Walk on water?

I think the ATF and the FBI are going at this thing with Vernon Howell (Jesus Christ) the wrong way.

He is acting like a spoiled child so he should be treated like one. Call in God, alias George Burns, to talk to him like a father and tell him of his grave error.

If that doesn’t work, try talking him into proving he is who he says he is by walking on water, say across Lake Waco, about where the old dam was about 30 to 50 feet off the east side of it.

Francis Strahl


Not prepared

My family and I made Waco our home for over 10 years.

For those who are protesting the armed manner in which the ATF arrived at Mount Carmel, please keep in mind a few facts.

The cult had been observed for some time to be stockpiling guns and ammunition, some of it known as assault weapons.

A previous gun battle had occurred there in 1987 spearheaded by Vernon Howell.

Former cult members have reported ongoing aberrant behavior also led by Howell.

The search warrant was being served on a private citizen, not a church.

With four dead and 16 wounded ATF members, we find it difficult to believe the Davidian compound members are the innocent victims that the protesters are trying to present to us.

The ATF did not appear to be sufficiently prepared for this negative reaction from the cult members. We hope and pray that a lesson was learned so that in the event a peaceful ending does not occur there will be minimal loss of life among our law enforcement personnel.

Mary Ann Murphy

Cedar Hill

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.