The Composite Story: "They died when the bunker collapsed …"
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The "bunker" (so-called by the government and the media) was a concrete room before
the Davidians occupied the land. The Davidians incorporated the structure into the first floor
of the Mt. Carmel Center, and here it is shown after the rest of the Center was destroyed by
fire. The structure could not be used as a bunker: it had no firing positions, would provide
no advantage in a firefight, and was completely enclosed in the wooden structure of the Center,
which would block the sight of any approaching enemy; simply stated, it could never serve as a
bunker. The Davidians used it for food and (apparently) ammunition storage.
The Department of Justice Report, the Autopsy Reports of the Torrent County Medical Examiner's
Office, at least one Branch Davidian survivor, and the popular press say that many of the women and
children died in the concrete room when it collapsed.
The narratives of those deaths contain one or more of the following elements:
On April 30, 1993,
Tribune-Herald told the world that the "bunker" collapsed, killing some of the women and children inside.
The victims were alive on April 19;
- Sometime in the morning of April 19, the women and children sought refuge from the C/S gas
and/or the tanks in the concrete room;
- The mothers had gas masks, the children did not have gas masks;
- The mothers brought buckets of water into the concrete room and pieces of cloth. In order to
protect the children from the C/S gas, they soaked the cloths in the water and put them over the
faces of the children;
Wet towels, blankets, and sleeping bags were used by the mothers and the
children as a shield from the C/S gas;
The structure collapsed;
As a result of the structural collapse, many died of blunt force trauma
or were "buried alive" or suffocated;
Others died of smoke inhalation;
Others died of gunshot wounds;
The gunshot wounds were inflicted on children by mothers who committed mercy killings, and then
committed suicide in order to prevent a horrible death by burning alive;
The ammunition caught fire in the concrete room, incinerating the bodies.
The above scenario is a composite drawn from the following sources: Dr. Nizam Peerwani and
Dr. Rodney Crow of the Tarrant County medical examiner's office, the official Autopsy Reports
written by that office, the Department of Justice Report, and the account of Branch Davidian
David Thibodeau. Their stories will be examined as the Museum tour proceeds, to see if the
evidence corroborates the account.
Secondary sources, such as newspapers, repeated the story of the "collapse" with exaggerated detail. For example, The Washington Post, July 20, 1995 (cached).
The Bunker. A concrete room near the complex's cafeteria. More than 40
Branch Davidians died inside or near the bunker on April 19, 1993, apparently while seeking a
fireproof haven. Tons of concrete collapsed, burying, crushing and suffocating about 13
people. Investigators say vibrations from the dozen tanks on the scene or falling fire
debris — or both — contributed to the bunker's collapse.
The story of the "collapsed bunker" is now a part of the common (and fake) knowledge of the Waco
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