Editor’s Desk: Thank you, Jeff German – a product of Jewish Milwaukee, the investigative journalist who was slain in Las Vegas has set an example 

I feel like I knew Jeff German, the Jewish Milwaukee boy who moved to Las Vegas. 

I know the type, the fearless journalist who lives in the job. When I was an editor at a daily, I felt like I worried about that reporter on my staff more than they worried about themselves. They were driven, by a thirst for the story as much as by a sense of responsibility. They were amazing, finding things nobody else would find. 

I’ve known the journalist who found attempted tampering with his vehicle, the journalist who got threatening messages. And so many of us, myself included, have been the journalists who raced down to a dangerous scene after hearing an alert on the police radio scanner, perhaps getting there a bit sooner than our mothers would have preferred. 

Everything I’ve read about German tells me he was as amazing as all the amazing ones I’ve known, or that much more. 

German was stabbed to death outside his home, reportedly in connection with his coverage of a county administrator in Las Vegas. That man has been taken into custody. German worked for decades as a columnist and reporter in Las Vegas, covering courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime. In 2001, he published a true crime book, “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss.” 

I can’t even imagine covering Sin City. I look up to it as heroic, important work. It appears to have been his dream that he made come true. 

Local boy 

When German was a senior at John Marshall High School, 4141 North 64th St., he was a key student administrator of the 1970 Winter Regional Convention of BBYO, the Jewish youth group. 

Bert Bilsky, former executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation, remembers when German served as AZA boys’ chair for the convention, while Bilsky was an adult program director – his first job out of college. Bilsky remembers the teenaged German as “a very serious guy” who was “good at detail.” 

There may have been as many as hundreds of programs to track at the time, with a book filled to the brim with schedules of athletic events, speakers and more. “He handled this coordinating job that he had to do with a great deal of attention to the details,” Bilsky recalled.  


Join now!