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

Tom Lee

TAPE #05:08:23
Tyronza cop car visual with Tom Less sitting in it...
09/30 ... I remember going home for supper that night and just as I went
in the door it was six oclock and I was going in the phone was ringing,
and I was told by the dispatcher for Lawrence county sheriff's dept. to
go out to this place...Leonard Ginter's place...I came to this roadblock
and was told to stay there...I stayed there apx. an hour, hour and a half
and then a unit another Lawrence county unit called me and asked if I knew
where to get any gas? and I told em I'll go back to Ravenden and get some
gas... this guy pulled off in a gravel truck and this other cop told me
this guy probably has some gas up at his house ...so I caught him and asked
him and he took me up there and gave me two five gallon cans, one with dieself
and one with gas ...
10/47 ...and I carried them back and down to the site of the house, where
GK was allegedly held up in, and I carried em to Fitz. , which was a CID
agent for the state police , I gave em to him and I joined a couple of st.
troopers over under the trees... we waited about 30-45 minutes , all this
time waiting for the FBI to decide what they wanted to do...
11/32 ...they wanted to try to put diesel, they wanted to put gas .
and we decided against gas cause it's liable to blow up in my face... put
diesel down the vent pipe, probably say 12 inch vent pipe with a rotary
on it...this place we was at was built like a bunker. all the house was
underneath a mound of dirt, just the front was all you could see... Steve
Huddleston and I carried it up... at first the FBI agent was going to try
to shoot the roter off, but he never could shoot it off...and there was
an old pick axe on top of , you can walk straight on top of the building
...I had the can, he had the pickaxe
12/51 ...he took the pickaxe and knocked the fan off...we moved back
from off the house...this same FBI agent was going to shoot the thing, well
he missed it. Huddleston, a trooper, he's pretty good shot, he shot two
holes in the can , and let the diesel run out into the vent pipe... during
this time already there was smoke coming out of the windows that was broke
in the front of the house...some say they couldn't tell whether it was fire
smoke or teargas, cause there'd been a world of teargas already put in it.
13/49 ...anyway the diesel ran down in there, and Huddleston and myself
went back up there and I guess I put, 3 0r 4 grenades down in it and I guess
Huddleston put about the same amount down in behind the dieesel, it was
just a few minutes before we had a pretty good fire...
14/16 ...and we just sat back and waited, but during the time all this
is transpiring, nobody would attempt to go up in,.. we tried to get em to
let us go up and look in there at the car port window, the door was about
14/50 ...they said no, it was too dangerous, if we would have went up
and looked, we could have seen where the body way laying, we'd a knew the
man was already dead, but they wouldn't let us do that so...15/01
...anyway the fire started, it burnt way into the night, a hell of a
storm came up, and ammunition was going off and dynamite was going off and
it was like WWIII all over again. After we got it burnt down, burnt out,
gutted the house, most of the fire was out. we called I think it was kSmithville
and ravenden, came out with their fire trucks and Smithville had two air
packs. Both men that were on their fire trucks were pretty good size men.
and myself and John Hitchcock, at that time, he was a dog handler...15/58
for Craighead kCounty, he was out there. and botht the airpacks they
had was small. So, Hitchcock and myself were two of the smallest out there,
so we put em on and went into the house. Went thru the , a pretty good
size picture window in the front, where during the gunfire it was out...we
went in and as I wwent in , I turned to the right and I could see the remains
of a body laying there. and I walked up to it, and as I looked down, I
could see a projectile...16/41 ...
...just barely coming out of the back of his head. I reached down and
picked it up and it was a projectile out of a 41 magnum gun, I carried it
and gave it to a state trooper by the name of Robert Speers...what he did
with it, it was put into evidence, who he turned it over to after that,
I don't know, anyway...
17/05 ...we got him up, got the body up and put him in a plastic bag,
put him in a stretcher, I guess they gave him a funeral, I don't know what
they did with him. but anyway, everybody left. anFBI agent asked Huddleston
and myself if we would stay there till 12:30, at that time they would have
two FBI agents relieve us and that's what we did, we stayed there til 12:30
and when they came and relieved us, that's all there was to it. ...
18/19 ...oh, I would guess 25 or 30, later on, between law enforcement
and media, it was probably a 100 to a 150 then...there was so many peoople
there, you didn't know who was what, you was just guesing who was a police
officer and who wasn't...a lot of police in uniforms...
19/22 ...no, I never did get any impression that was what they was trying
to do. The only thing I ever heard about that part of it, and this is strictly
hearsay, I was told when , see Gene Matthews was Sheriff, came out on his
own power, he walked out of the house and collapsed on that car port, I
was referring to , what I heard , was he said, I got the son of a bitch.
...19/53... just as he fell, but I never did hear anybody verify that statement,
I don't whether he actually said it or whether it was a rumor, but that's
what I heard. you hear anything when you're out in a place like that ...but
as far as I know,,, all the time they was talking about trying to get him
20/21 ...I don't know where they come up with this idea...but somebody
had told em, there was an escape route in the house that came out underneath
the bank, out there in the woods somewhere...but it wasn't... that was assumption
that I guess they was going on when they burned the house. They didn't
know whether he was in the house , or whether he was back in this so-called
tunnel that wasn't there... that's the impression that I got from em...20/50
21/23 ...well see, I never did admit, cause I didn't pour the diesel
down, I set the diesel on top of the vent and the state trooper shot a hole
in it... well I guess according to their lawyer I was the only one that
telled the truth. That's the only reason they ever gave me, you know...when
they asked me, I told em. cause my attorney told me, tell em the truth
, tell em what happened and that's exactly what I did...
21/52 ...I never did, see we never did go to court, I never did read
anyone else's statement...I don't know what they told em...so I don't know
whether I was the only one telling the truth or not, cause I don't know
what anyone else told em...I just told em what I actually saw and what happened
in my presence...
22/21 ...yeahh, they, when it first came out...I know the next day when
I went up town and I hear people, a lot of people didn't know me when I
was out of uniform and I'd walk by and I'd hear people talking and if I
hadn't of been there, I wouldn't have knew what they was talking about...
it just got blowd out of proprtion that much...
22/44 ...ahh they was talking about using bazookas and all of that...that
we knew the man was dead and that we burnt the house to destroy evidence.
and that we mutilated the body. The body, the last I saw of the body, other
than being slumped down, you know when a body burns it shrinks. they said
part of it was missing. But when I saw , the last I saw of the body, there
wasn't any of it missing. ...and I think somebody claimed that there a part
of the leg, a part of the body, a part of the anckle or something was left
in the house. Well if he did, he had three, cause I had two of em. when
I put him in the sack...
23/39 ...when I tyook the bullet out of the back of the head, the only
thing about the body was it was real charred and shrunk. but as far as
any of the body organs or parts, it wasn't missing, everything was intact...
24/10 ...there wasn't anyting on the body when we got in there...the
only thing that really burnt in thehouse, was just more and less and the
inside of it...it didn't fall in, or nothing... the body it was just, now
it was a lot of ashes and things around the body but you can tell if it
was a mattress, you gonna get springs , you gonna get everything else.
there was nothing on top of it.
25/09 ...the only ting anybody ever told me, was during the Ginter trial
and I don't even know who he was. He walked up to me and , at that time
I was driving a white car . ...this guy he told me, one of these nights
when you're out on patrol, that white car can roll off one of these mountains.
Yea, and I said the son of abitch that pushes me is going with me. that
was all... ...well, I dind't call it a threat...it didn't bother me...I
didn't think anybody'd come after me...I'd be there if he wanted me.
26/13 ...well not really, the only thing, when I left ravenden and went
to work in walnut ridge, tthe reason Icame back downhere was becasue my
father in law died...she wanted us to come back down here, they kind of
insinuated...that last time I talked to these lawyers in HOuston, they couldn't
understand why I quit law enforcement... I quite law enforcemtn to drive
a truck...it didn't have anything to do with that case...I quit for personal
reasons. I had two or three trips down to little rock to give depostiions
...each time my expenses were paid but I had to miss work...I had a good
lawyer and I wasn't worried about it...
27/58 ..No I've heard three or four differentversions and I don't know
which is right...the only ting I ever heard about that is they said, one
of the marshals, I think a CID agent for the state, they was trying to say
shot matthews, that's all I ever heard...
28/41 ...well to me,, I worked for the county and the city... I had
heard rumors that Matthews wasn't well liked, but to me , the man never
did a thing to me, he was always nice to me, I had no reason to dislke him...no,no,
I don't put anyting into that rumor, I don't think that's right at all...
29/19 ...I think he got shot by Kahl and the ballastics got shot by Kahl,
so I've heard now , and the way he got hit, there wouldn't ahve been any
way for someone else to hit, Now I'm going by what I'm told... from where
he was hit, there's no way anybody could have shot him that vest, there's
no way anybody could have shot him and hit in that position...I didn' not
see Matthews body...alll I know is what I was told ...
END TAPE @ 05:31:00
START TAPE @ 06:00:00
00/13 ...(SOFT FOCUS) ...I just don't think it was run very good,you
know...I spent 10 years in the marine corps ...I think somebody should have
been able to go up there and look, before all this other deal took place...if
they'd a done that then all this other would have been eliminated, these
...no, no, as you come in the house, in the front, yoiu come in the
livingroom, there was an off set, that came out four or five foot...there
was an ice box ,(GETS IN FOCUS) now what, I'm telling you what I saw...
where the body was laying, looking thru the front, you couldn't see it.
but, if you'd looked thru the carport door you couldhave seen it. But,
I was told that Kahl was standing back, kind of toward one of the bedrooms,
when Matthews came in, Matthew didn't see him, and he walked over there
right in front of this icebox I was talking about , and just as he turned
around he saw Kahl...and at that time, supposedly, what I been told, Kahl
shot him, he shot Kahl...
02/07 ...well, according to what I heard, I've never heard that,,, ballistics
proved that Kahl was shooting a 41 also, I may be mistaken...according to
what I heard the bullet that came out of ballistics matched the gun...
02/53 ...well, the way the house was laid out, you could ahve went up
in the carport area, without any great danger to you, because he would have
had to showed himself to get you and if there's a been two of you, one of
you could have got him, befored he'd got you...cause if he'd a stood up,
he'd a been framed right there in that door...I don't know if the glass
was in that door...if we'd a looked in, we coulda seen the body laying in
the position he was laying woulda been right in the view of that door.
03/49 ...well they oughta how not to...like I said everybody's got his
own opinion...to my opinion, like I said I was in Korea 28 months and in
the Marine Corps ten years . and that just didn't, what I'd been taught
didn't match...you made sure of what you're doing before you do it...that's
what I was always told to do, it didn't set on me too well, I won't say
it didn't set on me too well, it just didn't make any sense., going to all
the trouble we did, when you could have looked in the door and saw him...04/23...
04/29 ...well I thought his name was Jim King, FBI agent...I heard he
got transferred after all this...I think it's Jim King, well he read this
other name off , does this sound like the right man, I said, I never did
introduce myself to him, the only thing I ever heard him called was Jim...
05/09 ...well I knew, that he was pointed out to me...all I everheard
him called was Jim, but undoubtedly I was wrong...that lawyer told me that
wasn't his name, that there wasn't any Jim King out there so, they tell
me once the first shots fired it goes from this guy to the commander of
the Swat team, I guess during the time I was out there it must have changed...it
was far from that, there was a lot of... 05/51 ...well, one thing there
was too damn many people out there, you had people you didn't know who the
hell they was, they was goig every which way...it's a thousand to one that
somebody hasn't got hurt out there, other than, some innocent person got
06/15 ...well that's the same thing I got on my statements and everyting,
I didn't shoot my mouth off about what I thought of the FBI but, (laughs)
COLORBARS V.O. ...06/38 ...well, I don't know, it was a damn mess...
06/48 ...it was a screwed up affair...(picture back on) ...I don't know,
you know, like you said, they'll probably be harrassing the fed. govt. for
the rest of their lives..... 07/06 ...see I had run into Ginter before that...I
knew him, I gave his son a ticket...hell you'd thought I'd committed hari-kari...I
was the sorriest son of a bitch in the world...what really made him mad
back then... he was driving an out of state car with a tx. drivers license...I
knew who he was, I made him post a cash bond...you would have thought I
took my gun and held him up and made him give me the money..hell it wasn't
very long after that all this other shit came up and I really got him good
with it...
10/25 ...I hunt, I go up there all the time and hunt, I see all these
people up there and they never give me any problem... 10/44 ...they blow
all that shit out of proportion, you know about, we were the worse son of
a bitches...the longer it went the worse it got...they lost everything,
I guess they did lose everything in that damn house, cause everything did
burn up...
11/17 ...well, have you ever talked to Buck Stuart...he's radical as
can be, ...Bill Wade, his son Ray, all this, see his wife testified against
him, against Ray. Shit we arrested him, two or three times, terroristic
threatening, and trying to kill wife, and all this shit, ...in the govts.
behalf...well, I think he's got a violent temper, I guess when he gets mad,
he just goes off the deep end and...
12/14 ...Now Bill, I've never had any problems with Bill or Buck at all,
you know... this guy that works with me got Buck for speeding and he came
to Jonesboro to go on TV, ...so Walker went up there arrest him...ohh hell
that's there middle name... shit they made me look like a millionare, 52.9
million...if I had that kind of money, I sure wouldn't be a damn police
13/19 ...oh shit, they had about, five or six pages of shit they're suing
us for...and then , lets see Bill Wade owned the house, Ginter lived in
the house... Ginter started suing and then Wade jumped in cause he owned
the house...

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?