Felt pressured

I think it needs to be pointed out that the relentless, almost hourly, coverage by local television stations could not have helped matters at Mount Carmel.

The federal men were bound to have felt spotlighted and pressured and as if they were the object of contempt. They must have felt desperate to take action.

I do not mean to condone the action that was taken. It was clear from the start that the federal agencies had not been trained to deal with unbalanced fanatics.

D.B. Carr


Must grieve

All through the events of Mount Carmel, I kept my silence — and prayed. As a Christian devoted to obedience to the Scripture, I prayed in support of the government which was trying to settle the situation the best it could. I also prayed for safety and salvation of those inside the compound.

At any rate, it is over. Why keep bringing up the continued pain, the continuing hurt? We must grieve — for those who made the decisions and have to live with the results of those decisions, and for those who are dead, as well as those who loved them, whether families or just those who cared.

Diedre Holland


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.