Mad Man in Waco, a book about Vernon Howell, his Branch Davidian followers and the fiery end to their 51-day standoff with federal authorities will hit the shelves of bookstores nationwide on Aug. 1.

Former Tribune-Herald reporters Bob Darden and Brad Bailey wrote the book for WRS Publishing of Waco, completing the transcript on Thursday, said Wayman R. Spence, president of the WRS group.

Spence said Mad Man in Waco includes the fruits of research and interviews with Branch Davidians, including Vernon Howell, that Darden conducted before the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided their compound on Feb. 28.

Darden also examined 30 years of oral history on the Branch Davidians on tape at Baylor University.

Bailey, meanwhile, covered the day-to-day events that culminated in the deaths of Howell and more than 80 followers on April 19.

“The book is pre-selling quite well,” said Spence, meaning that the larger book chains are interested.

Promotional material for the book says, “This is not just another quickie retelling of some footnote in American history; it is a cautionary tale of how a single man armed with nothing more than his twisted, brilliant mind could hold an entire nation at bay.”

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.