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 "wisconsin" ...

  • 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.
  • WSAW: Absentee Sheriff

    Though the current sheriff was not running to keep his office, the 2018 sheriff's race in Wood County, Wisconsin brought something to the surface that had been a rumor in the county for years. Two candidates claimed the sheriff was rarely in the county, or even the state. WSAW-TV's investigative reporter fact checked the claims, allowing voters to make more informed decisions about who their next sheriff would be.
  • WSAW: A Dying Wish

    After receiving a letter from a woman who was found dead, WSAW-TV's investigative reporter uncovered loopholes regarding the creation of churches, all while discovering small mistakes made by a county, a state agency and a federal agency allowing a church, some trustees call fake, to exist.
  • WSAW-TV: The Lincoln Hills Youth Prison Document Trail

    Using state and federal records requests, WSAW-TV's senior investigative reporter found a potential cover-up of Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel's and their staff's handling of the state's youth prison crisis.
  • Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: Undemocratic

    An investigative reporting class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigated the state of Wisconsin's democracy. It found that partisan gerrymandering, voter restrictions, secret campaign money, furtive legislative moves and fast-tracking of bills increasingly leave Wisconsin's citizens in the dark when it comes to state policy making and spending.
  • Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: Countering Concussions

    Our series, "Countering Concussions," revealed that while the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a leader in studying concussions, some former football players are suffering from severe post-concussive symptoms that have prompted them to leave the game — and worry about their futures.
  • 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.
  • Descent into Disorder

    An investigation into the state of Wisconsin's broken juvenile justice system and warning signs that were ignored for years, leaving young inmates injured and guards undertrained, overworked and largely unaccountable.
  • Battle to preserve access to open records

    An investigation that exposed who was behind a last-minute measure that would have gutted Wisconsin's open meetings law, as well as later attempts to limit access to electronic records.