The Conspiracy Wiki
Vernon Wayne Howell

Vernon Wayne Howell, better known as David Koresh, was among dead cult members who had shot themselves to avoid death by fire on 19 April 1993.

Waco conspiracy exposed incompetence in negotiation practices and how to handle religious minority groups by big government.


Arizona senator John McCain called the siege of the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, “an ill-conceived exercise of federal authority that led to the unnecessary loss of life.” The poorly handled event spurred unnecessary conspiracies that inflamed anti-US government militia to revenge with the McVeigh Oklahoma bombings. FBI agent Byron Sage admitted twenty-five years later, “ ‘We failed.’ ”[1]

The burning down of the Davidian complex is the crux of the Waco conspiracy. It was an event that resulted in nearly sixty casualties—with twenty-five of the dead being minors. Gun rights advocates, anti-government libertarians, and members of what would soon become the militia movement refused to let Waco go, seeing it as the sinister escalation of an increasingly aggressive war by the US government against its own people.[1]

In defense, the FBI produced an audio recording for proof in their claim that the Davidians lighted the fire themselves. But the ignition of the fire and the massive releasing of the tear gas was reportedly simultaneous.[2] Upon further investigation, it is believed that the fire was accidentally ignited by FBI tanks that unintentionally knocked over oil-filled Coleman lanterns during the invasion of 19 April 1993. Autopsies revealed that at least 20 of them, including David Koresh, had either shot themselves or been shot by other members of the sect, likely as a way to avoid a fiery death. One three-year-old boy had been stabbed in the chest. The goal of David Koresh was to father 24 children, who he believed would sit on 24 heavenly thrones, as described in the Book of Revelation. The Davidians who remained with Koresh thought that he was the ‘Lamb of God’, who would unlock the meaning of the Seven Seals and bring about the End Times.[1]

The 1995 congressional hearings were intensely political, with Republicans crying foul on Waco to undermine the Clinton administration and Democrats defending the government’s actions out of partisan loyalty. Afterward, the already polarized public debate only became more intense, especially after the release of the 1997 documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement, which proposed that the tear gas may have been lethal. However, former Missouri senator John Danforth hired an investigative team of forensic pathologists who did not find “any indication that the tear gas killed any Davidian.” [1]

It should be considered that it was not the intention of the FBI to leave such a wake of casualties. On February 28, 1993, at 9:48 a.m., a panicked Martin called 911 and yelled frantically, “Tell ’em there are children and women in here and to call it off!”[1]

Operation Trojan Horse[]

Operation Trojan Horse involved dozens of FBI officers in full tactical gear piled into two cattle trailers that were driven to the front door of the Branch Davidian compound on February 28, 1993. Their plan was to storm the building and serve search and arrest warrants for possession of illegal weapons. This was considered a risky, over-the-top plan that the Treasury Department’s official review later criticized as having been decided upon far too hastily, without “adequately pursu[ing]” other, less dramatic options.[1]

The facts[]

  • The US government sent 51 negotiators, from various agencies, to handle one man’s cause.
  • The US government devised an “over-the-top plan” to infiltrate the compound by loading up two cattle trailers with FBI tactical teams in order to serve search and arrest warrants.
  • The FBI’s final push involved a massive injection of tear gas - even when the bureau knew that there were children still in the compound.[1]

At the end of the day[]

Yes, the recordings of supposed “Davidians” discussing lighting up the compound[2] could have been a faked false flag recording. Yes, the witness testimony of surviving Branch Davidian Graeme Craddock, who said he’d ‘observed people inside the compound pouring fuel’,[1] could have been a statement coerced by the FBI.

But at the end of the day, it was the injecting of the tear gas that served as the catalyst for the subsequent events. Had the FBI had a better protocol for the situation, it is quite likely the burning down of the Davidian complex could have been avoided, no matter who started the fire. It was a complete show of US government incompetence.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Texas Monthly, The FBI Agent Who Can’t Stop Thinking About Waco, April 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Frontline, 10 Things You May Not Know About Waco, FEBRUARY 28, 2018 by SARAH CHILDRESS