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David Koresh

David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell; August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the American leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet.

Coming from a dysfunctional family background, Koresh became a born-again Christian in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before joining a splinter group, based at the Mount Carmel Centre in Waco, Texas, which took the name Branch Davidians. Here he competed for dominance with the leading candidate George Roden, until Roden was jailed for murdering another rival. Koresh was then accused of seducing a 13-year old girl, apparently with her parents’ consent, a relationship that he sanctified as a ‘spiritual marriage’. But it was revelations of child abuse that provoked the historic 1993 raid on the centre by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the centre, where Koresh and 75 others were found dead after the fire.
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