News & Commentary
Waco: What Really Happened?
The investigation headed by former Missouri Sen. John C. Danforth is designed to settle questions about the 1993 assault on the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas, once and for all. Will Danforth's effort satisfy everyone? Post-Dispatch reporters Terry Ganey and William Freivogel are detailing the investigation and its findings.

Topics | The Danforth investigation | The lawsuit | Other stories | How we got here | Opinion | Outside sources

Waco secrecy fed public mistrust, Danforth says

The Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, is shown engulfed by flames April 20, 1993.
(Susan Weems/AP Photo)

Special counsel John C. Danforth was amazed that most Americans were willing to believe, without evidence, that the government intentionally burned up a group of its citizens at Waco, Texas, in 1993.

Danforth said that amount of mistrust, revealed in a poll last September, undermines the fundamental bargain of American democracy -- that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed.   (photos)   (links)   >>
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The Danforth investigation | Top
The Investigation
Danforth: Branch Davidians, not FBI, caused the deaths at Waco
Former Sen. John Danforth, appointed special counsel to investigate the Waco incident, says the public should be skeptical of charges based on flimsy evidence - but also that the government should be more forthcoming with information.  (photos) (links)

At hearing, Danforth absolves government in Waco fire
Former senator from Missouri said, it was the Branch Davidians and their leader, David Koresh, who were intent on suicide and even murder.

Danforth did what Starr could not: He kept a lid on leaks
The lawyers were sworn to secrecy. The investigators were required to sign statements promising to keep an open mind. Some witnesses took polygraph tests.

More on the Danforth investigation
Read additional stories about the probe headed by the former Republican senator from Missouri.

The Players
Danforth estimates he will spend $11 million by fall on Waco investigation
Figures includes furniture but not re-enactment cost. (photos) (links)

Decency, values will serve Danforth well, friends say
John C. Danforth is not a savvy trial lawyer, or a seasoned prosecutor, or a clever appellate attorney, or a wily investigator.  (photos) (links)

More on the investigation team
Find out additional information about who helped Danforth investigate Waco.

The Issues
Here is the evidence known so far in four key areas of special counsel Danforth's Waco investigation
Following is key evidence in the Branch Davidian case that has emerged on four questions under investigation by special counsel John C. Danforth. It is based on recently released depositions of government agents, recent court filings and interviews with lawyers and investigators:  (photos)

Military advisers gave officers equipment and expertise. But did they go too far?
Attorney General Janet Reno appointed former Sen. John C. Danforth to head an independent investigation of Waco that addresses four questions:  (photos) (links)

In the war on drugs, lawmakers have widened the military's power to police American citizens
The military's role in the siege of the Branch Davidians was no aberration -- it was government policy.  (links)

The lawsuit | Top
Waco trial is over, but Danforth's work remains
A jury has voted to clear the government of wrongdoing in the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidians, but that may not be the nation's final verdict.  (photos) (links)

FBI agent welcomes verdict on Waco siege; filmmaker disputes it
An FBI agent who negotiated with the Branch Davidians during the 1993 standoff near Waco, Texas, said he hoped the jury verdict absolving the government of responsibility for their deaths would begin rebuilding public confidence in law enforcement.

More stories about the lawsuit
Read stories about testimony in the trial held in Texas.

Timeline of Waco events
Key developments in the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, and the investigations that followed:

Other stories | Top
Davidians hope a new church can close wounds
People from all over the country donated money and time to the project in Waco, Texas. (photos) (links)

How we got here | Top
Koresh talked about suicide a month before fire at Waco, tapes indicate
Surveillance recordings could help either side, say two amateur experts. Danforth has questioned both men. (photos) (links)

Waco documentary offers few revelations
Those in the film questioning the FBI's version of events are not radicals, but many allegations have already been discounted.  (photos) (links)

More background on Waco
Learn more about what happened at the Branch Davidian complex

Opinion | Top
Restoring trust
WAS it pure fatigue or a nagging sense of defeat that emanated from Special Counsel John C. Danforth as he announced Friday in St. Louis, with 100 percent certainty, that the government was not responsible for the fiery deaths of approximately 80 Branch Davidians in their compound?  (links)

The end is near
AFTER seven years of suspicion that shook the nation's faith in its justice system, a jury took only 190 minutes to absolve the government of guilt in the 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, which ended in the fiery deaths of some 80 people. (links)

More opinion about Waco
Read more opinion about Waco from the Post-Dispatch.

Outside sources | Top
Preliminary report of the Danforth investigation
Read the findings released by the Waco special counsel on July 21, 2000.

Military reluctantly helped ATF efforts against Branch Davidians, memos from '92-'93 reveal
The military was a reluctant participant in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' efforts against the Branch Davidians, according to memos released under the Freedom of Information Act, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported Saturday.

Waco Watch
A collection of information about the siege, the trial and other Waco-related events.

Official House report on Waco
A lengthy file with the conclusions of the House investigation into the Branch Davidian siege.

Waco: A New Revelation
Former FBI agent Fred Whitehurst narrates this documentary about the deaths at the David Koresh compound.

Texas Rangers Investigative Report
The September 1999 on Branch Davidian evidence

Waco: The Inside Story
An investigation by the PBS show "Frontline."

Waco: The Rules of Engagement
The award-winning documentary on the siege at the Branch Davidian compound.

FBI news releases
Information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation

© 2000 St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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