Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Trojan Horse: Inside the ATF Raid at Waco, Texas

Murphy's Law

"Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won."

— Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

I didn't even hear the first shots. My mind was focused on getting out of the cramped cattle trailer without tripping over the boots of the agent in front of me and not busting my ass, but by the time my feet splashed onto the mud driveway in front of the Branch Davidian compound, I knew things weren't going according to plan. A battle was underway.

The plan had seemed so simple:

  • Hide 76 ATF agents inside two tarp-covered cattle trailers.
  • Slip the trailers unnoticed down the 200-yard-long, rutted, muddy drive that led to the Branch Davidian compound.
  • Create a diversion with a trio of borrowed Texas National Guard helicopters.
  • Storm a building the size of a city block by making multiple, simultaneous entries on the first and second floors.
  • Finally, snatch the cult's cache of pistols, rifles, machine guns, and hand grenades without hurting anyone.

We forgot just one thing — Murphy's Law.

©2003 Chuck Hustmyre. All Rights Reserved.


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