Not helpless

I would like to address the rather humorous paid advertisement in the Sunday paper (April 25) titled “Killing Machine.”

At first you think is this some sort of sick joke? You wonder how any sane person could actually make David Koresh out to be an innocent, God-fearing man. Pardon me, but why would he have reason to fear God? After all, the man thought he was Jesus Christ.

John Ellis then goes on to refer to our government and law enforcement officers as a “killing machine.” If anyone is a “killing machine,” shouldn’t it be David Koresh? It was he who had 51 days to let innocent children and babies go free; but instead allowed them to die beside him.

John Ellis, how can you say that the Davidians were a “helpless group of believers?” They had armed weapons. They had a madman for their leader. They were not helpless.

Kristy Bowers


What an act

After watching attorney Dick DeGuerin’s performance on “Prime Time” I feel he should receive an Emmy when the awards are given out. He gave a great performance in his bashing of the ATF and FBI.

I especially liked the part where he cried as he told of the great living quarters for the women and children, his grand tour of the compound and what a charming and upstanding young man Vernon Howell was.

I believe if he could have spent 15 more hours with old Vern, he would have become a Branch Davidian himself.

Bob McAninch


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.