Special Projects

  • Killer Love: A story of couples, success, faith and murder

    A respected insurance agent, his beloved wife and their charismatic pastor: This tale of sex and murder seems like a movie but played out for real in Independence.
  • Nonfatal shootings in KC: Many bullets, little blame

    In six out of 10 cases last year, victims declined to cooperate in catching their attackers, many times out of fear. Authorities then walked away, shutting down the cases.
  • Boilermakers union leaders receive lofty pay, benefits

    An international union based in KCK rewards its officers with big pay and top-flight perks. The Boilermakers say they're just like other unions, but labor watchdogs disagree, asking: Should a nonprofit spend like that?
  • Arrowhead anxiety: Turnover off the field causes concern

    Secrecy, intimidation, fear and a watchful eye have become hallmarks of working for the Kansas City Chiefs, say some current and former employees.

  • Bad Medicine

    Kansas and Missouri doctors with long histories of malpractice payments often go undisciplined by the states' licensing boards, The Star found. Following our report, the government closed the database to the public. After protests, it was reopened, but with new limits.

  • The altar boys' secret

    A three-part series based on two new lawsuits that capture the turmoil that has occurred in many lives ever since allegations first began coming to light about abuse by priests three decades ago.

  • A Long Fall: After losing his building,
    Pastor Jerry Johnston starts over

    After a meteoric rise, the Rev. Jerry Johnston watched the slow decline of First Family megachurch. But today he launches a new church — and even some critics say don't count him out.

  • A City in Tune: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

    The Kauffman Center represents an investment in the community of hundreds of millions of dollars, a statement about the health and vitality of the city’s cultural life and a jaw-dropping architectural experience.

  • Kansas City Remembers 9/11

    The mind struggles to recall a world before Sept. 11, 2001, the day terror ripped through a bright blue sky. In our special section, we recall the stories and images of chaos and courage on the day that forever changed America.

  • City in Shock: The Hyatt skywalk collapse

    At 7:05 p.m. on July 17, 1981, two walkways at the Hyatt Regency tore loose from their suspension rods. The tragedy left 114 dead and scores more injured. Thirty years later, we remember that devastating night and the lessons learned from the disaster. Read stories from our archive, see photo galleries and videos, read about each of the victims and share your own story on our commemorative website.

  • The Joplin tornado

    A little boy with a massive neck laceration that exposed his spine. Kids with broken bones and head injuries. A 3-year-old boy whose foot was nearly sliced in two. When an EF-5 tornado cut through Joplin on May 22, these and many other children suffered. Read their stories and more from our comprehensive coverage of the devastating tornado that struck on May 22, 2011.

  • Civil War 150: A Nation Still Divided

    A century and a half after cannon fire across Charleston Bay signaled the violent beginning of the Civil War, The Star examines the tensions that remain today and the Kansas City region’s bitterly unique experience.

  • Growing old in Kansas City

    More than in many cities, we live in sprawling suburbs dominated by two-story, single-family homes and rely on cars to get around. When the elderly can no longer climb their stairs or drive their cars, we’ll pay dearly.

  • 24 Hours of Giving: Volunteers help make KC better

    They work in the dark hours before dawn, throughout the day, deep into the night — giving their time and talent because they're needed. To mark Greater Kansas City Day, The Star tracked one day in the life of KC volunteerism and the people who give.

    24 Hours of Giving: midnight to 8 a.m. | 8 a.m. to noon | Noon to 5 p.m. | Evening into night

  • How reality TV took over prime time

    In 2001 reality shows of all kinds accounted for 20 percent of TV’s prime-time schedule; today they account for about 40 percent. And they were a key factor in Americans’ migration from network television to cable.

  • A generation in free fall

    Large numbers of twentysomethings are out of work. Even more look long and hard only to find jobs that don’t capitalize on their talents or pay much. They hoped for more and got less.

  • Unsolved killing of Leon Jordan echoes civil rights era

    Blasts of double-ought buckshot from a stolen shotgun kill Leon Jordan — civil rights leader and the state’s most powerful black politician — as he is leaving his Kansas City tavern. Police still don’t know who pulled the trigger. Or why. But it wasn’t for lack of evidence.

  • Saving 17,000 kids

    The Star spent six months following John Covington as he set out his audacious plan to remake the Kansas City School District.

  • Human Trafficking in America: U.S. failing to find and help victims

    Kansas City Star reporters traveled the world, from Guatemalan migrant shelters to the deadly streets of Tijuana, investigating America's war against human trafficking.

  • In ‘food deserts,’ getting groceries is a struggle

    The modern American supermarket is a cornucopia of plenty — unless you are one of the 11.5 million low-income people who live in a “food desert,” places where groceries are not affordable or easily accessible. The good news is that help may be on the way.

  • House for sale? A lot of money surrounds Rod Jetton’s political consulting work

    Since he left the General Assembly as House speaker in 2008, Jetton has parlayed a gift for politics and eight years as aRepublican Party leader into a profitable career as a consultant famous for behind-the-scenes maneuvering. But the way the ex-Marine and former real estate salesman conducts political business has attracted the scrutiny of the FBI as it probes “pay for play” allegations in Jefferson City.

  • Investigation finds Enterprise Rent-A-Car sold Chevy Impalas without standard side air bags

    Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the nation’s largest private buyer of new cars and seller of used ones, chose to “delete” a standard safety feature from thousands of Chevrolet Impala fleet vehicles, saving millions of dollars. After the company rented out those 2006-08 model vehicles, they were offered for sale on the open market — minus the side-curtain air bags that have been shown to dramatically reduce highway deaths.

  • Murder Factory: 64130, the ZIP code of notoriety in Missouri

    Behind every pull of the trigger there is a story. In the Kansas City ZIP code 64130, there are a lot of stories to tell.

  • Whistleblower raises maintenance concerns of aging aircraft at Air Force base

    Poor maintenance may be compromising the flight safety of reconnaissance aircraft carrying some of America’s most advanced electronic equipment, according to current and former aircraft mechanics.

  • The Secret Files: A look at complaints made to KC police

    They’re secret files. And Kansas City police didn’t want you to know what’s in them. But for the first time, the Board of Police Commissioners agreed to release 50 of the hundreds of complaints filed with its Office of Community Complaints each year against officers by people like you.

  • ‘88 explosion: Did pressure lead to lies and unjust convictions?

    Numerous witnesses say testimony was coerced, and another witness now says a guard who was working security at the explosion site implicated herself 20 years ago.

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