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 "murder rate" ...

  • Murder with Impunity

    Whether your murder is solved can sometimes depend on where you're killed. The Post found disparities in who gets justice and who's still waiting.
  • Fox45: What Transparency Looks Like

    Baltimore is a city in crisis. Its murder rate is the highest in the nation. Its school system is among the lowest performing. For decades, its government has hidden behind a culture of secrecy and corruption. More than one year ago, Fox45 decided it had enough and challenged the status quo. On behalf of students, parents and taxpayers, Fox45 took the drastic step of suing Baltimore’s $1.4 billion school system - one of the nation’s largest. In the fall of 2017, when City Schools denied the entirety of a Project Baltimore public records request concerning the results of an internal grade changing investigation, Fox45 sued the school board. That internal investigation stemmed from a series of Fox45 reports which exposed a culture of grade fixing and pushing students through a broken school system. To date, Fox45 has accrued more than $100,000 in legal fees. But, so far, City Schools has been forced to capitulate. Bit by bit, over the year, they have handed over more than 10,000 pages of documents. And our fight is not over yet. The trial is scheduled for February 11. When it concludes, Fox45 will take another drastic step and send a strong message by filing a motion to recuperate our legal fees from Baltimore City Public Schools. “What Transparency Looks Like” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation into Baltimore area schools.
  • Breakdown: America's Immigration System

    Breakdown: America's Immigration System They flee the most dangerous places in North America, where murder rates are some of the highest in the world. Yet, when they come to the U.S., these immigrants encounter new hurdles created by an immigration system in total breakdown. NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit spent five years pulling back the curtain on system that is deeply flawed and completely overwhelmed. One judge likened it to life and death decisions being made with the same lack of resources as “traffic court.” As part of our commitment to covering this issue in a different way, NBC Bay Area sought to tell the story of immigrant policy in a way that most media do not.
  • A Vicious Cycle: Broken Homes, Deadly Streets, Shattered Lives.

    The 54 minute documentary “A Vicious Cycle” is a groundbreaking and deeply personal look at the causes and impact of violent crime in the St. Louis area, which includes East St. Louis and Washington Park, Illinois, the communities with the highest murder rates in America. The documentary is the result of five months of investigation and interviews with victims, their families, former gang leaders, police, and social workers. The program is divided into four segments; (1) overview with victims and a deep look at causes of violent crime, (2) unprecedented access with one St. Louis family with 2 sons behind bars and the father of 1 son also in prison, (3) an inside look at how police are fighting crime, (4) and the emotional ending focusing on social programs that successfully bring broken families together. In 2011, there were 11 murders in Washington Park, Illinois, 1 for every 370 residents, which is 8 times the murder rate of St. Louis, a city that has one of the highest murder rates in the country. We explore the many contributing factors in the region's most violent neighborhoods, including extreme poverty, lower levels of education and home ownership, single parent families and segregation. We also examine the life of a former gang leader who was arrested more than 40 times, including arrests for 2 murders. A unique part of our program is a deeply personal investigation of the destruction of one St. Louis family. That segment, part two of our program, is 13 minutes long. The mother agreed to talk about her family because of the “pull of the streets” that lured all 3 of her sons into a gang. Our investigation learned that it was the collapse of the family, particularly their mother’s mental problems and substance abuse that really pushed the boys into the streets to find more structure and a sense of family. What follows is a rare look inside a family in crisis, featuring on-camera interviews behind bars with two sons and the father. One son is mentally ill, suicidal and has 7 children. During the interviews we learn that the root of the family’s collapse was the mother’s repeated abuse and neglect when she was a young child. The segment also includes interviews with the victims of other son’s violent crimes, including a murder he committed when he was just 19.
  • The Deadliest Place in Mexico

    The Juarez Valley, a narrow corridor of green farmland carved from the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande, was once known for its cotton, which rivaled Egypt’s. But that was before the Juarez cartel moved in to set up a lucrative drug smuggling trade. “The Deadliest Place in Mexico” explores untold aspects of Mexico’s drug war as it has played out in the small farming communities of this valley. The violence began in 2008, when the Sinaloa cartel moved in to take over the Juarez cartel’s turf. The Mexican government sent in the military to quell the violence — but instead the murder rate exploded. While the bloodshed in the nearby City of Juarez attracted widespread media attention, the violence spilling into the rural Juarez Valley received far less, eve as the killings began to escalate in brutal ways. Community advocates, elected officials, even police officers were shot down in the streets. Several residents were stabbed in the face with ice picks. By 2009, the valley, with a population of 20,000, had a murder rate six times higher than Juarez itself. Newspapers began to call the rural farming region the “Valley of Death.” This investigation uses extensive Freedom of Information Act requests, court documents, and difficult-to-obtain interviews in Spanish and English with current and former Juarez Valley residents, Mexican officials, narcotraffickers and U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, to reveal that many of these shocking deaths were perpetrated with the participation of Mexican authorities. It shows scenes of devastation — households where six members of a single family were killed, without a single police investigation. It uncovers targeted killings by masked gunmen of community activists and innocent residents for speaking out against violence and repression facilitated by corrupt military and government officials. And it gathers multiple witnesses who describe soldiers themselves, working in league with the Sinaloa cartel, perpetrating violence against civilians. "The cemeteries are all full. There isn't anywhere left to bury the bodies," one former resident said. "You'll find nothing there but ghost towns and soldiers."
  • Murder, Money and Politics

    A $54.5 million program touted by Illiinois Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce violence consisted of teens handing out fliers to promote inner peace, take field trips to museums, march in a parade with the governor and even attend a yoga class to reduce stress. Two years after the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative began, the murder rate was nearly 20 percent in Chicago.
  • More Than 1,500 Homocides Grow Cold in Prince George's County

    Prince George's County, Maryland has one of the nation's highest murder rates, and though the police department's clearance rates have improved in recent years, decades of solving less than half of the county's homocides has left thousands of family members still looking for justice for their slain loved ones.
  • Investigative work of Mike Wilksinson

    The work samples of Mike Wilkinson are entries for the Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. The first story shows how some struggling school districts are paying exorbitant teacher salaries. Another finds that a local television station's segments called "Best School Districts" are advertorials. The final story tracks the murder rates among young black men.
  • Homicide 37

    Of the 179 homicides in New Orleans during 2007, the Times-Picayune explored the city's high murder rate through the thirty seventh murder of the year. The story examines the failed justice system from the perspectives of the detectives, the suspect and the family of the victim.
  • 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.