Entertainment Review “Waco: American Apocalypse”

  From February 28 to April 19, 1993, the American Government sieged Mount Carmel Center. Mount Carmel was a large building used by the Branch Davidians, a religious cult located 20 miles northeast of Waco in Axtell, Texas. 

“Waco: American Apocalypse,” a new docu-series on Netflix, allows the ex-members of the Branch Davidians and the agents to tell their sides of the story. The events that happened at Mount Carmel Center were traumatic for all involved. 

The docu-series includes raw news footage that was never broadcasted and videos of David Koresh speaking to the negotiators. In addition, interviews with Koresh’s wives, a child from the compound, members of the FBI, and ATF agents allow all sides of the story to be told. 

The fear around the Branch Davidians started when part of a grenade fell out of a package, and the delivery person reported it to authorities. The ATF suspected they were making and storing illegal weapons and obtained a search warrant. 

The ATF was supposed to perform a light raid of the compound, but a news reporter was tipped off and asked for directions to Mount Carmel from a mail carrier, who turned out to be Koresh’s brother-in-law. The Davidians were prepared, and a gunfight was ensured, resulting in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians. 

After the gunfight, the FBI launched a 51-day siege on Mount Carmel. Agents constantly surrounded the compound; they even brought in tanks after the Davidians refused to leave. Finally, in order to force the Davidians out of the ranch, they performed a tear gas attack, and shortly after, the building was engulfed in flames. 

The choices of the FBI resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, 25 children, two pregnant women, and the leader, David Koresh. There could have been many different outcomes for those lives lost if the siege wasn’t so rushed. 

“Waco: American Apocalypse” was a bit boring, but it is very informative. If you aren’t interested in watching the series but think the story sounds interesting, I would recommend checking out Youtuber Wendigoon’s video about the Waco siege.