David Koresh – the American leader of the “Branch Davidians” religious sect – believed he was the final prophet, and convinced every one of his loyal followers to see him as an almighty ruler. He claimed to be a devout Christian, yet was accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl whom he called his “spiritual” wife.
Koresh led a dysfunctional group of naïve individuals to their deaths when his cult was raided by police in 1993. He was to be arrested for possession of firearms and explosives, as well as for having sex with underage girls. When confronted, however, he refused to come out of hiding, claiming that he’d rather kill himself and all his followers than turn himself in.
“As long as we are surrounded we are not coming out,” Koresh is heard saying in REELZ’s Murder Made Me Famous: David Koresh clip.
The FBI had established a direct line to Koresh in order to negotiate the release of his followers, but the leader had convinced everyone that the apocalypse was near, and even trained them to end their own lives if it ever came to that.
“There was always this fear that the Branch Davidians were gonna commit mass suicide, says Special Agent ATF, Chuck Hustmyre, in the clip.
Koresh and his “Army of God” resisted the 51-day standoff against the Federal Government, until police finally opened fire and burst into Koresh’s church only to find him and over 80 of his followers dead.
Murder Made Me Famous: David Koresh airs Saturday Nov 25, 9 ET/PT on REELZ.