Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



  • Hospice Inc.

    Hospice, a specialty health service for dying people, has transformed over the past decade from its nonprofit roots into a booming industry dominated by for-profit players. HuffPost’s investigation reveals how some hospices are endangering patients in the drive for revenue, keeping them on a service specially-designed for dying people, sometimes against doctors orders, and subjecting them to treatment they and their families don’t want.

    Tags: hospice; for-profit; patient; endangerment

    By Ben Hallman; Shane Shifflett

    Huffington Post

    2014

  • Diplomatic Drivers

    Driving more than 100 mph. Hit and runs. Multiple DUIs. They were all considered classified state secrets until Tisha Thompson spent six years successfully fighting for diplomatic driving records never before released to the public. You can’t drive anywhere in Washington, DC without spotting the distinctive red and blue tags of foreign diplomats. In 2008, Thompson filed a FOIA with the US Department of State requesting driving records of any diplomat pulled over for violating our local traffic laws. Several years later, she was told her FOIA had become “one of the oldest, if not the oldest” in the agency’s system because it could be a potential diplomatic relations problem. Thompson used a combination of traditional and creative ways to get FOIA information not just from the federal government but also from a long list of local and state jurisdictions. And the results were stunning.

    Tags: diplomats; traffic; violations; us department of state

    By Tisha Thompson; Steve Jones; Rick Yarborough; Mike Goldrick

    WRC-TV NBC4 Washington

    2014

  • Alex Quade's Taliban-5/Spec Ops Capture & Release

    In her exclusive, war reporter Alex Quade, reveals the original story behind the Special Operations Forces’ capture of one of the Taliban-5. Alex Quade persuaded the elite Operators to go on the record, assess the “high risk” detainee’s exchange for POW, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; and whether the released Taliban leader will attack U.S. interests again. One highly decorated Green Beret who originally helped capture him, is now a National Security Council counterterrorism head, who worked behind the scenes on the recent exchange. The senior Special Forces officer tells Alex of detainee Mullah Muhammad Fazl’s release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and assesses the government of Qatar’s ability to hold Fazl under the one year travel ban. Former Special Operations “Horse Soldiers” share details with Alex, you’ve never heard before. In Alex Quade’s exclusive, you’ll discover Mullah Fazl’s connection to: convicted “American Taliban” Johnny Walker Lindh; and CIA Agent Mike Spann, the first American killed in action in the war in Afghanistan. You’ll also learn of the released Taliban leader’s ties to former warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum – now the Vice President of Afghanistan.

    Tags: al qaeda; CIA; guantanamo bay; counterterrorism

    By Alex Quade; Eduardo Alvarez

    The Daily Caller

    2014

  • A death in restraints after ‘standard procedure’

    The series revealed the needless deaths of three mental health patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, a medium-security state prison for men who have come in contact with the criminal justice system, due to the use of four-point restraints. The series also raised questions about the decision by a district attorney to not pursue criminal charges in one of those deaths, even though it was ruled a homicide. In addition, the series exposed the systemic, illegal use of isolation and four-point restraints -- strapping a patient’s wrists and ankles to a bed -- at a time when officials at similar institutions in other states were sharply reducing their reliance on these tactics, finding that they are physically dangerous and psychologically harmful.

    Tags: hospitals; prison; restraints; patient deaths

    By Michael Rezendes

    Boston Globe

    2014

  • Double Agent: Inside al Qaeda for the CIA

    The world’s most dangerous terrorists, espionage, betrayal, and assassination are all part of the intrigue of "Double Agent: Inside al Qaeda for the CIA," a remarkable documentary about Morten Storm, a radical-Islamist-turned-double-agent who says he was in a race against time to thwart attacks by al Qaeda. It is a spy thriller told through never-before-seen videos recorded by Storm on the job as a spy. His photos and al Qaeda encrypted emails, and never-before-heard audio from his years undercover reveal a rare glimpse of CIA missteps and the destructive rivalries between competing global intelligence agencies.

    Tags: al Qaeda; documentary; CIA; rivalries

    By Nic Robertson; Jen Hyde; Ken Shiffman; Keith Lovely, Jr.; Tim Lister; Paul Cruickshank; Matt Scheibner; Leon Jobe; Peter Kavanagh; Alex Bieraugel; Meg Pearlstein; Mike Chedwick; Blake Luce; Dave Herrod; April Hock; Gary Wilkinson

    CNN

    2014

  • Death of a Nursing Home

    An investigation of the high rate of bankruptcies of nursing homes serving minority and low-income communities shows that their financial problems can be traced back to the low reimbursement rates paid by Medicaid, and that the Medicaid law is based on amendments made to the Social Security Law of 1935 inserted by states’ rights advocates in Congress who wanted to preserve the system of economic exploitation and social segregation of the South.

    Tags: elderly; class; race; minority; income; social security

    By Wallace Roberts

    The Crisis Magazine

    2014

  • The Costs and Benefits of an Elite College Chess Team

    Did Webster University pay $1 million to bring an elite chess team from Texas Tech? The university declined to address that question, but documents obtained under Texas open records law reveal the stipulations the controversial chess coach was seeking prior to her departure from Texas Tech. After failing to negotiate her terms into a new Texas Tech contract, Polgar moved her program to Webster University. Amid back-to-back budget shortfalls, some questioned the administration’s investment in an elite chess team. Webster derives 97 percent of its revenue from tuition payments, much of which is taxpayer-funded student loans and grants.

    Tags: chess; university; sports; clubs tuition

    By Dan Bauman; Megan Favignano

    Webster University's The Journal

    2014

  • Is it Right to Pay Ransoms?

    In 2009, an elderly retired teacher from Germany, a Swiss couple and a British citizen named Edward Dyer were kidnapped while driving down a desert highway after taking part in an annual concert of Tuareg music on the Mali-Niger border. They eventually ended up in the hands of Islamist militants belonging to the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM. The German and Swiss hostages were released after several months when their governments paid ransom. But the British hostage was shot and then beheaded. The UK government bans paying ransom to abductors. This story reconstructs the abduction and its aftermath and shows how whether a hostage lives or dies depends on his or her government's willingness to negotiate and pay ransom.

    Tags: ransom; hostages; militants; abductors

    By Derek Kravitz; Colm O’Molloy; Jan Hendrik Hinzel; Lindsey Bever; Shadi Bushra

    BBC News Magazine

    2014

  • Civil Penalties Special Report

    In an unprecedented joint partnership investigation that took approximately three years, Mine Safety and Health News (MSHN) and National Public Radio (NPR) found that mining companies in the U.S. failed to pay $70 million in delinquent mine safety penalties - most for years, some for decades, and that these delinquent mine operators had accident rate 50% higher than mine operators who paid their fines. These companies: defied federal court orders to pay; committed 131,000 violations; reported nearly 4,000 injuries. The joint investigation of MSHN and NPR exposed a loophole in federal regulation, and lax enforcement that places U.S. miners at risk. The result was a special report by Mine Safety and Health News, and a series of radio stories by NPR that provided the foundation to challenge and change mine safety law in the U.S.

    Tags: mines; on the job; safety; violations; injuries

    By Ellen Smith; Howard Berkes; Robert Little; Anna Boiko-Weyrauch; Robert Benincasa; Nicole Beemsterboer

    Mine Safety and Health News

    2014

  • The Chronicle of Higher Ed: On Campus, Grenade Launchers, M-16s, and Armored Vehicles

    The Chronicle’s investigation revealed nearly 120 college police forces acquired military gear from the Department of Defense through the controversial 1033 program. Advocates contended the low-cost equipment is an indispensable resource during crowd-control situations or active-shooter incidents. Detractors argued the procurement of tactical gear fails to aid against the types of crimes that occur more frequently on college campuses, like alcohol-related incidents and sexual assault. Others worried military equipment is an especially poor fit on college campuses, and feared it may have a chilling effect on free expression.

    Tags: campus; police; militarization; crime

    By Dan Bauman; Max Lewontin; Lance Lambert

    The Chronicle (Hofstra University)

    2014