The Ashes of Waco website Portal page to the digital collection. Includes a transcribed interview with author Dick J. Reavis, and information about the author, the book, the papers, the grant, the digital collection and the Southwestern Writers Collection.
Memorializing Mount Carmel Center in Waco, Texas Excellent site for photos and descriptions of the Mount Carmel property over the past eight years. Also includes photos of the Mount Carmel building model created by the author of the site, and links to other resources.
Waco Siege entry from Wikipedia Information from various contributors on the raid, including its prelude and aftermath, as well as references and a bibliography.
Waco: A New Revelation 1999 documentary on the incident, which uncovers new evidence. Website includes a link to the Danforth Report. You can watch the entire documentary on the Google videos site (video.google.com).
Waco: Rules of Engagement Probably the most famous and successful of Waco-related documentaries. You can order it from this site or rent/buy it from various sources.
Waco: The Inside Story Website for PBS' Frontline program, with a lot of good resources, including pictures, audio clips, official documents, and a bibliography.
All the audio files currently in the digital collection now play directly in the window, thanks to Todd Peters, who embedded the audio player, and Alan Schaefer, who moved the audio files and updated the metadata.
This works a little differently than the streaming video, which relies on whatever media player you have on your hard drive to play. But both the audio and video files work similarly now, and much more conveniently by not downloading to your hard drive before playing. You can play the file immediately, read the metadata as you watch/listen, and skip around the file at will.
So, we currently have the following audio files available online. Hold your mouse over the link for a brief description, and click on the link to go directly to the record.
As I have help, more audio (and video) files will be added to the digital collection, and I will keep the blog informed when new files are added. However, I may be shifting my focus for the next two months or so, to other aspects of the project, or to other projects altogether.
The twenty videos currently in the digital collection have been moved to our streaming server, meaning they are now accessible without having to download them to your hard drive. Here's what we have so far:
RV022 - failure analysis of final assault on Mt. Carmel - http://cdm15042.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p9010coll4,66
RV026 - flyover footage of Mt. Carmel - http://cdm15042.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p9010coll4,69
RV028 (two parts) - Bob Kendrick interview by Texas Rangers - http://cdm15042.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p9010coll4,70
RV078 - home video interviews with children and David Thibodeau during the raid - http://cdm15042.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p9010coll4,123
RV075 - "smuggled BATF tape" - footage of agents around Mt. Carmel and of Mt. Carmel burning - http://cdm15042.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p9010coll4,120
I have double checked to make sure these all work, but by all means, please inform me if any do not play on your computer. Next, I'm going to have a student worker here start digitizing more videos (we have about 75 total), and a graduate assistant start converting/moving our mp3 audio files to our streaming server as well. Stay tuned!
Here is an excerpt from a tape that was sent out of Mt. Carmel during the siege. In this clip, Steve Schneider interviews several of the girls about how they were getting along during the ordeal. To view, click the link at the end of this posting.
Multiple tapes were sent out to the FBI over the course of the standoff. Dick Reavis, in The Ashes of Waco, has this to say:
Whatever disagreements one might have with the residents of Mt. Carmel, the film humanizes its subjects. In their post-April 19 investigation of the Waco affair, Justice Department investigators reported: "The negotiator's log shows that when the tape was reviewed there was concern that if the tape was released to the media, Koresh would gain much sympathy." Though the document was news, and would have been ideal for television, it wouldn't have served the agency's public relations goals. Instead of presenting it to the press, the Bureau sat on the videotape[s]. (pp. 228-29)
The girls seen here are, in order of appearance, Lisa Martin (13), Audrey Martinez (13), Rachel Sylvia (13), Abigail Martinez (11), and Sheila Martin (15). All five of them perished on April 19th.
It is well known that David Koresh was an ambitious musician, but recordings of him singing and playing guitar are very rare. A couple of songs, along with a sermon, were compiled and released as "Voice of Fire" by the Junior's Motel label in 1994, and in 1996 survivor Clive Doyle and Koresh's mother Bonnie Haldeman released, on cassette, an audio letter that Koresh had recorded for his grandfather, the proceeds of which benefited the Mt. Carmel Survival Fund. Along with music, "Songs to Grandpa" contains lengthy spoken sections featuring thoughts, prayers, memories, and introductions. At one point, Koresh talks to his son Cyrus. "Songs to Grandpa" is cataloged in the Reavis Papers as RA058.
Entry RA152 is an unassuming cassette with pencil-written labels that say only "undated sermon DK?" on side A and "music DK?" on side B. We can confirm that it is Koresh on this tape. Many of the songs on side B also appear on "Songs to Grandpa", but they are interpreted differently here. In addition, Koresh plays an electric guitar on this tape while "Songs to Grandpa" features an effects-laden acoustic. Click on the link at the end of this entry to hear 'The Lonely Man' from RA152. Koresh used an old, off-brand tape, and we don't know what kind of recording equipment he used, so please overlook the low quality of the file. The song title was gleaned from "Songs to Grandpa", where an alternate version can be heard along with introductory remarks such as:
"Who am I to preach to someone what they must do to be saved when I myself have not yet known? We're saved by hope and that through faith...The spirit of God moves upon our hearts, and it's not a feeling, it's an acknowledgement, it's an admittance that we're wrong. This song came to me after I realized that, even after being a Christian for many years, that I am still far away from what God would have me to be. I realized that I had been a bad example to many people who were looking to me...the more I learn about Christ the more I realize that I have many, many apologies that I must give people--my own family members, people I've met in times past--but even though I have to apologize for being a misrepresentative of Christ, God still loves me, and because I know that, and I've seen that, I can tell my brethren and everyone else that God still loves them, too."
For a time, the Branch Davidians maintained two houses in California, which became a base for recruiting new members. California was also a place where Koresh tried to further his musical ambitions. These business cards were passed out to promising contacts; a similar card was given to future member David Thibodeau in a music store.