David Koresh: Preacher of Fire | 1999
Profile of David Koresh, the late leader of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.
Born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas on August 17, 1959, he had an unhappy childhood and found comfort in the Seventh Day Adventist church where he became interested in Bible scriptures that spoke of a vengeful God. By 18, he began to challenge the elders on many points of scripture and was excommunicated. At age 20, he became the protege of a woman who was the spiritual leader of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. After spending time in Israel, he returned to Waco convinced he'd been chosen by God to unlock the Seven Seals of Revelation. He changed his name to David Koresh and became a master evangelist. Later, a group of Davidians who had defected from Koresh complained that he was sleeping with underage girls. The ATF discovered illegal shipments of munitions to the compound and sought to arrest Koresh. The subsequent raid resulted in the death of four ATF agents and six Davidians, setting the stage for the fateful assault 51 days later.