The Dallas Morning News

Printout lists items found in cult rubble -- from guns to T-shirts

From the ashes of the Branch Davidian compound, authorities have culled the tools of Armageddon -- machine guns and silencers -- scattered among the most mundane evidence of the lives ended there.

A 375-page computer print-out unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Waco details 2,245 exhibits taken from the wrecked compound. The confiscated items include hundreds of weapons and gun parts, gas masks and more than a million rounds of ammunition.

They include address books and jewelry, children's clothing and human hair, Bibles and a paper coated with dried blood.

There is also a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "David Koresh -- God Rocks,' and even a set of baseball cards.

The evidence strongly bolsters federal officials' assertions that the cult was heavily armed with illegal weapons and explosives, a deadly arsenal that prompted a failed Feb. 28 raid on the compound near Waco.

Evidence recovered at the compound includes remnants of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raid that began a 51-day standoff between cult members and federal officials: body armor, a battering ram, an ATF medical kit and a federal-issue MP-5 machine gun apparently dropped by an agent fleeing withering gunfire.

Four agents were killed and 16 were wounded in the ensuing 45-minute firefight.

Authorities spent more than three weeks sifting through the rubble of the compound after it burned April 19 with cult leader David Koresh and dozens of his followers inside.

Forensics experts are still trying to determine how many people died in the fire, which federal officials say was deliberately set by the cultists. Cult members contend the fire was touched off when tanks used by the FBI to inject tear gas into the compound knocked over lanterns.

Officials with the Tarrant County medical examiner's office have said at least 78 bodies of men, women and children were recovered, and they expect to compile a final death count by week's end.

Among the debris collected is a wide array of items labeled as arson evidence. That includes camping lanterns, crushed or open gas cans and lantern fuel cans, cigarette lighters and two items labeled "torches.'

To sort through the debris and ashes, authorities divided the compound into dozens of grids.

The document -- the result of a search warrant -- suggests that firearms were found in many grids inside and outside the compound wreckage.

The entries include at least one charred M1A rifle found near a body labeled John Doe No. 9, a pistol part and an AK-47 near another body labeled John Doe No. 44 and an AR-15 rifle barrel and bolt near third body labeled John Doe No. 11.

Authorities say at least 17 people who died in the fire sustained gunshot wounds -- including at least two children, Mr. Koresh and his chief lieutenant, Steve Schneider.

Among other weapons recovered were at least two 9mm machine guns with silencers, more than a dozen AK-47 machine guns and dozens of rifles, pistols, shotguns and weapons parts.

Also recovered were blasting caps, grenade parts, fragments and whole grenades, plastic rockets and rocket fragments apparently used for homemade rifle grenades.

Authorities also found one chemical warfare protective suit in one section of the compound, the affidavit states.

Perhaps the most poignant items recovered are the library card of one woman, children's clothes, a lock of black hair and checks and other personal documents owned by cult lawyer Douglas Wayne Martin, who died.

A piece of pottery bears the engraving "Robyn.' It is the name of Robyn Bunds, one of Mr. Koresh's former cult wives who said she abandoned the compound because of his bizarre sexual teachings and apocalyptic prophecies.

Authorities also found a resume and income tax notice for Brad E. Branch, one of more than 30 adults and children who left the compound during the protracted standoff.

Included in the evidence list are dozens of bullet fragments from dead or injured ATF agents, a 911 tape recording of early negotiations with the cult and other items taken from federal authorities involved in the firefight.

Authorities also cataloged Federal Express packages shipped to the compound during the raid -- including a missive shipped by at least one reporter trying to contact the cult leader.

And they found some items clearly reminiscent of the doomsday teachings of the cult, the dry police prose labels one such item: "Document: Apocalypse -- "Death' and "Grave' highlighted.'