Globe investigations and Spotlight reports

A look at the high-impact investigations from The Boston Globe, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning report on abuse in the Catholic Church.

A Spotlight Team Report

Clash in the name of Care

Clash in the name of Care

Should a surgeon run two operations at once?

It is the root question in a battle pitting a star surgeon against a great hospital, MGH, and the conflict has put careers and reputations at risk.

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Inside the Globe’s Spotlight report on concurrent surgeries.

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// Star surgeon is scrutinized on concurrent procedures

New York authorities are probing how a famed prostate specialist manages his vast patient load.

Spotlight Follow-Up

// State acts on simultaneous surgeries

The move comes in the wake of a series of reports by the Globe Spotlight Team about double-booked operations.


// Concurrent surgeries come under new scrutiny

Following controversy at MGH, the world’s largest surgeons’ group is considering new guidelines for overlapping surgery.

// Clash in the Name of Care: The e-mails

The Globe Spotlight Team obtained e-mails that offer a rare glimpse at the heated battle inside MGH.

The Desperate and the Dead (2016)

The desperate and the dead | Part 1

Psychiatric hospitals replaced by a failed patchwork of resources

Those most ill, including people at risk of committing violence, are far too often left in the care of almost anyone except the professionals that could help.

The Desperate and the Dead | Part 2

When despair meets deadly force

Police are often the primary responders when someone in Massachusetts faces a mental health emergency. The result can be deadly.

The desperate and the dead | Part 3

// The broken covenant

Behind the fragmented state of mental health care lies a political system failure that spans decades — and continues.

Spotlight Follow-up

// A depleted state system fails many with serious mental illness

People with mental illness under the supervision of the Department of Mental Health have endangered themselves or others recently, including one who died.

The desperate and the dead | Part 4

// A suicide in the courtroom

Defendants with mental illness are much more likely to receive punishment than treatment, putting Mass. courts behind much of the country in addressing the mental health crisis.

The desperate and the dead | Part 5

// The ‘new asylums’

There may be no worse place for mentally ill people to receive treatment than prison, yet a growing number end up in the “new asylums.”

The Desperate and the Dead | Part 6

// The hidden cost when mental illness meets homelessness

Everyone knows David, and wants to help, as he bounces between shelters, hospitals, jail. He is among the many homeless people with mental illness who find no care system to address their desperation.

The Desperate and the Dead | Part 7

// The San Antonio solution

One Texas city took on mental health as a community and became a national model. Why can’t Mass. do the same?

Political donations from Thornton Law Firm (2016)


Law firm ‘bonuses’ tied to political donations

Michael Thornton made his name in the law by becoming a national leader in handling asbestos-related cases.

A small Boston law firm became a top funder of the national Democratic Party by paying lawyers “bonuses” for their political donations.


// Firms profited from Garrett Bradley’s ties

The former state representative tapped his connections to make millions from pension fund lawsuits.

Spotlight Follow-up

Critics hit law firms’ bills after class-action lawsuits

Boston’s Thornton Law Firm, already under investigation for campaign donations, is at the center of controversy over overstated legal fees.

spotlight follow-up

Candidates returning donations from Thornton Law Firm attorneys

As of Nov. 1, the figure exceeded $300,000.


// Healey hands Thornton Law case to independent prosecutor

Under pressure from Republicans, the Mass. AG said she would step aside in the probe of the firm, which donated to her 2014 campaign.


// Boston law firm could be charged on donations

Campaign finance officials plan to ask Attorney General Maura Healey to consider prosecuting partners at Boston’s Thornton Law Firm.

// New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan to return lawyers’ donations

The New Hampshire governor will return $51,000 after the Globe reported Thornton Law Firm had apparently reimbursed partners for contributions.

// Clinton, Walsh return donations from Boston law firm

Several politicians are returning thousands of dollars in donations from lawyers at Thornton Law Firm following a Spotlight Team report.

Spotlight Follow

// More calls for a probe of Thornton law firm’s political donations

An election watchdog group accused Thornton Law Firm of illegally reimbursing lawyers for their political donations.

Spotlight: Private schools, painful secrets (2016)

Spotlight Follow-up

// Report names 12 at Choate Rosemary Hall who allegedly abused students

In almost all of the cases, school officials failed to report sexual misconduct to the authorities when the accusations first surfaced and quietly fired teachers or allowed them to resign.

Abuse allegations at Phillips Exeter prompt investigation

News of the investigation comes days after a former teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy admitted to misconduct with students.

Phillips Exeter Academy under fire again for its handling of sexual misconduct allegations

When Michaella Henry told Phillips Exeter officials she had been sexually assaulted, officials didn’t contact police. Instead, they offered baked goods.

Private schools, painful secrets

// The unexpected price of reporting abuse: retaliation

The Globe found 15 instances of retaliation at New England private schools against students or employees who raised concerns about sexual abuse by staffers.

Private schools, painful secrets

Educators accused of sexual misconduct often find new posts

Some private schools, including Brooks School (above), allegedly concealed accusations of sexual abuse against educators who left under a cloud. In 1995, Brooks quietly struck a $300,000 settlement with a former administrator who allegedly had sex with a student.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

The Spotlight Team identified 31 private school educators who found work at other schools or other settings with children after accusations of sexual misconduct.


// Across region, outdated sex abuse laws have loopholes

Laura and Antonio Siracusa were shocked to learn police could do nothing when a teacher allegedly had sex with their 17-year-old daughter.


// Private schools, painful secrets

More than 200 victims. At least 90 legal claims. At least 67 private schools in New England. This is the story of hundreds of students sexually abused by staffers, and emerging from decades of silence today.

Contact the Spotlight Team

The Spotlight Team would like to hear from readers with tips about this series.

Inside 'Spotlight'

// The movie and the investigations

A look at The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, its award-winning investigative coverage, and the movie based on its reporting on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Meet the reporters

// Globe Spotlight Team

Find background and contact information for the investigative journalists at The Boston Globe.

Contact us

The Spotlight Team would like to hear from readers with tips.

Tipline: 617-929-7483


Twitter: @GlobeSpotlight

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Other Globe Investigations

Investigative reporting can take months, but the impact is often dramatic. Read recent reports below.


Fishy business

Restaurants substituted tuna (left) with escolar (right), a less expensive fish that can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Dec. 2, 2012

A 2011 Globe investigation found widespread seafood mislabeling at Massachusetts stores and restaurants. A 2012 follow-up investigation found not much has changed.