David Koresh's skull

From "Teasing Secrets From the Dead" by Emily Craig

October, 2005

Forensic anthropologist Emily Craig, on showing to the chief medical examiner the reassembled skull of Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh. He was among the 80 cult members who died during a siege by federal agents at Waco, Texas, April 19, 1993.

"I picked up the skull and pointed to the semicircular hole in the middle of the forehead. It was beveled inward, surrounded with the sooty tattoo that was the earmark of a contact gunshot wound. Then I carefully turned the skull upside down so the doctor could see the exit wound. The bullet had left the lower part of the back of the skull, not too far from the spinal cord.

"It was an unforgettable moment. We all stood in silence together, thinking back over the past weeks … (to) the accusations that the FBI had murdered Koresh and his followers, the claims that the Bureau (of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) had set the fire that killed everyone.

"Now I held Koresh's skull in my hand for all of us to see, marked with the unmistakable evidence of the cult leader's death by an intimate hand. No FBI agent could ever have gotten close enough to press a gun to his skull -- and this beveled hole ringed with soot could only have been made by such a gun."

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