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Marlys Klimek

Marlys Klimek, was a juror in the ND trial of the Kahl family and friends.
And, when he came in to testify, his wife helped him in the court room.
And, he told about getting the call to go out to Medina. And, when they
got out there, I'm sure you've heard this from others, when they were going
to originally going to set up this road block, or what ever they wanted
to call it, they wanted to do it right in town. And, the city police just
absolutely said no...00/57...
Some innocent people could get hurt, and so on and so forth.
But anyway, when they got out of the Ram Charger, he and Cheshire, he
had his badge on and Cheshire told him to take it off...1/10....
And, Nodland asked him "Why did you take your badge--why did he
tell you to take your badge ouff? And, he said "I don't know."
But, to my notion. That is not the way to arrent people take your badges
off. ...1/26.... I mean they probably knew they were marshalls, I'm sure
they did, but the way they made the confrontation out there in the....Instead
of saying that they were from the United States Marshall Service, and that
they were under arrest,or anything like that, they got out of the vehicle
and started calling them filthy names, and swearing at them, ...1/48...as
David Brewer said in his testimony. He said "I thought they were a
bunch of hooligans." Well, you should have heard Dennis Fisher jump
all over him for daring to call marshalls hooligans....2/00... Well, that's
what they appeared to him. And, I'm sure that's the way they sounded.
But, all of that was covered in the instructions to the jury. I mean, they
can do that. They don't have to have a uniform on. They don't have to,
you know.
Everything is laid out. That's the way it impresed me.
...3/19...I agree with that, I really do.
I--another party in the case that I really felt sorry for Bud Warren.
He was really put in a very dificult position during the trial. I don't
know how many years he had been a marshall but he was handling the Gordon
Kahl thing and at one point, and they brought this out, I have a hard time
figuring out why Muir had to go out there that particular day to try and
pick him up....3/47...
Not to expend any mor energy on that case, because it was a misdemeanor.
And, of course Lynn Crooks tried to treat it with kid gloves too when Bud
was on the stand. And, he of course, turned Muir down that afternoon.
And, another thing to back track a little, when Muir took over as United
States Marshall, he turned over all his files on Gordon Kahl and said that
he would work with him, you know, and this sort of thing....4/18... And,
Muir didn't want any aprt of it. And, anyway, Lynn Crooks asked, he said
to him "But your way didn't work did it Bud?" ...4/28... "Well,
no. But, I'm sure that they could have picked up Gordon Kahl peacefully,
another time, another day."...4/38,,,
Yes, it did. And, apparently he had meetings with him. They had tapes
of meetings.
...4/56...And, I would think that when you get an order from your higher
ups that you are not supposed to spend any more time on it, that would be
Not much no.
...5/24...Because, as August said, "That's the law." Somebody
comes to arrest you. You surrender. And, that's it. There's no in between
there, no. No extenuating circumstances." I don't know, I just feel
that it should never have happened...5/46...
...6/46...I just think, I really feel Muir wanted to show Bud Warren.
I think there was something there--we don't know.
...7/06...I--apparently he was a gung-ho marshall. He was raring to
go and get a tax protester. I was going to say collecter, get a tax protester,
which is what I understood. Now, whether I got that from the trial, or
not I don't even know. Bob Muir said we're going to go out and get us a
tax protester today...7/27...
...7/39...Well, I definitely remember Sue Reardon. Isn't that her name,
the one from Medina, she was a very angry witness, but a good witness.
And, I don't believe she was totally telling the truth because I simply
don't think she saw everything she said she saw. ...7/59... For one thing,
and this Lynn Crooks said himself...himself. They knew that Gordon Kahl
is the one who walked over and shot Cheshire and the other one....8/11...
And, yet she would not give in. She said she saw Scott Fall walk over
and fire these two shots and they had no casings from his gun. And, Nodland
asked her again "In spite of all this do you still say you saw Scott
Fall walk over and...." She was a good witness, but she was an angry
young woman...8/37...
...8/52...And, you know there were four of them in ;that kitchen watching
out a trailer house window, but yet they saw everything. The whole thing
took fifteen seconds, I guess, the shooting part of it, according to what
the;y said ain court. And, the answer they gave that I thought was kind
of funny, but Lynn Crooks asked them if they had discussed the case that
night after everything was over and done with. "No. ...9/30... They
had just gone to bed. They hadn't talked about it." And, you take
four average people witnessing a masacre out there, and you don't discuss
it later. "Did you see this? "Did you see it?" and that
sort of thing. Oh....9/43...
...9/55...I tried to make a point when we were deliberating about remebering
;about the witnesses said. I was kind of disapointed that we didn't get
a transcript of the testimony which we couldn't see. You're supposed to
trust your memory. And, so I had a chance to make a point when we were
wondering who the alternates were going to be....10/14... I think some
of us were secretely hoping that we were going to be dismissed after the
trial was over. You know there was only one who remembered how the alternates
were selected. ...10/25... I said okay, there's a good example. They are
now, or they said at the beginning of the trial, how the alternates were
selected and I said only one of us remembered. And, yet you think you remember
this witnesses testimony. I think I remembered. It's impossible to have
a perfect recall of all those days of testimony...10/44
...10/55...Well, I remember Bud Warren. And, I remember Joan Kahl, Scott
Fall, David Brower...
...11/11...Well, Scott Fall I thought was a very intelligent young man.
It made you feel sad that he got involved in a group like that and ended
up in a situation. And, Yori of course had been brain-washed from the time
he was a young man...11/32... I don't think he ever--you had to feel sorry
for him a little bit. And, David Brower, he was not a violent person.
He considered himself a peacemaker. ...11/45... And, this is anothe thing
that I wondered. I even mentioned that in the jury room. I hate to say
this but, I really feel that way, that some of the jurors disliked Yori
Kahl's attorney so bad and David Brewer's. ...12/08... In fact, I said a
couple of times. Remember, the lawyer's aren't the ones on trial because
their attitude was really bad. And, when we were going over David Brower's
charges, Vinje, his attorney, made a big point when he was making his summation
to the jury, about if there was anything at all that they could hold against
David Brewer was the fact that reached back and picked up a shell bag, and
handed it to Gordy Kahl. ...12/45... And, he made a big thing of this, otherwise
I don't think anybody would have even thought about it. Because, that was
the big thing that came up in the jury room, because I know that Verna brought
that up too. ...12/55... Whether he just did it automatically,or whether
he did it intentially, or what, you know. And but, his attorney brought
it out...13/02...
...13/18...But, a big thing wasn't made out of it by anybody else but
his own attorney.
...13/46...Well, you know, the quickest way to sainthood is to die young
or die an untimely death. And, it just seemed like it was--you didn't dare
criticize anything any of the marshalls had done. It just seemd like the
defense attorneys were walking on eggs all the time. ...14/05... And, the
same way with this Sue Reardon. If I were an attorney, which I'm not, if
I were Irv Nodland, I would have really come down on her...14/14...
...14/22...I don't think there's anything more dangerous than an eye
witness. They--they're dangerous.
...14/37...I mean, I can't believe that she just kept insisting that
she saw Scott Fall do something that he didn't do and that the proscution
knew very well that he didn't do...14/47...
...14/56...Oh, I just feel that they must have been associated, you know,
working in the same building there all those years. He certainly had to
be a friend of Bob Muir's, and Lynn Crooks, and the whole prosecution.
...15/25...Well, at the beginning when I was called and one of the ladies
at work said to me. "How can they get a fair trial in North Dakota?"
And, I got very indignant. I said "Well anybody, you know, it's going
to be a fair trial because you are not going to pay any attenton to what
you read in the newspapers and this and that." Well, I changed my
mind a little bit. I think it should have been moved out of state. I'm
not saying the end result would probably not have been the same. I'm not,
you know, judging what someone else would do, but....15/58...
Well, you're talking about during the trial.
...16/Well, it got to the point where I dodn't even really believe half
of what I saw in the paper. You read contradicting stories, you might read
something on page one that was one way and go back to page four or five
and an entirely different color car, or what ever. And, he's right about
the newspapers. They cut out anything and everything. And, of course no
television, radio or anything like that.
Well, of course Scott Fall admitted shooting toward tht vehicle. He
didn't know if he had shot anyone or not. And, they could not prove who
did. I just--I don't know, a conglomeration of things as I said there was
so much, with four defendants, and all these things coming at you. I'll
give you one example how they had this orchestrated. They had one picture
of this Ram Charger, the vehicle tht Cheshire was in, and with all bullet
holes of course, and so they were going to show where the shots would have
been coming from, so they stretched ribbon, of all things through these
holes. Well, anybody that knows anything about guns knows that ribbon can
mean lots of different angles, you know. But, instead of showing this with
men standing at the other end of the ribbon, just in civilian clothes, these
felows were dressed in camaflouge outfits, rifles, I mean looking like a
bunch of hoodlums, you know. And, I know that there was one remark Nodland
made, he said to the witness who had this picture. "You took a little
poetic license with that picture, I think, didn't you." But, I don't
think everyone one the jury caught what Mr. Nodland meant. But, it dressed
it up to look like a bunch of hoodlums behind these guns, you know, shooting
at this Ram Charger.
Oh, yes. I think that Bob Ramlo was in on that. But, I don't think
that it meant a hec of a lot, really, to anyone. I guess what he was trying
to show was that just the other possibility as it could have happened, you
know. He had quite a sense of humor, this Bob Ramlo. He was really interesting.
He jsut seemed like he took everything with a grain of salt, but he was
a good attorney. And, I don't know if it was a decoy type of thing or what,
but it didn't really amount ro a lot.
Well, this terrible feeling I had toward the end of the trial that everybody
had their mind made up. I shouldn't say everybody. Verna didn't I'm sure.
There was a Karen, and I know I guess there was another thing that disturbed
me, when we had rached a verdict. Verna and I and Karen, well we shed a
few tears, we felt pretty bad about having to. We had gone through it and
what we had to do. Everybody else acted like they had won a contest or
something. And, I thought "How could they be so happy and laughing,
like they had won something, and it really hurt me. In fact, Verna, before
we left the hotel, before we left for home, she brought me a--she wa a very
religious lady. She read her bible every day, and all that sort of thing,
brought me three verses she had written. She had taken the time to write
on a piece of paper. She thought it might make me feel better. But, I
just--I felt terrible. She did too.
Well, no on the first degree murder charge, I held off. I absolutely
would not go. Eventually, I think they would have all gone for guilty on
the first degree. I can remember--I thought it might have been nice if
one of us had been on a jury before and knew how to go about this because
we were all--none of us really knew the proceedure. So, I gues the first
thing we did--well, we elected a foreman and he called for a vote. And,
I know I voted not guilty on the first degree, but I can't remember if there
was anybody else, the first time around. And, then when we got to discussing
it, I believe there were two or three that came along with me with the not
guilty on the first degree. And,I just absolutely wouldn't give in. Anyway,
they finally went on the the second degree and so on and so forth. And,
I tried for a long time,
I wanted it to go to manslaughter. But, it didn't work. And, I kept
getting this from this one gal. Well, you're not supposed to let sympathy
enter in. I said "Im not letting sympaty enter in." And, another
thing she said "You have to use your common sense." I got a little
huffy and I said "I've got as much common sense as anyone else in
this jury room." But, anyway I got even with her, when we got to Joan
Kahl, I knew everybody was going to vote not guilty, so I voted guilty.
And, when they opened the votes and everybody looked at me and said "We
felt sorry for her." I saiad "You're not supposed to let sympathy
enter in. I made my point and that was enough."
Well, that pretty much centered around that damn shell bag. And, I know
that--Oh, I'll tell you another big mistake that I think the defense attorney's
made was to let that trial recess before the holiday weekend. They were
getting pretty anxious to get out of there. And, the jurors included.
And, I think that was a big mistake. I'm sure they could have dragged it
out another day or so.
I felt bad about that. But, I think that in David Brewer's case it was
just that darn shell bag, or whatever that held it up.
Well, just this part where I said I felt that everybody ahd their mind's
made up before we even heard the defense witnesses. And, remarks that were
made. We're not supposed to discuss things like that. It really bothered
You mean as for a sentence for him?
Well, the charge was--I'd have to look at my instructions again.
Actually he did not carry a weapon. He could have gotten shot himself
in the cross fire. And, I think that when he gave him the shell bag he
just did it automatically. He wasn't thinking of helping him get away or
anything like that. I don't know if what I would have given him a suspended
sentence. I don't know.
As far as Joan Kahl, she was not a stupid woman. She sertainly knew
what was gong on. So, if you want to say she was harboring or aiding and
abetting, you know, she'd be just as guilty as Dave Brower, execpt for the
shell bag, really.
They did have some witnesses, and apparently everything was all right.
In fact, I believe there was one farmer. It was a witness for--I don't
remember now. It must have been a witnes for the defense, I can't remember
for sure. And, they just went to the meeting to see what they could do
for the depressed farmers, that sort of thing. And, he said that he didn't
feel intimidated or anything. They weren't members of the Posse Committas
or the tax protest group or anything. But, they just listened. At ksome
point during the meeting, they got a phone call. I don't know if Dave Brower
got the call, about the marshalls being around, whatever. And,then at some
time before there was an APB out. This is something that was never followed
through either on Scott Falls station wagon. He supposedly was traveling
from Texas to North Dakota with somebody by the name of Koba. Well, as
it turned out, on the day in question, when theis APB came out. His wife
had the station wagon, if fact, in town doing the wash or something. And,
I never could figure out that APB came from, where it came from or anything.
So, they get a call--I think that was brough up in this call that came
in that night that they were looking for Scott Fall and he didn't know why.
I mean there was a lot of confusion, but appzarently they knew that the
marshalls wee there, then made the switch of caps and jackets, and that
sort of thing.

Well, during the trial, one the marshalls mentioned another case they
had been on where they babysat the jury for about thirty days. The jury
had decided to get together every year for an annual reunion. And, apparently
someone on our group decided that would be a good idea and I got a call
--I don't recall if it was about a year later, or what, that they were
going to have a reunion at the Holiday Inn and wanted to know if I was coming.
And, I said absolutely not. I wasn't interested. I guess I got a letter
first and I got a phone call. And, so the jury foreman called me and wanted
to know if I was coming, and I said no I wasn't interested in it. He wanted
to know if I thought we had done the right thing, or how I felt about it.
I said, "I wasn't sure. I don't know if we did the right thing.
I'm not happy and I'm not coming."
Well, I think the one ting that really bothers me--I think that had
the lawyers questioned the jurors, I don't know how many of us would have
been seated. Getting into how you feel about things--I just don't feel
that--like I said the pat questions that were asked by the judge aren't
enough to give you an idea what you think about, what your feelings are.
I think that's a real bad deal.
Did any of the other jurors that you talked to have any one from the
Posse Committas contact them after the trial, at all?
Well, it wasn't--it didn't last too long. She did a little tape and
apparently she was--I' sure she was working for the group. Dennis happened
to be home--for one thing, she wanted my, to take my copy of the instructions
to the jury and photocopy it. And, then I changed my mind. And she said,
well she got get it from the court house if she wanted to so she did. She
left her card and a couple of books. That was about all.
No. Thats the only one, but I understand, I don't know if any of the
others even talked to her.
Did you ever interview anyone--did you talk to Joan Kahl?
Did she elaborate on the death of her daughter?
Well, it was in the papers. But they didn't--it was not a real big thing.
I felt bad when I read about it. I thought it was too bad that this thing
has to keep going on. But another thing--did she say anything about how
they damaged her home? The marshalls...
No, just what we read in the papers. And, that sounded like that was
kind of a farce too. I mean I--the one marshall was supposed to have gotten
shot by his own companion, or whatever.
I don't know. It--you mean like wanting to set an example for the rest
of the tax protesters, that sort of thing? I don't know but there certainly
was some reason that Muir wanted to go out and get them. But, I thought
that was just because of something to do with Bud Warren, probably. He
wanted to show him up. He was going to bring him in.
At one point when we were deliberating on David Brower, now my understanding,
I believe it's even in the instructions to the jury, that you're not supposed
to make a determination on how long the sentences are going to be for this
charge or that charge. We were going through all this about the shell
bag and all that, Verna and I and the rest of them, and at one point, the
jury forman said "Well, I guess they decided to compromise because
they all want to get out of there for the weekend." And, he said "He
couldn't get to much for this. It's just a minor offense anyway, considereng
the time he's already served." And, then one of the other jurors,
one of the other men said "We're not ging to let a..." how did
he put it now? I've even got it written down here in quotes. "We're
not going to let a minor thing like this screw up our weekend. This is
a bunch of bullshit." So, then they decided to compromise. I mean
that's really how that verdict was decided, to be honest with you. They
wanted to get out of there, and that was the last one.
Oh, but one thing that I thought of a lot of times. I wonder how many
times the marshalls, from the office in Fargo, didn't think "Why in
the hell did Muir go out and do this? In this mess we've got to find some
culprits. We've got to get this case sewed up, one way or another, because
we're going to send somebody to jail for this, or somebody to prison for
Oh, that lady that was here, she wrote that name down, that book. I
think she was going to send to to me. She never did.
She did give me two other small ones.
It was quite an experience.
Oh, this is another thing--can you imagine if I have any other thoughts?
I honestly believe, when that trial was over--I honestly believe that that
would be appealed and it would be thrown out. They would get a new trial
or whatever. I really believed that.
Well, anybody that would, you know, having it in North Dakota; trying
all four defendants together; and they --the way it was set up--the shootout
the wole bit out there at Medina; actions of the marshalls, you know. I
really honestly did believe that it would be....
But, as I said, can you imagine trying to absorb that with one man standing
up there reading it?
Dennis was just teasing me today "You can't remember what happened
yesterday. How can you remember anything that happened seven years ago?"
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?