Waco Siege Series – Part Five

Jane Hoffman

Trinity carried the Sears battery up the hill the next day to put in her car.  Stanley Mulbridge was waiting at the bottom of the hill with his Buick Park Avenue running, circa 1988.  She was trying to shoe him away because she still had the 8 skeleton keys with her and she had seen a keyhole in the back of each angel on top of the hill above the 7 seven circles yonder.  She wanted to try the keys out without anyone around.  Stanley would be escorting her to the Branch Davidian compound later and she was very excited.  She was of Creole descent, her ancestors were from France and she was raised primarily in Louisiana.  Her great grandma was exiled from France as a prisoner to marry men in the overpopulated Southern terrain of the U.S. which was common in that day.  She came from mixed blood in the root of Southern tolerance where those of mixed blood were exalted not outcast.  Trinity remembered the days of that Southern Baptist upbringing in the Louisiana parish and that one close encounter with David Koresh who was once named Vernon Howell.  She remembered his eyes, his face, his awkward teen demeanor that was transformed when holy words uttered from his lips.  His eyes shone, his face was flushed and fixated on a world beyond that camp.  Trinity plunked the battery down and took the wrench to remove the old one.  She put the old one in the trunk and the new one was fastened properly.  She stirred the engine.  Bingo!  She hailed Stanley below “Meet me at 3 p.m. 1 mile off the Highway 84 where it meets 31…near the curve by the walnut tree.”  Jedda was off trying to find who planted the parched paper in the truck and would get back to them later.   Once she had tidied up her hands, she went into her bag and pulled out the old rusty keys.  She skipped every other step to the top and mounted the hill to look on the backs of the angels.  Four had long, flowing hair and two had delicate curls arranged around their head.  One looked asexual and the hair was flattened down.  Maybe this was the angel Gabriel she thought in her mind.  Gabriel was an angel in the Bible who stretched from the Old Testament to the New Testament.  He visited Daniel in his visions and Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father.  He told Mary she would deliver a child.  Muhammad of the 6th Century also claimed him as a divine intercessor. The substance of the angels were a heavy, metal alloy formed from copper or silver.  She wondered if the Branch ordered or made them.  With a complex as big as the one in Waco, they may have had some sort of shop.   She placed her hand on the metal and the warm sun penetrated her fingers.  She picked a key off the ring and placed in the key hole on the back of the plain angel that bore no special features.  It did not work.  She tried another key that looked more common.  She turned slowly and a barely indistinguishable square opened out of the back of so called Gabriel, perhaps, the angel of deliverance?  More papers, no gold.   There was a list of significant dates with no description.  The next significant date was October 6, 1992.  That was less than two weeks off.  She knew the Davidians celebrated Jewish feasts and holidays.  Maybe it was Yom Kippur?  She thought.  Anything she thought of now was in relation to what she could do or say when she got to the compound in a few hours.  She was on a journey of discovery not just of potential crimes but the power of David Koresh and his influence over ordinary human beings who were drawn into his world.   She felt she had the charisma to match him in looks, charm and knowledge.  But did women hold such a low position that it would not matter?  If she wanted to leave, would she be able to?  She closed the back of the angel and locked it and heard footsteps through the dust and wind.  A man with sterling eyes, a goatee like beard and a mustache coupled with a high brimmed 10 gallon cowboy hat came into her sight.  He was heavy set and tall.   He planted his feet firmly on top of the stairs.  “No trespassers allowed.  Who are you?” he syncopated.  Trinity stepped back.  “I’m an investigator….of truth.”  “Who are you?” she replied.  “I’m George Roden, do you know who I am?”  “Yes, in a sense I do.  Are you supposed to be here?”  “Why wouldn’t  I?” he said.  “Well, neither one of us has authority to be here so we best be on our way. I would like to talk to you but now is not the time.”  He nodded and spoke.  “I’m on a day pass.  My momma is buried here.”  Trinity was still stupefied and a little scared considering George Roden had killed a man and almost two.  “Here’s my number, I will call you when I have time.”  She sped down the steps with the list of dates now in her pocket and the keys concealed.
A few hours later, she met Stanley by the bend.   She had an overnight bag that purposely was a little beat up looking and not designer quality.  She had four pairs of pants and four t-shirts, four pairs of underwear and 3 bras.  She hid her walkie talkie but put her Bible on top. Stanley gave her solid instructions for the compound. “Wear white or neutral colors, don’t bring attention to yourself, appear engaged in the material.  Don’t make sarcastic remarks while he’s preaching.  Hopefully, Mr. Koresh won’t approach you for sex unless he thinks you are planning to stay.  Tell him you are on a personal quest and not ready for sex.”   She scampered up the driveway.  She wore a solid black t shirt tucked into her waist with white pants and Reebok tennis shoes.  Nikes would have been too flashy.  When she got to the door,  a man answered.   She stammered.  “I wrote a letter awhile back.  I have come to the Center to learn about God and the ways of your religion.”  The man said calmly  “Wait at the door.”   She stood there in the hot sun while she saw two children playing in a field with no adult supervision.  He came back shortly.  “Come in.”  She followed down the hall.   “The study hour has already begun, it’s right down this way by the fellowship hall.”  She had nowhere to set her bag but she managed to hit record on the mini tape cassette recorder inside her pocket.   She turned right and the room was of soothing yellow walls and there were seats like temporary risers at a football game.  She sat in the third row.  David glanced at her through his well trained eye, diverting for only a moment as to not lose his audience.  Other people craned their heads to look on.   He continued “Ezekiel 2:1-5: And he said to me, “Son of man, stand upon your feet, and I will speak with you. When he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me.  ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.  The people are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them; and you shall say to them,’ ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them.”  He closed the book.  He locked eyes with her and she swooned, feeling goose bumps on every inch of her body.  Instantly, she felt drawn to him.  (to be continued)