I am a state trooper with the License and Weight Service stationed in Pecos. I was assigned to the Waco area for two weeks during the Mount Carmel standoff. We were on a one-week assignment and rotated out. My second week was during the final days. I was on post when the compound burned. I and all other officers regret this outcome but it did not come as a surprise.

My purpose is to express my most profound thanks to all those who brought food and drinks to us while we were on our post.

I have talked with several troopers who have expressed the same feelings. I also want to say thanks to those who live in the Mount Carmel area, who were so understanding when passing through roadblocks. Just about the time we started to get to know those who lived there we were rotated out and they had to train another group.

The spirit of human goodness is very much alive in Waco, Texas.

Dan Woods


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.