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 "death investigation" ...

  • 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."
  • Hiding Homicides?

    Murder rates in Chicago have been reduced, with the city citing better police tactics. But a WBBM-TV investigation found that that "the department may be reducing its murder rate by hiding homicides by downgrading murders." They uncovered dozens of cases where cause of death was, for instance, indicated as "Non-Criminal death or Death Investigation," though the victim showed clear signs of having been strangled. This included a particular case where the official cause of death was a heart attack, but the pathologist determined that strangulation was the true culprit. The results of the investigation put the police department at odds with the Medical Examiner's office.
  • Cherokee County Jail death investigation

    An investigation on the death of a Cherokee County jail inmate, who was denied emergency medical care. The investigation found a pattern of abuse at the jail. Inmates, for example, were left without water as a punishment.
  • Death checks due for review

    A follow-up article to The Charlotte Observer's "Grave Secrets" series about the breakdown in North Carolina's death investigations. Following the series, this article relates how state leaders "are calling for a review of the state's troubled medical examiner system and organizing two groups to quickly chart the changes."
  • Grave Secrets: Breakdown in N.C. Death Investigations

    A six-month Charlotte Observer investigation found that North Carolina's system for investigating death is fraught with problems. "Medical examiners have failed to detect at least five homicides from 1993 to 1998, including three in which they had to dig up the bodies to perform autopsies. And errors and oversights have jeopardized hundreds more death investigations in those years." Among the reasons for these oversights and errors: busy doctors rarely visit the scenes of suspicious deaths; N.C. does not require specific training in death investigation for the people authorized to do them; some medical examiners seldom order autopsies when they should; when autopsies are performed, the wrong doctors (e.g. gynecologists) are often doing them. This four-day series utilized databases of more than 395,000 death records in North Carolina and 225,000 death records in South Carolina from 1993 to 1998, and 50,000 computer records from the officer of N.C. medical examiner. Reporters also reviewed 600 N.C. death certificates and dozens of autopsy reports by hand.
  • Death of Innocents

    The Post Register investigated child abuse deaths in Idaho, including prevention efforts, death investigations and prosecutions. They found that Idaho children killed in the last four years often showed signs of abuse or neglect before their deaths.
  • (Untitled)

    An ABA Journal investigation details the chaotic and often woefully inadequate way in which death investigations are conducted in much of the nation. It provides an overview of the more than 3,000 systems now in use, highlights some of the shortcomings of each and shows how a faulty or incomplete death investigation can let murderers go free while convicting innocent people.
  • Cause of Death: Unknown

    The St. Louis Post Dispatch asks "Is it possible to get away with murder in Missouri?...(Reporters) spent three months combing death certificates and interviewing county coroners, grieving family members, and professional death experts to find out how well Missouri's death-investigation system works. They found a shockingly haphazard system for determining how someone dies, with death investigations varying widely from county to county and from case to case."
  • Missouri's mysterious deaths; Cause of Death: Unknown

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigates Missouri's county coroner system and finds it is haphazard and varies widely from county to county and from case to case; only 10 of the state's 114 counties have medical examiners, and in those counties without one, few autopsies are conducted; most county coroners are funeral directors, which leads to a conflict of interests; autopsies are rarely conducted on small children; the deaths of the state's elderly and of inmates in the state's prison are rarely investigated, Jan. 13 - 18, 1991.
  • (Untitled)

    Rocky Mountain News (Denver) investigates Denver coroner's office after a child is beaten to death and coroner concludes death caused by an ear infection; finds fiscal malpractice, deceit, coverups; city's two top health officials fired, new system of death investigation implemented, mayor ordered complete overhaul of public health system, April 12 - Oct. 30, 1991.