Koresh mother fatally stabbed; sister held
HOUSTON — The mother of infamous Branch Davidian leader David Koresh was stabbed to death and her sister was in custody Saturday charged with her slaying, authorities said.
Bonnie Clark Halderman, 60, was found Friday afternoon at the home of her sister, Beverly Clark, 54, in a rural area near Chandler, about 175 miles north of Houston in East Texas, Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said.AP: Waco Cult Leader’s Mother Killed, Aunt Charged
“It’s still under investigation and we really don’t know what the motive was or what caused this to happen,” Nutt said Saturday.
Halderman wrote an autobiography, published in 2007, called “Memories of the Branch Davidians: The Autobiography of David Koresh’s Mother,” that described how her son, Vernon Howell, became David Koresh.
Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms planned a surprise raid on the Koresh-led Branch Davidian compound near Waco on Feb. 28, 1993, trying to arrest him for stockpiling weapons and explosives. But gunfire immediately erupted, killing four agents and six members of the religious sect.
That led to a 51-day standoff, during which time 21 children and 14 adults left the compound unharmed. The complex caught fire and burned to the ground April 19, 1993, killing Koresh and nearly 80 of his followers, including about two dozen children.
The government claimed the Davidians committed suicide by setting the fire and shooting themselves. Survivors said the blaze was started by tear gas rounds fired into the compound by government tanks, and that agents shot them – even those fleeing the burning building.