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

Prof. Ed Gran

Professor at University of Arkansas
00/36...ok, when the fifty or so law enforcement officers came in they
drove up to this point right here. And Leonard had been leaving to go on
a little fishing trip. They called Norma out of the house and they were
standing here. They took Norma on up the hill...00/50...
...handcuffed her, and placed her beside a car up there. ...00/55...All
this time Leonard was demanding a search warrant from Jim Blasingame, who
was head of the FBI and in charge of the operation. While Leonard was demanding
a search warrant, three of the officers...1/04...
...left the party right there, came across the corner of the garage
right here and enteree the washroom of the house right here. Now as they
entered the washroom of the house there, ...1/15?...if you look down the
house, the second window is the kitchen area. And just inside the kitchen
area according to the testimony of Leonard and Norma. Showed that GK was
sitting at the kitchen table facing down the livingroom, watch TV...1/33...
...keep in mind Gk was very hard of hearing, so the TV was turned up
very, very loud...1/40...
...so the three officers walked in the washroom here...
1/52...All the individuals on the outside of the house testified basically
that there was a series of several rapid shots, bang, bang, bang, real
...when that happened, Ed Fitz. came out of the door here, came around,
this was his testimony, he's an ARK state police trooper, came out around,
went to the kitchen window, which was right over there, the second window
and stuck his shotgun up thru the window and fired off several shotgun shots
into the kitchen area...2/27...
...2/39...okay, when the law enforcement officers came down into this
area here, leonard had gone to go fishing and he had backed into this area
here. With officers behind him. Leonard of course wanted to know what was
going on, they told him to call his wife Norma from the inside of the house
...so, leonard came over to the corner of the house and called his wife,
she was eating..she came outside. And Leonard at this time was demanding
a search warrant from this army of law enforcement officers...3/08...
...While he was doing that, three of those officers came from the area
right here, came up across the front of the garage, around the corner here...3/18...
...and entered thru the washroom area right here. The three officers
after they entered the washroom area here. ...GRAN WALKS INTO THE HOUSE)...3/26...
...3/35...(GRAN @ CORNER OF GARAGE, MS) ...OKAY the troop of law enforcement
officers, roughly about fifty, came in from up on top of the hill there,
came down this way. Leonard previously had gone fishing...and ran into to
them and he backed all way down the hill to right here...3/50...
...they asked leonard to then please call his wife outside. So he came
to the corner of the garage and called his wife outside. Norma came...4/00...
...outside, they went back over there to that area. Leonard at that
time was asking Jim Blasingame of the FBI, asking him for a search warrant...4/12...
...and he refused to give him one. And while that was transpiring, three
of the law enforcement officers left the area there. CAme across the front
of the garage there, came around the corner, and entered the washroom at
this point right here...4/26...(GRAN ENTERES HOUSE)
...4/35...(GRAN WALKS OUT OF THE HOUSE) ...the first one to come out
of the building after the shots were fired was Ed Fitz.. And when he came
out of the building, and by the way, the Ark. State Troopers were the only
ones that had shotguns, So he came out of the building, went down the building
to the second window, which is the kitchen window...(PAN TO WINDOW)...4/57...
...AND JUST INSIDE that window is where Mr. Kahl had been eating lunch
and watching TV...5/01...
...he stuck his gun up in the window and just fired four or five of
the shotgun shots inside the window. Now we know that because Fitz. testified...5/12...
...at one of the hearins that he was the first one to come afterward
and he was the one to fire the shots inside the window...5/19...
...5/30...after fitz came out of the house and fired in the window there,
the second law enforcement officer to come out was Jim Hall, a US Marshal,
he came out and went to a corner of the building...5/43....
...basically yelled out that they killed each other and went out to
where the other officers were...5/50...
...at that point in time, the whole place was inundated with rifle fire.
You can see that later on as you look at the front of the house...5/59...
...after the rifle fire subsided a little bit. The last law enforcement
officer in the house was Sheriff Gene Matthews. And according to Jim Hall
he had been shot. What we believe happend though is he may have been shot,
but he had a vest on...6/13...
...and he wasn't killed and he came out this door here, Sheriff Matthews
and entered this is a single stall garage here with a root cellar in the
back. Came out here, all the time now there is a lot of rifle fire this
way, but he's protected from the corner of the garage by that rifle fire...6/31...
...and he went ahead then and entered the garage here, there is a window
on the far side over there, there's all kinds of bullet holes in the frame
over there...6/41...
...he went in the garage, immediately noticed that it's not safe there.
And he went ahead and went on back to the root cellar...6/47...
...now how do we know he went back to the root cellar? The medical examiners
office in their report show that his boots and his clothes were caked with
mud. And the only area in the whole place for any mud at all was on the
root cellar floor...it was real wet and it's a dirt floor...7/08...
...7/16...okay when Sheriff Matthews came out of the hallway here, when
there was a lull in the firing , he came into the garage area here. And
testimony of the law enforcement officers says that they heard him in this
area here...7/27...
...and we believe that he didn't just stay in this area here. their
testimony is that he was shot inside the house. If he had been shot inside
the house, there would have been a lot of blood on the floor in the garage...there
is none at all, so...7/42...
...testimony from the medical examiners office showed that he had a
lot of mud on his clothes. And the only mud was in the root cellar in the
back of the garage area. So he went back there for immediate safety because
there was a lot of firing coming in the window...you can see a lot of bullet
holes in the window over there...It would have been very ...7/57...
...unsafe in this part of the garage. So when there was a lull in the
firing. Sheriff Matthews left the root cellar and came out thru this door
here. there is a lull in the firing now. He is a law enforcement officer
and wants to get back to the safety of where everybody else is...8/15...
...so he comes out around the corner here as such...8/20...
...sheriff matthews came around the corner of the garage and across
the front of the garage here. And the law enforcement officers are standing
over there. He got right to the corner here and lets just stop for a minute.
Up on the top of the hill...8/40...
...there were several law enforcement officers. Perry Webb was one of
them, he was a deputy sheriff. And when he got to the corner of the building
right here. What we believe...8/49...
...happened was. One of the sheriff's fired. They couldt see who it
was. All they knew , somebody was coming out from behind the corner of the
...the killing shot that killed Matthews, came in his shoulder here
from the side, exited underneath his arm here, went in just above his vest,
just a fraction of an inch. all the way thru his chest cavity. Penetrated
the lung. Into the downward area here. One of the FBI agents, Dero Downing...9/17...
...from over at the jonesboro office , testified in the transcipt that
the killing shot for Matthews came at the corner of the garage. Now that's
been all been ignored by law enforcement authorities. but that we think
is extrememly significant...9/31...
...so we believe that the sheriff was killed right here accidently
by one of his own officers...9/38...
...well, the angle that the shot entered Matthews is at a downward slant.
And to sort of check that out. I got a surveying instrument that measures
angggular elevation. Set it up here, set it on top of the hill over there
and that angular evelvation is virtually identical to within a franction
of a degree of the angle that the killing shot came in across Sheriff Matthews
in a downward trajectory...10/07...
...we think that tends to very strongly confirm that theory...10/13...
...10/19...okay three law enforcement officers came in thru the door
of the utilitity room here, came across to this portion of the utilityroom
here. In the utility room there was a door...10/30...
...I mean a wall that went all the way across covered up the stove,
this is the back of refrigerator. There was a door heregoing from the utility
room ...10/42...
...then into the kitchen area. Now at this point in time the testimony
of Jim Hall and Ed Fitz was that the sheriff went thru the door first...10/55...
...there was dispute to that. So Matthews was the first one to enter
the kitchen area. He went thru this door right here. Keep in mind...11/05...
...keep in mind on the int. now, the TV was on. It was turned up very
loud because GK was hard of hearing. It was about six oclock in the evening,
the sun was going down in the west over there...the whole area is very very
shady, it was very dusky, the lights were out in this area here so they
could watch the TV and even though there was quite a bit of light out, it
was very dusky...11/32...
...that sort of sets the scene for when sheriff matthews enters this
area here...
...11/45...(WREATH SHOT)...todays day is June 3rd, 1990. This is the
seventh anniv. of the incident that occured here in Smithville. We don't
know who did it, but somebody has obviously brought a memorial wreath out
here to commerate the events and of which there has been no formal investigation
to date...12/05...
12/10...(NEW ANGLE INSIDE)...Sheriff Matthews went in thru this door
here first. A few seconds later, Jim Hall testified, course this is the
only testomony that we have, that he went in behind sheriff Matthews. And
when he entered now, there were two law enforcement officers inside, just
a few seconds after he went in Fitz testified that there were a rapid series
of gunshots that transpired...12/35...
...and fitz. then left the utility room , went out around to the kitchen
window and fired the shotgun into the kitchen area. Now at this point in
time we have two law enforcement officers inside the kitchen...lets go over
to the other side and see what might have happened over there...12/52...
...(NEW ANGLE) ...13/03...SHERIFF MATTHEWS CAME in thru this doorway
here followed by jim hall. And when they came in thru the doorway, Norma
and Leonards testimony was that GK was sitting in a chair right here facing
this way watching TV...13/20...
...you can see this is the kitchen area, this is the stove here, refrigerator
here, stove there, there is the sink area over there right underneath the
window that Ed Fitz fired the shotgun thru. there's six chairs, eight chairs
here with a table...13/36...
...and the govt story basically was GK was somewhere over in the stove,
refrigerator area. And when Jim Hall came around the corner, he and the
sheriff fired almost simultaneously, killing each other...13/52...
...GK died instantly, and Jim Hall then immediately left the kitchen
area , went back out thru the door , got over to the corner of the building
and yelled, they both killed each other...14/08...
...and went out to the safety of the law enforcement group out there...14/11...
...Now there is some serious discrepancies with that story and just
a few of them. First of all the autopsy that the state medical examiner
did on GK ...14/20...
...showed that the bullet entered the portion of the head right here,
upper, rear, right, and it exited at a downward angle right here. GK died
...okay at the same time the shot that killed Matthews , entered the
left side of the shoulder right here, went thru the arm, broke the arm,
penetrated, went in just above his vest, into his chest area on a downward
slant and it was a rifle shot...14/51...
...so somehow we have to have the very unusual situation, where GK was
watching TV with his assault rifle right next to him. He was obviously sitting
donw. And at the same time he had to be in a position to fire downward to
kill Sheriff Matthews...15/10...
..but at the same time, Matthews had to be above GK to fire downward...for
GK to have shot the sheriff he would have had to had his rifle pointed behind
him, in a downward trajectory like that to fire the killing shot that killed
...the sheriff...and there's no way...15/31...
...that two men could kill each other in a face to face shoot out when
both were shot from behind...15/35...
...now both autopsys, Sheriff Matthews and GKs, that's a very serious
discrepicency...that's never been addressed by any official investigation
by a law enforcement group...15/48...
...keep in mind that out at the corner of the garage that Dero did testify
in a court statement that the killing shot that killed sheriff matthews
came at the corner of the garage way at the other side of the building...We
believe that...16/03...
...there has been enough discrepancies in the whole story that it warrants
a full investigation. What we think happened...16/12...
...basically is this, Matthews came in thru the door first. followed
immediately by a US Marshal, Jim Hall. If GK had ever lived to testify according
to the what happened up in ND, it would have been extrememly embarrassing
for the US Marshals office. ...16/32...So we believe an official an unofficial
"Kill on Sight" Policy was issued thru the US Marshals Service,
Jim Hall knew about that...Sheriff Matthews...16/41...
....came in, GK didn't see him because it was dark. And Jim Hall came
right around the corner here. GK was sitting right there in the chair where
leonard and Norma testified he was sitting. Hall came right around the corner
of the refrigerator here, saw him sitting there, pulled out his gun and
executed GK on sight, right just like that...17/05...
...the trajectory is absolutely perfect, and matches the trajectory
of the killing shot that killed GK...17/13...
...17/17...Now what we belive happened was, that when Jim Hall entered
thru the kitchen door here, came into the kitchen area. GK was sitting in
the chair right here. We belive that he basically pulled out his gun and
executed GK right there...17/34..
...now when that happened Matthews was somewhere over in this area.
Matthews, keep in mind now, it was quite dark in here because they were
watching TV, the sun was going down...17/45....
...Matthews walked over to the person that had just been shot, laying
on the floor, and he said something to the effect, my god, you have killed
Bill WAde. Well, how do we know that that may have happened? Well,...18/00...
...Wade was sitting at home that evening and he got a phone call from
a friend and he said, Bill, you've just been killed...18/10...
...and it came across the police scanner that Bill Wade had just been
killed. Well, it turned out that GK and Bill Wade could have been twin brothers...18/20...
...they're both almost the same age, they're both balding, both wore
dark rim glasses, both almost the same weight and in the , they did not
know who was in the house. So in the dusk, Matthews looked at that. They
never could find Bill Wade that afternoon and they thought Bill was out
here, and they thought, so Jim Hall was just ending 30 years of service
with the US Marshals. He had just been told by the local sheriff that he
had killed the wrong man, he had to make an instant decision...18/52...
...or his whole carreer was going down in flames and he was going to
spend the next few years in prison. So what we believe Jim Hall did, he
pulled up, and he shot the sheriff point blank in the chest...19/04...
...but, Jim Hall wasn't aware that the sheriff had a vest. Well, the
shock of being shot like that knocked the sheriff down. I mean knocked him
completely down. Jim Hall thought he had killed the sheriff, he ran outside
and reported they'd just killed each other. Fitz ran around to the kitchen
. ...then and he fired his shotgun inside the window. Well in the time
that it took for Hall to leave go out thru the utility room, in that time
interval the sheriff was stunned...but he stood up...19/39...
...well, by that time fitz is at the window and he reached up and shot
in the window here and the sheriff got shot agian...19/48...
...now how do we know that, well the autopsy report of Matthews, clearly
stated in the ballistics part , that the sheriff was shot in the back with
a shotgun and there were three pellets taken out of the clothing of the
sheriff indicating he'd been shot in the back. So here we have the sheriff
who was shot in the chest, first of all...20/10...
...by Hall, second he's shot by someone outside, he's going, what's
going on? and he's stunned...as soon as Hall goes around the corner, they
begin shooting all around the thing here. The sheriff ducks down, he doesn't
know what's going on , he's in an absolute state of panic and shock...20/29...
...there's a lull in the firing, the sheriff then leaves this area here,
goes out thru the door there. Gets over to the corner, they are still firing
sporadically and enters the garage area. Finds out that in the garage area
there is no safety there because there is bullets coming in thru the window.
...so he goes on back to the only safe place which is the root cellar
on in back, and that's where he gets the mud on his clothes. The firing
ceases, after a period of time. The sheriff comes out of the root cellar,
out the garage door. Annouces he's coming out. These law enforcement officers
over here can see him...21/03...
...but the ones up on the hill can't. As far as they're concerned the
bad guy is still alive because of all the firing . so the sheriff comes
across the corner there and he's shot accidentally by one of his own men...21/15...
up on the hill with a 227 rifle. So that's what we believe happened.
And we believe if we could ever have a grand jury investigation to where
all these officers could be put under oath where they've got to tell the
truth and if they don't, it's a felony five year potential prison sentence
for purjury...21/35...
...we believe that basically that type of story will eventually come
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
buy our independent filmsBUY ONLINE
purchase your films now
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?