A former lawyer and recovering alcoholic, Mr. Berg was a popular and outspoken talk radio host. His mid-1980's show on Denver's KOA was known to offend and inflame, with topics ranging from oral sex to racial intolerance.
Berg would tell the callers exactly what he thought of them. Roger Ebert once asked Berg why he was so hard on a bigoted caller. "She was asking for it," Berg replied. "Why would she call up and feed me all those straight lines if she didn't want me to tell her how stupid she was?"
In 1979, while working at another local station, Berg's life was threatened by local KKK member Fred Wilkins. Mr. Wilkins stormed into Berg's on air studio and told Berg to "prepare to die." Berg was unharmed, and Wilkins was arrested for felony menacing.
In the early 1980's, a group of white supremacists calling themselves "The Order" began phoning Berg's show. Berg would quickly return their shouts of "Jew" and "kike" with "bigot" and "redneck." "The Order" quickly tired of this verbal exchange, and escalated the situation.
On June 18, 1984 gunmen from "The Order" waited as Alan Berg pulled into the driveway of his 1400 Adams St. home (near the Bluebird Theater) . As he exited his Volkswagen, he was shot multiple times and died on the scene.
Berg's killers commited a subsequent armored car robbery before they were apprehended and convicted of all crimes.
Berg's wife survived and wrote a book about the tragedy.
Oliver Stone borrowed significantly from the Alan Berg case for his 1988 movie Talk Radio.