The Waco Tribune-Herald’s coverage of the 1993 Branch Davidian siege is now available for free on the newspaper’s website, wacotrib.com.
More than 400 stories from the time period are available online for the first time, including complete day-by-day coverage of the 51-day siege that started with a raid and shootout that killed 10 Feb. 28, 1993, and ended with the fire that killed 77 and destroyed the cult’s compound on April 19, 1993.
The Trib’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated series “The Sinful Messiah,” which started the day before the raid, is also available. The seven-part series detailed and exposed cases of child abuse, sexual abuse of children and weapons violations in the Branch Davidian cult led by Vernon Howell, whom the world would come to know as David Koresh.
“What happened in 1993 has sparked more conspiracy theories than perhaps any other news event in modern history,” current Trib Editor Steve Boggs said. “With the 25th anniversary coming up, all those old theories will get fresh ink and air time, so we decided to give readers everywhere a chance to read what actually did happen.”
In addition to the Trib’s award-winning reporting on the raid, siege and fire, the site also features background stories on the Branch Davidian cult and its predecessors dating back to a 1959 end-of-the-world prophecy, as well as coverage of the 1994 trial of 11 Davidians who survived the fire.
“Most of these stories have never been online before,” Boggs said. “We literally had to transcribe them word for word from microfilm files. The staff from that time period did outstanding work under intense conditions. If you are looking for the complete story, this is where you’ll find it.”
Readers can access the page at wacotrib.com/branch.
“Over the years, the Trib has written thousands of stories about the Branch Davidians, both before Koresh and after. Eventually, we’ll have them all on the site,” Boggs said.