In his first interview ever, a retired Texas United Parcel Service driver reveals to 48 Hours that he unwittingly delivered large boxes of military grade guns and ammunition to Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh in the months and weeks before the siege that would capture the attention of the world in 1993. Now, as the 25th anniversary of the standoff nears, Peter Van Sant and “48 Hours” investigate the cult and what led to a deadly 51-day siege in “Secrets of Waco,” airing Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
As a delivery driver, Larry Gilbreath was one of the few people in the community to regularly go into the Branch Davidian compound, giving him a unique insight into the cult and their activities.
A quarter century after God, guns and government collided violently in the quiet Texas town of Waco, “48 Hours” reports on what led to the deadly standoff that still resonates today. It began with a shootout between ATF agents and Branch Davidian followers that left four agents and six of Koresh’s followers dead. That event would bring in a large FBI task force to negotiate a peaceful surrender. That didn’t happen. After the 51-day standoff, Koresh’s compound was destroyed after government tanks rammed the building and agents fired tear gas. More than 70 followers died, nearly two dozen were children, after the buildings erupted into a fireball.
“Even though it’s been 25 years, there are still revelations and reasons why this story still haunts the American people,” says investigative journalist Lee Hancock, a CBS News consultant.
Hancock has covered Waco for more than two decades and is considered a leading expert on the cult.
“Waco was a tale of a religious fringe group that decided to fight back against the federal government and murdered federal law enforcement, and then at the end of the siege burned themselves up rather than come out,” Hancock…