“The Sinful Messiah,” written by Tribune-Herald staff writers Mark England and Darlene McCormick, was one of three finalists Tuesday for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

The Providence Journal Bulletin in Rhode Island won the award for stories that disclosed pervasive corruption in the state’s courts. The third finalist was the New York Times for reporting on Empire Blue Cross fraud and mismanagement.

“The Sinful Messiah” exposed the abuses of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. England and McCormick spent more than eight months researching the stories, which were published in the Tribune-Herald from Feb. 27 through March 1, 1993.

Their series has won seven other national and state awards, including the 1993 National Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award and the 1993 Headliners Foundation award for Investigative Report of the Year among all Texas newspapers.

Pulitzer juries make up to three finalist recommendations in each category without listing them in order of preference. The Pulitzer board chooses the winners.

The New York Times Tuesday captured three Pulitzer Prizes, including its first for photography and one for its coverage of the World Trade Center bombing. The Chicago Tribune took two awards.

A team of 12 journalists from The Dallas Morning News won the international reporting prize for a series examining violence against women around the world.

Other winners of the 1994 Pulitzer Prizes:


• Public service — The Beacon Journal of Akron, Ohio.

• Explanatory journalism — Ronald Kofulak of the Chicago Tribune

• Best reporting — Eric Freedman and Jim Mitzefield of the Detroit News.

• National reporting — Eileen Welsome of the Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune.

• Feature writing — Isabel Wilkerson of the New York Times.

• Commentary — William Raspberry of the Washington Post.

• Criticism — Lloyd Schwartz of the Boston Phoenix.

• Editorial writing — Michael P. Ramirez of The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

• Spot news photography — Paul Watson of The Toronto Star.


• Fiction — The Shipping News, by E. Annie Proulix.

• Drama — “Three Tall Women,” by Edward Albee.

• History — no award.

• Biography — W.E.B. Du Boise: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919, by David Levering Lewis.

• Poetry — “Noon Vernacular,” by Yusef Komunyakaa

• General non-fiction — Lenin’s Tomb: the Last Days of the Soviet Empire, by David Remrick.

• Music — “Of Reminiscences and Reflections,” by Guthrie Schuller.

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.