TIGERTON, Wis. -- Gordon Kahl will prove to be a martyr for the Posse Comitatus and people who seek freedom from government interference, the head of a tax protesters group said Sunday.
Kahl, wanted for killing two U.S. Marshals in North Dakota in February and for violating his parole on an income tax evasion conviction in Texas in 1981, was killed Friday in a shootout with police near Imboden, Ark.
Kahl fatally wounded a county sheriff during the shootout. Kahl had eluded the authorities for months and died in a fortress-like structure, where he was hiding.
The FBI said they received a tip from a private citizen of Kahl's hideout.
In an exclusive telephone interview Sunday with radio station WCQL in Pewaukee, James Wickstrom, said Kahl's death would be viewed as that of a martyr not only for the posse but'for all the people who seek freedom in America. How about people who want to turn back to their God-given rights instead of a bunch of jackasses in office?'
Wickstrom, the National Director for Counter-Insurgency for the Posse, said Kahl had no chance to surrender.
'If Gordon Kahl would have walked out of that building, they would have chopped him in half,' Wickstrom said.
Wickstrom said he believed the government wanted Kahl dead 'because they couldn't afford to bring him into a courtroom to expose what really happened in North Dakota.
'They wanted to shut him (Kahl) up to make him an example to the alleged tax resistance movement, and to the Posse Comitatus which is growing like wildfire across the country.'
When asked if he had kept in touch with Kahl, a militant tax protestor, Wickstrom replied, 'Of course not. If I told you yes, do you think I'm crazy. If I admitted to a question like that, I'd have the FBI have me in handcuffs in no time, wouldn't I?'
When asked if he would follow Kahl's example, Wickstrom said, 'Following Kahl's example? Gordon Kahl was following my advice while he was down in North Dakota and down in Texas.
'He was following the advice of the posse and he was doing a damn good job. And that's why they had to stop him.'
Wickstrom said the posse numbers about 2.2 million and has sympathizers in Canada.