I find it appalling and ghastly that anyone could even think of, much less discuss with a news reporter, “movie offers” to a madman such as Vernon Howell. But for a member of the bar to engage in such a discussion so soon following the massacre of four federal agents by this madman is disgustingly sickening. Gary Coker should be reminded that it was Howell and his followers who waged “a military operation that was excessive and unnecessary.”

I offer my grateful thanks to all these federal agents of both the ATF and FBI and all the other law enforcement officers. You are truly the guardians of our lives and safety. May God bless all of you.

Martha Jean Rice



Your actions in publishing your series of articles on the Branch Davidians was totally irresponsible and was at least partially responsible for the deaths and injuries received by the ATF.

There was absolutely no reason for not delaying publishing the series.

Your assertion that your personnel were in unmarked vehicles and stayed “considerable distance from the Mount Carmel compound and took extreme care to be unobtrusive” is ridiculoud. What is “considerable distance” and “took extreme care to be unobtrusive”?

Any activity in that area near the compound would alert the cult members. How and when did you find that the ATF were to serve the warrants? Did you know the timing of their efforts? You should never have arrived early.

Those same questions should be answered by our local TV Channel 10, KWTX.

The television reporter and the camera man were even more totally irresponsible than your people.

How did they arrive within 50 yards of the compound before the action began?

The entire world is now questioning “media driven” news.

William K. Tracy


A man of peace

I applaud your opinion page editor, John Young, for his article “Days of fire & rain” [March 2] but let us pose some other questions.

It really upsets me to no end to hear people ask, “But what if he [Vernon Howell] is Christ?” Any Christian worth his faith would know that even the devil quoted scripture to Jesus Christ while Jesus was fasting and praying in the desert.

For this reason, I will not quote scripture, but apply reason. You need only turn to your Bible to discover the truth about Jesus Christ, whether you are a Catholic, Baptist, Methodist or one of the other Christian religions. Jesus Christ was a man of peace.

George L. Cherepes


Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part Two 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.

Read the accounts of 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.