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 "women" ...

  • Veterans Disability Claims

    Yvonne Wenger’s story for The Baltimore Sun examined the disability claims backlog at the Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Through her reporting and use of an online database, she discovered that the Baltimore office, which services all of Maryland, had the worst backlog in the country and made the most mistakes. Servicemen and women in Maryland were waiting an average of 12 months for an initial decision about benefits; in some cases, it could take years more to receive the payments. Yvonne reached out to dozens of veterans but found that all were fearful to speak to a reporter because they thought doing so would affect their claims. She eventually did find a combat veteran, Robert Fearing, who was willing to be interviewed. He was suffering from paranoia and anxiety and had been waiting 2 ½ years for the Baltimore office to make a decision about his claim. After publication of the article, reaction from Maryland’s congressional delegation was swift. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin both took action to seek changes locally and nationally to address the backlog. And just days after the article was published, Fearing had his claim reviewed and approved.
  • Military Sexual Assaults

    The Baltimore Sun explored the little covered issue of sexual assault of men in the military, finding that justice is rarely sought in those cases even though statistics show that more men than women in the military are sexually assaulted each year.
  • Nazi Past

    It was a sensational find by AP reporters David Rising and Randy Herschaft _ a suspected Nazi war criminal living in the United States, hiding in plain view for more than six decades. More than just a low ranking foot soldier, suspect Michael Karkoc was an officer who commanded a combat company responsible for civilian massacres, and a founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion _ and had never before come across authorities' radar. In an eight-month investigation with reporting in more than a half dozen countries and documents in five languages, the two were able to put together evidence so solid that it has led to criminal investigations in Poland and Germany, and not officially confirmed investigations in the United States and Ukraine, with Germany already recommending that prosecutors pursue murder charges against Karkoc. Rising and Herschaft were able to prove Karkoc lied to American officials when he immigrated to Minnesota in 1949, saying he never served in the military during the war _ which has been enough in similar cases for a Nazi war crimes suspect to be deported. But the investigation went much deeper, with the two uncovering details from eyewitnesses, wartime documents and Cold War-era archives firmly establishing not only that Karkoc's unit massacred civilians, but that he specifically gave the order to attack a village in which more than 40 men, women and children were gunned down and burned in their homes.
  • Nuclear Missteps

    Beginning with his discovery of an internal Air Force admission of "rot" infesting its nuclear missile forces, AP National Security Writer Robert Burns probed to extraordinary depths within this highly secretive, rarely investigated organization for eight months to reveal a series of missteps by men and women with their finger on the trigger of the world's most deadly weapons. Using sources inside and outside the Air Force, in Washington and beyond, Burns documented deliberate safety and security violations, personal misbehavior, training failures, leadership lapses and chilling evidence of malaise among those entrusted with nuclear weapons. Burns peeled away the veneer of Air Force assurances that nothing was amiss, and brought to the attention of the American public a fuller picture of a nuclear missile force facing an uncertain future. His reporting prompted the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to lament these "troubling lapses" and make a personal visit tot he force to insist they live up to their standards and demonstrate that they can be trusted with nuclear responsibilities.
  • Together Forever: Unforeseen tragedies forever bind best friends

    This was an enterprise story about two young women who were best friends since childhood who died tragically within a few months in 2012. Our story included fire inspection reports, police reports, legal filings, interviews with friends and family members and the heart-wrenching audio from a 911 call in the aftermath of a house fire that killed the first young woman. The reporting found that one young man was blamed by fire inspectors for causing the fire, but he was not criminally charged.
  • Mayor Under Fire: The Fall of Filner

    In the summer of 2013 ten term congressman and newly elected San Diego Mayor Bob Filner embarked on a self destructive rampage. His political career would end and personal life would forever be altered after several scandals directly exposed by our team. The scandals ranged from Filner sexually harassing women under his charge to betraying his oath to uphold the ethical and legal responsibilities of the office to which he was elected. This entry highlights the key stories exposed by our team, all of which led to his resignation, felony conviction or the recovery of public funds.
  • Missing Millions

    A year-long Washington Post investigation discovered more than 1,000 “significant diversions” of assets from the nation's nonprofits, documenting for the first time a pervasive pattern of unreported financial crime at some of America's most prominent institutions. The organizations victimized ranged from international aid organizations and leading charities to a litany of grassroots groups –feeding centers for hungry families, women’s shelters, even a home for abused children. The size of the losses was often stunning: $43 million at an AIDS organization, $60 million at a charity for Holocaust survivors, $106 million at a major university. Just 10 of the largest diversions totaled more than a half-billion dollars, indicating that the universe of thefts was many billions. Even more disturbing was what was missing from financial disclosure reports. In violation of IRS reporting rules, most of the organizations kept the details of the crimes to themselves. Most failed to disclose the amount stolen on their reports, and many more gave no hint who took the money or what the organization had done in response. Federal and state authorities had done nothing to find out or hold those groups accountable.
  • Climate of Fear

    An investigation revealed abusive coaching tactics by the University of Louisville's women's lacrosse coach, as well as apparent indifference shown by the university's administration when parents made their concerns known.
  • Women and Danger

    The four stories in this entry zoom in on women and families battling crime and punishment across the world. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath, a saga that raised questions about the courts and free speech in the age of social media. In "Laws Gone Wild," Michigan mother Francie Baldino starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in prison with predators and pedophiles for more than six years. Pesta was the first to report on this new movement of mothers and tell this family's personal story as well. The stories sparked a discussion across the media and blogosphere about crime and modern law, bringing in a slew of letters and comments.
  • Women Warriors

    The 10 stories in this entry all focus on women and families battling crime or questionable laws around the country and around the world—from sexual slavery, to cyberstalking, to "honor killings," to rape. The stories are not only investigative reports but personal narratives that shed crucial light on the modern battles families face. For instance, in "Thanks for Ruining My Life," a Kentucky teen gets into legal trouble for tweeting the names of two boys who sexually assaulted her—defying a court order to stay silent about the crime. Reporter Abigail Pesta was the first to get an extended interview with the teen girl, Savannah Dietrich, about her legal crisis and the aftermath. In "Laws Gone Wild," a Michigan mother, Francie Baldino, starts a movement against sex-offender laws when the laws ensnare her teenage son for having underage sex with his high-school sweetheart, landing him in jail for more than six years. Pesta was the first to tell this family's narrative. The stories all sparked conversation across the media and political spectrum. One, "An American Honor Killing," was adapted into an hourlong documentary for the CBS News show "48 Hours." To tell these stories, Pesta pored through mountains of police reports and court documents, and spent months convincing some of the subjects to tell their tale.