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The Cautionary Tale Of The Misguided Souls Who Followed And Survived The False Prophet "David Koresh" (Real Name Vernon Wayne Howell), The Man Responsible For The Tragic Waco Massacre And All That Led Up To And Followed It, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1996, 48 Minutes.)
The Waco Siege, also known as the Waco Massacre, was the siege by U.S. federal government and Texas state law enforcement officials of a compound belonging to the religious cult known as the Branch Davidians between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, were headquartered at Mount Carmel Center ranch in the community of Axtell, Texas, 13 miles (21 kilometers) northeast of Waco. Suspecting the group of stockpiling illegal weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) obtained a search warrant for the compound and arrest warrants for Koresh and several of the group's members. The ATF had planned a sudden daylight raid of the ranch in order to serve these warrants, intending to quickly control the situation and reduce the risk to all parties that was associated with the large cache of modified weapons and explosive devices the Davidians had available. Any advantage of surprise was lost when a KWTX-TV reporter who had been tipped off about the raid asked for directions from a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier who was coincidentally Koresh's brother-in-law. Thus, the group's members were fully armed and prepared; an intense gunfight erupted, resulting in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians. Upon the ATF's entering of the property and failure to execute the search warrant, a siege was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during which negotiations between the parties attempted to reach a compromise. After 51 days, on April 19, 1993, the FBI launched a tear gas attack in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out of the compound's buildings. Shortly thereafter, the Mount Carmel Center became engulfed in flames. The fire and the reaction to the final attack within the group resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, two pregnant women, and David Koresh. In total, the 51-day siege resulted in the deaths of four federal agents and 82 Branch Davidians, 28 of whom were children. The events of the siege and attack, particularly the origin of the fire, are disputed by various sources. Department of Justice reports from October 1993 and July 2000 conclude that although incendiary tear gas canisters were used by the FBI, the Branch Davidians had started the fire, citing evidence from audio surveillance recordings of very specific discussions between Koresh and others about pouring more fuel on piles of hay as the fires started, and from aerial footage showing at least three simultaneous ignition points at different locations in the building complex. The FBI contends that none of their agents fired any live rounds on the day of the fire. Critics contend that live rounds were indeed fired by law enforcement, and suggest that a combination of gunshots and flammable tear gas was the true cause of the fire. The Waco Siege was cited by Timothy McVeigh as the main reason for his and Terry Nichols's plan to execute the Oklahoma City bombing exactly two years later, on April 19, 1995, as well as the modern-day American militia movement and a rise in opposition to firearm regulation.