Visiting the Branch Davidian compound

Work brought me to Texas in April 2002, but morbid curiosity brought me to Waco. I found a story by Dan Tobias about the Branch Davidian compound and its remains. Following his directions, I found my way to the site and later emailed Dan with the changes I found since he last visited.

My email to him is included in the body of this story, but I recommend you read Dan’s story about the Branch Davidians first.

Dan,

I was in Texas in late April, and spent some time very near Waco. Like you, I found it hard not to go look. When I went looking for directions, I found your web site. Yours is unique in that you don’t sound like a freak, but you may know that. Feel free to add my news to your story, if you’d like, but please don’t reveal my email address.

I somehow forgot my camera that day, so I don’t have any pictures, but I can update you on some of the changes since your stories.

A new worship hall has been built. It’s fairly large and sits next the old swimming pool. The swimming pool looks more definitely like a pool now, but it’s still half-filled with dirt. When I arrived there, the compound looked empty, but I found a child, perhaps eight years old, fishing in the pool. He didn’t react to my presence in any way, and there seemed to be nobody else around. It was rather spooky for a moment. Then I asked him if he caught many fish, to which he said he hooked “minnows…and other small stuff.”

The trees planted as a memorial for the dead (just visible in one of your pictures — dav2.gif ), have grown much larger, and oddly, they may start to suffocate each other soon. It’s sort of a really ironic, slow-motion performance art installation.

A motorcycle stands to the side of those trees. It appears to have been there a while. Could it have been Koresh’s?

The burned-out bus remains, but the tub has been removed.

A note about the directions: it’s much simpler to take I-35 North to the Loop 340 exit (FM2491 is about a two miles East of that exit), than to take the Lake Brazos/Martin Luther King exit. I don’t know why the tourist center’s brochure would make it difficult and lead visitors around like that. Hmmm….

14 thoughts on “Visiting the Branch Davidian compound

  1. Do you have any info on David Koresh or the Branch Davidians? I am writting a report and I really need the info. Thank You.

  2. I have driven 406.5 miles today starting in Allen, Texas. I visited the Branch Dividian site today after visiting Ft. Hood where i was stationed some 18 years ago. I just had to stop by the compound located on DOUBLE EE Ranch Rd. some 10 miles east of WACO. When I was there taking many pictures two other cars (onlookers) stopped by also. One of them was nice enough to take my picture in front of the now locked gate. There were a couple of ‘Dividians’ standing outside of their new church. They were not friendly and I was not sure i wasn’t going to be show. What a strange happening. I am glad I have pictures. I really don’t want to go back there….Boston I love you…. I will be home in 5 days… thank God. Email me back bro..

  3. I lived in Riesel when all this took place, i was only in first grade then but i knew something terrible happend even if i wasn’t old enough to fully understand. Now almost 19, we have moved, but when we go back to visit we always make a stop at the compound with friends who have never been there. The day before the FBI came my family and i drove by, i remember seeing a group of kids wearing jackets throwing a football around in the front yard. My mom met David Koresh once at a little grocery store called sams that was in Riesel, she said he was very polite and gentlemen like.I don’t feel anyone was wrong or right but i am sad the way things happend, to think that all those little children died some not even born yet. angie*

  4. january 3 2007 made my first visit to the branch devidian compound. It was very hard to get instructions , however , I found it just an old man on a tractor mowing , I gave him som money. Took my grandsons ages 6 and 9 on tour with me . Seven friendly goats were loose on the property, they sort of took us on tour around the remains. These goats were unusual in that they were white with goldish red hair on their heads. There are no trees and I heard they or someone removed them and Davids monument , I didnt fine either. I am so sorry for what our government and especially Janet Reno did.

  5. Pingback: tagryn: Mount Carmel, TX

  6. 7-15-07 went to mt carmel what a beautifull place..its a shame all those people were killed..i met one of the devidians..at least i think he was one..what a nice man..iam not into religion and realy dont understand david koresh or his beliefs..but i do know one thing the united states government does a good job of killing people..look at iraq.. president bush..he is a mass murderer.and he deserves to be noosed just like sadam was..as far as iam concerned everyone in the united states government should be taken to the gallows..and burnt in hell..may everyone who parished at mt carmel may they rest in peace

  7. I visited Mt. Carmel just a few days ago. There really isn’t much to see. You pull in and they have a large stone like sign in front that says Mt. Carmel on it. Then you see a Doublewide with a family in it. As you are pulling in there is a circle of Head stones (little memorials) I payed close attention to the number of children there were. As you travel down the drive you come to the newly erected church they have built. Past that is the pool that you all mention although it didn’t look as though people actually swam in it. Past that is more doublewides and Families. I did not see any bus or Motorcycle or anything else of that nature.

  8. Carl Christensen, people like you are the reason we have laws in this (and every other) country. With all the hatred in you and your total disrespect for our country, our people and our laws, you are a danger to our society and to the people who make up our society. David Koresh harbored the kind of hatred that you have in you. He lived in this country but he hated it. He hated its people. He hated its laws. He hated the whole concept of law so much that rather than submit to the laws of this great land, he chose to murder all those men, women and children in his compound. If there is a Hell, you are sliding rapidly toward it and Koresh is surely waiting to invite you in. I hope some day you need a policeman or a soldier to protect you and there is no one there to help you.

  9. I moved from ky and as we passed through waco, tx all my mind could do is think about all the people that lost thier life in this town… I am somehow bwwn drawn to this place and am planing a visit soon to the compound…wound what it will feel like to stand in the place were there had once had so many human lives there to end so badly…Just a few thought I thought to share…Thnak you for you dirc. to the site…

  10. #
    Iceman
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Carl Christensen, people like you are the reason we have laws in this (and every other) country. With all the hatred in you and your total disrespect for our country, our people and our laws, you are a danger to our society and to the people who make up our society. David Koresh harbored the kind of hatred that you have in you. He lived in this country but he hated it. He hated its people. He hated its laws. He hated the whole concept of law so much that rather than submit to the laws of this great land, he chose to murder all those men, women and children in his compound. If there is a Hell, you are sliding rapidly toward it and Koresh is surely waiting to invite you in. I hope some day you need a policeman or a soldier to protect you and there is no one there to help you.

    Iceman, You remind me of the Nazis and Gestapo in Germany. Remember, Saddam Hussein was given a trail. If Bush is also found to be a war criminal, he should be given a fair trial, like Saddam Hussein was given in Iraq. In Texas, where they put more people to death, than any other State in the Union, they give them all a trial. Only in Waco, Texas did the government make a gross error. The United Nations and Nato should have been allowed to do an independent investigation, just like they did in the Balkans and in Europe after WWII. But remember, Bill Clinton was President and Janet Reno was the Attorney, so be fair to President Bush, he was only Governor of Texas at the time, and not yet President. Strange how you assume just because people question the character, ethics, morality, heart and soul and intentions of people, you say they hate America and its people. I would say the opposite. People who question authority and abuses by those in Power LOVE AMERICA. America is a land of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Any person, or persons, or state which takes the Life of any American Constitution (outside of treason and sedition in times of war), hates America. The Death Penaly is Un-American and it was found to be Cruel and Unusual Punishment, more like the Nazis, Gestapo, Former KGB (no longer in Russia after Peristroika), Imperial Japanese, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, … Notice the countries which also have the Death Penalty. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand and even Turkey have all gotten rid of the death penalty.

    The Waco Texas Massacre was one of the worse abuses of power by the American and Texas authorities in the USA. A decorated Gulf Veteran, after seeing the murder of women, men and children in Iraq and the lies which were told, then seeing the same thing happen in Waco Texas, decided he needed to take action. He targeted those who he felt were responsible for the murder of those women and children. Right or wrong, he acted. Since he acted the government has not murdered women and children.

    Similarly after Al Kaida attached the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, President Bush attacked those who he thought were responsible, killing innocent men, women and children in Iraq, for actions taken by other. Revenge blinds people. Revenge blinded those responsible for Oklahoma City, and revenge blinded Bush Sr (Gulf1) and Bush Jr (Gulf2).

    If they had been practicing Born Again Christians, they would have realized, God’s Word: REVENGE IS MINE! (God’s, not those who took out the Oklahoma City Federal Building harboring FBI agents, … responsible for the Waco Texas Massacre (?? and not President Bush Sr. for the invasion of Kuwait and not President Bush Jr. for … It still not clear why Bush Jr. went into Iraq, since THEY WERE NOT IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE OR RELATED TO SEPTEMBER 11 and there were also NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN IRAQ). So those who question abuses of power by the authorities in the Federal, State and Local governments and agencies LOVE American and its People. They want to prevent the Nazis and Gestapo from coming to Power in the USA.

    With the kidnapping of over 400 children in Texas in 2008, it appears that the authorities in Texas are again in gross error. But to be fair to them, it is much better than the Waco Texas massacre of the many men, women and children. And hopefully with the PUBLIC OUTCRY by Americans, French, Russians, Germans, Jews, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, … the authorities in Texas will release the hostages they have Stolen from God fearing and loving people in Texas, American Citizens, like the Branch Dividians in Waco, Texas which were massacred by the FBI and Texas authorities. The United Nations and NATO were never able to do an independent and unbiased investigation as they did in the Balkans and Europe.

    Final message: Revenge is God’s and not the right of the people of Texas and the USA (who usurp God’s right and pay God). Remember the Jews did the same when they asked for the Crucification of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary!

    • Man of God… Giving yourself a title like that requires a great deal of responsibility. While I feel my time would be wasted trying to change your perspective, and people with your particular qualities are usually not open to an education given that you feel you know God’s intentions and have a firm grasp on your morality… it seems you would benefit from actually READING God’s word. I can almost guarantee that you are not one who reads the Bible in its entirety, but only takes the parts you find useful in arguments to commit to your memory. I grew up in West, TX just minutes down the road from the compound. I knew people who were sucked into the evil lies that David poured on them. There were people who were inherently good, but were so naive in nature that they literally took DAVID’s word as gospel. You are a fool to blame our government for what happened that day. You obviously don’t realize that each and every person who died that day CHOSE to die. They believed that if they died in loyalty to David, they would be with Christ in Heaven that day. They believed that David WAS Christ, and they chose to die rather than adhere to our laws.

      I am a gun carrying Texan, and I don’t believe the government has the right to take any firearm away from me in my own home. I also bear the right to carry my handgun on my person in public, and do so under our government’s laws. One thing that you need to understand is that if you follow God’s truth, then you adhere to the laws of the land, no matter how wrong they are. I don’t like the direction our country is going. I don’t like our president or his falsified background, educational records, or heritage. I don’t care for the enormous role our government is trying to take on in our private lives. HOWEVER, the day you declare that you will become an outlaw, form an army, or create a force so strong it instills fear in the people around you and infringes on their rights… you become just like David, or Tim McVeigh…. who ironically said some of the exact same things that you do. So, if the government is paying attention to this site… you might want to keep an eye on this so called “Man of God” and his loud mouth. It appears he shows the same patterns of behavior as a few other terrorists in history who take small pieces of truth from the past, weave them together into a story of their own making, and deduct a verdict of judgement on the government justified by their so-called greater moral purpose… only to act in extreme evil.

  11. (Hello God Bless you in Jesus Christ name of Nazareth we are faithfuly and truly destroying the world banks I am St.Reverend Holy Seneca Lambrone Lee a Revelation Revlutionary extreme wittiness see Revelation 11:1-19 Destroying those who destroy the earth I promise !!)

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