or searched it for trace evidence. Within hours of the murder, he was able to drive it out of the school parking lot. One detective who worked on the case for years, Kevin Hughes, set his sights on Jackson and refused to glance in any other direction. Ten years ago, Hughes’ lieutenant told reporters police knew who the killer was, but that the district attorney wouldn’t charge him. Their attempts to build a case against Jackson rather than remaining open to other theories may have allowed valuable clues to go unnoticed, the sheriff acknowledged during Barton’s investigation that became Unsolved: The Devil You Know. After about two years, the investigation stalled. Continuity disappeared as the sheriff’s department assigned new detectives to the case every few years. Over the past two decades, five different people have served as lead investigator. The case file consists of thousands of pages — and counting — snapped into 40 three-ring binders. The sheriff can’t name anyone working for the department today who has read them all.
  • Lessons Lost: How student churn holds back students and schools

    Erin Richards’ reporting launched a massive undertaking by a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to obtain and analyze never-before-released state data that tracked student-by-student movement among Wisconsin schools. The data and reporting illustrated not only the extent of student churn in schools -- something that had never been comprehensively tracked through Wisconsin’s public and private schools that accept students on vouchers, and also not tracked nationally -- but also the causes and consequences through the stories of individual families and schools.
  • Lead in the Water: A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Watchdog Report

    An investigation into deep-seated problems in the City of Milwaukee's program for testing children for lead poisoning that revealed dysfunction and neglect putting children at risk.
  • Bad Medicine

    An investigation into doctors who face discipline in one state, but are allowed to practice in others with clean licenses, and the broken system that puts patients at risk.
  • The Price of Being Wrong

    A baby's chance of having a deadly condition detected is based on arbitrary decisions, cost-cutting and politics, as state labs throughout the country fail to follow scientific standards and common sense, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found.
  • Risk/Reward

    An investigation into the nation’s flawed system for approving new drugs, which allows pharmaceutical companies to produce expensive products of dubious value that put patients at risk.
  • Gasping for Action

    It’s been known for years that diacetyl destroys lungs. Yet the federal government has failed to regulate it. Now, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation has found the buttery flavor chemical is injuring coffee workers and has seeped into other products such as e-cigarettes.
  • Death in the Ring

    After 24-year-old Dennis Munson Jr. of Milwaukee collapsed following his first amateur kickboxing match in March, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter John Diedrich got a tip and started digging into what happened. What he uncovered was a series of errors by fight officials in an unregulated bout. The ringside doctor, referee and coach in the corner all missed obvious signs that Munson was in serious trouble, according to a dozen independent experts who reviewed the fight video for the Journal Sentinel. The doctor was looking at his cell phone when he should have been monitoring the fighters. The corner man propped up Munson between rounds and slapped him in the face and was holding him by the neck and face just before he collapsed. And the referee did not intervene to assess Munson. Medical care was delayed over a disagreement on care and confusion about how to get out of the building. Emergency medical protocol was not followed. And then video of the fight, provided to police, was missing 32 seconds at a key time, just before Munson collapsed. The Journal Sentinel investigation uncovered more problems in unregulated kickboxing in Wisconsin. For instance, state regulators attended a match at a Harley-Davidson dealership — but only to oversee boxing events.
  • Lawmaker, lobbyist brother stymie oral chemotherapy bill

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discovered that leaders in the Wisconsin Legislature were using a parliamentary trick — a phantom public hearing that was never actually held — to block a vote on an overwhelmingly popular and bipartisan bill aimed at helping cancer patients afford ruinously expensive chemotherapy medications. The articles showed that leaders were not telling the truth when they said they were blocking the bill because the members of their caucuses didn’t support it.
  • Poor Health An occasional series about the barriers to health and health care for low-income urban Americans

    Poor Health was the result of a collaboration between the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and faculty and students from Marquette University. Both papers published the series, which had three major parts. The backbone of the series is a set of interactive maps that shows that health care systems have closed hospitals in poor communities in the major U.S. metropolitan areas while opening new facilities in more affluent areas, often communities that already had hospitals; that the residents of the communities in which hospitals closed were less healthy than their more affluent counterparts, and that communities in which hospitals closed were much more likely to be federally designated "physician shortage areas." than communities that retained or gained hospitals. In addition, reporting in several cities shows the health care challenges among the urban poor, the results of those difficulties and the economics that drive the unequal distribution of health care. The final part of the series focuses on solutions. A major story on the effort in Oregon to improve health care for Medicaid recipients while lowering costs is the centerpiece; other reporting on innovative approaches to health care in poor areas includes programs in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Indianapolis.