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 "confession" ...

  • An Innocent Man?

    Newsday’s multi-media investigation “An Innocent Man?” was the first to reveal widespread wrongdoing by Suffolk law-enforcement authorities in the 1975 Keith Bush murder conviction, one of the longest-running “innocent man” cases in U.S. history. In a year-long investigation, Newsday reporter Thomas Maier detailed: how police allegedly beat a false confession out of then-17-year-old Bush for the 1975 sex-related murder of schoolmate Sherese Watson; how forensic experts offered flawed evidence about Bush’s guilt and later lost the alleged murder weapon; how the prosecution’s main witness against Bush later recanted and said she made up all of her testimony; how DNA evidence pointing to Bush’s innocence was rejected; and, mostly significantly, how Bush’s trial prosecutor covered-up evidence of another potential suspect, John W. Jones Jr., who placed himself at the murder scene. That evidence about Jones remained a secret and Bush was convicted and sent to prison for 33 years. Newsday’s investigation began in June 2018 and the resulting 15,000-word print report and an accompanying documentary were published together in May 2019. Shortly afterward, a report by the current Suffolk County district attorney concluded that Bush had been wrongly convicted and a judge vacated his sentence – 44 years later. Several follow-ups by Newsday detailed reaction to the Bush case and were reflected in an updated documentary, written by Maier and edited by Newsday owner Patrick Dolan, which was posted on December 31, 2019. Maier’s painstaking work – which involved dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of legal documents – shed light on a tragic incident in the past and helped result in other similar cases receiving a thorough investigation.
  • Trading Away Justice

    Guilty pleas have become the go-to solution for the nation’s overburdened courts. They account for nine of every 10 convictions in the United States. But our near-total reliance on plea bargaining has created a parallel justice system -- one without the constitutional safeguards of trials, that operates largely in secret and with little oversight. Through case studies and data analysis, “Trading Away Justice” documents how even innocent defendants are being pressured into pleading guilty.
  • Stealing Paradise

    Al Jazeera exposes a $1.5bn money-laundering plot, bribery, theft and fraud in paradise. President Abdulla Yameen is accused of receiving cash in bags filled with up to $1m, so much that it was "difficult to carry", according to one of the men who delivered the money. The story is told through data obtained from three of the vice president's smartphones and hundreds of confidential documents. It also features secretly recorded confessions of three men who embezzled millions and delivered the stolen cash on the orders of the president and his deputy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15N9K3wXh0Y http://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/stealing-paradise/
  • The homicide files

    A four-part series including: "At the Roundhouse: How detectives compel murder 'confessions,'" "How police harassed a family," "A police beating...and a decision not to charge detectives," "How detectives escape prosecution," and more.
  • Fairbanks Four Taste Freedom

    Christmas week Alaska Natives and other supporters cheered as the Fairbanks Four were freed after serving 18 years for a murder committed by others who've been identified through new and old confessions. Release came through a settlement following a contentious five-week evidentiary hearing forced by Alaska Innocence Project. That effort arose from UAF Journalism Professor Brian Patrick O’Donoghue’s, student-assisted, 14-year investigation of a local teen’s fatal 1997 beating. When the professor was forced to the sidelines defending his reputation in July, court-savvy undergraduate Julia Taylor tweeted 25 days of hearings that backed up more than a decade of coverage about flaws in the original case identified through UAF Journalism’s Hartman Justice Project public-service investigation.
  • True Confessions—Father Edward Fitz-Henry and the Diocese of Monterey

    The Diocese of Monterey for nearly 30 years kept a priest in a position where he could have access to children after promising one mother who says he molested her children in 1990 they would keep him away from children for the rest of his career. In 2011, a then-teenage boy claimed the priest molested him in 2005; the priest remained in that parish even after the mother from the 1990 incidents wrote the bishop a letter asking why the promise had been broken. A former cop hired by the diocese to investigate gave sworn testimony there are likely more victims in the community.
  • A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake?

    Herald-Tribune reporter Elizabeth Johnson spent nine months investigating a case in which Andre Bryant was convicted of robbing a deputy's wife and children at gunpoint in southwest Florida. In her report, Johnson writes about new evidence which suggests Bryant's innocence, including: the alleged confessions of another criminal for this crime, a victim's statement that she was told to choose Bryant from a photo lineup even though he did not look like the robber and a juror who says he was bullied into the guilty verdict. Now, Bryant's case is returning to court. The State Attorney's Office is conducting a review of the case, and the Innocence Project of Florida has agreed to defend Bryant.
  • Wrongful Convictions

    The Medill Justice Project examines wrongful convictions, and in their investigations in 2014 they unearthed revelatory information that raised questions about the reliability of eyewitness identification, the truth in confessions and the validity of expert medical testimonies in murder cases across the country.
  • Hartman Justice Project

    Recent developments in Alaska Innocence Project’s battle for exoneration of the so-called Fairbanks Four, a largely Athabaskan group of men serving sentences ranging from 33-75 years for John Hartman’s 1997 murder. O'Donoghue has been dogging, with the help of undergraduate students, what now appears to wrongful convictions in this case for more years than I care to count, exposing many flaws in a police investigation drawing direction from drunken confessions, trials sporting lying witnesses and racist prosecutorial branding, jury misconduct that (briefly) overturned one verdict in 2004.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education: Confessions of a Fixer

    Brad Wolverton's “Confessions of A Fixer” exposes how one former coach perpetuated a widespread cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes at dozens of institutions. Based on countless interviews conducted since the summer with Mr. White, the “fixer” himself, the startling narrative represents a milestone in the ongoing conversation on academic impropriety in college athletics, and exposes online education’s particular weaknesses to cheating. The piece was published on Dec. 29 and a week after, the University of Texas at Austin launched an internal investigation into the allegations in the story. Shortly thereafter, another central institution in the story, Adams State University (CO), had frozen enrollment in its correspondence courses, started a review of its student-verification process, and cancelled a class mentioned in the article.