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 "medical examiner" ...

  • A Question of Homicide

    After two killings slipped past the Jackson County Medical Examiner's office undetected -- one ruled as a suicide, the other as an accidental drug overdose -- The Star investigated the office's protocols to learn what happened and whether the mistakes could have been prevented
  • Two Gunshots

    From the moment the police found Michelle O’Connell, a young, single mother, dying from a gunshot to the head, there were troubling questions about what happened inside the house in St. Augustine, Florida. The fatal shot came from the service weapon of her boyfriend, a local sheriff’s deputy. O’Connell had just broken up with him and was packing to move out of his house. And barely an hour before she died, O’Connell had texted her sister to say she would soon be there to pick up her four-year-old daughter. Yet, none of this troubled detectives from the St. John’s County Sheriff’s – all fellow officers of O’Connell’s boyfriend. Within hours, they concluded that O’Connell had committed suicide. Those critical questions remained unanswered for nearly two years, until Walt Bogdanich, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, began examining the death of Michelle O’Connell – a case that had deeply divided law enforcement agencies in Florida and raised broader issues of how the police investigate one of their own, particularly in instances of domestic violence. Bogdanich found that the criminal justice system had failed almost from the moment the fatal shot was fired. Evidence wasn’t collected. Neighbors weren’t canvassed. Important interviews were not conducted. Medical examiners concocted absurd theories to support the suicide conclusion and prosecutors blindly endorsed them. The Times’s investigation, conducted in conjunction with the PBS investigative program Frontline, was part of a broader examination of how the police deal with the corrosive and persistent problem of domestic violence in their ranks.
  • Death in Police Custody

    An investigation into the death of a man who suffocated while in the back of a Milwaukee police squad car found officers had violated department policy in not seeking help and the medical examiner missed key signs pointing toward the officers’ actions being a factor in the death. The stories prompted a wave of action and reform: new departmental rules, a public inquest, an FBI investigation and the resignation of the medical examiner.
  • The Curious Case of Sgt. Drenth

    A decorated and highly respected Phoenix police sergeant is found dead on the ground in an alley near the State Capitol complex, the victim of a shotgun blast to the head. The weapon is discovered on his body in a manner which several first-responders later claim looked "staged" by another party or parties. Almost a year after Sgt. Sean Drenth's death, the county Medical Examiner rules that the manner of his death was a "suicide," not a "homicide" or "undetermined." The enclosed two-part series was published after the reporter investigated this complex and ultimately tragic case for several months. A few weeks ago, the county Medical Examiner personally told Sgt. Drenth's widow that he personally will revisit the case in light of the revelations in the story and other relevant reasons.
  • Failed Justice: Investigations in Minnesota

    An MPR News investigation of an obscure murder case in rural Minnesota revealed shoddy work and incorrect testimony by the state's most prominent medical examiner, who has testified at more than 100 murder trials over the past three decades.
  • System Failure

    Investigation into the shoddy work on an MN medical examiner, which resulted in wrongful convictions.
  • Post Mortem: Death Investigation in America

    "This series focused on the nation's death investigation system, the more than 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices responsible for probing sudden and suspicious fatalities. They found a profession plagued by a widespread lack of resources, a lack of national standards or regulation, and a drastic shortage of qualified doctors."
  • DA Launches Lawmaker Inquiry

    The Oklahoman examines whether a controversial state representative had schemed to get a state senator a newly created state job at the medical examiner's office. The representative's alleged motive was so a buddy could run for the Senate seat.
  • Who Killed Doc?

    KSTP found that "commanders ignored warnings, botched investigations, and failed to protect service members on their own base - where they should have been the safest. As a result, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner says it has changed the way the remains of service members killed worldwide are tracked, to ensure that families of the fallen are notified of changes to their love one's autopsy or cause of death."
  • Dead Wrong?

    The investigation examines the relationship between the income, credentials of staff members, and the recommended standards of one medical examiner and questions whether his major errors helped put people innocent people in prison.