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Jack Swan

JACK SWAN was Gordon's original probation officer in Texas during his
trial down there.
TAPE #21
Looking at the papers and we're talking about revocation of warrant...those
guys up there asked me about that???
1/50 ... well, was it pulled back or just not, let's see...the best of
my knowldege we had... it would be after that motion...
2/33 ...okay, the summons would be with no warrant issued, you just summons
the man in...and he wouldn't do that...(JJ saz: #110 right there...)
4/03 ...Okay what happened there is, when he apparently failed to file
his income tax... we discussed the matter and then talk to the court about
the matter...we pretty much knew that he wasn't going to do it... I'm sure
I had a conference with the judge... 4/38 ... and said this, that he's not
goin g to come in...there's going to be some blood shed, he's going to go
down or something like this and so the judge said this is not worth it...I
agreed with him and we backed off... I don't know in your talking with the
other individuals whether this came out or not... I think if I can remember
... there was the old marshal, was about to retire and he said, I'm not
sending my men in to get em killed or do anything, ...we're going to do
it on my time and when I think it's best and thus with this in the background,
we also knew it was going to be...so we backed off...now, right now I can't
remember, but I cannot remember, ...I wish we had the file, but I cannot
remember...but apparently, what is that date... the second one there ....
(JJ= Aug. 15, 1980 the summons was returned, served, with a note that GK
said he wasn't going to appear... 5 wks. later, Sept 23, 1980)
...okay, we withdrew it...what's the next date after that?...(JJ=Mar.
30, 1981...) Okay...I can remember conversations with the probation officers
up there and saying look we don't go out, he lives up there, he can see
you coming...you know, we don't want that... I think even Judge Button and
I agreed, that heh, just stay away from it. It's just not worth it! ...6/41...
and so this is pretty much the feeling of the situation...
6/56 ...looking down, giggles...) ...7/07 ... well, we don't talk to
the marshals, we talke to the probation officers who do their thing there...
(HE THINKS AND LAUGHS) 7/25... well, (what's the giggle?JJ) ...you want
to go off for a minute? ...(I hate to...) ...do you, well, (smiling) ...well,
I'll say it this way, we were going thru the warrants, the deliguent warrants,
the decision was made that these diliquent warrants should have action...
that's a prefer to say about that ...
8/20 ...basically what came down, was there was a decision came down
because warrants were deliquent. Or cases were not up to date that action
be taken against it, so we issued another one and sent it up there and
asked the marshal to see what he could do about it... 8/40...
9/25... Well, they report to us as a condition of his probation, when
he dind't file, they would tell us and then we would take action on it.
But for the reissuance of the warrant, that was not the reason that I can
10/00 ...well, okay, I'm Jack R. Swan, the case was assigned to me to
do the presentence report for the court ...now as far as supervising him,...
he went off to prison and he came back out... I was actually just the probation
officer who did the presentence report and submitted it to the court...
the jury finds him guilty and then the judge says, It will be my responsibiliyt
to senctence you Mr. Kahl and it will be done a presentence report and it
will be done by a probation officer...and it's whoever is next up in line,...I
raised my hand and he said Mr. Swan will be doing the presentence report...what
we usually do, is we take him from the courtroom if he's on bond ...11/25...
I think he was still on bond... we had several conferences...this is where
I need my file... I took him from the courtroom... we say what we need is
this, this and this... it has about 13 headings... IRS report, family, health,
education , and background...military, it's just a complete background on
him...12/20... and thus we made our appts. and we sat down and he had good
records ...I can remember his military records, he had those... pretty much
conducted the report... after the report, I usually sit down before it goes
to the typist and read it to him to make sure that it's accurate... he has
a statement in there... Mr. Kahl, I would want you to write this out...when
you write it out, it is your flavor, it is your report, you're talking to
the judge and I'm sure he did this, know Mr. Kahl...13/10 ...
14/12 ...he's short, medium build and wears the same hairdo as I do,...I
called him a little milktoast type indivudual...you would not picture him
as being in the type of trouble he was in...you just don't picture him that
15/08 ...he was very cooperative, very quiet,..very courteous...attentive
and wanted to do everything we asked for is report...and that's pretty much
what went on...
15/44 ...when you talk to him about taxes, he would get a little...how
would you explain it...I dind't want to get him disturbed, not that I was
afraid of him...I tried to explain to him that all of us pay taxes, all
of have to, if you don't there's penalties...I remember saying, ...Mr. Kahl,
probably everybody in the world would have lined up behind you, if you could
have got it going right....and this was one of his problems, he said he'd
tried to go thru his legislators and tried to do this type action and this
type action and everything...I believe if I remember right, that he did
not find it constitutionally, well regardless of that, we've got to get
this done.... I understand where you're coming from in your feelings and
things, nobody likes to pay taxes, but we do...he kind of took on and with
that appeasement that I was trying to say, ...
...17/15... Heh, I understand where you're coming from and you've got
guts for what you've done, now whether it's right or wrong for this situation,
you've got a lot of gall to do it... but still it's against the law and
I don't think I could do it...so we'd talk a little bit like that and he'd
bring up the consituion and all of that...I'd say I can't argue that, cause
I'm not an expert in that area. He was friendly toward me...17/50 ...
...17/52...like I was telling you, the incident when Mr. Rinehardt passed
away in the bureau of prisons, well, as represenatives of the govt. and
the closest ones around here, they asked us to go out to Mrs. Rinehardts...so
we went out there and the gentleman that was there was the head of the posse
comitatus, so when we took the message in, I ...there was uh, of course
had to tell Mrs. rinhardt, ...this gentleman came to the door and asked
who we were and he recognized us, we've got a message for Mrs. Rinehardt
and it's not good, and he says gosh, oh no,...he turned around and called
Mrs. Rinehardt and as soon as Mrs. Rhinehardt saw us , oh hod, she just
kind of went in shock... of course he'd been having problems in the institution
and like you say, off the record a while ago, that they had claimed that
he was not gettting proper treatment... whatever regardless of that , we
had to deliver the thing, I said , I've got bad news, Mrs. Rhinehardt ,
I'm sorry to have to tell you, she said well you killed my husband...19/16...
and the other genteleman, the head of the posse comitatus at that time,
said oh, no, remember these are the guys that tried to get our side of the
story over to the court, and I was very appreciative and thankful for that,
cause bless her heart, she took it hard...19/38...
19/55 ...well, that's the story that I heard, that he had a heart attack...I
think he had a heart problem to begin with...when these allegations came
out that he was not treated, that they did ignore him, well, I can't buy
that, because if you've ever been a bureau of prison facility, they'll get
you someplace as soon as they can for help...that's all, but, that's their
feelings for the govt. coming out, very strong feelings...20/29...
20/42... well when I retired I took that file at home and you welcome
to it... yeah they had sent me some articles and he's got his gun out next
to him...21/15... I think they're in that file... I'll be happy to make
you some
21/53... yes, I liked him... No...I was very interested in it when I
got it back from the military records center... but it was very typical...
uhh, ...he didn't brag, he didn't boast...he didn't say anything... he's
like most veterans who come back and experience that, they don't say much...I
would try to get him to talk about it, because I was in the reserves and
he would say, yeah, it was bad. I would say, man you saw a lot of action
...most of em won't talk about that ...you've got his record, what'd he
have, two purple hearts...Okay, now I've got the, if that file comes...
he saw a lot of action, he was an expert rifleman, he saw a lot of action...I
believe Judge Bunton will let you have that...23/12...
23/42...no, he saw a lot of combat, sticks in my mind...
25/20... I think that he thought that the Govt. was going to do as much
as they could toward him...that he was an enemy and that he would be punished...I
don't think it came as a shock to him...25/41...
26/04... the sentencing philosophy in the this area is pretty much some
sort of conefinement, maybe not a period, but some period of time, yes I
think most of em, out here in this part of the country get some type of
a jail sentence or conefinement...
27/00 ...sentencing recomenadtions are not seen by the attny. or the
client... we made comments and recommendations on a separate sheet ...show
the judge how many have been sentenced in this area...
28/58... right, you're going to , we're going to make you an example...yes,
probably so...
30/20 ...Oh, I wishd I had the file, cause what I do in the offense report...I
would have showd what he owed,...the first thing I would say, I don't believe
it was that much, but I would have to see my file... I hope it comes in
and I will get with you, and we can clear that up...30/55
31/06 ...I don't believe he was making much money if I remember right.
thus he wouldn't have been paying much,... he just failed...
END TAPE @ #21:31:30
TAPE #21:32
32/34 ...I think he has senior judge status in San Antonio...
Judge Suttle, I think he still has his chambers ...I'll bet he would
talk with you...
33/39...I don't remember that I was surprised...cause like I explaineed,
most judges in this part of the country give some jail time...
35/31 ...umm, surprised the heck out of me, and then again, having read
the posse comitaturs and hearing how radical they were...he'd gone off to
prison and got out,... it ...I didn't think it would result in the loss
of life. ...I thought we'd have to move against his probation , but I just
didn't see his violence that much...really wasn't also thinking about his
son being up there too, and that he'd got that close, until the probation
officer up there started advising us about what was going on...and then
we had the situation of them not wanting to move on him, until , at their
time and such... it's just a shame that it happened...God, just a shame...36/56...
37/13 ,,, yeah, okay,... that could be part of it... the marshal was
going to retire and uh,...and he just wasn't going to get his men hurt over
something like that and he was going to pick his time and place to be served
and then the new marshal came in...
38/04 ... that woulnd' have any thing to do with the marshalss.. that
had to do with deliquent cases, nothing being done,...warant or not,...
where were they what was going on... that was one of the cases that went
like that...If I had my file I'm sure I called up there and talked to him
and he still wasn't doing anything....and that we made the decision , that
heh, he's like anybody else, he's got to uphold it... we've got to make
a move and I probably went back to the court and explained it...and said
judge , this is what it's going to be... you have to uphold what's right
and so we made the decision to issue... it's just a shame that it came down
to what it did...39/21 ...
40/10 ...I wishd I'd a done a docu. on some of my cases, you'd have
to label it fiction... 55 is too dad gum young...to retire...
41/41 ...supposedly rehabilitaiton... I've never rehabilitated anybody...they
make up their mind which road they want to go down....
42/32...cause I'm thinking more...what we discussed is probably what
went down... we discussed someting about it had to be done...
45/00 ...(Jack talks about what he heard happened at the roadblock)
47/48... well, we had certainly sent the info. up there saying this
is dangerous...
49/27... you should be right up on it, before you know it...(roadblock)
51/24... not with a group that carries weapons, they're not afraid of
you... 51/35 ...(good whistle)
52/13 ...oh yes, but what got him started, you see a man with that war
record, coming out and lead a normal life...I wish I'd a had more time...53/29

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?