News Ten Working Notes From 04.19.93





(What follows is a running chronology compiled by the News Ten staff on April 19, 1993 and over the days that followed the fire. It has not been edited and may include grammatical and factual errors.)

*MONDAY 04/19/93*

*530AM RENO GOES TO FBI COMMAND CENTER TO MONITOR WACO OPERATIONS. SESSIONS
IS ALSO THERE DURING THE MORNING. BENTSEN WAS BRIEFED DURING THE MORNING
AS WELL.
*550AM, AGENTS CALL IN TO WARN THEY ARE GOING TO BEGIN TANK ACTIVITY AND
ADVISE RESIDENTS "TO TAKE COVER", AGENTS SAY SCHNEIDER DOESN'T REPLY,
BUT INSTEAD THROWS PHONE AND PHONE LINE OF FRONT DOOR
*6AM DPS OFFICER IN MEDIA COMPOUND ADVISES REPORTERS TO BE PREPARED TO
TAKE COVER. BYRON SAGE ADVISES TEAR GAS WILL BE INSERTED. SURVEILLANCE
TAPES SHOW UK MALE SAYS "EVERYBODY WAKE UP, LET'S START TO PRAY."
THEN "PABLO HVAE YOU POURED IT YET" "HUH" "HAVE YOU POURED IT YET"
"IN THE HALLWAY" "THINGS ARE POURED, RIGHT?"
*604AM ARMORED VEHICLE WITH RAM AND DELIVERY DEVICE TO PUMP TEAR GAS
INTO COMPOUND WITH PRESSURIZED AIR RIPS INTO FRONT WALL JUST LEFT OF
FRONT DOOR LEAVING HOLE 8 FEET HIGH, 10 FEET WIDE. AGENTS SAY HOLES NOT ONLY
ALLOW INSERTION OF GAS, BUT ALSO PROVIDE MEANS OF ESCAPE. AGENTS SAY
75 ROUNDS ARE FIRED FROM INSIDE COMPOUND. SAY THAT EACH TIME SUBSEQUENT
ANOTHER DOZEN ROUNDS ARE FIRED.
*6-615AM MCLENNAN COUNTY JAIL BUS AND 3 AMBULANCES, AT LEAST ONE WITH
LIGHTS, PASS THROUGH CHECKPOINT TO COMMAND POST AREA
*610AM KHOU REPORTS CULT MEMBER CALLS FBI AND SAYS "WE WILL SURRENDER IN
TWO MINUTES."
*6:10: SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD "DON'T POUR IT ALL OUT, WE MIGHT NEED
SOME LATER....." "THROW THE TEAR GAS BACK OUT...." SAGE SAYS ITS TIME
FOR PEOPLE TO COME OUT, UK MALE SAYS "WHAT" THEN UK MALE SAYS "NO WAY"
*6:12: SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD UK MALES "THEY'RE GONNA KILL US."
THEN "THEY DON'T WANT TO KILL US."
*655AM HILLCREST PUT ON ALERT
*7:23: SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD UK MALE SAYING "THE FUEL HAS TO GO
ALL AROUND TO GET STARTED." THEN SECOND MAN "WELL, THERE ARE TWO
CANS HERE, IF THAT'S POURED SOON."
*8AM ARMORED VEHICLE WITH BATTERING RAM RIPS INTO SECOND FLOOR OF COMPOUND
AND THEN MINUTES LATER ANOTHER HOLE IS PUNCHED INTO BACKSIDE OF COMPOUND.
VEHICLES THEN WITHDRAW.
*8:05AM 14 EXTRA STAFFERS CALLED AT HILLCREST AND FOUR DOCTORS ADVISED MAY
NEED TO COME IN.
*9AM NEW BANNER APPEARS "WE WANT OUR PHONE FIXED", CLINTON SAYS HE WAS
BRIEFED ON ASSAULT OVER WEEKEND AND THAT RENO GAVE THE FINAL GO AHEAD
*9:08: SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD UK MALE "HEY MAN IF ANYTHING HAPPENS,
WE GO TO HEAVIER THINGS, IT DOESN'T MATTER, MAN."
*9:13AM ARMORED VEHICLE POWERS THROUGH FRONT DOOR TO DELIVER MORE GAS
*9:16AM: SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD: KORESH/"THEY GOT TWO CANS OF COLEMAN
FUEL DOWN THERE? HUH?" SS/"EMPTY" DK/"ALL OF IT?" SS/"NOTHING LEFT."
DK/"OUT OF BOTH CANS" SS/"I GOT SOME MINERAL OIL HERE" "DK/"HEY COME
BACK HERE. HOLD ON HERE. YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO STEAL THOSE MASKS, BY
THE WAY." UK MALE/HEY. UK MALE/WHAT. UK MALE/"YOU SHOULDN'T GO
STEALING THAT." DK/"OKAY, I'LL GIVE YOU ONE, WANT IT?"
*9-10AM FBI CONFIRMS GENERIC TEAR GAS BEING USED (SPOKESMAN CHARLES
MANDIGO, HOUSTON) AND SAYS THE HOLES WILL ALLOW THE GAS TO ESCAPE TO
PREVENT BUILDUP THAT COULD INJURE KIDS.
*10AM MAN SEEN WAVING WHITE FLAG ON SOUTHEAST SIDE. ADVISED OVER SPEAKERS
IF HE IS SURRENDERING TO COME OUT. HE DOESN'T.
*APPROX 10AM MAN BELIEVED TO BE SCHNEIDER COMES OUT TO RETRIEVE PHONE/
PHONE LINE

*1030AM NEWS CONFERENCE:

*USING MARK V DELIVERY SYSTEM SECURED TO BOOM USED TO INSERT GAS.
RICKS SAYS THEY ARE NON PYROTECHNIC DEVICES. SAID SPEAKERS BROADCAST
TO THOSE INSIDE WARNING THAT THIS WAS NOT AN ASSAULT, NOT TO FIRE,
TO EXIT COMPOUND, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS "COME OUT AND YOU WILL NOT BE
HARMED, NO ONE WILL BE INJURED, SUBMIT TO PROPER AUTHORITIES"
*SAYS DID ALSLOW THEM TO COME OUT TO FIX PHONE
*SAYS PLAN IS TO GAS ALL DAY BECAUSE GAS MASKS THEY ARE ALL BELIEVED TO
HAVE ARE LIMITED IN LIFE (8-24 HOURS MAX)
*SAYS DOSAGES WON'T HARM KIDS
*SAYS EACH INSERTION OF GAS INVOLVES PUMPING 15 BURSTS, ONE A SECOND
*SAYS DESTRUCTION OF COMPOUND NOT NECESSARILY A GOAL AT THIS TIME
*"THEY CAN LEAVE AT ANY TIME"
*SAYS BELIEVE THE ATTORNEYS MEETINGS WERE JUST ANOTHER STALLING TACTIC
*USES AERIAL PIC TO SHOW WHERE GAS INSERTED
*SAYS AGENTS HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT RETURN FIRE
*ASKED IF SUICIDE IS POSSIBLE, SAYS IT WAS THOUGHT THIS WAS THE BEST
WAS TO PREVENT THAT BY CAUSING CONFUSION THAT WOULD CAUSE PEOPLE TO
LOOSE SOME OF PSYCHOLOIGICAL TIE TO KORESH--MOTHERS WOULD WANT TO
PROTECT KIDS, BUT HE SAYS "THEY DON'T APPEAR TO CARE THAT MUCH ABOUT
KIDS."
*SAYS THERE ARE TUNNELS, A CRAWL SPACE UNDER BUILDING, AND THE BURIED BUS
BUT SAYS THINKS RAIN HAS FLOODED OUT
*SAYS BELIEVE BUILDING POORLY CONSTRUCTED AND COULD BE KNOCKED DOWN IN AN
HOUR
*SAYS DID PUT GAS IN BUNKERS AND BURIED BUS (NOTE LATER JAMAR STATEMENT)
*SAYS CAMARO WAS REMOVED FROM AREA
*ACKNOWLEDGES WINDS ARE A PROBLEM

*1130A MORE GAS INSERTED THROUGH FRONT, PUNCHING ANOTHER BIG HOLE
*1140 SURVEILLANCE TAPES RECORD: UK MALE/"I WANT A FIRE AROUND THE
BACK." THEN LATER "LET'S KEEP THAT FIRE GOING."
*1143 ANOTHER INSERTION, MOVING WELL INTO BUILDING TO REACH THE CONCRETE
INTERIOR ROOM WHERE ITS BELIEVED CULT MEMBERS ARE TRYING TO AVOID GAS
*1149 ANOTHER INSERTION, BACKS OFF AT 1155
*12PM MOVES BACK IN, ANOTHER GAS INSERTION
*1203 TURRET KNOCKS AWAY FIRST FLOOR CORNER ON RIGHT SIDE
*1208PM FLAMES APPEAR IN TWO SPOTS IN THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING, FIRST ON
THE LEFT OF THE FRONT DOOR ON THE SECOND FLOOR (A WISP OF SMOKE THEN A
TENTATIVE FLICKER OF WIND FANNED FLAME) THEN A SHORT TIME LATER ON THE
FAR RIGHT SIDE OF THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING. ALSO AT A THIRD SPOT ON
THE BACK SIDE. AGENTS SAY CULT MEMBERS IGNITED FIRES. SAY THAT OBSERVERS
SAW MAN DRESSED IN BLACK BEND OVER WITH CUPPED HANDS AND THEN SAW FLAMES
AS HE LIFTED HIS HANDS.
*1209 MAN COMES OUT OF 2ND FLOOR WINDOW ONTO FIRST FLOOR ROOF TO L. OF DOOR
*1210- FLAMES SPREAD QUICKLY FANNED BY HIGH WINDS. BUILDING NOT WELL
CONSTRUCTED, BURNS VERY QUICKLY.
*1212 FLAMES THROUGH 3RD FLOOR ROOF ON RIGHT SIDE AND ON 2ND STORY ROOF OF
LEFT END. MAN STILL ON ROOF
*1212/1213PM 911 CALL PLACED FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT. TWO WACO TRUCKS ARE
DISPATCHED. SHORTLY AFTER BELLMEAD DISPATCHES PUMPER AND GRASS TRUCK.
*1213PM A.V. APPROACHES MAN ON ROOF, THEN BACKS AWAY
*1215PM MAN JUMPS FROM ROOF, WALKS AWAY
*1216 PERSON JUMPS FROM 2ND FLOOR WINDOW TO IMMEDIATE LEFT OF SUBROOF,
SMOKE RISING AS PERSON HITS, MAY BE ON FIRE. A MINUTE LATER PERSON RISES,
STAGGERS A SHORT DISTANCE AND COLLAPSES.
*1218 APT STOPS WHERE PERSON COLLAPSED, AGENT GETS OUT
*1220 AGENT LIFTS PERSON AND PUTS INTO APV
*1221 2 CHINOOKS THAT WERE STATIONED AT TSTC ARRIVE ON SCENE
*1222/23PM WACO FIRE TRUCKS ARRIVE AT CHECKPOINT, BELLMEAD FOLLOWS SHORTLY
*1225 LARGE EXPLOSION ON LEFT SIDE, MOST VISIBLE FROM SECOND CAMERA POSITION,
ONE OBJECT HURTLES INTO AIR, BOUNCES OFF TOP OF WHITE BUS AND LANDS ON GRASS
*1225-1228PM PERSON WITH HANDS RAISED WALKS TO BRADLEY AND APPEARS TO
SURRENDER. GETS IN WAITIN G BRADLEY.
*1228PM AGENT RUNS FROM BRADLEY IN FRONT OF COMPOUND TOWARD LEFT CORNER,
COMES BACK WITH PERSON WHO STUMBLES, HALF DRAGS INTO BRADLEY, MOMENTS
LATER MOST OF REST OF UPPER RIGHT SIDE COLLAPSES.
*1230PM PART OF ROOF COLLAPSES (DURING THIS TIME THERE ARE SEVERAL EXPLOSIONS
THAT APPEAR TO BE GASOLINE OR KEROSENE CACHES RATHER THAN ORDINANCE)
*WITNESSES REPORT THAT LIVE AMMUNITION IS POPPING THROUGHOUT THE COMPOUND
BECAUSE OF FIRE
*1232 FLAG ROPE BREAKS, FLAG FLUTTERS FOR A MINUTE, THEN BREAKS AWAY
AND DRIFTS INTO FLAMES
*1243PM FIRETRUCKS ARRIVE IN COMPOUND ACCORDING TO FIRE DEPT LOGS, ON TAPE
CAN SEE AGENT WAVING TRUCKS IN
*1247 FIRE IS BURNING OUT, CAN SEE FLAMES IN BUNKER DOOR AND BURNING BODIES
ON ROOF.
*12-1PM AMBULANCES AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS FROM SURROUNDING AREA ARE
SUMMONED. REPEATED ALERT TONES DURING COURSE OF FIRE.
*1244PM AP QUOTES BRANCH AS SAYING FBI STARTED FIRE
*1245PM AP REPORTS OFFICIALS SAW 2 PEOPLE INSIDE STARTING FIRE
*1250PM COPTER ARRIVES AT HILLCREST WITH BURN VICTIM OR VICTIMS BUT HIGH
WINDS PREVENT LANDING
*1254PM ATF/DPS OFFICERS CLOSE DOWN JESUS HILL
*AT SOME POINT DURING HEIGHT OF FIRE, THE ROPES SECURING THE DAVIDIAN
FLAG BURN THROUGH AND THE FLAG FLUTTERS INTO THE FLAMES
*1255PM FIRE BEGINS TO BURN OUT, COMPOUND LEVELLED, NO INDICATION THAT
ANY SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF PEOPLE ESCAPED.
*123PM WFAA QUOTES FBI SOURCE AS SAYING 25 TO 30 MAY HAVE ESCAPED
*125PM TWO CAREFLIGHT COPTERS LAND AT TSTC
*134PM AP REPORTS THAT 8 CULT MEMBERS ARE IN FEDERAL CUSTODY AND SAYS
2 ADMIT TO STARTING FIRE USING TORCHES (LATER REFUTED EVIDENTLY). REPORTS
6 ARE INJURED AND 2 HAVE BEEN FLOWN TO PARKLAND. HAD NUMBER ALMOST CORRECT.
IN END 9 ESCAPED. 5 WITHOUT SERIOUS INJURY WERE JAILED. ONE TO HILLCREST.
THREE TO PARKLAND, TWO OF THOSE IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
*203PM WACO MORTICIAN BOBBY BORDEAUX SUMMONED TO SITE TO EXAMINE BODIES,
BUT IN THE END REMOVES ONLY ONE, A BADLY BURNED BODY SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE THE
AREA WHERE THE BUILDING WAS. APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN SOMEONE WHO ESCAPED
IN FLAMES. (SEE COLLIER IN 15A IN EVENING.)
*213PM BATF SAYS 5 OR 6 SURVIVED
*254PM JUSTICE DEPT SAYS 8 SURVIVED.
*3PM TRIB STARTS RUN OF EXTRA EDITION, FIRST SINCE WWII
*311PM GRAEME CRADDOCK FOUND IN BUNKER NEAR STEEL WATER TOWER, NOT INJURED
*312PM MCLENNAN COUNTY JAIL BUS LEAVES MEDIA ROW
*315PM AP QUOTES DEGUERIN AS SAYING FIRE WAS A FIASCO AND THAT HE'S
NOT SURE IF KORESH SURVIVED
*337PM KILLORIN SAYS IF FIRE SET ON PURPOSE THEN WAS MASS SUICIDE

****SURVIVORS****

AIRLIFTED TO PARKLAND: CLIVE DOYLE (STABLE)
MISTY FERGUSON, 17 (CRITICAL)
UNIDENTIFIED BF LATER ID'D AS MARJORIE THOMAS,
30 (CRITICAL)--SHE WAS WOMAN RESCUED BY AGENTS
AS RAN BACK INTO BURNING BUILDING
BY AMT AMBULANCE TO HILLCREST: RUTH OTTMAN RIDDLE, 29 (STABLE)
PROCESSED THROUGH TSTC/MC CO JAIL: RENOS AVRAAM 29
JAMIE CASTILLO, 24
GRAEME CRADDOCK, 31
DEREK LOVELOCK, 37
DAVID THIBODEAU, 24

*345PM LAW ENFORCEMENT SOURCE SAYS KORESH IS DEAD

*350PM SHEEHY NEWS CONFERENCE:

*SHEEHY SAYS HAD HOPED AND PRAYED THIS WOULD HAVE PEACEFUL RESOLUTION.
ANNOUNCES THAT SPECIAL WACO COUNCIL MEETING AND ANNUAL CHAMBER
MEMBERSHIP BANQUET SCHEDULED TONIGHT HAD BEEN CANCELLED AND THAT
COMMUNITY PRAYER SERVICE WAS BEING SCHEDULED. SAID THOUGHT WACO
WOULD OUTLIVE ASSOCIATION WITH THE STANDOFF.

*4PM APPROX DANEY NEWS CONFERENCE: (Dr. William Daney, Hillcrest)

*SAYS TREATED ONE WOMAN (LATER ID AS 29 YOA RUTH OTTMAN RIDDLE) WHO
HAD BURNS ON EXTREMITIES AND AN ANKLE INJURY THAT WOULD REQUIRE SURGERY
LATER IN DAY. SAID SHE WAS DEPRESSED AND QUIET AND SHOWED NO OTHER
EVIDENCE OF INJURIES

*4:05PM APPROX RICKS NEWS CONFERENCE:

*READS STATEMENT FROM SESSIONS THAT SAYS HAD HOPED WOULD ANNOUNCE PEACEFUL
RESOLUTION, INSTEAD FACED WITH DEVASTATION AND DEATH..THANKED AGENTS
FOR RISKING LIVES
*SAID AVERAAM PICKED UP NEAR COMPOUND AND TOLD AGENTS HE HEARD OTHERS INSIDE
SAYING "THE FIRE HAS BEEN LIT...THE FIRE HAS BEEN LIT."
*SAID NEGOTIATORS SAW MAN IN BLACK UNIFORM APPEAR TO START A FIRE
*SAID FIRES STARTED IN 3 SEPARATE LOCATIONS
*SAID CRADDOCK FOUND BUNKERED NEAR STEEL WATER TOWER AND THAT HE TOLD
AGENTS HE HEARD DISCUSSION OF USING LANTERN FUEL AND LATER SMELLED IT
SPREAD THROUGH COMPOUND.
*"HE WANTED TO HAVE AS MANY PEOPLE KILLED IN THAT COMPOUND AS POSSIBLE."
*"VERY SURPRISING IF ANY OTHERS SURVIVED."
*AT LEAST 3 MAJOR EXPLOSIONS, MAYBE 4
*COULD NOT ROLL FIRE TRUCKS IN THAT SITUATION, NOT EQUIPPED FOR POSSIBLE
ARMS FIRE
*SAID ONE GUARD MEMBER RECEIVE MINOR INJURIES, NO OTHER INFO RELEASED
*SAID AGENTS BELIEVED PEOPLE WERE SCATTERED THROUGH BUILDING BUT THAT KORESH
AND HIS CORE FOLLOWERS WERE IN THAT INTERIOR CONCRETE ROOM AND THAT THE
IGNITION WAS ORDERED WHEN IT WAS PENETRATED BY ARMORED VEHICLE JUST ABOUT
NOON
*"I CAN'T TELL YOU THE SHOCK AND THE HOOR WE FELT WHEN WE SAW THOSE
FLAMES COMING OUT OF THERE." "WE THOUGHT OH MY GOD THEY ARE
KILLING THEMSELVES."
*USED SPEAKERS TO TELL PEOPLE TO FLEE TO SAFETY
*SAID DID DIG UP BURNED BUS AND FOUND IN IT ONLY 2 OR 3 BODIES WHICH
WERE PROBABLY FROM 2/28
*SAID FORMULATED PLAN ON MARCH 2ND WHEN LEARNED KORESH PLANNED TO LEAVE
TO SURRENDER, THAT HE CALLED CULT MEMBERS TOGETHER, KISSED THE CHILDREN,
SAID GOODBYE AND THEN WAS GOING TO WALK OUT AND BLOW HIMSELF UP ON TV,
BUT THAT HE CHICKENED OUT.
*SAID "GAS HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FIRE."
*SAID HAD SOURCES THAT KORESH LIED TO ATTORNEYS AND HAD NO INTENTION OF
COMING OUT (LATER REPORTS INDICATE LISTENING DEVICES WERE PLANTED IN
COMPOUND AND IN PKGS GOING INTO COMPOUND, PERHAPS INCLUDING THE
TYPEWRITER RIBBON DELIVERED NIGHT BEFORE)

*426PM JANET RENO NEWS CONFERENCE:

*SAID SHE APPROVED THE PLAN AS THE BEST TO ACHIEVE RESOLUTION AND SAID
"I THINK THE FBI ACTED PROFESSIONALLY AND WITH REMARKABLE RESTRAINT."
*SAID CONSIDERED EVERY POSSIBLE OPTION
*"THESE ARE THE HARDEST DECISIONS TO MAKE."
*AGENTS "MADE BEST, MOST INFORMED PLAN THEY COULD UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES."
*SAID SHE FIRST SAW PLAN A WEEK BEFORE
*CLINTON ADVISED OF PLAN OVER THE WEEKEND. SAID HAD NOT TALKED TO HIM
TODAY
*SAID WOULD LOOK FORWARD TO RESPONDING TO QUESTIONS (FROM CONGRESSIONAL
COMMITTEES, ETC)
*" I THINK ITS AN EXTRAORDINARILY TRAGIC SITUATION."
*"I'M ACCOUNTABLE..THE BOOK STOPS HERE... I DON'T DO SPIN STUFF."
*CLINTON, SHE SAID, "FEELS AS BAD AS I DO."

*440PM AP REPORTS THAT BETTY DENTON HAS CALLED FOR CONGRESSIONAL
INVESTIGATION AND THAT LIBERTARIAN PARTY SPOKESMAN DESCRIBED ASSAULT
AS AN ASSAULT ON US ALL.
*507PM AP SAYS GAS DELIVERED BY HOSE AND COMPRESSED AIR
*515PM BONNIE HALDEMAN BLAMES FBI
*706PM CLINTON RELEASES STATEMENT "I AM DEEPLY SADDENED BY THE LOSS
OF LIFE IN WACO TODAY. MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FAMILIES
OF DAVID KORESH'S VICTIMS."
*915PM JP JAMES COLLIER SAYS HE AND ANOTHER JP SAW ABOUT A DOZEN BODIES
BETWEEN THEM WHEN THEY WENT TO SCENE AND THAT ALL WERE BURNED BEYOND
RECOGNITION, MISSING EXTREMITIES, ETC. SAID SAW AMMO BOXES EVERYWHERE.
(COLLIER DID PRONOUNCE DEAD A BADLY BURNED BODY FOUND OUTSIDE THE
IMMEDIDATE AREA OF THE BUILDING)

*KRLD SUIT FILED DURING THE DAY SEEKING RELEASE OF 911 TAPES FROM 2/28

*SUNSET A LONE SPOTLIGHT ILLUMINATES THE CHARRED RUBBLE. NO SECURITY
IS EVIDENT. STEAM/SMOKE RISES BACKLIT BY THE SPOT. FLAG HAS FALLEN
OFF THE POLE (ROPES BURNED AS ROOF FLARED), ONLY FAMILIAR LANDMARKS
ARE OLD WHITE BUS, OLD WHITE VW BUS, AND CRUSHED RED EL CAMINO AT SOME
POINT A TEXAS FLAG IS RAISED TO HALF MAST OVER THE RUINS OF THE COMPOUND
ON THE FLAGPOLE THAT STOOD AS A CENTER OF ATTENTION SINCE THE DAVIDIAN
FLAG WAS WAVED ON IT AFTER THE SHOOTOUT.




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