About the series Four Times reporters and a photographer spent a year systematically examining long-troubled Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, founded with high aspirations after the Watts riots. This series, in five parts, covers the severity of the hospital's recurring medical lapses, its managerial shortcomings and the political conditions that have thwarted effective reform. PART ONE Deep trouble: A hospital inspired by the civil rights movement fails — sometimes kills — those it was meant to serve. PART TWO The myth of poverty: King/Drew isn't underfunded. It's mismanaged. PART THREE Unheeded warnings: How one pathologist got hired and remained on staff despite misdiagnoses and legal woes. PART FOUR Broad failure: Beyond individual workers' shortcomings, whole departments are in disarray. PART FIVE Timidity at the top: The county Board of Supervisors shies away from reform, paralyzed by community protest and racial politics. EPILOGUE Overhaul urged: County board must give up its control of King/Drew, experts say. Some also suggest closing for a time to regroup. The series was reported and written by Times staff writers Tracy Weber, Charles Ornstein, Mitchell Landsberg and Steve Hymon. Staff photographer Robert Gauthier took the pictures.