Sep 30, 2017

Miniseries on infamous cult standoff with federal agents riles Waco city officials

"Waco" is based on the 51-day standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidians
Kelsey Bradshaw
San Antonio Express-News
September 29, 2017

WACO on The Paramount Network - Series Premieres January 2018.‎

On Feb. 28, 1993 federal authorities began a siege on the Branch Davidian complex, which ended violently 50 days later.

Flames engulf the Branch Davidian compound April 20, 1993 in Waco, Texas. The standoff between lawmen and militant anti-government "freemen" on a Montana farm is testing FBI Director Louis J. Freeh's determination to avoid repeating the deadly outcomes of FBI sieges at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

It's been more than two decades since 76 people died in a fire following a weeks-long standoff near Waco but the events will soon be back in the public eye as the subject of a Paramount miniseries airing in January.

For the city of Waco, the series is unnecessarily re-opening a wound, said Larry Holze, the city spokesman.

"Anytime you have the tragedy of death, especially of children, that's one of those things you hate to bring up," he said. "It's one of those sad parts of our history."

"Waco" is based on the 51-day standoff between federal agents and the Branch Davidians - which was accused of polygamy, sexual abuse, and possessing illegal weapons - in 1993. The miniseries follows cult leader David Koresh and the events that transpired 24 years ago.

In addition to needlessly bringing up a brutal moment in Waco history, Holze said the series does not include that the siege happened "11 miles outside of our legal jurisdiction," he said.

"That did not happen in Waco."

City officials were not privy to viewing the series early and Holze said he has not watched the trailer.

"What good is it going to do?" he said.

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