• Melanie Hicken and Blake Ellis are an award-winning female investigative duo for CNN. They have exposed everything from abusive animal control agencies to the NRA's secret push to force police to sell guns.

    Most recently, the unit has uncovered widespread sexual abuse in nursing homes, chronicled one of the longest-running scams in history and broken news of an unprecedented U.S. government crackdown on global mail fraud.

    Their groundbreaking investigation into the secret world of government debt collectors won the prestigious Heywood Broun Award of Distinction and inspired lawmakers to take action with legislation aimed at closing the loophole highlighted in the stories. They were finalists for a Peabody Award for their coverage of guns in America, and the two journalists have been honored by the International Association of Broadcasting, the National Press Club, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Newswomen's Club of New York, the National Endowment for Financial Education, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

    They regularly appear on CNN and other television and radio networks to discuss their investigations, and they are currently writing a book inspired by their hunt for the mysterious psychic at the center of a massive scam that has raged for decades. It will be published by Simon & Schuster's Atria Publishing Group.

    Blake Ellis is a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. She has written for outlets including Fortune Magazine, Bloomberg, Time Magazine and Money Magazine.

    Melanie Hicken is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School and New York University. She has written for outlets including The Los Angeles Times, Reuters and Time Magazine.

    Email them at watchdog@cnn.com.