He was a child of wealth and privilege, outraged at the idea that he might be drafted like the proles, and determined to lash out at the government and nation he hated: his own, the USA.

And lash out he did, writing a book with the idea that it would equip revolutionaries and criminals with knowledge to kill.

Powell, a rich kid calling for revolutionary violence, 1971.

Which it did.

Last year he died, which was belatedly discovered by his fellow Aging Boomers at the New York Times, who wrote a belated obituary for him on 31 March.

William Powell was a teenager, angry at the government and the Vietnam War, when he walked into the main branch of the New York Public Library in Manhattan in 1969 to begin research for a handbook on causing violent mayhem.

Over the next months, he studied military manuals and other publications that taught him the essentials of do-it-yourself warfare, including how to make dynamite, how to convert a shotgun into a grenade launcher and how to blow up a bridge.

What emerged was “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a diagram- and recipe-filled manifesto that is believed to have been used as a source in heinous acts of violence since its publication in 1971, most notably the killings of 12 students and one teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

via William Powell, ‘Anarchist Cookbook’ Writer, Dies at 66 – The New York Times.

A few of the crimes enabled by the Cookbook:

Powell seemed to struggle to absorb the idea that his book had apparently had an influence on a number of notorious criminals. One was Zvonko Busic, a Croatian nationalist who hijacked a TWA flight in 1976 while carrying phony bombs after leaving a real one at Grand Central Terminal that killed a police officer who tried to deactivate it.

Others included Thomas Spinks, who was part of a group that bombed abortion clinics in the 1980s; Timothy McVeigh, who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995; Eric Harris, one of the Columbine attackers; and Jared Loughner, who killed six people during his attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in 2011.

Powell, a wealthy old man denying that he really meant it, 2015.

This entry was posted in Don’t be THAT guy, Phonies and Assclowns, Safety on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

26 thoughts on “Final Death of a Coward


Considering the poor quality of the guidance in the thing, my working theory was always that it was a false-flag operation set up by the FBI or someone in the government.

Just goes to show you that you can’t ever underestimate the inherent idiocy of the average leftist, I suppose.


If it’s any consolation, the leftist morons who tried to carry out terrorist attacks using the bomb techniques they learned from the Anarchist Cookbook probably inflicted a lot more casualties on themselves than they did on anyone else. Karma really is a stone-cold bitch.


@hayabusa, this is very true. Read Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough. The Weathermen were Ivy League English majors; hands on technical ability was limited at best. They blew up a townhouse full of their own people due to the lethal combination of arrogance and ignorance. It’s equal parts sad and hilarious.

Tom Stone

Kirk, it’s the inherent idiocy of the Human race.

I actually read this when it came out ( Along with a whole lot of Military Manuals) because I was more than halfway expecting a free tour of Southeast Asia at the time.


I bought a copy of it at the gun show after Barry was re-elected. Not much in there if you’ve already been taught demo by experts.

Still better than The Turner Diaries, though.

Hognose Post author

I can honestly say I have never seen The Turner Diaries, although they used to be advertised in all the same places as Saxon, Minnery, etc.


Believe it or not it was a required text in College.

It’s bad. Really bad. Not just belief system bad but like five dollar DVD bin movie plot bad


I lived a mile from Columbine at the time.

Much of the death toll can be attributed to the sheriff deputy on duty running away from the sound of gunfire. Seems his life was more important than the students lives. They called it “establishing a perimeter or situational control” or some other BS. Mostly he just stood there let kids get shot. The locals were outraged as they had expected some degree of courage in their cop force.

I never understood how cops can be all hup, hup military operatives and still claim getting home alive is their primary duty. Never heard that being part of a soldiers duty.

Course it’s been a long time since “Protect and Serve” was written on the side of a squad car.

As an aside, I remember reading a novel about some militia guys driving a cement truck full of ANFO to DC. The author made sure his formula for the foom stuff was the opposite of what is should be.

Another author had detailed plans for an air pressure detonated bomb in his novel. He admitted the plans were designed to blow up prematurely. Shame he put that last part in the book.

John Distai

I lived and worked in the Denver area during the Columbine thing. I heard the first unclear news reports about “something happening” while working and listening to 850 KOA. My company had a “crisis communication plan” for the office, and if I remember correctly, one of my duties was to alert the facility in case of an event that affected the workforce. This one did have an affect, as several employees lived in that area and may have had children that attended Columbine. After careful consideration, I did nothing. Alerting employees would do nothing other than cause them to leave and drive to the scene where they would inevitably be in the way of responders.

The response of the Sheriff’s department was absolutely appalling. They did not enter the building for some time, and one of the teachers ended up bleeding to death. News interviews with some of the Sheriff Dept’s spokespeople described officers as “being transported back to Vietnam”, complete with “1000 yard stares” and “being afraid of booby traps”. They used a variety of excuses to justify their cowardice. Like these high school kids were smart enough to booby trap or blow up the school.

The phrase “gun show loophole” was coined after this event. While some weapons were acquired at a gunshow, they were acquired through an illegal straw purchase. The straw purchaser should have been made an example of, but the anti-gun narrative pushers put big curls in her hair, big tears in her eyes, and encouraged her to tell her sad victim story. They should have made an example out of her and charged her as an accomplice.

Cap’n Mike

There is a certain percentage of Cops that were destined to work for the city no matter what.

They start at the DPW or the Parks Department, then they see that of all the city workers, cops make the most money. For guys like that, it is not about Protecting and serving.

St. Jude

I’ve been in law enforcement for 15 years. Never made more than the DPW. Actually, made several thousand per year less, and that was after overtime. I brought up the pay discrepancy to the City Manager one time. His response: DPW workers get paid more because their job is dangerous.

Can’t make this shit up.

Haxo Angmark

books don’t kill people. People kill people. Except for once in a while. The composer Charles Alkan was killed when he reached for a copy of the Talmud on an upper shelf, and it fell on his head.

James F..

I have a PDF the Barricade Books edition,. It has an introduction by Peter Bergman on anarchism and resistance which is total Sixties B. S, and in addition to the bad advice about bomb-making (the correct answer to “how to make your own mercury fulminate” is “Don’t!”) it has advice on unarmed combat, cribbed from the same manuals you or I would crib from.

Then there’s the gun section-that’s cribbed from contemporary GUN DIGESTS, but here’s a screenshot, so you can all have a little weep about the prices:


A Linda in there!?! Sweet.

Wasn’t Kurt Saxon gimpy in one hand?

My personal best waste of 5.95 was Junkyard Firepower. Paladin press.

James F.

I don’t know about Kurt Saxon, but I have just been Googling “explosives hobbyist blows off fingers” (without quotes) and there are a lot of hits, including at least one owner of the ANARCHIST COOKBOOK. I’ve been reading a Robert Crais novel called DEMOLITION ANGEL, and the bomb squad detectives keep meeting guys with fewer fingers than they started with, who keep coming back for more “FOOM!” Definitely Don’t Be That Guy.

John Distai

Once knew a guy that some called “3 Finger Tim”. He blew his fingers off with an improvised explosive while playing “drive by grenadier”.


Paladin Press. Boulder, CO. Kinda befitting SOF mag and Paladin press would be born in the leftist city of Boulder. I read’em all in HS. SOF and American Rifleman while in “study hall” everyday. When Columbine happened, I was like “WOW”, in 1977 I was doing a demonstration speech in HS Speech class on how to reload shotgun shells with a Lee Loader. Turning clubs out of oak table legs in shop class, building edged weapons in shop class. Carrying a wakizashi and a .45 in my car in HS. Yeah I read that shit.

John Distai

In middle school in the ’80’s we had a class called “Crafts”. Taught by this kind of eccentric old guy that the kids made fun of. People could make whatever they wanted to, and some were making swords, cross bows, throwing stars, trophy phalluses, etc. We were allowed to use power tools, torches, and chemicals. One of the best classes ever! The eccentric old guy became a memorable teacher.

About the same time period, kids were doing class projects and presentations on all sorts of hunting, fishing, sportsman stuff. We had a class where you could get your CO Hunter’s Safety card. Either the middle school or high school had riflery and skeet teams. Unfortunately, those were disbanded before I was old enough for them.

A close friend used to get all that Paladin Press stuff. He had a subscription to SOF magazine. We’d get the Shotgun News from some little hole in the wall news shop and read all the crazy stuff in there.

In the late ’80’s, early ’90’s there was a “patriot” radio station broadcasting out of Johnstown, CO. “Bo” Gritz was a frequent guest. Tons of anti-Clinton stuff on it. I think it went silent soon after the Oklahoma City bombing.

Those were interesting days….


Those are some memories. I grew up in a Boulder County school district. White bread middle class all around.

CO Hunter’s Safety course in Jr. High with rifle firing in the lunchroom!

Too young to listen to that station as I was more interested in listening to music.

Shop class was great as we did a lot of afterschool work in the shop. Teacher was great!

RK Brown and other SOF mag staff would come in to the store I worked in while in HS and shop.

Colt MkIV series seventy .45’s were $225 out the door!

Paladin books were just a base, you went to CU’s library in Boulder to confirm the chemistry. I still have all my fingers.


Hey was just reading about some of those jerks in “Days of Rage”! Too bad more of them weren’t in that townhouse.


Powell was a 66-year waste of air and food, but there’ve been very few folks whose deaths I’ve actually seen as cause for celebration; i’m just glad they’re out of the way.

In the case of Powell, I like to think this 16-year-old girl’s ascendance is the one for whom he was removed from the stage, so that she could take a place more deserved than Powell could have ever comprehended.



No matter who it was intended for, the Anarchists Cookbook always was used less by the SDS and more by Bevis and Butthead.

James In Australia

I remember being repeatedly warned not to try to make *&#&0 ( %&()@%&&@ using the recipe/method in that book, and the guy whose book it was laughing about the errors. He was convinced it was a government plant to sow discord amongst revolutionary’s. Funny thing is I was only 13 or 14 at the time and had no desire to do so. Still know that guy now decades later and we both have all our fingers.

John Distai

As teenagers we were told that purchasing a copy or requesting it from the library would put you on a FBI watch list.

While I didn’t read that, I did look at some of the Army’s improvised munitions manuals. The local surplus store had them. I believe there was a recipe for making napalm. I believe one of the steps was to put gasoline in a pan and heat it on a stove while stirring in something. Sounded like a sure trip to the burn ward. I put the manual down, and never picked one up again.


The Anarchist Cookbook? Meh. Too much BS in there. Now, Kurt Saxon’s “Poor Man’s James Bond?” That was a fun read.

Leslie Bates

I’ve read The Turner Diaries, it is the moral equivalent of swimming in raw sewage.