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Waco: Madman or Messiah 

TV-14 | | Documentary | TV Mini-Series (2018)
Told by survivors, news clips and audio recordings of David Koresh. It tells the story of how he rose to power as their "prophet" and then fell from glory in the standoff and fire that made history.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Mike Caruso ...  David Koresh 2 episodes, 2018
Chris Urquhart Chris Urquhart ...  Byron Sage 2 episodes, 2018
Elizabeth Stuart-Morris ...  Kat Schroeder 2 episodes, 2018
John Marcucci John Marcucci ...  Robert Rodriguez 2 episodes, 2018
Abbie McDonald ...  Young Heather Jones 2 episodes, 2018
Fabricio Prado Fabricio Prado ...  Marc Breault 2 episodes, 2018
Stephane Blaine Stephane Blaine ...  Dick Deguerin 2 episodes, 2018
Judith Baylin-Stern Judith Baylin-Stern ...  Lois Roden 2 episodes, 2018
Reece Presley ...  Steve Schneider 2 episodes, 2018
Charles Cameron ...  Young David Koresh 2 episodes, 2018
Audie Grant Audie Grant ...  Livingstone Fagan 2 episodes, 2018
David Rozen David Rozen ...  David Jones 2 episodes, 2018
Massimo Alfano Massimo Alfano ...  George Roden 2 episodes, 2018
Alexandra Brown Alexandra Brown ...  Kathy Jones 2 episodes, 2018
André Latour André Latour ...  Jim McGee 2 episodes, 2018
Juliette Messier Juliette Messier ...  Michelle Jones 2 episodes, 2018
Carolyne Rheaume Carolyne Rheaume ...  Judy Schneider 2 episodes, 2018
Michael Lake ...  Graeme Craddock 2 episodes, 2018
Brigette Griffith Brigette Griffith ...  Rachel Jones 2 episodes, 2018
Phil Arnold ...  Himself - Bible Scholar 2 episodes, 2018
Liz Baranyai ...  Herself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Marc Breault ...  Himself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Heather Burson ...  Herself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Graeme Craddock ...  Himself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Livingstone Fagan ...  Himself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Kathy Jones ...  Herself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Larry Lynch ...  Himself - Sheriff of McLennan County (ret.) 2 episodes, 2018
Parnell McNamara ...  Himself - Sheriff of McLennan County 2 episodes, 2018
Charles Pace ...  Himself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
Dick J. Reavis ...  Himself - Reporter, Dallas Observer 2 episodes, 2018
Byron Sage ...  Himself - FBI Negotiator 2 episodes, 2018
Kat Schroeder ...  Herself - Branch Davidian 2 episodes, 2018
James D. Tabor ...  Himself - Bible Scholar 2 episodes, 2018
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Storyline

Told by survivors, news clips and audio recordings of David Koresh. It tells the story of how he rose to power as their "prophet" and then fell from glory in the standoff and fire that made history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

Official Sites:

Network website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waco: Madman or Messiah See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Raw TV See more »
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Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
FOX-News-style "fair and balanced" documentary about the Waco incident
24 March 2019 | by lysergic-acidSee all my reviews

The BBC typically produces pretty high quality documentaries. Unlike Discovery/History Channel, they tend to be more informational, better researched and less sensational.

Waco: Madman or Messiah starts off alright, providing well-corroborated background on the Branch Davidians and David Koresh. However, towards the end of part 1, things start going downhill. It starts with cheesy graphics and music to play up the Seven Seals nonsense that Koresh spouted. But what's really unforgiveable is how, in part 2, they turn a well-documented and heavily investigated event into a subjective, he-said/she-said, "pick your own facts" story.

Air time in part 2 is heavily skewed towards the Branch Davidians and their sympathizers who make multiple false claims. They do also interview a negotiator and a member of the tactical team. However, the false claims made by the Branch Davidians are never addressed, even on key facts like whether the ATF went in guns blazing and would have killed all the women and children if the Branch Davidians hadn't "defended themselves" as the Branch Davidians claim or if the Branch Davidians had shot the ATF first, causing them to return fire as they rescued their injured colleagues (several of whom died).

This is a really well studied and heavily litigated incident. So there would have been tons of evidence based on ballistics, the footage from numerous TV crews, police reports and interviews, etc. But instead of actually figuring out what happened, the BBC chose to leave out all the direct evidence, giving each side equal weight in the program.

They don't even mention the fact that the Brand Davidians started the fire (arson investigators found that the fire started simultaneously in three separate parts of the building, and arson detection dogs alerted to the presence of chemical accelerants at each of these locations). Contemporaneous news reports didn't have access to these facts, but decades later the BBC did and simply chose to conceal it to make their documentary more open-ended.

This whitewashing of the Branch Davidians as harmless religious eccentrics who were innocent victims of jackbooted government thugs is extremely dangerous. The documentary makers know full well how dangerous this is given that they showed footage of Timothy McVeigh, the KKK and other far-right anti-government crazies rallying in support of the Branch Davidians during the siege. But they still chose to promulgate the surviving Branch Davidians' false narrative.


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