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Tag: David Koresh

ATF Sniper Recalls News Coverage of Deadly Waco Raid in Texas Two Decades LAter

photo from Wikipedia.org

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One of the first snipers on the scene at the deadly Waco clash in Texas was Wendel Frost, an ATF agent at the time.

Now that he’s retired, Frost, who now lives in Cleveland, can speak openly about the controversial raid in 1993.

Frost said he was frustrated with new coverage that suggested law enforcement went after the Branch Davidian group of its beliefs, the Cleveland Daily Banner wrote.

The truth was, Frost said, the group’s leader, David Koresh, was abusing children and women.

“The thing that actually made us do the high-risk entry was the children,” he told the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club.

ATF to Honor Four Agents Killed During Botched Waco Raid on 20th Anniversary

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Four ATF agents who were killed during the botched raid on the Branch Davidians compound near Waco, Texas, will be honored during a private ceremony today – the 20th anniversary of the raid, the Associated Press reports.

Killed during the Feb. 28, 1993, gun battle were agents Conway LeBleu, Todd McKeehan, Robert John Williams and Steven Willis. 

Agents suspected the religious group of stockpiling weapons.

Six Davidian members also died.

Column: The History of April 19th: American Revolution, Waco, Oklahoma Bombing

Greg Stejskal, a columnist for ticklethewire.com. , was an  FBI agent for 31 years before retiring as resident agent in charge of the Ann Arbor, Mi. office. He was one of the FBI SWAT team leaders who searched the Michigan farm of James Nichols, brother of convicted Oklahoma bomber Terry Nichols, in 1995 after the bombing.
Greg Stejskal

Greg Stejskal

By Greg Stejskal

Listen my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy Five….

Longfellow’s poem forever immortalized Paul Revere’s ride. What the poem does not say is that Revere’s mission that night was to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British soldiers were coming to Lexington to arrest them.

It was after midnight, April 19th, when Revere arrived in Lexington and warned Adams and Hancock. Revere also aroused the country side, and that morning the “Minute Men” met the British regulars on Lexington green. No one knows who fired the first shot- “the shot heard around the world”. But on that morning, April 19, 1775, the American Revolution began.

In a perverse twist of fate, on April 19, 1993, it is the 51st day of a siege at the Branch Davidian compound, also known as Mt Carmel, outside of Waco, Texas. It is to be the last day of the siege, a culmination of a series of bad decisions and missed opportunities.

waco-branch-davidians

The siege began on February 28th. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) had gone to the Davidian compound to execute search warrants. The warrants were based on affidavits stating the Davidians possessed certain illegal weapons to include fully automatic weapons and components to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic. Some of the Davidians were known to have a propensity for violence including their leader, David Koresh, who had changed his name from Vernon Howell.

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“One of a Kind” James Cavanaugh –Head of ATF’s Nashville Office — Retires

James Cavanaugh/photo by atf's carolyn wallace

James Cavanaugh/photo by atf's carolyn wallace

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

During his colorful career with ATF, which spanned more than three decades, James Cavanaugh found himself in the thick of some of nation’s biggest cases: The D.C. sniper murders, the Unabomber, white supremacist Eric Rudolph, church burnings and the deadly shootout at the Branch Davidian in Waco, Tex. involving leader David Koresh.

“Ninety-nine percent of him thought he was David Koresh, but the 1 percent of him really knew he was Vernon Wayne Howell, just a two-bit thug from the country in Texas,” said Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the ATF Nashville office, commenting on Koresh during a lengthy interview in October 2009 with ticklethewire.com. He was one of the negotiators during the standoff.

On Wednesday, Cavanaugh, a New Jersey native who kept his Jersey street sense about him while acquiring a Southern charm during his many years working in the south, retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after 33 1/2 years. He’s reached the mandatory retirement age of 57.

His retirement party is Thursday night in Nashville where he headed the ATF office for 12 years.

“Jim is one of a kind, all the way from this ability to do the job, to his passion for the mission and his professionalism,” said Mark Potter, special agent in charge of the ATF Philadelphia office. “He’ll create a huge void in the organization.”

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