Jeff German: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?

Jeff German

The episode titled ‘The Assassination of Jeff German’ of ’48 Hours’ profiles the murder case of a fearless and well-established reporter and journalist named Jeff German. Although he had covered stories about many criminals who had done awful things in their lives, nobody expected that he would lose his life over one such story. So, when the news of his demise broke out, it sent shockwaves to the entire community, including family, friends, and colleagues. Containing interviews with his colleagues, family members, and victims whose stories he put to paper, the episode provides a detailed account of the entire case, including the investigation that followed.

Jeff German Was Attacked in the Driveway of His Home

Born on August 23, 1953, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jeffrey Michael “Jeff” German went to Marquette University and earned a master’s degree. Apart from focusing on his academics, he had several other interests that kept him busy. For instance, when it came to music, he used to listen to the blues and jazz. He also liked maintaining his property by landscaping and gardening regularly. His journalistic career began with an internship role at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Image Credit: Jeff German/Twitter

After gaining some experience, Jeff bagged a job as a columnist and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, where he worked for more than 20 years. During his tenure there, he covered courts, labor, politics, government, and organized crime. Moreover, in 2001, he published his true-crime book titled ‘Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss,’ which is about the heir to the Horseshoe Club fortune, Ted Binion, and the story of his tragic death. Then, in 2010, he joined the Review-Journal, where he covered several controversial topics, including political scandals, government malfeasance, and even the 2017 Las Vegas music festival mass shooting that had 60 casualties and left more than 400 with injuries.

Enough about his professional background, Jeff was known to be as loving to his family and friends as he was professional on the work front. Although he was a bachelor with no children of his own, he did not shy away from showcasing his love for his siblings and their children. After spending multiple decades reporting and coming up with headlines, it was unfortunately he who made the headlines on September 4, 2022, after he was found dead right outside his home.

One of the neighbors called 911 and upon reaching the scene of the crime, the police found the 69-year-old reporter lying outside his house around 10:30 am with seven stab wounds, four of which were on his neck. The “multiple sharp force injuries” were the cause of his death as he was reportedly ambushed by the perpetrator/s. After setting up a perimeter and taping the crime scene, the police started searching for evidence in and around the neighborhood.

Jeff German Was Killed For Doing His Job

For the next step of the investigation, the detectives held interviews with Jeff German’s neighbors, family members, friends, and colleagues in order to learn about any strange activities in the victim’s life leading to the days of his demise. They found out that Jeff was involved in an altercation with somebody outside his home just a day before the fateful day. They also stated, “We do have some leads. We are pursuing a suspect but the suspect is outstanding.”

As soon as the news of Jeff’s death was heard, his colleagues at the Review-Journal joined forces and began working on getting to the bottom of the case while dealing with the grief of losing one of their own. They collectively shortlisted the names of people who might have had the motive to threaten him or kill him. Throughout his stellar career that spanned more than four decades, Jeff had exposed many gangsters and reported corruption on the part of several public figures. So, the shortlist contained many suspicious names that had a clear motive for murder; one of them being Robert Telles, a Clark County public administrator.

Jeff exposed Robert’s alleged inappropriate behavior in the office in four different articles. He was reached out by some Clark County employees — Rita Reid, Aleisha Goodwin, Jessica Coleman, and Noraine Pagdanganan — who told him about the toxic workplace environment at their office. The women claimed that Robert used to harass, bully, and physically intimidate his employees. Moreover, he was allegedly in an inappropriate relationship with one of the subordinates and was biased towards her. Jeff reported all these allegations in his articles, exposing Robert’s behavior at the workplace in front of the nation. However, Robert came out and denied the allegations but ended up losing the primary bid for reelection.

Thanks to the surveillance footage of Jeff’s neighborhood, the police released a video of the suspect walking near his residence the morning of his demise, donning a sun hat, orange clothing, and gloves. The victim’s colleagues found the manner of walking similar to that of Robert Telles, after referring to a video they had of him walking down a hallway. More evidence pointed toward Robert, especially when the suspect’s car — a maroon GMC Yukon — was found parked in his driveway. Following this development, the investigators obtained a search warrant and were quick to search through Robert’s house, where they reportedly found a sun hat and a pair of sneakers with a few blood stains, both of which matched those worn by the suspect in the surveillance footage.

While the hat had been found in pieces, the sneakers were partially cut as well. This was believed to be his attempt to destroy evidence. It was also reported that the DNA from the crime scene matched with Robert’s. When confronted, he had a stand-off with the authorities and barricaded himself in his home. Finally, when Robert was arrested five days after Jeff’s murder and charged with his murder, given all these incriminating pieces of evidence against him, they found several cuts on his arms. These cuts might have been inflicted by Jeff during the struggle. However, he pleaded not guilty and is thus awaiting trial at the moment.

Following the arrest of Robert Telles, the family of Jeff German released a heartfelt statement as they await justice to be served, saying, “Jeff was a loving and loyal brother, uncle, and friend who devoted his life to his work exposing wrongdoing in Las Vegas and beyond. We’re shocked, saddened, and angry about his death. Jeff was committed to seeking justice for others and would appreciate the hard work by local police and journalists in pursuing his killer. We look forward to seeing justice done in this case. We also want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, support, and recognition for Jeff and his life’s work.”

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