It apparently came as no surprise to local police in the tiny community of Alpena, Ark., when they found explosive materials last week in the former home of Kurt Saxon, considered by some to be the father of modern antigovernment survivalists.
Saxon has been in a nursing home since suffering a stroke about three years ago, according to various reports. His former home recently sold and remodeling crews discovered the explosive material, Alpena Police Chief Mark S. Bailey told Hatewatch.
“There were explosive materials, but there wasn’t a bomb,” Baily said, describing the item removed as “liquid in a bottle.”
After the explosive material was discovered last Friday at his former residence, Alpena police evacuated neighbors within 300 feet. Two hours later, the liquid explosive material was safely taken to a quarry where bomb squad technicians used a small explosive device to destroy it last week, Bailey said. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Arkansas State Police, were involved, the Harrison Daily Times reported. Other “hazardous material” – described by the Alpena chief as “chemicals” – remain in the home and will be removed by specially equipped contractors, the Alpena chief told Hatewatch.
Born Donald Eugene Sisco, he changed his name to Kurt Saxon because he considered himself to be curt and a Saxon. He later moved from Eureka, Calif., to Arkansas and got into the publishing business in the 1970s after involvement in the American Nazi Party, the John Birch Society, the Minutemen and the Church of Scientology.
Saxon wrote and prospered from a series of books, including “The Poor Man’s James Bond,” that describe how to make homemade bombs, poisons, firearms and chemicals. His books, frequently sold at gun shows, became widely popular with survivalists, militia and assorted antigovernment “Patriots,” and reportedly made Saxon wealthy before he squandered his fortune.
His neighbors described Saxon, now 83 and in failing health, “as a good neighbor who occasionally blew up things,” the Harrison Daily Times reported.
“They were never big explosions,” the neighbors told the newspaper. “Saxon just wanted to see if his experiments worked,” claiming that “he never did anything that couldn’t be found by going to the library and looking it up.”
The Alpena police chief said he has had previous contacts with Saxon, but didn’t question him about the recent discovery of explosive material. There was one report that investigators went to the nursing home in an attempt to question Saxon, but he wasn’t arrested.
“We’re mindful of whom he is and what he’s capable of, but we’ve never really had any issues with him,” Bailey told Hatewatch. “To me, as a police officer, he was -- I don’t know exactly how to say this -- I guess he was polite enough but not overly excited about helping police.” The chief said he believed Saxon expressed an anti-police, antigovernment sentiment.