Koresh's Hawaii Wife Discusses Life After Cult

Okimoto Says She, Sons Are OK

The Hawaii Channel/April 18, 2003

Honolulu -- When David Koresh (pictured, left) and his Branch Davidian compound went up in flames 10 years ago, 25 children died.

The cult leader and self-proclaimed messiah had 20 wives.

One of those wives was Dana Okimoto of Hawaii. She is also the mother of two of his sons. She spoke to KITV 4 News on the 10th anniversary of the FBI raid on the Waco, Texas compound.

Okimoto feels comfortable enough with herself and the life she has carved out with her two boys, Skye and Scooter, to speak freely about her experience.

"It does seem like another life, but at the time, I was young and idealistic and I had a very black-and-white view of the world and being of a Seventh Day Adventist background and I was looking for someone to come and it fit with the belief system at the time," Okimoto said.

She said she still believes in God, although she doesn't go to church anymore and her son Skye said he too is still trying to sort out his feelings about religion and the dad he really doesn't remember.

"Sometimes I think he's this nice guy and sometimes I think he's this big freak. My mind keeps shifting on images of him," Skye said.

Koresh chose the name "Skye" for his oldest son.

The 14-year-old freshman at Castle High School loves video games, playing with his little brother and he said he struggles with normal things like other teens his age. He said he used to brag about being Koresh's son, but he's outgrown that.

"I have a sense of humor about most things," Skye Okimoto said.

Dana Okimoto used to worry about her sons' mental health, but she credits her job as psychiatric nurse at the Kaneohe State Hospital with helping her work through those fears.

"Something really horrible can happen to you when you are young and you can have someone in your background and family who is not to popular with the rest of the world and it doesn't have to affect you that way. I want the kids to grow up knowing who they are and knowing where they come from and say 'That's OK. It's just who I am,'" Dana Okimoto said.

She said she is grateful for the support from the community over the years.

"I think we have been treated with respect and sympathy and for the most part it's curiosity and I used to be worried that I would be judged for it and its just doesn't matter. I'm in a place for me (where) I'm OK and I'm sure my children are OK because I showed them how," Okimoto said.

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