Dylan Purcell is a reporter on the investigative team, specializing in data analysis. Since joining the Inquirer in 1998, Dylan has worked on numerous investigative projects, including coverage of courts, crime and education. He is a Temple University graduate and avid local sports fan.

Latest Stories

For Johnny Doc, union-paid generosity began at home

Dougherty allegedly bestowed on his relatives home renovations, extravagant meals, lavish birthday parties, and shopping sprees. Three men on the union payroll collectively referred to as “the kids” were portrayed as personal gofers for his family by prosecutors.

How the ‘Toxic City’ investigation has protected Philadelphia children from environmental perils

Here's what city and school officials did to help protect children from health hazards in the wake of the Inquirer's two-year investigation, Toxic City.

Despite recent cleanups, Philadelphia schools still expose kids and teachers to asbestos

The Philadelphia school district spent the summer cleaning up seven schools where the Inquirer's "Toxic City: Sick Schools" investigation found the highest numbers of cancer-causing asbestos fibers. Then, new problems surfaced.

Philadelphia school kids will get added protections from lead paint perils

A new law in Philadelphia will require for the first time that public schools must be certified as safe from lead-paint hazards.

Murders in Philly are on the rise. Fewer are being solved. And now police are fighting about overtime.

The number of murders in Philadelphia has spiked to 315 — the highest in six years — and police overtime spending has fallen 5 percent. Detectives say their investigations are being compromised.

‘Toxic City’: State confirms extreme lead levels in Kensington soil

The state Department of Environmental Protection confirms that its own testing, prompted by an Inquirer/Daily News investigation, found unacceptable levels of lead spread over the footprint of a former lead smelter.

Suburban police overstate marijuana arrests to FBI

While pot arrests are up in the suburbs, police have been overstating the trend in figures filed with the FBI.
Top commanders acknowledge their departments have been counting all seizures of marijuana as arrests, even when people were sent on their way uncharged or only handed citations.

Why are marijuana arrests up in the suburbs despite pot's growing acceptance?

While Philadelphia has largely decriminalized marijuana possession, police in South Jersey and in the city's Pennsylvania suburbs are charging more people than ever with the crime. For some, critics say, that means they run a kind of gantlet from suburban town to suburban town.

The kids liked Rittenhouse Square’s new kid on the block — but the live stuff was even better

The original bronze 2-foot-tall statue of Billy by sculptor Albert Laessle in 1914 had worn smooth, making parts of him appear golden, from a century's worth of tiny hands lovingly petting and clutching while climbing.

Can Philadelphia school officials be trusted with millions in state money to clean up lead paint?

With $7.6 million in new state funds, the School District of Philadelphia this week picked four contractors to clean up toxic lead paint in 40 schools after an Inquirer and Daily News investigation, "Toxic City: Sick Schools," exposed widespread problems.