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.

Search results for "medical examiner" ...

  • NJ Advance Media: Death & Dysfunction

    An 18-month NJ Advance Media investigation for The Star-Ledger and NJ.com found serious failures at nearly every level of New Jersey’s patchwork system of medical examiner offices, the obscure agencies charged with one of the most fundamental tasks: figuring out how somebody died and why. The probe revealed families left to grieve without answers or closure, innocent people sent to jail and murders still unsolved.
  • NJ Advance Media: Death & Dysfunction

    An 18-month NJ Advance Media investigation for The Star-Ledger and NJ.com found serious failures at nearly every level of New Jersey’s patchwork system of medical examiner offices, the obscure agencies charged with one of the most fundamental tasks: figuring out how somebody died and why. The probe revealed families left to grieve without answers or closure, innocent people sent to jail and murders still unsolved.
  • Death Do Over

    This investigation reveals a pattern of shoddy work by a medical examiner's office which has damaged many lives and is to blame for at least one wrongful murder conviction which ultimately cost the state of Minnesota nearly a million dollars in restitution.
  • Examinations get scrutiny

    The medical examiner story started with an unimaginable tip in July, when Dr. Jon Smith, Ventura County’s chief medical examiner, was placed on leave. In June, Smith supposedly had directed an unqualified assistant to perform autopsies while he was on vacation more than 2,000 miles away. Wilson and Carlson not only verified the tip, but disclosed Smith had determined the cause of death for at least two men he never examined. The two men’s bodies had been released from the morgue to their families by the time Smith had returned from his vacation.
  • Hidden Errors

    An investigation into serious flaws in the nation's system for regulating common medical tests -- ones that harm patients and then hide the results from the public. http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/hidden-errors-360092411.html
  • System Failure

    An innocent man spends 6 years in prison for the murder of his infant daughter. It was never a crime to begin with. The forensic science used to convict him was flawed. It’s another example of the shoddy work of a Minnesota medical examiner we have investigated and reported on since early 2010. We continued our coverage this year with 2 more stories. One features an in-depth look at the case of the man wrongfully convicted of killing his child who was set free after a review of the evidence. The other examines the mysterious death of an Army National guardsman and the lack of a thorough investigation by the medical examiner to find the true cause of the soldier’s death.
  • Death in Paradise

    Two-story series on a Key West in-custody death which led city officials to ask the Department of Justice for a thorough investigation not only of Key West Police, but also of the state law enforcement agency, the district attorney and the county medical examiner. GM retiree Charles Eimers died following a routine traffic stop in Key West on Thanksgiving 2013. Police told emergency responders that Eimers fled a traffic stop, then ran away and collapsed on the beach, but a cell phone video acquired by CBS News showed Eimers surrendering before being surrounded by officers. Months later, CBS obtained a second tourist video that clearly showed police lied under oath in video depositions about the possibility that Eimers had been suffocated in the sand while being placed under arrest. Police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which was called in to investigate the in-custody death, both had contact information to obtain the tourist video, but neglected to obtain it over the course of a seven month investigation.
  • Recruit Death

    More than a year after a sheriff’s office recruit died during his first days on the job, information WSBTV uncovered led DeKalb County’s Medical Examiner to change his cause of death, state agents to conduct an independent investigation and DeKalb County’s District Attorney to consider whether current and former Sheriff’s Office employees should face criminal charges. Throughout the course of our investigation we discovered information the Medical Examiner, elected officials, law enforcement leaders and even the jail recruit’s family never knew existed.
  • Fatally Flawed

    A five-part series by The Charlotte Observer revealed that the officials assigned to investigate suspicious deaths routinely fail to follow crucial steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of rulings. The effects of a botched investigation on surviving family members can be devastating. Killers can go free. Widows can be cheated out of the life insurance payments they deserve. In some cases, reporters found, grieving relatives were forced to launch their own inquiries into how a loved one died. Compiling the report wasn’t easy. Observer reporters first requested the state’s database of suspicious deaths in early 2012. For 18 months, the state stalled and provided incomplete data. In the summer of 2013, the Observer threatened legal action. Only then did the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner turn over its complete database.
  • What Happened to Kendrick Johnson?

    For eight hours a day, six days a week, two grieving parents stand on a South Georgia street corner with homemade signs, family photos and a question: “What Happened to Kendrick Johnson?” January 10, 2013, their 17-year-old son disappeared between classes at his Valdosta high school. The next morning, the three-sport star’s body was found upside down in a rolled mat in the school’s gym. Within hours of finding Johnson’s body, local investigators determined his death was an accident. A state medical examiner agreed and the case was closed. The teenager’s parents never believed the official story but their pleas for outside officials to investigate were ignored. CNN’s Victor Blackwell was the first television correspondent outside the Johnson’s small community to report the story. As other national and international news organizations began to take interest in the story, CNN continued to lead. Blackwell and CNN producer Devon Sayers literally traveled across the country searching for answers. They were the first or only team to report more than 40 major developments in the story. CNN has filed nearly two-dozen requests for open records. Despite strong resistance from local officials, CNN has exposed internal finger-pointing over withheld evidence and a compromised investigation, missing body parts and suspicious holes in school surveillance footage, which CNN successfully sued to obtain. After CNN’s more than 20 reports, each offering exclusive details, the Department of Justice launched a federal investigation into Johnson’s death and the sheriff’s handling of the case. The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office also launched an investigation into a local funeral home’s treatment of Johnson’s corpse. Those investigations are ongoing. Beyond reporting the details of a bizarre and emotional story, CNN’s continued coverage of the circumstances surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson fulfills a core mission of journalism: It holds those in power accountable.