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 "coroner" ...

  • Bad Medicine Behind Bars

    The death of inmate Mario Martinez in Alameda County’s jail led 2 Investigates to uncover a web of medical negligence, gaps in oversight, and cozy connections to public officials accepting money. We analyzed hundreds of pages of medical records, coroner’s reports, and court documents, which showed that despite multiple court orders the jail’s medical provider, Corizon Healthcare, repeatedly denied surgery to Martinez before his death.
  • Left for Dead and the interactive database, The Lost & The Found

    Left for Dead is the first national examination of Jane and John Does and the failures of sheriffs and coroners to identify unclaimed and unnamed bodies – a problem the Department of Justice has called “the nation’s silent mass disaster.” G.W. Schulz’s exhaustive reporting exposed the challenges of identifying them. Those challenges, he found, range from neglect, indifference and a lack of will by local authorities, to three unsuccessful attempts in the U.S. Congress to require police and death investigators to use an existing national registry of missing people. Following his reporting, the bill was reintroduced this year. Reveal obtained federal data that tracks unidentified bodies, which informed our reporting. We also built an online tool for matching missing people with unidentified bodies.
  • Dying at Opp

    "Dying at OPP" examined how the troubled Orleans Parish Prison, Louisiana’s largest lockup for pre-trial suspects, handled inmate deaths. The series exposed institutional failings and indifference that persist despite the jail being under a court order mandating widespread reforms. After the series, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, called in outside law enforcement agencies to investigate the latest inmate fatality -- only the second time in at least a decade that an outside law enforcement was called in to review a jail death. The series also led to major policy changes at the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office. Our series exposed a lack of autopsies when inmates died at a hospital after becoming ill or injured in jail. The coroner now requires his pathologists conduct autopsies in those cases.
  • Body of Evidence

    “Body of Evidence” unveils a complex system of corruption and abuse tucked away in an affluent New Orleans suburb. Until Lee Zurik and WVUE started digging, it was virtually unknown that the coroner of St. Tammany Parish (County), a bedroom community north of the city, was the highest paid elected official in the state, making as much as Vice President Joe Biden. “Body of Evidence” went on to peel back layer upon layer of questionable spending, taxpayer waste, and eventually illegal activities. WVUE’s findings included lavish meals charged on a public credit card and hundreds of thousands in raises for the coroner and top staff members after convincing the public to vote for a tax to increase his budget. But that was just the beginning. Zurik eventually discovered Galvan was cashing in tens of thousands dollars in supposed unused sick and vacation time all while jet-setting around the globe. Within weeks “Body of Evidence” sparked an unprecedented recall effort. Within three months, he then had a lucrative contract cancelled, and the FBI opened its own investigation. By the five month mark, state law was changed and stripped the coroner’s power over his own budget. At month eight, the coroner resigned and pleaded guilty in federal court.
  • Failed Justice: Investigations in Minnesota

    An MPR News investigation of an obscure murder case in rural Minnesota revealed shoddy work and incorrect testimony by the state's most prominent medical examiner, who has testified at more than 100 murder trials over the past three decades.
  • Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America

    "This series focused on the nation's death investigation system, the more than 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices responsible for probing sudden and suspicious fatalities. They found a profession plagued by a widespread lack of resources, a lack of national standards or regulation, and a drastic shortage of qualified doctors."
  • The Body Shop

    Questionable hiring, misidentified bodies, sexual harassment charges and refusal to provide autopsies to defense attorneys are a few of the many problems facing the Adams County Coroner's office. Jim Hibbard, who heads the office, was elected to his position, but had a history of conflict as a former police officer. He appears to have brought that conflict to the coroner's office in the form of sexual harassment, ruined evidence and regulatory violations.
  • Fatal Flaws

    "Nebraska has no state oversight and few standards to ensure quality death investigations by coroners or law enforcement. As part of two-week series, The World-Hearld detailed 15 botched cases that illustrate weaknesses in the system."
  • The Final Hours of Miguel Contreras

    Labor leader and Los Angeles power-broker Miguel Contreras was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Los Angeles, the week before the 2005 mayoral election. No autopsy was performed, and doctors were pressured to sign a death certificate. The article outlines political power bases in Los Angeles, and speculates how various issues would have had different results if Contreras had lived.
  • Dying For a Job

    While workplace insurance boards across Canada claimed workplaces are safer, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigated workplace safety. They found that "the number of workplace deaths had increased by about 7 percent from 1993 to 2004." In addition, coroners' suggestions on making workplaces safer for workers have largely been ignored, and are "not shared from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in a manner that would help make their workplaces safer." The investigation also found that health care and social services workers were in more danger than others, "anywhere from six to 12 times more likely to file claims related to violence on the job, mainly from patients." This is higher than even the rate for police and security.