Bad publicity

I think that the citizens of Waco must have very little to do with their time. I am appalled at how both the media and the people of Waco have handled the crisis at Mount Carmel.

A truly tragic situation has been turned into a three-ring circus. People are driving out to the compound for entertainment while local merchants print up comical David Koresh T-shirts to sell to onlookers when they arrive. I believe our community needs to give some serious thought to the ramifications of our actions.

First of all, we are playing into Koresh’s hands. If he was actually interested in resolving this conflict, he would have given himself up long ago, David Koresh desires everyone’s attention at any cost. Our ignorance could result in a loss of life.

The second point that the citizens of Waco need to understand is that this incident is not a business opportunity. Waco is getting publicity, but it is negative publicity.

Once the excitement has worn off, Waco will be remembered as a dangerous and unstable city, which certainly won’t be good for business.

Merie Witt


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.