Heirs to cult leader identified

August 30, 1993|By Cox News Service

WACO, Texas -- Vernon Howell's legacy includes four children by three women other than his legal wife, Rachel, according to a Waco attorney investigating the cult leader's heirs.

The legal record will soon reflect her findings.

Mr. Howell, his wife, and their three children, Cyrus, 8, Star, 5, and Bobbie Lane, 2, died in the April 19 fire that destroyed Mount Carmel.

Attorney Kathryn Gilliam said Mr. Howell's mother, Bonnie Haldeman, admitted after initial reluctance that four of her son's children are living. Three of the children have mothers once in the cult. The fourth child's mother knew Mr. Howell, also known as David Koresh, before he became the leader of the Branch Davidians, according to Gilliam.

County Judge Jim Lewis of McLennan County appointed Ms. Gilliam to represent the interests of any children surviving Mr. Howell. Ms. Haldeman's request for a declaration of heirs prompted her appointment.

On her initial list of heirs, Ms. Haldeman noted only a girl, approximately 12 years old, who lives with her mother in a Dallas suburb.

Ms. Gilliam, though, knew of Robyn Bunds, a former cult member who left in 1990. Ms. Bunds had publicly stated that Mr. Howell was the father of her son, Shaun, 4. Mr. Howell denied the claim.

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