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By Jonathan Weisman | September 12, 1999
EVER SINCE the conflagration that consumed the Branch Davidians at Waco, anti-government conspiracy theorists and more sober critics of federal law enforcement have been darkly asking who sparked the fire. It is, and always has been, the wrong question.The right question is this: Why did approximately 80 people die in a building that offered easy egress, in a fire that offered ample time for escape? That question is far more difficult to dismiss, and the answer to it appears to be hauntingly tragic: Though FBI agents most likely did not spark the inferno, they could very well share in the responsibility for at least some of the deaths.
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NEWS
By Jeff Zeleny and Jeff Zeleny,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 20, 2003
WACO, Texas - The Branch Davidian compound is barely visible here on this piece of central Texas prairie, where tall green grasses and blooming wildflowers cover traces of the building that erupted in a deadly inferno 10 years ago. A persistent wind blew yesterday, just as it did on April 19, 1993, when a fire and explosion consumed the Davidians and their compound after federal agents stormed the grounds at Mount Carmel, bringing a conclusion to a...
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NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Writer | July 20, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The Republican-led congressional hearings into the 1993 federal assault at Waco opened yesterday with partisan sniping, descriptions of the Branch Davidians' arsenal of weapons and attacks on law enforcement's handling of the 51-day standoff.Then came Kiri Jewell, a 14-year-old in a long, flowered dress. She told a packed hearing room how the sect's leader, David Koresh, sexually molested her at age 10 when she lived with the Davidians.She graphically described the encounter and other sexual liaisons between Mr. Koresh and young girls.
NEWS
By COX NEWS SERVICE | June 18, 2000
WACO, Texas -- A lot is at stake in the Branch Davidians' wrongful-death lawsuit against the government, which opens tomorrow in Waco. It's not just about money, although the plaintiffs -- surviving Davidians and the relatives of those who died at Mount Carmel--are asking for $675 million. A verdict in favor of the Davidians would mean that a federal judge, and not just critics, had found the government's actions at Mount Carmel to be negligent. "This particular civil trial could have a much greater impact on government conduct in the future than a criminal case would," said Mike Caddell, lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
NEWS
By Lloyd George Parry and Lloyd George Parry,Special to The Sun | July 30, 1995
Question: What's the difference between a Christian fundamentalist and a spotted owl?MA Answer: It's a federal crime to kill and roast a spotted owl.For a growing but still microscopic minority of Americans that exchange pretty well sums up the tragedy at Waco in which 76 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian sect suffered fiery deaths at the hands of the U.S. government.Unlike spotted owls, redwood trees, or, for that matter, defense contractors and health care lobbyists, the Davidians were seen as belonging to no protected or politically influential class.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 3, 1998
The Fourth of July weekend may be the perfect context for "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," William Gazecki's Oscar-nominated documentary about the 1993 standoff between religious leader David Koresh and the federal government.Not that "Waco" is a feel-good movie about America. Rather, it is sobering evidence of how essential a free press and open dissent are to a functional democracy.In presenting a chilling contrarian view of the events that transpired that spring, "Waco" may not be the final word on the encounter, which ended with a blazing fire and 86 dead.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | March 25, 1993
WACO, Texas -- An FBI agent criticized Branch Davidian leader David Koresh yesterday for leaving a trail of broken promises in the effort to bring a peaceful end to the standoff at his cult's heavily armed compound."
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | July 29, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Residents of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, intentionally set the fire that destroyed their building and then remained inside despite having ample time to flee, arson experts told Congress yesterday.Using an infrared videotape, University of Maryland arson expert James Quintere graphically displayed how at least three fires erupted almost simultaneously in different parts of the compound on April 19, 1993."These three fires that occurred nearly one minute apart were intentionally set from within the compound," he said.
NEWS
By Dan Fesperman and Dan Fesperman,Staff Writer | March 15, 1993
Far beyond the bullet-spattered walls of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, true believers of everything from New Age theory to New Testament prophecy are digging in for "The End" as the year 2000 approaches, say academics and others who track cults.The millennial calendar alone would be enough to trigger extra edginess among such groups, but ill portents of everything from environmental disaster to rising lawlessness also are prompting some to contemplate the coming of the apocalypse or the end of time.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | April 22, 1993
Washington. -- There are two serious questions about the events leading up to Monday's hellfire at the Branch Davidian headquarters in Waco, Texas. And some disturbing conclusions about our government's attitudes.The obvious first question is, what was the rush? Granted, David Koresh and his followers had amassed an arsenal fit for a guerrilla army. But the group was not threatening anyone. They were 10 miles outside Waco and had given no indication they planned an assault on the town.After the initial failed raid by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, why the hurry to bring the standoff to a conclusion?
TOPIC
By Jonathan Weisman | September 12, 1999
EVER SINCE the conflagration that consumed the Branch Davidians at Waco, anti-government conspiracy theorists and more sober critics of federal law enforcement have been darkly asking who sparked the fire. It is, and always has been, the wrong question.The right question is this: Why did approximately 80 people die in a building that offered easy egress, in a fire that offered ample time for escape? That question is far more difficult to dismiss, and the answer to it appears to be hauntingly tragic: Though FBI agents most likely did not spark the inferno, they could very well share in the responsibility for at least some of the deaths.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 3, 1998
The Fourth of July weekend may be the perfect context for "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," William Gazecki's Oscar-nominated documentary about the 1993 standoff between religious leader David Koresh and the federal government.Not that "Waco" is a feel-good movie about America. Rather, it is sobering evidence of how essential a free press and open dissent are to a functional democracy.In presenting a chilling contrarian view of the events that transpired that spring, "Waco" may not be the final word on the encounter, which ended with a blazing fire and 86 dead.
NEWS
By Lloyd George Parry and Lloyd George Parry,Special to The Sun | July 30, 1995
Question: What's the difference between a Christian fundamentalist and a spotted owl?MA Answer: It's a federal crime to kill and roast a spotted owl.For a growing but still microscopic minority of Americans that exchange pretty well sums up the tragedy at Waco in which 76 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian sect suffered fiery deaths at the hands of the U.S. government.Unlike spotted owls, redwood trees, or, for that matter, defense contractors and health care lobbyists, the Davidians were seen as belonging to no protected or politically influential class.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | July 29, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Residents of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, intentionally set the fire that destroyed their building and then remained inside despite having ample time to flee, arson experts told Congress yesterday.Using an infrared videotape, University of Maryland arson expert James Quintere graphically displayed how at least three fires erupted almost simultaneously in different parts of the compound on April 19, 1993."These three fires that occurred nearly one minute apart were intentionally set from within the compound," he said.
NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Writer | July 20, 1995
WASHINGTON -- The Republican-led congressional hearings into the 1993 federal assault at Waco opened yesterday with partisan sniping, descriptions of the Branch Davidians' arsenal of weapons and attacks on law enforcement's handling of the 51-day standoff.Then came Kiri Jewell, a 14-year-old in a long, flowered dress. She told a packed hearing room how the sect's leader, David Koresh, sexually molested her at age 10 when she lived with the Davidians.She graphically described the encounter and other sexual liaisons between Mr. Koresh and young girls.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 6, 1994
WACO, Texas -- At the weed-strewn 77 acres of Texas prairie where the Branch Davidian compound burned to the ground last year, all is not quiet.A gunshot pierced the air one day last week, during an impassioned argument among self-proclaimed leaders of the religious sect about who has authority over the property. Three people were arrested. Apparently, an illegal weapon was involved, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been called in to investigate.The Branch Davidians still own the site, where their leader, David Koresh, and at least 71 sect members died in the fire at the compound on April 19, 1993.
NEWS
By Frank P. L. Somerville and Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer | June 1, 1993
The Rev. Lawrence J. Gesy says that, from the beginning of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, he was pretty sure there would eventually be a mass suicide.Father Larry, as the Roman Catholic priest of the Baltimore archdiocese prefers to be known, has been studying fringe religious groups for about 13 years. He has just published a book, "Today's Destructive Cults and Movements," with a foreword by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India.Born and reared on an Iowa farm, Father Larry was ordained in 1975.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | June 18, 1994
SAN ANTONIO -- Ignoring pleas for leniency from the defendants and the foreman of the jury that convicted them, a federal judge sentenced five Branch Davidians yesterday to 40 years in prison for their roles in a shootout near Waco in February 1993 in which four federal agents and six cult members died.The shootout began a 51-day standoff that ended when the sect's leader, David Koresh, and 78 of his followers died in a fire after FBI agents assaulted the sect's compound with tear gas and tanks armed with battering rams.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | February 13, 1994
SAN ANTONIO -- Jurors in the trial of 11 Branch Davidians were told last week that some sect members, terrified and trapped in the flames that were destroying their compound, killed their children, killed one another and killed themselves.Still others, crammed in a concrete bunker under wet blankets and sleeping bags, suffocated or died from the heat as the fire turned their refuge into a kiln.Gruesome details of the final moments in the compound, presented as arson experts and a medical examiner outlined the results of their investigations, clearly left some jurors shaken.
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