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EDITORIAL: Jeff German: fearless, relentless, trusted, missed

He will be long remembered, but never replaced. The Review-Journal family is devastated at the apparent murder of investigative reporter Jeff German.

On Saturday, Mr. German was found stabbed to death outside his home. On Monday, police released a photo of the suspect and identified his vehicle on Tuesday. We urge anyone with information to contact the police’s homicide section at 702-828-7777.

Mr. German was a man whose only agenda was the truth. That’s not an easy thing to do in a town once run by actual mob bosses. But he did it day after day for 40 years. He wasn’t intimidated, and he wouldn’t back down.

For most reporters, what he accomplished in a decade would be an impressive career. Here’s just a sampling of his stories since joining the Review-Journal in 2010.

In May, he exposed claims of harassment and bullying at the Clark County public administrator’s office. His reporting likely led to the rare primary defeat of the incumbent. In 2017, he and his investigative colleagues revealed extravagant spending by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. He spent years doggedly pursuing scandalous stories about the agency. After the deadly Alpine Motel Apartments fire, he and his colleagues revealed shortcomings in city inspections.

One of the biggest and most tragic stories of the last decade was the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre. Mr. German broke the news that the shooter fired at jet fuel tanks at the airport.

To top it off, he wrote and produced Season 2 of “Mobbed Up: The Fight for Vegas,” a true-crime podcast.

Breaking stories like that doesn’t just happen. It takes years, sometimes decades of work, proving yourself trustworthy to sources.

Before he came to the Review-Journal, Mr. German had a distinguished career with the Las Vegas Sun. Many of his former colleagues and competitors remember his rugged determination to track down — first — whatever story he was working. He even turned one of his biggest stories, the death of Ted Binion, into a book, “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss.”

Even Las Vegas residents who never read his work benefited from his presence. His investigative journalism was a community service. Corrupt and unethical behavior doesn’t just stop randomly. For four decades, it often ended after Mr. German brought it to light.

With this record of accomplishment, it would have been easy to be aloof. Mr. German wasn’t. Beneath an occasionally gruff exterior was a sweet, friendly man. He willingly helped and mentored junior colleagues. He was 69 going on 21 when it came to his enthusiasm for his work. He would always beam after breaking a big story.

Jeff, you will always be missed.

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