Taos Land & Film Company: Where Taos Land Sales Fund Independent Films

August Pankow

Theyv'e always had meetings once a month. So, it didn't make no difference
to me. They want their meeting, let 'um have 'um. They just went overboard,
got carried away.
Well, it went through my mind. There's more people that told me, outsiders,
just strangers, different people you see, "You better watch out. You
might get shot." So, just people in town, or wherever, friends or--it
bothered me the first month after I got back. But, after so long, you know,
it gets forgotten about.
I dreamt different times, not too often, about it--when the guy went
around and blew this guy away. That did bother me. They did bring that
up in court and showed it--showed you his skull--passed it right through
the jurrors. Some of 'um did like this and some passed it by. It didn't
really bother me at that time. But, things grow on you eventually, I don't
Yes, I can't remember which one it was but I really thought he was smart,
well prepared lawyer. It was that short, little guy. I can't remember
what his name was.
It was that first guy you mentioned. He was well prepared for his trial--whatever
he had to do with it.
No, I can't say that. No, I can't
...4/43...Well, I don't know. He's a human being, but he seemed to me
like he was a just a small little cocky guy. he just, the way it looked
to me, he had his gun that was supposed to protect him. He was a small
guy with his gun to protect him. And, I was going to say Scott Fall, he,
he struck me right away, he could really do a lot of damage to somebody,
if he'd ever get mad or blow up just my impression of what I seen of him
as he sat there--just his looks when you'd walk by him, you'd walk into
the jury where you sat. You'd walk by and he'd just look at you with his
eyes.. You say, looks is killing, and he's had 'um.
He was just a common guy. But, he was a lawyer more or less I'd say.
He was--he could talk.
She was a timid woman. And, I don't--just because that she was really
a nice woman, behaved well, did her, whatever she did at her, at the trial.
When, but, I still think that she should of had probation out of it, 'cause
she was with--she was at the meeting, and in the car, the get a way car,
and whatever it was.
Not that sticks in my mind. There awas a few times where we got a little
chuckle--little giggle, but it wasn't--most of it was pretty serious.
One Xmas, I think, one, I don't remember his name called one time and
wanted to know if we could get together. We were leaving or something.
We were to get together ove Xmas, just in Fargo someplace. And, It never
did materialize, unless they did it and we weren't there-which would have
been alright, I think.
No. I did run into Crooks one day at the sentinelle at Angus and it
was four years ago. He come home here, and I did talk to 'um. And, we
talked a little bit about it, how I liked it to been on that jury. It was
really an experience--something everybody should do.
Well, at the time I was a single person, at that time. And, I was going
with my wife, who is my wife now. And, I could only see her on Sundays
for two hours. She would come up and visit. That was the only time we
could have any company, Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4. And, I kinda missed
her while I was locked up for a month. I did get to talk to her on the
phone, but if you, you couldn't really--she said something about the newspaper,
sometimes she said something about a newspaper and plunk, that was it, I
was cut off. They just sit there and listen to you talk. I talked to
my brother one time, and he mentioned something about seeing me on TV,
seeing the jury on TV--and it was clunk. That was the end of it. They
just cut you off. They're maybe scared you're going about, you know, what
they seen in the paper.
(Note to Jeff. I didn't transcribe what the lady in the background said.)
Well, I don't know if it was really anger, or not, but it was--it got
to be a long time. You just--you got up, like being in the Army. You got
up. They woke you up a quarter to seven and pounded on your door. Seven
fifteen you got downstairs, on the bus, then they would take you to breadfast.
(lady in background again- I didn't transcribe it)
And I, about the pay. I didn't think they paid too good. For being
gone a month at the busiest time of year. Putting in your crop and get
what you're going to harvest, and what you're going to live on for the next--you
only had that month to put it in. If you didn't get it in at that time--it's
a certain time of the year when you have to do stuff like that. If it ain't
there you're going to suffer for it for the next whole year. I think I
got $800.
Well, I'm holding my own. But, it's been tough the last two or three
years. But, right in this area we had some pretty good crops, you know.
Like, this year, my corn wasn't as good as last year. Last year the whole
state of North Dakota was dry, but we just happened to get a little rain
right here in this area--twenty mile area here, and the corn was good, but
the rest of the crop wasn't. We had good corn last year. We was fortunate
right in this south eastern corner of North Dakota here. You just go west
here forty miles there's just no grass there at all.
No, that's about it I guess.
Oh, I don't think they'll let you do it again. Maybe, once in a lifetime.
It didn't bother me a bit because I didn't feel that I did anything wrong.
And, how it ended up is that I was owed them $800. I took my papers to
Wopaton. He went through them, and he says "The way it looks to me--he
says you got about--you got money coming back here." So, they made
a mistake. They sent me $600. The guy made a mistake. I got $600. when
I owed them $800. So, it wasn't no big deal to me. It turned out good.

with interviews of...
Joan Kahl
Yorie Kahl
Lynn Crooks
Toots Mathis
Dennis Fisher
John Noah
Irv Nodland
Bill Kennelly
Prof. Ed Gran
Jack McLamb
Delores Everts
Scarlet Skiftu
Herman Widicker
August Pankow
Victor Seil
Marlys Klimek
Ron Perleberg
Len Martin
Brad Kapp
Robert Holiday
Tom Lee
Ed Fitzpatrick
Gene Nail
Buford Terrell
Marlene Gaysek
Bob Ralston
Darrel Graf
Steve Schnabel
Jack Swan
Loreen Dyck
Mark Stagg
Sheriff Ray Weatherby
Jack Miller
Tracy Adams
Allison Hoffman
Jeffrey F. Jackson
production design
Jim Haddon
Peter Lloyd
film editing
Tracy Adams
Martyn Hone
Jeffrey F. Jackson
original music by
Tracy Adams
sound department
Tracy Adams
Jeffrey F. Jackson
Rex Reddick
produced by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
Angela Kaye
writing by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
directed by
Jeffrey F. Jackson
A timeline of the life of Gordon Kahl, from early childhood interests, to his marriage to Joan Kahl, his decorated military experience, his outspoken tax protest, the Medina shootout, and his unusual death in Arkansas in 1983.
VARIETY /   Indie documaker Jeffrey F. Jackson sticks it to the IRS and the Feds in "Death & Taxes," a hard-hitting reinvestigation of the 1983 Gordon Kahl case, about which questions still linger. Jackson's unfazed, investigative reporting-style approach and inventive handling of familiar material make this a controversial item for fests and progressive webs. Non-U.S. viewers will also get a charge out of its conspiracy theme. read more
CHRONICLES MAGAZINE /   Gordon Kahl was a simple farmer who became famous for not filing income tax returns. Imprisoned and hounded by IRS agents who never did prove he owed any amount of money, Kahl and his son were involved in a shootout with police. The son is still serving a prison sentence, but the father was surrounded and shot in Arkansas by police officers who mutilated and burned his body. read more
GUNS & AMMO /   A new video documentary, Death & Taxes, details a case of government murderously out of control that was briefly mentioned in the October 1994 Guns & Ammo article "The Ugly Truth About Gun Control." Death & Taxes is the story of Gordon Kahl, a North Dakota farmer and decorated World War II veteran, and his apparent death at the hands of federal agents. read more
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Death & Taxes (DVD)
First time on DVD (113 min)
Death & Taxes (VHS)
This is a limited edition collector's VHS in the original unbroken packaging. (113 min)
Death & Taxes Miniseries (DVD)
Set of 6 DVD's comprising the complete uncut footage from the documentary film project. (783 min)
Gordon Kahl: Godfather of the militia movement
Now Available!
This set of 6 DVD's comprises over 13 hours of uncut footage, including a 2+ hour prison interview with Yorie Kahl, and candid interviews with wife Joan Kahl. In this rich stockpile of research, you'll find many more threads than could reasonably be pursued in the final feature.
The Death & Taxes Miniseries DVD Set Includes...
01: Gordon Kahl Meets With Head North Dakota U.S. Marshal Bud Warren (60 min)
02: The Beginning: Gordon Kahl's military experience and views on a variety of subjects (93 min)
03: Gordon's Texas Tax Trial (90 min)
04: Medina Shootout (60 min)
05: Gordon Kahl Was...: A montage of over 25 people describing who Gordon Kahl was in their eyes. (50 min)
06: Mysterious Death In Arkansas (90 min)
07: Media Circus: Chronological portrayal of Gordon Kahl in the media (70 min)
08: Yorie Kahl Prison Interview (150 min)
09: Joan Kahl Uncut Interviews (120 min)
The connection between Gordon Kahl, Timothy McVeigh, and the Oklahoma City Bombing
A little-known fact regarding Death & Taxes is the surprising connection to Timothy McVeigh and the ATF / Oklahoma City Bombing. Here's a clip of Jackson sharing the story during a director's commentary on his film Postal Worker.
Manhunt in the Dakotas
The story of Gordon Kahl so captured the attention of mainstream America that it was turned into a highly-rated made-for-television movie titled In The Line of Duty - Manhunt In The Dakotas.

DEATH & TAXES is the story of Gordon Kahl, a North Dakota farmer who became America's "most-wanted" fugitive. How had a WWII war hero become the target of one of the largest manhunts in FBI history? Gordon Kahl U.S. Marshalls Most Wanted Fugitive
Gordon Kahl's charred and burned remains were reexamined after his exhumation. The island of unburned skin shows that Kahl's body was likely positioned against the floor at the time he was set on fire.
The badly burned remains of Gordon Kahl, with an island of skin that shows he was in a prone position at the time of the fire.
Was Kahl a racist, gun-toting fanatic? Or a victim of an IRS policy of harassing vocal tax protestors into silence to keep the rest of us intimidated? Did Bill Clinton conspire to cover-up the torture and execution of Gordon Kahl in Arkansas? Did federal agents mutilate and burn the body to cover-up the murder of the wrong man?
DEATH & TAXES follows the trail of Gordon Kahl as his body is exhumed for a new autopsy. Building on newsreel clips covering two fiery shootouts and hundreds of interviews -- with IRS agents and federal prosecutors as well as Kahl's family and supporters -- D&T explores the myths and controversies surrounding a man who dared to challenge the federal income tax system. Some revile Kahl as a cop killer. Others revere him as an American patriot. Which was he?