Into the Devil's Den
How an FBI Informant Got Inside the Aryan Nations and a Special Agent Got Him Out Alive
Publication Date: April 15, 2008
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In 1996, the Aryan Nations was considered to be the most dangerous white supremacist group in the United States. This brutally violent neo-Nazi organization dreamed of carving an isolated homeland out of the American northwest–a dream they would finance by robbery, intimidation, and murder. For years, the FBI had sought to infiltrate the Aryan Nations, only to be thwarted by the group’s extreme paranoia of new members.
Enter Dave Hall, a tattooed, 350-pound, six-foot-four former biker. A black belt in martial arts, he could fight, drink, and ride with the best–which is to say, the worst–of them. But Hall was no stereotypical biker. A thoughtful, articulate man blessed with a photographic memory and an unshakeable core of decency, Hall was looking for a new direction in life. After Hall was arrested for his minor involvement in a drug deal, FBI special agent Tym Burkey gave him a choice: go to jail or become an informant. Hall didn’t go to jail.
So began a most unlikely partnership, between a hell-raising former biker and a by-the-book FBI man. The oddest of odd couples, they would slowly forge a unique friendship based on trust and support–a friendship that Hall especially would come to value in the months and years ahead.
For what was supposed to be a short-term assignment grew to something much longer, and bigger in scope, as Hall became the Ohio Aryan Nations leader’s right hand man. And more and more, Hall suspected that a significant terrorist action was being planned, something on the order of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Yet with the clock ticking, Hall found his hold on reality crumbling as he was forced into behaviors and beliefs that repelled him. With the ever-present threat of discovery and death hanging over his head, he felt his psyche start to fragment, leading to estrangement from his family and friends, and vicious bouts of insomnia, night terrors, and panic attacks. But it was too late to back out. Together, Hall and Burkey would have to finish their dance with the Devil.
Harrowing and intense, this true-life thriller is a testament to bravery, dedication, and friendship–and a timely reminder that America’s homegrown terrorists can be just as deadly as those from overseas.
Dave Hall was born in the hills of southeastern Kentucky, the second of eleven children. Raised primarily by his grandparents, Hall, in his youth, secured a reputation as a hell-raising biker, then went to work for the FBI. Hall now lives in seclusion in an undisclosed location.
Tym Burkey has been a special agent with the FBI since 1991. He earned the first of his three FBI quality service incentive awards in 1999 for his work on the Aryan Nations investigation.
Katherine Ramsland is the author of thirty-one books, including Inside the Mind of Serial Killers: Why They Kill. She teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania and for the past six years has been a regular contributor to truTV’s Crime Library.