Let’s get it straight. The problem is at Mount Carmel, not Mount Calm. When I spell my town’s name, I say C-A-L-M, as in quiet – and that’s what we are.

Since this siege began, people in our town have gotten calls from all over the country saying, “What’s happening in Mount Calm?” I have heard media, business people, and other public figures refer to “Mount Calm” instead of Mount Carmel.

All 303 citizens of Mount Calm will appreciate it if those reporting or referring to the standoff get their geography straight. We are 20 miles northeast of Waco, not 10 miles.

Sandy Mayfield

Mount Calm


It is incredible, and quite sickening, to see that some people are more appalled at the idea of “invasion of privacy” than knowing that they have been living not more than 10 miles from an arsenal of weapons that not even the feds can handle.

People, namely those mentioned above, need to get their priorities straight or they will have something more than their precious privacy to worry about in the near future.

Robert Cervantes


Partial cause?

The stories of The Sinful Messiah: Part I and Part II, had to be a partial cause of the shootout at Mount Carmel.

The Tribune-Herald should let the FBI and the federal agents handle what goes on at Mount Carmel. In Saturday’s paper, the very front page and all over the paper as well was about the Branch Davidians. Sunday’s paper was also about the Branch Davidians.

It seems strange that there was a shootout at Mount Carmel the day after the paper mentioned Vernon Howell and the cult.

I don’t see why the Tribune-Herald could not have waited at least a couple more days to put out the stories of the Branch Davidians. What could it hurt?

If the paper had waited, it probably would not have hurt anyone, but since the paper could wait no longer, it hurt many people and even killed some.

Shelby Gwin


(The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which conducted the raid, repeatedly has said that the timing of our series did not cause the Mount Carmel tragedy. – Ed.)

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.