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Clues emerge in killing of Las Vegas investigative reporter

Police on Monday released surveillance images of the person suspected in the fatal stabbing of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, and they are asking for the public’s help finding more footage.

The 69-year-old journalist was found dead around 10:30 am Saturday on the side of his home, on the 7200 block of Bronze Circle, near North Tenaya Way. Police said the stabbing stemmed from an altercation German had the day before with another person.

The images show a person wearing a wide straw hat, bright orange reflective long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, gray shoes and carrying a black or dark blue shoulder bag.

German, whose reporting career spanned 40 years, died from multiple sharp force injuries, the Clark County coroner’s office ruled.

Metro initiated major case protocol, the department said Sunday, urgently bringing together resources from across the valley in an effort to arrest a suspect as quickly as possible.

“We take this case very seriously and our investigators have been working non-stop to identify and apprehend the suspect,” Metro Capt. Dori Koren wrote in the statement. “Now we are asking for the public’s help. During the investigation, detectives were able to locate images of the suspect.”

Police suspect the stabber was casing the neighborhood to commit other crimes when German was killed. They are seeking footage taken between 8 am and 1 pm Friday near Vegas and Rock Springs drives.

On Monday afternoon, police stickers remained on the front window and side gate of German’s home. It was also readily apparent that police had canvassed the neighborhood. At several homes within blocks of German’s home, a police detective’s business card was placed on front doors with a written note asking people who lived there to call him.

Several neighbors contacted by the Review-Journal declined to speak about the events of the last 72 hours. Others said privately that the homicide had caused them to be fearful.

Those who were willing to talk said they were troubled by the events happening so close to home.

“It is genuinely very unpleasant, especially given the fact that there have been a couple break-ins,” said area resident Jamie Drake. “Our neighbor’s truck got broken into and then someone down the road as well, their car got broken into. Pretty for unpleasant sure.”

Drake and her boyfriend, Jess McLarry, said there have been a handful of vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood but they have no idea if they are related. They, like everyone else, are left to speculate whether the homicide was related to German’s line of work or he had confronted a possible burglar.

“It seems like a crime of opportunity,” McLarry said. “It doesn’t seem like someone with a really big plan here.”

Drake added: “There have been some weird people walking around in the middle of the night.”

When shown the photos police released Monday depicting a potential suspect, Drake said it was at least plausible that the person was someone she’s seen walking through the neighborhood previously, but she couldn’t be sure.

“Kinda looks familiar,” Drake said. “The hat looks familiar. There is a guy who kinda just walks around during the day but usually he is with someone else though. I can’t say definitively that is the guy. Usually that guy just walks around. A little bit of an older guy.”

Traffic cones blocked the road in German’s complex, where a utilities project was underway spanning nearly a block.

German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter who covered courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

On Sunday, former coworkers, attorneys and politicians remembered the tenacious reporter whose work exposed the corruption and crime of politicians, police, attorneys, judges, casino industry leaders and mob figures.

A former Sun editor Michael Lucas remembered a Thanksgiving in the early 1980s when German interviewed Tony Spilotro, a Chicago mobster who operated out of Las Vegas.

“It was the beginning of his career, but I was impressed with how rigorous and intense he was,” Lucas said.

In recent years, his reporting revealed failures in city inspections before the deadly Alpine Motel Apartments fire in 2019; claims of bullying, hostility and mismanagement at the Clark County’s public administrator’s office; and extremist activity in Southern Nevada.

German also was the writer and host for Season 2 of “Mobbed Up: the Fight for Vegas,” the Review-Journal’s acclaimed true-crime podcast.

The National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute issued a joint statement on Monday regarding German’s slaying.

“We were stunned and saddened to hear of the apparent murder of investigative journalist, Jeff German. Mr. German was a relentless investigator who made his career in Las Vegas,” the statement from Jen Judson and Gil Klein, presidents of the organizations, read in part. “We call on police to redouble their efforts to catch the murderer and get to the bottom of why Mr. German was murdered and who gave the order for his killing. And we look forward to the Las Vegas Review-Journal picking up Mr. German’s reporting and seeing it through.”

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©2022 Las Vegas Review-Journal. Visit reviewjournal.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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