David Thibodea

David Thibodeau claims to be a survivor of the Mr. Carmel fire.  (The Austin Chronicle , November 12, 1999.)


David Thibodeau is one of the nine people whom the Department of Justice identifies as a survivor of the inferno at the Mt. Carmel Center on April 19, 1993.  In a recorded interview in July, 1995, Waco Remembrance co-ordinator Carol A. Valentine talked with David Thibodeau concerning the fate of the mothers and children whose bodies were found in the concrete room.

David first said that he had seen no women and children on April 19; when asked who told them to go into the concrete room, David said he did not know.  He did, however, say that the mothers took the children there to protect them from the gas attack.

David said that the mothers had gas masks, and that the children had no gas masks.  To protect their children from the gas, David said that the mothers had buckets of water and cloths and with them; the mothers dunked the cloths into the buckets of water, and covered the children's faces with cloths.  When asked how he knew what was going on in the concrete room/pantry during that morning, David replied that one of the mothers came out and told him, and that he did not remember which mother.

The Texas Ranger in charge of the crime scene and excavating the concrete room, Sgt. Raymond Coffman, did not report finding any buckets when he testified at the 1994 San Antonio trial of the Branch Davidians.  The Autopsy Reports do not indicate any buckets were found in the concrete room near the bodies, and do not mention any traces of gas masks on or near the bodies.

The issue of "Davidian survivors" is fraught with questions, as told these chapters of the Museum: