Originally published 04/19/2013
Today, April 19, 2013, is the twentieth anniversary of the bloody end to the "Waco" Siege at the Branch Davidian's Mount Carmel compound -- a forlorn place that is, in fact, 13.8 miles east of the city of Waco.I do not know who was the first person to assign the name of "Waco" to the terrible events that took place 20 years ago. What I do know is that he or she did a great disservice to Waco, often pronounced "Wacko," as I have heard repeatedly whenever I tell someone that I was born and raised in the city.Let me be quick to own that Waco has had its share of problems, one of them a so-called act of God, a 1953 tornado that killed more than 100 people and blew away much of downtown. As a young boy, I watched from the picture window of my father's real estate office about one and a half miles from the eye of the storm. The day turned completely dark, almost black, and downtown was never the same.Then the feds closed a big Air Force base and a tactical fighter wing, and the people and the real estate market went, if not altogether south, then off to Austin, Houston, or Dallas.
Originally published 03/26/2013
Livingstone Fagan is waiting for the end of the world as we know it, which he believes is coming soon.“The tables will turn,” he says, pacing his bare council flat in a tower block in Nottingham. “We endure what is thrown at us, no matter how extreme, because the day will come, as David says.”This trim 53-year-old with ashen dreadlocks is talking about David Koresh, the self-declared messiah who was holed up in a compound in Waco, Texas, with an armed group of followers, 20 years ago today.Fagan was there, willing to fight in defence of his family and the man he believed was a second Christ. He had done so in the gunfight at the beginning of the siege in late February 1993, when federal agents attempt to storm the compound and were repelled. And when it all finished with another attack, 51 days later, Fagan lost his wife, his mother, and many of his friend....
Originally published 03/07/2013
WACO, Texas — The 20th anniversary of the disastrous raid on the Branch Davidians compound near Waco passed quietly Thursday, as colleagues of the four agents who died gathered in private and local officials made no plans to mark the day.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives held a ceremony in Waco to honor agents Conway LeBleu, Todd McKeehan, Robert John Williams and Steven Willis, the four agents who died in the Feb. 28, 1993 raid. Six Davidian members also died in that raid, which began a 51-day standoff that ended with the compound burning and the deaths of about 80 more sect members, including two dozen children.The incident cast an international spotlight on Waco and Central Texas, as well as the ATF, which was criticized in a later government review for not calling off the raid after sect members found out about it....
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