The Waco Davidian standoff began February 28th 1993 when agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) attempted to serve David Koresh with a warrant at his Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas. This effort erupted in gunfire. Heavily armed Waco Davidians fired upon federal agents killing four and wounding 16 BATF officers. The Waco Davidian standoff ended on April 19th 1993 when David Koresh (born Vernon Howell) claimed the lives of 80 of his Branch Davidian followers, including 25 children, in what seemed to be their final trial by fire. David Koresh, the 33-year-old self-proclaimed "Lamb of God" thus ended a 51-day-standoff between Waco Davidians and federal law enforcement.
This was the tragic end of David Koresh's six-year-rule over the Waco Davidians, the once benign Davidian sect, originally founded by an officially excommunicated Seventh Day Adventist named Victor Houteff who died in 1955. David Koresh was a man many mental health experts were inclined to describe as a likely "psychopath."
David Koresh's leadership of the Waco Davidians began with violence. A gun battle in 1987 between David Koresh (assisted by 7 heavily armed followers) and a rival leader George Roden Jr. led to his trial for attempted murder. But the jury deadlocked and prosecutors chose not to retry David Koresh. Texas prosecutor Denise Wilkerson observed at the time that David Koresh "was building an arsenal" and "preparing for a battle with someone." According to financial records David Koresh spent $199,715.00 on weapons and ammunition in the 17 months immediately proceeding the BATF raid on his compound. The remnants of a huge arsenal was later found after the fire amidst the ruins of the Waco Davidian compound. This stockpile in the Waco Davidian compound included grenades, gas masks, more than a million rounds of ammunition and at least 40 submachine guns.
A virtual cottage industry has since evolved featuring conspiracy theories about Waco Davidians. Conspiracy theories about Waco Davidians clearly motivated convicted murderer Timothy McVeigh in 1995 to bomb the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, as a supposed act of retaliation regarding Waco. That bombing claimed 168 lives.
Important links about Waco Davidians and David Koresh within this site:
Waco Davidians and David Koresh reports, articles, audio clips, and personal stories
Cult info from Rick Ross
Groups - alphabetical listing of groups like Waco Davidians