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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

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  • The Triangle

    “The Triangle” is a five-episode web series that uncovered a more than 4000% increase in heroin-related deaths during the last five years. Our investigation started with a tip that two young people died from overdoses in Atlanta’s wealthy suburbs but no one was talking about it. A team of journalists confirmed that. We also identified a geographic region where the deaths were so hidden even some law enforcement agencies were unable to accurately attribute them to heroin. https://vimeo.com/198370121/dd0b282d3a
  • Crime in Context

    Is crime in America rising or falling? The answer is not nearly as simple as politicians sometimes make it out to be, because of how the FBI collects and handles crime data from the country’s more than 18,000 police agencies. To present a fuller picture of crime in America, The Marshall Project collected and analyzed 40 years of FBI data on the most serious violent crimes in 68 police jurisdictions. This analysis of the years 1975 through 2015 found that violent crime in these jurisdictions rose 2.2 percent last year, while nationally violent crime rose 3 percent.
  • On Your Dime

    WVUE-TV’s “On Your Dime” is a true enterprising investigative series. None of the stories was generated via a tip, but instead by proactive and dogged investigating by the WVUE-TV team. Our investigative team’s extensive research drove “On Your Dime” and uncovered questionable activity and spending by officials. “On Your Dime” launched investigations by several agencies. https://vimeo.com/196277083/2ea38bda5e
  • Juvenile Sexual Assaults Victims of Dr. William Ayres: The Forgotten Victims

    For forty years, hundreds of juveniles in San Mateo County, California were sexually assaulted in court-ordered sessions by prominent child psychiatrist Dr. William Ayres. But when the victims spoke out, they were either ignored or punished by authorities. It wasn’t until 2002, when journalist Victoria Balfour contacted police on behalf of one of Ayres’ victims, a private patient, that a criminal case against Ayres began to get traction. In 2013, Ayres, a former President of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, pleaded no contest to molesting boys who had been his private patients. He was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Balfour had a fierce belief that the voices of his juvenile victims urgently needed to be heard in this case as well. When agencies in San Mateo County whose job it was to protect juveniles rebuffed her request to find the juvenile victims, Balfour embarked on a 3 and-a-half year project to find them herself. Working on a detective's theory that most of Ayres' juvenile victims were now in prison, she wrote to more than 300 inmates from San Mateo County and asked if they had been evaluated by Ayres. Balfour’s article recounts the horrifying and heartbreaking responses she received from inmates about their abuse by Dr. Ayres, one of the most prolific child molesters in recent California history.
  • The Brief Life and Private Death of Alexandria Hill

    Squeezed by high caseloads and tight budgets, child welfare agencies across the country are increasingly turning to for-profit companies and cash-strapped non-profit agencies to recruit, screen, train, and monitor foster parents. This little-known but common policy has resulted in child deaths across the country, in part because private agencies have a financial incentive to ignore the sketchy backgrounds of foster parents or festering problems in their homes.
  • Home Sweet Hustle

    For 15 years, the Portland nonprofit Give Us This Day occupied a unique place among foster-care agencies in the state of Oregon. Its four group homes served the most troubled, challenging kids in the state—children who had been sexually abused, starved, beaten and abandoned. It was the state’s only African-American-run foster care agency, a distinction that made it especially valuable to the state agency that manages housing for foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services. The executive director of Give Us This Day, Mary Holden, was lauded as a human-rights champion. Give Us This Day was also unique in how leniently it was regulated by state officials. The state turned a blind eye to more than 1,000 police reports at foster homes run by Give Us This Day. It regularly paid large cash advances to the provider—something no other foster-care agency requested so regularly. And the Department of Human Services ignored years of allegations that Give Us This Day neglected children.
  • Lobbying Public Agencies by Day, Guarding Public Dollars by Night

    Andy Berg lobbies public and private agencies for electrician jobs by day, and by night he chairs the San Diego Unified school bond oversight committee, a group tasked with ensuring the district's $4.9 billion in bond dollars are spent as promised to voters without waste. The fact that following the bond money leads you to the pockets of many of Berg’s electricians and his bosses, he says, is inconsequential.
  • Stolen Gun Deaths

    We began our investigation into lost and stolen guns after Bay Area woman Kate Steinle was shot and killed with a gun stolen from the vehicle of a Bureau of Land Management Ranger. By the time we finished our story months later, three more people had been killed with stolen guns in the Bay Area, including an Oakland muralist murdered with a gun stolen from an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Our investigation uncovered hundreds of guns missing from Bay Area law enforcement agencies and hundreds more reported stolen from federal law enforcement agencies. Following our investigation, two major Bay Area cities announced ordinances aimed at preventing gun thefts. https://youtu.be/4Mi4jX7galQ
  • IT WAS A HELL HOLE

    KARE 11 documented how eight special needs children were left to live in filth – at taxpayer’s expense – while local and state agencies ignored repeated warnings about their welfare. Our meticulous reporting and detailed follow-ups helped change state law, reform child protection practices, open two state investigations, and resulted in a criminal conviction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUYedyNjRTA
  • Police Secrets

    For years, police agencies throughout the United States have conducted secret surveillance that skirts — and in some cases flouts — laws meant to safeguard Americans’ privacy. They did it to monitor drug traffickers and petty thieves, then sought to conceal their actions from the public and from judges. Our investigating throughout the year revealed the depths of some of that surveillance by federal, state and local authorities.