Lawless Order: The Murder of Alan Berg

Alan Berg
While most Coloradans knew Alan Berg, pictured on the right, for his radio show, some may know he previously served as a lawyer in Chicago. / Alan Berg

Alan Berg was perhaps best known for his confrontational approach on his talk radio show in Denver. While his assassination by the white supremacist hate group, The Order, made national headlines, some news outlets like Rolling Stone reported Berg may have simply “talked himself to death.” 

KOA, one of the largest radio stations in the Denver area, aired a talk show in the 1980s hosted by Berg. On the show, he discussed anything and everything from loaded political issues to various topics in other local or national news cycles. Berg’s hosting style invited controversy and often received complaints from listeners to the station for his abrasive, rude and sometimes cruel commentary to and about the people he invited on the show to speak with him. 

While most Coloradans knew Berg for his radio show, some may know he previously served as a lawyer in Chicago. Berg experienced violent seizures and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the late 1970s. He underwent surgery and made a full recovery but reportedly wore his hair longer in the front to cover the surgical scars according to his biography on IMDb. 

“Hopefully, my legal training will prevent me from saying the one thing that will kill me. I’ve come awfully close.” – Alan Berg

In the years he hosted his KOA show, Berg called out various hate groups like The Order for their antisemitic beliefs. According to a Denver Post June 2009 article, Anath White, the last producer to work with Berg, said she remembered the shows shortly before Berg was killed “when he confronted members of the Christian Identity movement, who believed Jews were descended from Satan.”

Berg was shot to death in 1984 as he returned home from a dinner with his ex-wife, Judith Lee Berg. “Eventually, four members of The Order were indicted in the slaying, but only two were convicted — alleged triggerman Bruce Pierce and alleged getaway driver David Lane,” reported the Denver Post. 

While no one was ever convicted for the murder of Berg, federal authorities tried several other members of the Aryan splinter group for violating Berg’s civil rights. Lane and Pierce were convicted of violating Berg’s civil rights and some members of The Order were convicted for other crimes, according to the Denver Post. 

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