Stories

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Search results for "medical examiner" ...

  • The Body Shop

    Questionable hiring, misidentified bodies, sexual harassment charges and refusal to provide autopsies to defense attorneys are a few of the many problems facing the Adams County Coroner's office. Jim Hibbard, who heads the office, was elected to his position, but had a history of conflict as a former police officer. He appears to have brought that conflict to the coroner's office in the form of sexual harassment, ruined evidence and regulatory violations.
  • Dead Wrong: What's Really Killing America

    Inaccurate data on what kills people in this country is rampant. There are some cases where cause of death is fraudulently invented, but in most cases autopsies are simple conducted incorrectly to the tune of at least a third of death diagnoses. In many cases, cause of death is never determined and these patterns are exacerbated along disadvantaged socioeconomic lines. Such inaccurate data on deaths is feared to skew research on preventative measures.
  • The Mysterious Death of Janie Ward

    This hour-long report is a result of a five-year investigation into the death of a 16-year-old girl 20 years ago in a small town in the Ozarks. It's about two daughters -- one wealthy and popular (a cheerleader and beauty queen); the other poor and self-conscious. It's about two fathers -- one a powerful judge who allegedly shielded his daughter from the law he's sworn to uphold; the other a bail bondsman who is trying to avenge his daughter's death. And it's about one family's fight for justice against what they believe is a corrupt judicial system that closed ranks around the powerful judge to cover-up a murder. When 16-year-old Jamie Ward fell off a 9-inch porch in the woods near Marshall, Ark., on September 9, 1989, her parents refused to blieve that the fall had killed their healthy teenager. Instead, they began to suspect to suspect she was murdered by the judge's daughter. After years of demanding an investigation into her death, an independent medical examiner associated with Parents for Murdered Children exhumed Janie's body a second time for an extremely rare third autopsy. Because the case was 20 years old, most of the files were not digital; rather, the investigation focused on old-fashioned reporting: finding and interviewing eyewitnesses (all of whom had not been reinterviewed since the original investigation); analyzing inconsistencies in the witness statements, double-checking the forensics with independent experts.
  • I Didn't Do That Murder; New Light On Old Case

    Based on questions reporter Christine Young raised in her reporting of a 1987 murder conviction, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, in a rare decision, is re-investigating the murder case of Michaelanne Hall, a prostitute brutally murdered in 1989. The man convicted for the crime, Lebrew Jones, was a mentally retarded security guard and his conviction rested on a nonsensical statement he gave to police. Now 51, Jones is awaiting DNA test results from the fingernail clippings of the murder victim. Also, a potentially viable suspect has emerged as a result of Young's work.
  • Fentanyl - Fatal Euphoria

    This special section traces the drug fentanyl from a chemist in Mexico City to dope houses, morgues and the homes of grieving families all over the US, but especially in Detroit. The reporters used medical examiner records and interviews with street addicts to show that drugs like fentanyl are not only problems of the inner city; victims come from diverse social and professional backgrounds.
  • Taking the Cuffs off at Carswell

    Fort Worth Weekly reporter Betty Brink has been covering medical and sexual abuse of female inmates at Carswell Federal Medical Center, in Texas, since 1999. As a result of her coverage, and his own investigation, a retired judge, Ross Sears is asking for a Congressional investihgation into the deadly conditions at "the only prison hospital in the country for mentally or chronicallly ill or dying women who have been convicted of a federal crime."
  • 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.
  • The death of Keisha

    The author investigated the death of LaKeisha Brown in the custody of Alexander Youth Services Center. The girl's repeated requests for help over a period of days were brushed off by nurses at the juvenile lockup, and they were by the facility supervisors. The only medical attention she received the day of her death was some Advil and a puff of her inhaler. The medical examiner found that Keisha had died a slow death from blood clots in her lungs that had been there for a minimum of two days and up to two weeks.
  • Brains For Sale

    This investigation revealed that the King County medical examiner's office was selling the brains of deceased mentally ill people to private research labs. In some instances, next-of-kin were not notified of these organ donations. In others, consent forms were incomplete.
  • The Pull of Chance

    A casual lunch with the county medical examiner leads this reporter to do a story on automobile safety. The reporter based on her conversation investigated a major glitch in seat belt mechanism. She found that in case of accidents, in some models of cars, the seat belt gets hooked with the seat lever throwing the person out of the vehicle through the rear.