Agents' Secrets

SBI series: About the N&O journalists

The News & Observer has been examining the State Bureau of Investigation since the exoneration of Greg Taylor in February.

Reporters reviewed more than 15,000 pages of documents detailing crime lab protocol and practices. Many investigative files are not public, but we analyzed dozens of cases through court files and lawsuits, studying the testimony of agents and analysts.

We interviewed dozens of lawyers, ballistics experts, lab experts, state officials and those wronged by the SBI's mistakes.

Mandy Locke, 31, covers the federal court system and state legal matters. Since joining The N&O in 2004, Locke has written extensively about child welfare and criminal justice, producing investigative series about shaken babies and the state's lax attitude toward speeding enforcement. Recently, she has written extensively about the exonerations of Dwayne Dail and Greg Taylor.

Joseph Neff, 50, is a veteran investigative reporter who has written extensively about criminal justice. Neff came to The N&O in 1992. His stories helped lead to the exoneration of Alan Gell and to the conviction of former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps. Neff laid bare the prosecutorial misconduct of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke lacrosse case, and in 2008, he worked on "Losing Track," a series that exposed North Carolina's crippled probation system.

Travis Long, 33, joined The N&O as a photojournalist in 2003. In 2007, he started focusing primarily on video. His video projects on mental health, Dwayne Dail and domestic violence have won numerous state, national and international awards.

Shawn Rocco, 38, has been a staff photojournalist since 2002. He has received awards for his photography and multimedia from the National Press Photographers Association, Southern Short Course, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and the N.C. Press Photographers Association.

Steve Riley, 51, is senior editor for investigations. Since 2003, he has directed 25 major projects, including "Executive Privilege," the newspaper's investigation of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Other team members:


Brooke Cain

David Raynor


Tim Lee


Lamonte Garrett

Andrew Roman

Copy editors

Bill DuPre

Leland Senn

Photo editor

Scott Sharpe


Teresa Kriegsman