The basis of the celebrated Paramount Network miniseries starring Michael Shannon and Taylor KitschWaco is the critically-acclaimed, first person account of the siege by Branch Davidian survivor, David Thibodeau.
Twenty-five years ago, the FBI staged a deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. Texas. David Thibodeau survived to tell the story.
When he first met the man who called himself David Koresh, David Thibodeau was a drummer in a local a rock band. Though he had never been religious in the slightest, Thibodeau gradually became a follower and moved to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. He remained there until April 19, 1993, when the compound was stormed and burned to the ground after a 51-day standoff with government authorities.
In this compelling accountnow with an updated epilogue that revisits remaining survivorsThibodeau explores why so many people came to believe that Koresh was divinely inspired. We meet the men, women, and children of Mt. Carmel. We get inside the day-to-day life of the community. We also understand Thibodeau's brutally honest assessment of the United States government's actions. The result is a memoir that reads like a thriller, with each page taking us closer to the eventual inferno.
Originally published as A Place Called Waco.
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About the Author
David Thibodeau was born and raised in Maine. He is one of only four Branch Davidians who survived the Waco, Texas massacre who was not sentenced to prison. Over the twenty-five years since, David has lived in Los Angeles, Austin, and currently lives in Bangor, Maine, where he continues his life as a drummer and entrepreneur.
Coauthor Leon Whiteson was a Zimbabwean architect-turned-critic and novelist. He died in 2013 at age 82. Whiteson is survived by his wife - author Aviva Layton - who has written the updated epilogue with David Thibodeau for this new edition.
Aviva Layton earned a BA from Sydney University, an MA from University of Montreal, and a PhD from York University, Toronto. She is the author of a novel, a biography, and several award-winning children's books, and is now a full-time literary editor.
Table of Contents
Prologue: This Could Be the Day That I Die vii
Book I A Sense of Community
1 A Galaxy Far Away 3
2 The Man and the Music 15
3 Coming to the Mountain 23
4 Edging Toward Belief 41
5 Slipping Through the Fence 59
6 The Withering Experience 71
7 Temptations 89
8 On Rape, Abuse, and Guns 103
Book II Prelude to a Holocaust
9 Visions and Omens 129
10 Showtime 151
11 Aftershock 175
12 No Surrender, No Quarter 189
13 Ranch Apocalypse 211
Book III Life as a Survivor
14 "Are You Comin' to Kill Me?" 233
15 Half-Truths and Outright Lies 255
16 Ignorant Questions 265
17 Afterlife 285
18 Climbing the Mountain 301
19 Back to the Future 323
20 The Double Helix 335
Special Thanks and Acknowledgments 353
Appendix: The Mount Carmel Community: The Living and the Dead 357
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I hear the word Waco, I think of a cult compound that was taken by siege from our government and that the leader, David Koresh, was a crazy, power hungry leader. But then I think back and realize that when Waco happened I was fourteen and my parents didn’t really care about it so I have never really spent any time looking into the real story. So, when I was asked to review this book I decided that I was going to take a look at what really happened. When I think of cults, I think of the crazy Heaven’s Gate people or Jim Jones’ and the kool-aid. But there is so much more to these groups than the ends. David Thidobeau tells his story from the beginning and tells you what kind of person he was, where he was in the world, and what drew him to David Koresh. To understand Waco, you need to understand that people that were there, what drew them to Koresh, and why they stayed. But there is so much more to this story than the group. What the government did at Waco was to create a nightmare situation. There we so many things that went wrong and many people died that should not have. But the thing that I agree with Thidobeau with is the media. They took what little information they had and twisted it around. That caused so much damage to the true story. Even today when you say the work Waco you think of crazy cult members blindly following a rabid leader. This book is written by one of the few Davidians that survived the Waco siege. It is well written and very informative. It really opened my eyes to the true, horrible events that happened before, during, and after the siege. I’m glad to see that Paramount is going to create a six part miniseries on this. If you want to learn about real events on the Waco siege, I say look no further. I received Waco: A Survivor’s Story from Little Bird Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
I would of hoped that there was more about the seig in the book. The spiritual part could of been a separate book. There was not enough of each in one book. Still worth reading.