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 "california" ...

  • Burned: A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn't

    The book revisits the murder conviction of Jo Ann Parks, sentenced to life in prison without parole for allegedly murdering her three young children in 1989by setting fire to her home and trapping them inside. In re-investigating the case, the author found flawed forensic science, false and contradictory testimony, and strong evidence of cognitive bias throughout the case, including use of an unreliable informant who later recanted, and sworn expert testimony that the fire began because Parks supposedly constructed a crude “incendiary device” by deliberately overloading a sabotaged electrical extension cord. Testing later proved the cord did not and could not start a fire. Information in the book has since been added to Parks’ existing habeas corpus petition filed by the California Innocence Project, now being considered by the state Supreme Court. Additional findings suggests the problems with flawed forensic science and cognitive bias in general, and in arson investigation in particular, is widespread and has led to other wrongful convictions. Correcting the use of flawed forensic and expert testimony is hindered by the legal system’s reliance on precedent, which slows and sometimes prevents the correction of scientifically dubious ideas used to win convictions. Nascent attempts to study and change this tendency to prolong the use of flawed forensic science initiated by the Obama Administration have been shut down by the Trump Administration.
  • California's Teacher Housing

    An EdSource analysis revealed that living where they teach is a fading dream for many California teachers. The analysis of teacher salaries and rents reveals just how crushing California’s housing crisis has become for them. Teachers at the bottom of the salary scale working in the state’s coastal and metro areas are being shut out of affordable housing. Others are also struggling to pay the rent. Rising rents coupled with an ongoing teacher shortage are driving an increasing number of districts to build their own teacher housing.
  • ABC10: GSK

    I created a StoryMap of all the Golden State Killer's alleged crimes using both existing maps/data from the FBI and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, as well as locations from a local author chronicling the Golden State Killer. Moreover, I edited/produced the TV piece explaining the map.
  • Title: The Desert Sun: An Empire in the Desert

    These stories reveal the stunning influence that a single farmer in California's Imperial Valley, Mike Abatti, has exerted over the region's Colorado River water and energy industry. Abatti has benefited from decisions made by his friends in elected office, a judge with ties to his family, and a district attorney whose second-in-command is his sister-in-law.
  • The Marshall Project and Los Angeles Times: The Great California Prison Experiment

    The Great California Prison Experiment examines the impacts on public safety of the state’s criminal justice reform measures that dramatically reduced the prison population.
  • Stanford University: Wildland Development Escalates California Fire Costs

    The Camp Fire is just the latest mega-fire in California — and the cost of fighting such fires has risen dramatically. California dwarfs other states in fire-suppression costs, an analysis by a Stanford journalism class has found. The Stanford class analyzed daily reports from the most expensive fires in every state from 2014 to 2017, and found that dense development at the border of wildlands — in communities like Paradise, Cobb, and Santa Rosa — helps explain California fires’ exceptional damage and expense to put out.
  • SCNG: Bad Apples

    SCNG's special report on teacher misconduct at a local school district found that district administrators ignored signs and complains of inappropriate behavior by teachers and in some cases outright abuse of students for years. Reporters Joe Nelson and Scott Schwebke spent months interviewing dozens of sources, scouring thousands of pages of documents and reviewing more than 100 hours of recorded interviews and depositions with victims, witnesses and parents. Their reporting has led to a state investigation into the district's handling of misconduct complaints and sweeping reforms within the district itself.
  • The Orange County Register: Rehab Riviera

    Our Rehab Riviera series continued to probe the dark side of addiction treatment in California in 2018, documenting sexual assault inside rehabs and how sober homes make their money. Our work changed state and local laws, spawned a task force and arrests, and sparked Congressional Committee hearings and investigations.
  • Orange County Register/Southern California News Group: Olympic sports sex abuse

    This Is the Orange County Register’s investigation into decades of sexual abuse within American Olympic sports, the culture that enabled that abuse and the lengths top officials and coaches have taken to cover up that abuse leaving unsuspecting young athletes still vulnerable to predatory coaches and officials.
  • L.A. Times: Scandal at USC: A Bad Gynecologist and the Fall of a University President

    A Los Angeles Times investigation exposed Dr. George Tyndall, the University of Southern California gynecologist now accused of sexually abusing hundreds of students, and the high-level administrative cover-up that allowed him to practice for decades and then leave campus with a secret payout and a clean medical board record.