The Waco Tribune-Herald published a seven-part series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidian cult near Elk, the culmination of a nine-month investigation that included allegations of child abuse, among other startling revelations. The first part of the series published Feb. 27, 1993, with Part Two appearing in on Feb. 28, 1993. Hours after Part Two appeared in print, the ATF raided the compound. Following the events of the deadly raid, the Tribune-Herald published the remaining parts of the series in a single issue, March 1.    

Watch: Reporting "The Sinful Messiah"

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993.    

Watch: The View From The Ditch

After two gun battles between the Branch Davidians and ATF left four agents and at least two cult members dead, a 51-day siege of the compound near Elk began.    

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.
   

In 1994, the surviving Branch Davidians go on trial in San Antonio. After six days, the verdict is unexpected.    

Letters to the editor expressed a wide range of opinions in 1993 on the ATF, guns, Christianity and more.

FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours of April 19. By noon, the compound was on fire.    

As the world begins to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."    

The 1987 Rodenville shootout and trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from the Trib archives.    

Political cartoons skewering the FBI, Davidians, NRA and others.

25 Years Later

For many locals, the fire that incinerated the Branch Davidian compound near Elk on April 19, 1993, is unforgettable, much like 9/11, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon or the JFK assassination. The Tribune-Herald asked some McLennan County residents where they were and what they were doing … Read more

In the 25 years since that morning in 1993, the public has been bombarded with different versions of the raid, which resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Davidians. Here, the Tribune-Herald tells its story of how the story overtook the storytellers.    

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.