New episodes come out every Tuesday for free, with 1-week early access for Wondery+ subscribers.
Every scandal begins with a lie. But the truth will come out. And then comes the fallout and the outrage.
Scandals have shaped America since its founding. From business and politics to sports and society, we look on aghast as corruption, deceit and ambition bring down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls. And when the dust finally settles, we’re left to wonder: how did this happen? Where did they trip up, and who is to blame? From the creators of American History Tellers, Business Wars and Tides of History comes American Scandal, where we take you deep into the heart of America’s dark side to look at what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they’re caught. Hosted by Lindsay Graham.
Tue, 21 Jun 2022 07:01
The federal government prepares for a raid at Mount Carmel. But a chance encounter eliminates the element of surprise—and sets the course for a massive battle between federal forces and David Koresh's community.
Please support us by supporting our sponsors!
Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/americanscandal.
Looking for the DuPont Chemical Cover-up season? We had to unpublish the DuPont series for the time being but hope to release these episodes in a new season in the near future. We apologize for the inconvenience.
To listen to American scandal one week early and add free, join Wondry Plus in the Wondry app. Download the Wondry app in your Apple or Google Play mobile app store today. This is a special encore presentation of our series on the standoff in Waco, Texas, which originally aired in 2020. It's an investigation of a shocking story that sparked a national debate about religious freedom and the power of the federal government. We hope you enjoy. A listener note, this episode contains references to adult content and language and contains material that some might find offensive. It's early evening on February 13, 1993, and in downtown Waco, Texas, a Denny's diner shines bright against the winter sky. The glass front door opens and into the diner steps David Tibido. He squints his eyes adjusting to the bright light. Tibido holds the door for his friend, Steve Schneider. After Schneider comes a thin man with oversized glasses and curly brown hair. He's their spiritual leader, David Kuresh. Kuresh has insisted that tonight they should all go out for dinner. It's a special occasion, Tibido's 24th birthday, and so it's time to celebrate Kuresh said. Once inside the restaurant, a cheery young host discrepanied them. She leads them to a table, and as they follow her, Tibido gazes across the restaurant. He listens to the uptempo music blaring through the speakers, and quickly he feels a strange sensation come over him. He feels almost physically uncomfortable. For months, he's felt trapped in a small enclosed world. He's been consumed by the looming threat of a government attack. Undercover agents have moved in across the road from Mount Carmel. Each day, helicopters roar overhead, and the local newspaper keeps calling, asking for a comment on an upcoming series about his community. It's an odd time then to visit Denny's for a birthday party, but Tibido guesses it's easier to stay calm when you know that all the challenges are part of God's plan. Tibido, Schneider, and Kuresh grab a booth, and they sit in silence while browsing the menus. Tibido can't help but smile as he gazes at all the colorful pictures, bacon, pancakes, burgers. He almost can't believe his options. It's a far cry from the oatmeal that he eats every morning at Mount Carmel. The waitress arrives and asks Tibido for his order. He hesitates, looks to Kuresh. Kuresh nods. He then tells Tibido he can order whatever he wants. So Tibido asks for a stack of buttermilk pancakes. Kuresh orders fried eggs with toast. Schneider follows suit. With their orders placed, the three men stare at each other. It's hard to think of topics for conversation these days. Schneider though is the first to break the silence. So what do you think of those guys across the road? What are they waiting for? I can't take any more of that robber guy snooping around. Whatever he's planning, you should just get it over with. Kuresh stays eerily calm. These days he only gets fired up when he's preaching. Relax, Steve. We'll be ready when our enemies come. It's Tibido's birthday. Let's just have a meal. Tibido looks around the dining area. He sees families with sleepy eyed children, teens on awkward dates. None of them have any conviction, Tibido, thanks. And that makes him feel righteous. You've been angry. Why don't care what happens? I don't care if we go to jail or die. Kuresh locks eyes with Tibido. And why is that? Because none of that matters. Cops, jails, prison, death, none of it. As long as we stick together for our faith, we're doing what's right. The words hang in the air. Josh smiles calmly and lays a hand on Tibido's shoulder. Very good. You spoke right. We're in this together. As Tibido sits back, he's surprised by his own commitment. He's just learned something about himself. That the thought of being left out is even more frightening than the thought of death. Just then he hears the opening lines of Happy Birthday. He looks up and sees a family singing in a nearby table. A grandmother sits in front of a cake. Her face is beaming with contentment and glowing in front of the candles. For a moment, Tibido gets lost in a fantasy. He imagines himself celebrating his birthday at that age, surrounded by a real family. And he shakes his head. All those potential decades of life are soon taken from him. But his family, his spiritual family, they will endure any hardship and outlast even death. American scandals sponsored by Sachi Art. I'm lucky. Not only is my wife beautiful, funny and smart, she also has great taste that matches mine, which has made decorating our home together a delight. But how do we go about finding the art for our home? Well we agree on that too. Sachi Art. They have art works from thousands of emerging artists around the globe in all styles, so you're guaranteed to find art that fits your style, space, and budget. Their view your room feature lets you visualize the art on your walls. And my advisor, Satin, was instrumental in finding our newest piece. Get 15% off your first order with promo code podcast. Just go to SachiArt.com and enter code podcast at checkout. Find art you love today. Lots of people don't know it, but autumn is an ideal time to plant. Shorter days and cooler nights create ideal conditions for the plants to get established. If you're looking to spruce up your home, proven winners color choice shrubs has an amazing selection of flowering shrubs and evergreens for planting in gardens and landscapes. With around 320 different proprietary varieties, including classics, limelight, hydrangea, and little Henry sweet spire, all of their shrubs are trialed and tested for 8 to 10 years to ensure they outperform anything else on the market. Look for proven winners color choice shrubs in the distinctive white containers at your local garden center. Learn more and find a local retailer at provenwinnerscolorchoice.com slash wandering. This proven winners color choice dot com slash wandering. From wandering I'm Lindsey Graham and this is American Skin. For years the branched dividends went unnoticed by the federal government, but in the early 1990s the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms began investigating the group. The evidence was highly concerning and suggested that David Kuresh was amassing an arsenal of illegal explosives and guns. Kuresh it seemed was preparing for Armageddon. The ATF started planning a raid in which they would seize the weapon stockpiled at Mount Carmel. They would also take David Kuresh into custody, but such an attack would fulfill Kuresh's long held prophecy that he and his group were destined to face off against the government. This is episode 4, The Raid. Its February 27th, 1993. ATF Special Agent Bill Buford looks across a vast training area where a group of agents run yet another series of drills. The group is training today at Fort Hood, an Army base in Central Texas. They've been training here for two days straight ever since the news came in. A judge reviewed Agent Davey Aguilair's Apha David and issued two warrants. One was for the search of Mount Carmel, the other for the arrest of David Kuresh. The federal raid is now officially on. Today Buford is wearing a black baseball cap and a black vest. He carries himself like the former Green Beret that he is. He's been with the ATF for years, and he's here now with a team from New Orleans, helping to lead the Waco operations. Buford knows that this will be a complicated and difficult mission. Buford Kuresh's arsenal is formidable to say the least. On the day of the raid, the ATF will have to surprise the community at Mount Carmel. That shouldn't be a problem. They have a solid plan in place, but Buford is still worried for his people's safety. Buford approaches a maroon and white pickup truck. He's impressed with what the Bureau has put together. It's kind of a Trojan horse. This along with another pickup will look right at home on any ranch in Texas. Buford will tow a cattle trailer, covered by tarps and bungee cords, except tomorrow their cargo won't be cattle. Each trailer will contain 35 federal agents, armed and ready to go. Buford knows that once Kuresh sees this show of force, he'll be a fool to try and resist it. Buford reviews the plan again in his mind. First, an advanced team of snipers will position themselves around the property. Then the cattle trailers will arrive. A squad of ATF agents will approach the compound door. They'll deliver the warrants and attempt to take Kuresh into custody. Buford and the New Orleans team have a specific role. They're going to carry aluminum ladders and charge forward at Mount Carmel. They'll use the ladders to gain entry to a second floor window. That window leads to David Kuresh's bedroom. Buford's team will secure the room and a nearby gun room. Buford orders his team to run through the scenario again. They have less than 12 hours to go before the raid. And tomorrow morning, everything must be perfect. It's just past 8 in the morning on February 28, 1993. David Jones drives down a rutted back road in his yellow Buick. The words, US Postal Service, or emblazoned on the side of the car. Jones is David Kuresh's brother in law and works as a local male carrier. Sunday is his day off, and right now he's returning from an errand in town. But as he heads down the empty road, he spots a Chevy Blazer. It's parked on the side of the road and bears the logo of a Waco TV station. A man stands beside it and looks over a large road map. Seems lost. So Jones pulls over hoping he can help the man find his way. Jones approaches the man, but the man steps back, startled. He takes a look at Jones Buick and asks if he's really a male man. When says it is, the man seems to calm down. He explains that he's a cameraman for the TV news and is trying to find a place called Mount Carmel Center. Right away, the hair on Jones next sticks up. His mind begins to race. What does the media want with Mount Carmel, he wonders? If Kuresh was expecting a news crew, Jones would have heard about it. He's just about to ask what's going on when he sees the newsman staring past him at the road, his eyes wide. Jones turns to see a white suburban zoom past. He catches a glimpse of the passengers, all of them, are wearing combat helmets and black bulletproof vests. Jones mind races. A TV news truck, men in full combat gear, he can only mean one thing. The day Kuresh prophesies his come, Mount Carmel is about to be attacked by government forces. Without another word to the cameraman, he jumps back into his Buick and pulls away. He has to get back to Mount Carmel and warn David Kuresh. Inside Mount Carmel, David Kuresh sits in the entrance hall, his Bible open on his lap. A group of followers are seated in a half circle around him waiting to hear today's lessons. And they've just been joined by a burly man with thick black hair, it's their new neighbor, the government agent who calls himself Robert. Kuresh doesn't know who exactly Robert works for, but every time Robert asks to visit, Kuresh says yes. He figures it's the best way to discover what the government is up to. He even hopes he might convert Robert to his message. This morning, Robert had a new excuse for visiting. He said he wanted to bring over a copy of the Waco Harrel Tribune. Kuresh only glanced at the headline which referred to him as the sinful Messiah, then he quickly set the paper aside. He knew it was just another round of hurtful lies from his former lieutenant, Mark Bro. He turns his attention away from the paper and towards his preaching. His followers gaze up at him, awaiting God's message, but Robert's eyes dart around the room looking anywhere but at Kuresh. Just then the front door of Mount Carmel shoots open. Kuresh turns and sees his brother in law, David Jones. Jones is flushed and looks panicked. He's about to speak, then he notices Robert. It closes his mouth abruptly and hurries into the back room. Kuresh frowns, something's up. A moment later, Kuresh hears Jones calling his name, saying that there's a telephone call from England. Kuresh excuses himself from the group. Kuresh walks quickly to the telephone room. As soon as the door closes, Jones begins talking rapidly. He tells Kuresh everything he's seen, the TV news van, the combat soldiers. He says the media must be here to film a government attack. It's happening, they're coming from Mount Carmel. Kuresh lets the words sink in and he feels his body begin to shake. He's been waiting for this day for so long. It was eight years ago that the Lord spoke to him on Mount Zion and revealed his plan for the end of days. But now that that day is here, Kuresh finds himself filled with nothing but cold anger. Anger that the government would try to strike him and his people down. Kuresh is the leader at the undercover agent, Robert, who's helping to bring all this about and is outside this room right now. Kuresh strides back into the entrance hall. It's time to confront Robert. In the hall, Kuresh tells Robert that he knows they're coming, but they'll never get him. Robert acts sheepish. It says he doesn't know what Kuresh is talking about, but Kuresh can clearly see that he's shaken. And so he looks directly at Robert and issues a warning. It's up to you now, Robert. Kuresh says. The agent's eyes widen. He makes a feeble excuse and says he needs to go get breakfast and quickly leaves. Kuresh stands at the people watching Robert hurry to his truck. The agent jumps in and drives toward the neighboring house. As it speeds down the dirt road, it kicks up a cloud of dust. Kuresh turns from the door. His followers all have their heads down in prayer. Some are trembling, others as rigid as stone. Then Kuresh begins shouting. He says the forces of Babylon are coming. Everyone must get ready. Kuresh runs into the chapel and finds one of his wives. He tells her to gather the children and hurry upstairs. The walls up there are reinforced with concrete. Then he heads to the gun room and grabs his AK47. A number of the young men file in behind him and take up their weapons. Kuresh can tell they look scared. Like children, finally learning some terrible truth. He knows that right now what they need is a leader. That's what he'll be. Kuresh barks at them to take positions at the windows. They shouldn't fire until he gives the order. He wants to talk with the authorities when they arrive. Maybe it's all a big misunderstanding. If so, Kuresh can reason with them. But there's another possibility. Today could be the prophesized day when the earthly powers come to attack God's people. And if that's the case, Kuresh is ready to fight. Besides his truck, ATF agent Robert Rodriguez clutches the steering wheel. He steps his foot on the gas pedal. The pickup goes faster and faster. He has to hurry. A single thought loops in his head. David Kuresh knows. He knows the rate is happening. Rodriguez flashes his headlights rapidly as he pulls into the driveway of the surveillance house. He hopes the agents inside are picking up on his emergency signals. They need to call off the raid and they need to do it now. The ATF troops will arrive at Kuresh's front door within the hour. If they lose the element of surprise, they will be targets in Mount Carmel's shooting gallery. Rodriguez bursts through the front door. He sees the agents in the house startle and turn toward the noise. They stare at him in apparent confusion. Kuresh knows we're coming. We've got to call off the raid. Rodriguez races to the rear of the house and grabs the telephone. He dials his superior Chuck Saribin at the ATF command center. Rodriguez holds the phone to his ear and glances at the surveillance monitors. Mount Carmel looks strangely calm as if the community is bracing for a tornado. This is Saribin. Chuck it's Robert. Look, they know. They know the rate is coming. A board. I repeat, a board. Whoa, hold on Robert. Kuresh is a top priority. We can't just call off the mission. There are protocols. No, what? This is the protocol. My assignment was to take a last look around and make sure everything was okay. And it's not okay. Call it off. Slow down, Robert. The odds guys have a checklist and we have to follow it. A checklist. You need to listen and right now this is serious. I hear you, Robert, but I need to follow protocol. Beat a sweat, trips down Rodriguez's forehead. He wants to scream, but he knows that won't get him anywhere. Fine, go on. Okay, first question. Did you see any weapons? No, negative, but trust me, they'll be locked and loaded by now. Okay, negative on weapons. Next, was there a call to arms? Why would they do that while I was still there? I'm telling you, they know who I am. Got it, negative. Did you see them make any preparations? Their entire lives are preparations. Karesha has been preaching about a government attack for years. Last question, Robert. What were they doing when you left? They were praying. There's a brief silence at the other end of the line. Right. Praying. Well, that's the checklist. We'll take all of this into consideration. When Rodriguez slams the phone back onto the receiver, he knows he needs to move fast. He runs back out to his truck, crouching low. The engine roars to life and he speeds away, kicking up dust as he races toward the ATF command center. The commanders will soon be boarding helicopters to get a bird's eye view of the raid. Rodriguez knows exactly what will happen if he fails to stop them. He can see it as clear as day. David Karesha standing at a window with an assault rifle, waiting for the agents to step foot in his yard. Rodriguez arrives at the airport hangar where the ATF has set up its command center. But as he pulls in his stomach sinks, the tarmac is empty. He scans the horizon. He spots three National Guard helicopters all flying away in tight formation toward Mount Carmel. The sound of the roaders grows more and more distant until it fades to silence. Rodriguez slams his fist on the steering wheel. He's too late. But if your family was the victim of a home invasion, or you woke up in the morgue, or you were seriously injured, miles from help, what would you do? This is actually happening. Ask our listeners this very question while we bring you captivating real life stories of trauma and perseverance. This is actually happening brings listeners extraordinary true stories from the people who lived them. You'll hear stories about conflict, turmoil, or threats that dramatically alter the course of someone's life. Each episode is an exploration of the human spirit and how survivors manage to overcome hardship and move on with their lives, even thriving afterward. The new season of this is actually happening is available ad free only with Wondry Plus. And if this new season isn't enough, you can listen to more than 120 exclusive episodes available only to Wondry Plus subscribers. Join Wondry Plus on Apple Podcasts or on the Wondry app. If you're into true crime, the Generation Y podcast is essential listening. We started this podcast over 10 years ago to dissect some of the craziest and most notable murders, crimes, and conspiracy theories together, and we'd love for you to join us. Generation Y is one of the longest running true crime podcasts out there, and we are still at it, unraveling a new case every week. We break down infamous cases like the Evil Genius Bank robbery, and lesser known cases like the case of Kimberly Rico. Did she actually kill her husband after they took part in a murder mystery game? We cover every angle, breaking down theories, diving deep into forensic evidence, and interviewing those close to the case. And with over 450 episodes, there's a little something for every true crime listener. Follow the Generation Y podcast on Amazon Music or every listen to podcasts, or you can listen ad free by joining Wondry Plus in the Wondry app. It's February 28, 1993, and at 9.45 am, a black helicopter swoops down over Mount Carmel. Inside the helicopter, Davey Aguilera just his headset appears down from a rear window. The pile is flying low enough that Aguilera can now see the grasses whipping beneath them, his heart pounds fast and his palms are sweaty. The helicopter then shoots over the gray roof of the property and banks around. At the same time, Aguilera sees two cattle trailers screech to a halt in the front yard. ATF agents stream out of the trailers and charge at the front door with their guns drawn. Aguilera wishes he could get a closer view. This is the moment he's been working towards for nine long months. He built the legal case for this raid. He secured the warrants, and now, in a matter of minutes, he'll get to see Davey and Kuresh taken into custody. Looking down, he catches a glimpse of two figures at Mount Carmel's open door. Neither appears to be armed. Aguilera watches the federal agents race forward. He can imagine them shouting at Kuresh, ordering him to get down. Hopefully, Kuresh will surrender without a fight. The helicopter drifts around the building, and for a moment, Aguilera loses his view of the front door. He cranes his neck and frustration, trying to see what's happening. The helicopter bank sharply, and Aguilera regains his view of the property. But now, Mount Carmel's double doors are closed, and ATF troops are firing into it. Time feels like it's slowing down. Aguilera looks across the property. Agents are sprawled out on the ground. They look injured. Aguilera feels woozy, and his eyes search the yard and vein, looking for Kuresh. But there's no sign of him. Just then, Aguilera notices movement on the roof. It's a group of ATF agents that crouch low and approaching a second story window. It's a critical target. If they can break the window, it should be able to enter Kuresh's bedroom and secure the main gun room. But then Aguilera sees something in his stomach lurches. On the roof, an agent reels backwards, and slumps. Another is hit, and falls on top of the first. Aguilera yells out, no, and slams his hand against the window. He's shaking, trying somehow to reach down and protect his fallen agents. Right then, there's a loud clang. It echoes through the helicopter and the pilot's voice comes on the radio. They've been hit. They need to land immediately. The helicopter pulls away from the building and drops toward an open field. As it descends, Aguilera goes numb. For a moment, he can't see, feel, or hear anything. All that's left is a quiet voice inside him asking, how could this be happening? How did everything go so wrong? So quickly. Inside Mount Carmel, a storm of bullets pierces the front door of the compound. David Kuresh staggers back. He hears a strangle cry behind him. As Perry jones, his wife Rachel's father. He must have been hit, thinks Kuresh. Perry had joined Kuresh at the door to help negotiate. Her plan was to try to talk to the agents to understand their intentions. But when Kuresh opened the door, he saw men in flat jackets racing toward him from every direction and their weapons were drawn. They were shouting, saying something he couldn't understand. He was overwhelmed and so Kuresh quickly slammed the door in their faces. Now, a couple of Kuresh's followers race in and lift Perry, taking him away. But Kuresh can also hear shouts and sharp cries coming from outside the door. His men must have opened fire on the agents. Kuresh is so much uglier than Kuresh had ever imagined. He tried to warn his followers that this day would be terrible, that they'd pay a huge price before reaping their final reward. But now that the moment has come, Kuresh is not only angry, he's deeply hurt. Why would these government forces come to destroy him rather than embrace his message of salvation? Kuresh hears more gunfire overhead. There's glass breaking, boards splintering, rays of dusty light enter the compound pouring in through the bullet holes in the front door. Kuresh knows he has to get out of the entryway. Clutching his AK47, Kuresh races through the empty chapel and up the stairs. He stops and stands there breathing hard. That's when he sees them. Government men, leaping out from behind a pile of old furniture, their weapons are raised. And Kuresh suddenly feels himself spun around, as if a giant man had kicked him full force in the side. The searing pain shoots up through his left hip, then his back, a crumple stood the ground. Kuresh looks down, he's bleeding everywhere. Kuresh hears more rounds echoing through the gymnasium and then gunfire in response. He's not sure what's happening, but he prays that it's his men firing back. One thing is certain though, he has to escape these agents. Kuresh summons his strength and begins crawling arm over arm toward the hallway. On the first floor of Mt. Carmel, Wayne Martin paces back and forth inside his office. The phone is pressed so hard to his ear that it's beginning to sting. As he paces, he casts a bitter glance at the Harvard Law School diploma framed on his office wall. The ATF didn't show up to talk with the resident lawyer he thinks. They came ready to kill, winnin and children. Martin dialed 911, and now he's on the phone with Lieutenant Larry Lynch from the county's Sheriff Department. They've been talking for almost 40 minutes with Martin demanding that the government agents hold their fire and retreat. For Martin, nothing could be more urgent, his wife and seven children are inside Mt. Carmel, and he knows he must get the government to stop shooting. Deputy, what's taking so long? Why can't you get the ATF on the line? I'm sorry, Wayne, I told you I'm trying. I said communications with the agents this morning, but they're not responding. We'll figure it out already. I want us. We want to seize fire. Wayne, just stand by, okay? No, it was responding to the damn radio. Martin suddenly feels exhausted. The crawls under the heavy wooden desk trying to protect himself from gunfire. Just then, Deputy Lynch's voice breaks in. Wayne, Wayne, you're still there? I got him on the line. They're talking about a seize fire now, so, so stand by. Tell them if they don't back off, we're going to fight to the last man. I understand, I understand Wayne. Just remain calm. I must calm as they are. Lynch, they're attacking us again. Wayne, wait, listen to me. Stop shooting and they'll stop shooting. The ATF wants to remove their casualties, okay? Yes, they are. Do not call me a liar. They are shooting. I'm not saying you're a liar. Just hang on. We'll get the seize fire. As Martin waits with a phone to his ear, he's filled with sorrow. For years, Kuresh prophesies that the government attack could go one of two ways. If they were all pure enough of spirit, then God would simply bring them to heaven once the battle started. They would be protected from the bullets, and they wouldn't suffer an earthly death. But now it's clear to Martin that he and the other followers have failed Kuresh. They weren't pure enough, disciplined enough, to ascend straight to heaven. Now it seems that their fate is to suffer, both him and his family. But Martin has one final hope. If they can stay true to Kuresh in these last days, they might still find salvation. Hopefully, they can withstand this final test. Inside the Mount Carmel Gymnasium, shots continue to ring out, one after the other. David Kuresh summons a last of his strength, and crawls to a hallway. He's safe for now, but the pain in his hip is dizzying. It strikes him that he's dying, but he feels a wave of peace watch over him. He'll die after doing battle with government forces just as he predicted. Then he will breathe his last breath and ascend to God's kingdom. But first, he has a phone call to make. Kuresh manages to get his cell phone out of his pocket and calls his mother. His breath is labored as he waits through the first ring, and the next. Finally, he hears a click. It's the answering machine. And so with his strength failing, Kuresh leaves a message for his mother. Hello, mama, he says. It's your boy. They shot me, and I'm dying, alright? But I'll be back real soon, okay? I'm sorry that you didn't learn the seven seals of the revelation that I tried to teach you, but I'll be merciful at the last judgment, okay? I'll see you in the skies. After that, Kuresh hangs up to receiver. There is still gunfire all around, and Kuresh takes a breath, waiting for the final moment, and knowing it's only the beginning of eternity. It's late morning on February 28th, 1993. David Tibido emerges from a walk in cooler in the Mount Carmel cafeteria. He doesn't know how long the fighting's been going on. He doesn't know who's dead or who's alive. For what felt like forever, he crouching inside the dark and cooler, trying to protect himself. Now as he steps out, and here's gunfire, he drops to the floor, begins a crawl. Soon he reaches the men's dorm, and that's when he notices that his hands are damp. Something is soaking into his jeans. He looks off and sees that dirty water is pouring through the doorway. The water tanks are just on the other side of the wall. They must have been punctured by gunfire. Tibido pushes aside the curtains that hang across the doorway. Inside, for the first time in his life, he sees a dead body. It's his friend Winston, a man in his late 20s who had come to Mount Carmel from Britain. Tibido's fear evaporates, replaced by bitter sadness and fury. He lets the curtain drop and continues crawling. And that's when he hears shouts of hold your fire coming from the second floor. The words multiply, called out by members of the community. The guns inside go quiet, and he no longer hears the ATF shooting outside either. Finally he reaches his friend Greg, who has a rifle pointed at the window. Tibido stands up cautiously and peeks out. There's an ATF agent lying in the dirt. But his hands are raised behind his head in a position of surrender. Greg shouts at the agent telling him to get up and get away from here. The man looks terrified, but Tibido doesn't feel an ounce of pity. While he feels his rage and sadness for the pain that he and his community have suffered. Minutes pass without a single gunshot. And now that it's safe, Tibido runs to find his wife and her kids. In an upstairs room, he finds mothers and children huddled together. They sit on the floor amid splintered wood and broken glass. The room is quiet with shock. Tibido is relieved to find Michelle and the kids in a corner. Press close to one another. Michelle looks up at him with tears in her eyes. He lays a hand on her shoulder, knowing there's little comfort to give. He thinks back to his birthday dinner at Denny's. That night, he resolved to stand alongside his community to stick with him, no matter what happened. But as he looks around the room, he wonders what the future still holds. For him, for Michelle, the children, anyone still breathing inside the walls amount caramel. Outside the compound, special agent Bill Buford lies in the dirt yard, Mount Carmel. His days with pain and confusion, he's been shot in both legs and the feeling is excruciating. He's sure several of his ribs are broken too. Buford fell off Mount Carmel's roof as he tried to escape the gunfire. His pain might be agonizing, but he knows he'd be dead if it weren't for his fellow agents. One even jumped in front of him and put his bulletproof vest between Buford and the gunfire. But that gunfire has been quiet for a while now. And as Buford lies on the ground, he thinks about the day's events. Nothing went according to plan. And he still doesn't understand why. Somehow Kharash knew they were coming. Buford never would have launched the raid if he knew they'd lost the element of surprise. Buford hears shouts, and a group of ATF agents rushed into the yard. One kneels by Buford's side. He says they need to get Buford loaded onto the hood of a truck. That way they can drive him out of here. There are no stretchers. And that's yet another thing that didn't go as planned. The ATF didn't even have a plan to extract wounded. Why would they, Buford thinks? The day's bloodshed is totally unprecedented in the history of the Bureau. Buford asks about the other members of his new Ornans team. An agent says that, in total, four have died. At least 20 others are wounded and still in the field. Buford goes dizzy. His breath labored. He can barely understand what he's hearing. The agent looks down at him and says that Kharash, the man they came for, is still inside Mount Carmel. Rumors are that he's been shot, but if he survives, there could be a long standoff ahead. Buford groaned with pain as he's lifted onto the hood of a truck. The agent's rap him tightly in a blanket and cradle his neck as the truck inches forward. Now to the corner of his eye, Buford sees a news photographer snap a picture. The truck slowly makes his way to the main road. It's the same road he entered this morning. It was a different time then. When he was certain, this mission would go off without a hitch. Inside the compound at Mount Carmel, David Kharash sits in a hallway. His back is propped against the wall and he looks out the far window. The sun is high in the sky. It's hard to believe there's so much daylight left with all that's happened already. There's a terrible pain in his hip and the wound is seeping blood. He notices his wrist is hurt as well. It doesn't hurt terribly, but he can't feel his thumb. One of the nurses at Mount Carmel put a bandage over the wound on his backside. It was too painful for him to move so she propped him up here using blankets and pillows and his Bible. Kharash told her he didn't want anything for the pain. He's in God's hands now. Kharash hears footsteps and looks up to see Steve Schneider approaching. He stands over Kharash with a look of panic on his face. David. You gathered everything you asked. We did a head count. There are five dead. Kharash feels weak and slow and waves him over gently. It's a town, Steve. Schneider lowers himself against the opposite wall. Sorry, David. It's hard to sit still. Everyone wants to know what's happened. And I don't know what to tell him. You can't leave us yet. Tell me who died, Steve. Schneider hesitates and then lists the dead. Kharash weakly nods his head. David, what are we going to do? I don't know yet. I don't even know why they came to arrest me. Wayne says it's a sealed indictment. They don't have to tell you why they're arresting you until you're in custody. That didn't make any sense, but it doesn't matter now. Steve, we've killed federal agents. What choice did we have? Didn't you see all of them? Yeah, but this can mean only one thing. Kharash picks up his well thumb copy of the Bible, sitting open to the page he's been reading repeatedly. He knows these words by heart, but it's still incredible to see them in this moment. Here he is, living the very story that he predicted. What is it, David? Kharash hands the Bible to Schneider. It's open to the book of Revelation. Steve, we're now living through the fifth seal. I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God. It's all here. The times at hand. The final confrontation between good and evil. Yes, of course, but what happens now? I'm going home to my father. We don't know if there will be another attack, but I do know that the world is going to pay attention after today. If all of us remain strong and united, we can spread our message of salvation. Schneider starts to ask another question, but Kharash has already closed his eyes and exhaustion. After a moment, he hears Schneider's voice saying he'll return soon. Kharash leans back his head, and he remembers his conversations with God. Their talks, going all the way back to childhood. He's done everything the Lord has asked of him. He's built a righteous army. He's born, righteous children. Now the world will hear his message. Pain is agonizing, though, and Kharash can feel his life drifting away. But he smiles, feeling peaceful and adees. As David Kharash knows, what has happened is all part of God's plan. From Wondry, this is episode four of Waco from American Skin. In our next episode, the FBI steps in to take over from the ATF, but a handoff doesn't go smoothly. And as the standoff drags on, the branched Davidian scene opportunity to spread their message to the world. If you like our show, please give us a five star rating and leave a review. And be sure to tell your friends. I also have two other podcasts you might like, American History Tellers and Business Movers. Follow on Apple podcasts, Amazon Music, or wherever you're listening right now. Or you can listen to new episodes early and ad free by subscribing to Wondry Plus in Apple podcasts or in the Wondry app. You'll also find some links and offers from our sponsors in the episode notes. Supporting them helps us keep offering our shows for free. Another way you can support this show is by filling out a small survey at Wondry.com slash survey to tell us what topics we might cover next. You can also find us and me on Twitter. Follow me at Lindsay A. Graham, Lindsay with an A, Middle and Initially. And thank you. If you'd like to learn more about Waco, we recommend the reporting on the story from Reuters and the Washington Post. This episode contains reenactments and dramatized details. And while in most cases we can't know exactly what was said, all our dramatizations are based on historical research. American scandalous hosted, edited and executed produced by me, Lindsay Graham, for airship, audio editing by Molly Bach, sound design by Derek Barons, music by Lindsay Graham. This episode is written by Michael Canyon Meyer, edited by Christina Malsberger. Our senior producer is Gabe Riven. Our producers are Stephanie Gens, Jenny Lauer Beckman, and Marsha Louis for Wondry.