Recently opened FBI files pertaining to the late daredevil Evil Knievel have implicated him in several beatings and mob-esque tactics.  At one time the government almost decided to bring charges against him, but would drop the case due to lack of evidence. The files imply that certain acts were committed by Knievel or “associates.”  Victims of the attacks are hinted to be competitors of Knievel, that is to so, they too were daredevils.Â

Much myth surrounds Knievel, but here’s some history.  He was an entrepreneur and tireless promoter.  He bummed around on the rodeo and ski circuits, made a run at the NHL, but–because he lacked talent–started his own semi-pro hockey team (owner/player, we’re talkingSlapshot here) and convinced the Czechoslovakia Olympic hockey squad to play them in a warm up game to the Czech’s Olympic appearance.  The Czech team won and Knievel was ejected from the game.  That games receipts went missing or were stolen, and the Czech team was not paid, so the Olympic Committee covered their expenses to avoid an international incident.  His next venture, a big game hunting guide service, was shut down because he channeled his customers through Yellowstone National Park.Â

As Knievel’s stuntman career blossomed rumors spread that he bought he first bike after robbing a bank.  He was said to be a safecracker and hold up man.  This was the time when the FBI began to take interest, attempting to bring charges against him under the Hobbs Act, which forbids interfering with interstate commerce by trying to rob or extort someone.  They never could get enough evidence though.  The redacted files show that witnesses were unable to make any positive identification, and, in the end, no federal charges were ever filed against Knievel.—posted by Robert Shipton