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How KING 5 investigator tracked 'Cyanide' documents

Civilian workers at the Navy shipyard in Bremerton were exposed to harmful poisons like cyanide and chlorine, but it took seven years for the shipyard’s managers to take action.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.

The six-month investigation, “Seven Years of Cyanide,” started with former workers dropping off thousands of pages of records at KING 5.

“They were in Ziploc bags,” KING 5 Investigator Susannah Frame recalled on KING 5’s The Sound podcast.

She said much of the initial work was organizing the documents in chronological order before she decided if it was even a story worth pursuing.

“Then I just started in reading every word,” she said. “I’m indexing while I’m reading. I don’t have a photographic memory, and highlighting like I did in college in the textbook, that isn’t going to work because there’s so much material.

“As I’m going through each document I’m working on (Microsoft) Excel and putting what the page number, exactly what the document is, what it says on the document, what the issue is, so that in the end I create a spreadsheet that’s twice as tall as I am,” she said.