Netflix will be releasing another true crime documentary this week, Waco: American Apocalypse.
The three-part series will dive deep into the infamous siege between The Branch Davidians led by David Koresh and the US Government. The tragic events which rocked Texas back in 1993 played out on news channels around the world, with the documentary featuring never-before seen footage as well as first-hand interviews.
Directed by Tiller Russell who brought us Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, which told the story of Richard Ramirez, the docuseries is the latest addition to Netflix’s true crime releases which have also included Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which told the story of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What makes these stories even more terrifying is that they really happened, so what is the true story behind Waco: American Apocalypse? Here’s everything you need to know.
Is Waco: American Apocalypse based on a true story?
The documentary is based on the true story of the Waco siege, which took place in the Texas town where cult leader David Koresh and his Branch Davidians compound was based. The church, was was an off-shoot movement of the Seventh-Day Adventists, with Koresh as their charismatic leader.
In February 1993 a warrant was issued after the group was found to be violating federal firearm regulations and over allegations of child abuse. Over the next 51 days the group held off federal agents from entering the compound. Despite negotiations it was determined that Koresh would not surrender so the FBI were given permission to end the siege with a raid. The tragic events played out on news channels around the world, with the siege ending in a fiery blaze. The aftermath left 75 people including group members, children, Koresh and US law officials dead.
Who was David Koresh?
Koresh was born in 1959 in Houston, Texas under the name David Howell. As a child he lived with his grandparents and attended a Seventh-Day-Adventist church, although his initial passions were music, with Koresh leaving Texas for Los Angeles to try and make it as a musician.
However, in 1981, when he was 22-years-old he moved back to Texas and joined The Branch Davidians, an off-shoot movement from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church founded by Victor Houteff. According to the History Channel, he became involved with Lois Roden, after her death he clashed with her son, George who was shot in 1987. Howell along with seven other group members went on trial for attempted murder, but were acquitted after a mistrial. By 1990 he had asserted himself as leader of the movement and changed his name to David Koresh.
What was the Waco siege?
The Waco siege began in February 1993 and would last 51 days, ending in tragedy on 19 April. Nearly 1,000 law enforcement officials surrounded the compound of the Branch Davidians who were found to be violating federal firearms regulations. Hostage negotiators worked to try and reach a peaceful resolution, but the siege ended in flwhen the FBI was given permission to raid the compound. 75 people in total died, including group members, their children, Koresh and US law officials.
When can I watch Waco: American Apocalypse on Netflix?
All three episodes of Wace: American Apocalypse will be available to watch on Netflix on Wednesday 22 March.