Mail continues to trickle in for the Branch Davidians and cult leader Vernon Howell two months after the deadly fire that destroyed their compound and killed more than 80 people.
“They still get five or six letters a day,” said Bobby Tomme, station manager for the Bellmead branch of the U.S. Postal Service.
Throughout the 51-day siege and for another two weeks after it ended April 19, the Bellmead station received between 40 to 50 pieces of mail a day addressed to either the compound or Howell, also known as David Koresh
“We thought it was kind of strange that we received so much mail,” Tomme said. “It seemed like people were writing letters just to be writing.”
“We got a lot of letters addressed to David Koresh and to the compound during the raid, but that’s pretty much slowed down to the normal load for any house in the area,” Tomme said.
Almost as soon as agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the Branch Davidian compound at Mount Carmel on Feb. 28, the flood of letters began to arrive at the post office.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do with the mail,” Tomme said. “I figured if we ever delivered it, we would be delivering it to the jail. So, I just bundled it up each day and put it into my safe and waited.”
Tomme said the letters seemed to come from everywhere, with some having artwork on the envelopes.
“After a while, I didn’t even pay attention to it because there was so much,” Tomme said. “Every day you’d just have to bundle it up and keep it in the safe.”
About two weeks after the siege ended, the letters received by the post office for those who died were either returned to their senders or sent to an office in Atlanta, Ga., for letters without return addresses, Tomme said.
The Atlanta office tries to determine who sent the parcels so they can be returned.