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.



  • The PermaDerm ™ Cultured Skin Substitute Scandal – FDA shuts down study, failed clinical research and DoD contract/grant fraud?

    A handful of insiders work to get FDA approval of a cultured skin substitute for burn patients, even though the clinical study was shut down by the FDA. Since the study data was unusable, PermaDerm(tm) was entered into a DoD regenerative medicine program. Grants and a contract help fund the research except two ineligible patients were used in the applications. This story has flown under the radar until now.

    Tags: skin; substitute; medicine; patient

    By Sandra Frost

    newsvine.com

    2014

  • ESPN, Outside the Lines: "Sasha's Story" and "Victims of Inaction"

    Rare in sports journalism is the investigative story that not only unearths a major institutional failure, but prompts comprehensive policy and other changes that aim to help thousands if not millions of people around the nation. That is what happened as a result of ESPN’s 16-month investigation into the death of a University of Missouri swimmer who struggled with mental illness and the effects of a sexual assault – two of the largest issues facing college students today.

    Tags: sexual; assault; mental; illness; missouri; swimmer

    By Paula Lavigne; Tom Farrey; Nicole Noren; Chris Buckle; Tim Hays; Dwayne Bray; Rayna Banks, Jennifer Somach; Cody Shimek; Jason Morris, Nathan Hogan; Nick Waligorski, Michael Mikulec

    ESPN (Television Network) (Bristol, CT)

    2014

  • Oil Train Safety Put At Risk

    Oregon Public Broadcasting's investigation into worker complaints about BNSF Railway's documents how the company has prioritized speed and profits over safety, with a history of retaliating against workers who report accidents, injuries and safety concerns. Railroad safety has come under public scrutiny now that trains are hauling millions of gallons of oil across North America. In the Northwest, BNSF carries the vast majority of the especially combustible Bakken crude from North Dakota and neighboring states. The railroad now moves nearly 20 oil trains per week through the Columbia River Gorge. Worker fatigue is a major contributor to these dangers on the rails. As they uncovered, irregular work schedules and sleep disorders are a well-known contributor to train derailments, and yet, the industry has failed to make the adjustments that have been identified as ways to reduce the risk of crashes and derailments.

    Tags: worker; safety; infrastructure; accidents; injury

    By David Steves

    Oregon Public Broadcasting

    2014

  • ESPN, Outside the Lines: “Pat Tillman: 10 Years Later an Enduring Tragedy"

    In the 10 years since the death of former NFL and Arizona State football player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, none of the platoon mates who fired upon him had spoken publicly about the episode. In late 2013, ESPN’s Outside the Lines followed up its own original reporting on the fratricide, locating and contacting Tillman’s fellow Army Rangers who had acknowledged to investigators having fired upon his position. After multiple conversations with the Rangers over several months, one of the men who fired upon Tillman, Steven Elliott, agreed to break a decade of silence. That on-camera interview led to two April 2014 programs, the latest in OTL’s groundbreaking reporting about one of the most infamous friendly-fire deaths in U.S. military history.

    Tags: sports; nfl; friendly; fire; fratricide

    By Mike Fish; John Barr; William Weinbaum; Michael Sciallo; Dwayne Bray; Chris Buckle; Tim Hays; Jason Morris; Tom Schmidt; Baron Damm; Glenn Aust; Tyrone Edwards; Chuck Luther; Lyle Morgan; Josh Smith

    ESPN (Television Network) (Bristol, CT)

    2014

  • The Putah Creek Legacy

    This series explored the history, impact, and implications of a 25-year, $12 million river restoration project along Lower Putah Creek, a small waterway that runs along the border of Yolo and Solano counties in northern California. Putah Creek has been managed for human use for almost 150 years: a new channel rerouted it around the town of Davisville in the 1870s, levees were erected along it in the 1940s, and a dam halted and diverted its flow in the 1950s. Its story mimics hundreds of other rivers, streams and creeks throughout California. It would be largely unremarkable save for a lawsuit that thrust it to the forefront of restoration ecology.

    Tags: california; waterway; levees; creek; dam

    By Elizabeth Case; Celeste LeCompte; Celeste LeCompte; Debbie Davis

    Climate Confidential and the Davis Enterprise

    2014

  • Smart ALEC Oregon

    A team of KBOO reporters carried out a six-month investigation researching, cataloging and analyzing Oregon legislation which has been influenced, or created by, the American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC). ALEC states that their organization is "the nation’s largest, non-partisan, individual public-private membership association of state legislators...which works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level." KBOO volunteer investigative reporters reviewed hundreds of Oregon state legislative activities, and interviewed dozens of state legislators and lobbyists, to uncover ALEC influences.

    Tags: oregon; legislature; partisan; state

    By Don Merrill; Yana Maximova; Sam Smith; Mike Klepfer; Sam Bouman

    KBOO-FM

    2014

  • Hartman Justice Project

    Recent developments in Alaska Innocence Project’s battle for exoneration of the so-called Fairbanks Four, a largely Athabaskan group of men serving sentences ranging from 33-75 years for John Hartman’s 1997 murder. O'Donoghue has been dogging, with the help of undergraduate students, what now appears to wrongful convictions in this case for more years than I care to count, exposing many flaws in a police investigation drawing direction from drunken confessions, trials sporting lying witnesses and racist prosecutorial branding, jury misconduct that (briefly) overturned one verdict in 2004.

    Tags: murder; exoneration; alaska; jury; misconduct

    By Brian Patrick O’Donoghue; Julia Taylor; Kendell Newman Sadiik; Grace Bieber; Kelly Logue

    Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

    2014

  • Pyramid Schemes in the United States

    This Al Jazeera series shows that although pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States, multilevel marketing companies are not. We investigate some of the biggest MLM companies that specifically target and exploit vulnerable populations, such as youth. In the first part of the series, we demonstrate how one company profits by promising desperate & indebted teenagers an economic revolution when in reality the company’s CEO made $12 million in 2013, 7,500 times more than a majority of its young distributors who made under $2 thousand that year on average.

    Tags: pyramid; schemes; multilevel; integration

    By Laura Rena Murray; Atossa Abrahamian; Jayati Vora

    Al Jazeera America

    2014

  • Who benefits from Supervisor grants?

    San Diego County supervisors have long had what many call a “slush fund,” millions of dollars they can spend in any way they wish. inewsource investigative assistant Leonardo Castaneda analyzed 16 years of records to find that while the funds are meant to help improve neighborhoods, generally through grants to nonprofits, half of the money has gone back to the county itself. Each supervisor had $1 million a year in these discretionary funds, but when Castaneda began his inquiry, the board was considering doubling that amount. In this rolling investigation, His project exposed the the loose rules for grantmaking and the fact that some supervisors take personal credit and acknowledgement for the funding — when that’s not allowed. Those practices fuel the critics who say the “slush fund” is less about improving neighborhoods and more about securing the supervisors’ re-election bids.

    Tags: san diego; county; fund; neighborhoods; grants

    By Leonardo Castaneda

    inewsource

    2014

  • The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI

    In The Burglary, the identities of the people who burglarized the Media, PA, FBI office the night of March 8, 1971, are revealed for the first time. Though the significance of this historic burglary often had been noted by scholars in histories of the bureau and biographies of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the identities of the people who called themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, as well as the full impact of this historic act of resistance, were not known until The Burglary was published. The burglars had avoided discovery by agents throughout the bureau’s five-year investigation of the crime and had remained silent for forty-three years. They had promised each other they would take the secret of the burglary to their graves.

    Tags: book; Hoover; Media, Pennsylvania; FBI burglary

    By Betty Medsger

    2014