A National Guard helicopter flies past the burning Branch Davidian cult compound in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. Photo: Tim Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

Journalist Jeff Guinn says he's found new evidence that Texas cult leader David Koresh was a fake who plagiarized the prophecies of a long-forgotten Fort Myers man.

Flashback: In the 1890s, a man named Cyrus Reed Teed, who proclaimed himself to be the Messiah, moved with some followers from Chicago to 300 riverside acres in Fort Myers.

  • There, the "eclectic" physician and alchemist, who identified himself by the single name Koresh, built a following of hundreds while proclaiming through a newsletter that the End Times were coming and he would be transformed, and his followers would be treated well in the afterlife.
  • Teed claimed he'd been visited by an angel who told him he'd "redeem the race" and open the Seven Seals to initiate Armageddon.

Yes, but: Teed died in 1908 and did not rise from the dead. His body was entombed in a mausoleum on the beach in Fort Myers, but it was washed away by the 1921 hurricane.

  • The number of so-called Koreshans dwindled until the last of them, a single German woman, gifted the compound to the state of Florida in the 1960s. It is now a state park.