Excerpts of disputed transcripts

The Dallas Morning News, June 20, 2000

Here are excerpts from eight disputed transcripts prepared by a government expert from recorded transmissions of FBI bugs in the Branch Davidian compound.

Judge Walter Smith on Monday turned aside plaintiffs' arguments that the transcripts should be declared inadmissible because they were turned over by the government months after the court's discovery deadlines.

Lead plaintiffs' counsel Michael Caddell argued that his side had not had time to examine them for accuracy and feared they might prejudice jurors.

March 15, 1993: Davidians describe the initial shootout with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which occurred on Feb. 28, 1993. In one rambling conversation picked up by an FBI bug, compound occupants, including leader David Koresh, touched on subjects from music, to his being on the cover of People magazine, to his sex acts, to the Feb. 28 gun battle.

One unidentified male describes someone named Livingston, an apparent reference to sect member Livingston Fagan, having shot "those guys up on the side there." Mr. Fagan, who is now serving a 40-year federal prison sentence for manslaughter and weapons violations, acknowledged in a recent deposition that he shot at least one ATF agent during the fire fight.

Another male, apparently Mr. Koresh, adds with laughter that "a guy came around the corner going – then I looked around the corner and saw the guy over there, you know, and uh, in the corner all slumped, and he was, all his head down like this, and then his head blew up.

"He shouldn't have been standin' in my door ... tryin' to come in. ... But I – I didn't, you know. ...What am I goin' do? Let em come in?"

In another conversation captured by FBI bugs, two unidentified males are talking about the Feb. 28 gun battle. One describes "Floyd" – an apparent reference to a Davidian later killed in the April 19 fire – aiming a gun and shooting through compound walls and a window at the agents outside.

A voice then describes how he saw an agent peering through an upstairs window but not shooting at anyone inside. That voice then adds, "I was gonna wait for them to make their move. Then I thought, well, here goes, you know. Bam, bam, bam, bam. ...."

A voice laughingly describes another sect member named Brad, a possible reference to Brad Branch, jumping and rolling from window to window to fire at the intruders outside. "Just spray 'em," another voice responds." Mr. Branch was another of eight Branch Davidians sentenced to lengthy prison terms after being convicted of manslaughter and weapons violations arising from the 1993 siege.

One voice then tells how some of the shooting out a window took place even as a baby was crawling nearby. "The baby just was climbin', climb on the bed. They were just shooting."

April 17 – In conversation captured by FBI bugs, one of two intruders who managed to elude the FBI and enter the compound during the siege could be heard explaining why he now wanted to leave. The man, Louis Alaniz, announces that he wants to preach what he has learned from Koresh to try to save his those outside. A compound occupant – apparently Koresh lieutenant Steve Schneider – warns that true believers don't leave.

"She doesn't choose to go out unless David tells her to. She don't, he don't, I don't," the Davidian says. "There's not one person that ever goes out unless they've been told to.

"Sure, you can do what you want, but you've got to answer before the living God, and God doesn't, it's not his will that you go out there. I 'm telling you, you're gonna – you'll learn the hard way."

In another conversation captured by FBI bugs on April 17, Several Davidian males are talking:

"Nobody comes back here.''

"Make sure."

"That's what I say."

"What would they do ..."

"Catch fire, and they couldn't even bring the fire truck 'cause they couldn't get near us."

"That's right."


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