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 "district attorney" ...

  • University of Utah Student Killed; Who Is Murder Suspect Ayoola Ajayi?

    Twelve days after the disappearance of University of Utah student, Mackenzie Lueck this summer, and following an exhaustive investigation by law enforcement, police arrested and formally charged the suspect in her death, Ayoola Adisa Ajayi. Ajayi faces four charges in connection to Lueck’s violent murder, including aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping. KSL Investigators knew Ajayi was the person of interest in this case because he owned the small property in Salt Lake where multiple search warrants were executed in the case prior to his arrest. Before authorities released his name to the public, KSL Investigators worked to learn everything they could about the 31-year-old immigrant, originally from Africa, so we could break the investigation as soon as the suspect’s name was released. Although much of a person’s immigration status is private information, representatives with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Ajayi is a lawful legal resident and he was at the time of his arrest. However, the KSL Investigators exposed how he came to this country and revealed possible oversight by Utah State University and the federal government when he dropped out of school a number of times and was posting online about seeking to find a wife to keep his citizenship status.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Colorado Jail TV Room Death: Guards 'Not Criminally Negligent'

    The story examines the Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's investigation into an inmate death in the Jefferson County Jail’s TV dayroom. Suzanne Burgaz, 55, hanged herself with a television cord, just as a patrol deputy was passing the dayroom on “walkthrough duty.”
  • The Intercept: Group that opposes sex work gave money to prosecutors’ offices – and got stings against johns in return

    This was an investigative piece that relied heavily on documents obtained through FOIA requests and revealed that prosecutors around the country were receiving millions of dollars in funding from an anti-prostitution advocacy group that required them in return to conduct raids on brothels and stings against sex work clients. In particular, internal documents showed that in exchange for nearly $200,000 in funding, the advocacy group essentially required the King County prosecutors’ office and their law enforcement to erroneously label criminal cases they were pursuing as sex trafficking even though there was no evidence of trafficking in these cases. At one point, the advocacy group was even allowed to edit a press release issued by the prosecutors about these cases to include terms like “sex trafficking.” Legal scholars said that the King County prosecutors may have violated their own professional codes of conduct that restricts them from making sensationalistic “extra-judicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.” My article was the first to show that the independent judgement of law enforcement in King County and other jurisdictions may have been compromised by the strings-attached funding from Demand Abolition, the anti-prostitution group.
  • Broken system fails abused animals in Dallas

    A FOX 4 Investigation uncovered that Dallas’s system to investigate animal cruelty is so broken, no one agency is tracking all animal cruelty cases from start to finish. Out of 4,000 animal cruelty calls received by Dallas in 2015, only 11 cases made it to the District Attorney for prosecution.
  • City of Brighton enters new year with old investigation

    This story is a summary of months of reporting on an investigation into allegations of voter fraud. It presents never before heard comments from the local district attorney and Alabama Secretary of State. The district attorney announced an investigation on Aug. 19, 2016 after 80 applications for absentee ballots requested ballots be mailed to then-mayoral candidate Brandon Dean. Dean won the election with 52 percent of the vote, and 99 of 107 of the absentee ballots cast in his favor. The reporter's investigation shows that at least three absentee ballots cast were tired to vacant homes.
  • Dishonorable Conduct

    This prime time documentary showcased a year's worth of investigative reporting from WSMV-TV's investigative unit into the Tennesseee National Guard, prompting developments including an assistant district attorney publicly questioning the Governor and the Major General, and a Molotov cocktail thrown at the house of one of our whistle blowers.