Cream of crop

I feel constrained to write a few words in defense of our FBI, ATF and all other law officers, especially at this time when they have had such a long period of intense service to the community and the surrounding area of the Waco metroplex.

Following the activities of the Davidian compound has made me have a greater respect for these men. They seem to be the cream of the crop, so to speak, in appearance, demeanor, qualifications and education. I have been so favorably impressed with their handling of a difficult situation. They should make us proud to be Americans.

With the unexpected turn of events April 19, I felt sorrow for them, as well as for all concerned people. Besides the heretofore mentioned officers, I will say I was well impressed with the new attorney general, Janet Reno. She has handled herself and the situation so well, in my opinion. I am grieved so many with 20-20 hindsight are so ready to show negative feelings about her decision.

These public servants need our encouragement. What would we do without them? I would not want their jobs, but I am thankful that they have chosen the profession. Let’s rally behind them for a final resolution of this tragic happening, so they will have the courage to come to our assistance when the next crisis occurs.

Margaret Cogswell



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.