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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1993)
Continued from Page 1
said two survivors were injured criti
cally, one had a serious injury and
three have minor injuries, all includ
ing bums. One person taken into cus
tody told authorities that people in
side the compound had set the blaze,
The person said that as he left one
of the buildings, “he could hear above
him people saying, ‘The fire’s been
lit, the fire’s been lit,”’ Stem said.
“We can only assume it was a
massive loss of life,” FBI spokesman
Bob Ricks said in a solemn afternoon
Ricks said multiple witnesses spot
ted cult members setting several fires.
FBI agents reported seeing a man
wearing a gas mask and black uni
form throw something inside, fol
lowed by a fireball. Additionally,
Ricks said, a man found Monday af
ternoon in a bunker on the grounds
said lantern fuel had been spread
throughout the wooden complex and
that the fire was started simultaneously
in several places.
Koresh had warned the FBI in a
letter last week that agents would be
“devoured by fire” if they tried to
A maze of tunnels was believed to
run under the complex, but Jack
Killorin, a spokesman in Washington
for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, said the agency be
lieved no tunnel system would have
allowed people to surv've the fire.
“It’s a bad end and one of the ends
we feared from the beginning,”
Killorin said. “Obviously, suicide was
a concern all along, but the method
was different, unexpected.”
Attorney General Janet Reno ap
proved the assault and informed Presi
dent Clinton. The FBI notified the
compound's neighbors before day
break “that it would end today,” ac
cording to Melanie Felton, a nearby
Late in the day, Reno said the
FBI’s assault had been carefully
planned over several days. She added
that she “could not give the president
that assurance” that the agents could
prevent a mass suicide such as the
cyanide poisoning that killed 913
people at Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978.
The fire erupted while television
cameras provided live coverage of an
armored vehicle battering a hole into
the compound’s first story. Moments
before, the mother of one cult mem
ber had voiced her fear in a telephone
interview about what might happen.
“It’s impossible to know how he
(Koresh) will respond,” said Balenda
Ganem, mother of cult member David
Thibodeau. “When you’reunder great
stress and great fear, you rarely re
spond responsibly. We hope he will.”
Thibodeau was one of the eight
Agents in the predawn tear gas
assault were met by gunfire, at least
75-80rounds, the FBI said. The agents
continued ripping holes in compound
.buildings throughout the morning, and
at a 10:30 a.m. session with reporters,
Ricks spoke calmly about the deci
sion to force Koresh and his followers
“The action taken today was, we
believe, the next logical step in a
series of actions to bnng this episode
to a conclusion,” Ricks said.
Ricks also said authorities believed
the tear-gassing was the best way to
avert a possible mass suicide, because
it would “cause confusion inside the
Barely 90 minutes later, billowing
flames and smoke began spewing from
the sprawling rural compound. Fire
department units had to be summoned
and arrived about 12:30 p.m.
Ricks later refused to second-guess
the decision not to have firefighters
on the scene, explaining that gunfire
from cultisls and explosives stored in
the compound would have put them at
Continued from Page 1
“It appeared an arrest could have
been made outside of the compound
when they were shopping in town,” he
said. “Some have argued that we could
have put a fence around it and called
it a prison and let them come out when
they come out.”
Professor Larry Walklin, chair of
the broadcasting department in the
College of Journalism, said Koresh
saw the media as an avenue to spread
his ideas, and law enforcement offi
cials welcomed his early conversa
tions with radio stations.
“If one of those people call some
where, the people that put them on try
to engage them into conversation,” he
said. “The police would rather have
them do that because they are talking
as opposed to something else.”
Hostage situations arc difficult to
cover, he said. If one radio station
would have refused to grant the inter
view, Korcsh could have gone to a
different station or newspaper,
Eskridge said the crisis warranted
news coverage, but there was a fine
line between facts and sensational
“The press has an entertainment
function,” he said. “I’m not sure we
see true reporting, but the need to sec
80 persons dead should make the front
The press should have downplayed
the issue, he said.
“They were molded by him, they
were putty in his hands,” he said. “As
we speak, Hollywood will have * David
Koresh the movie.’”
S. Dakota governor
dies in plane crash
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP)—A plane
carrying South Dakota Gov. George
Mickelson and seven other people
crashed in eastern Iowa after report
ing engine failure Monday. There were
no survivors, a sheriff said.
Mickelson’s body wasn't immedi
ately identified. However, Dick Vohs,
an aide to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad,
said the airplane’s passenger list in
cluded Mickelson. Janclle Toman,
press secretary for Mickelson, con
firmed Mickelson was on the plane.
“What a tragedy. Wc lost the heart
out of South Dakota,” said the Dcmo
craiicjcadcr of the South Dakota Sen
ate, Roger McKellips.
The other victims were Roger
Hainjc, director of the Sioux Falls
Development Foundation; state Eco
nomic Development Commissioner
Roland Dolly; state Energy Policy
Commissioner Ron Reed; S ioux Falls
banker Dave Birkcland; Angus Anson
of Northern States Power Co. in Sioux
Falls; and two pilots from Pierre, S.D.,
Ron Becker and Dave Hansen.
Former South Dakota Gov. Bill
Janklow said he knew all those aboard
“Angus Anson worked for me.
Dave Hansen was my security chief,
and Ron Becker was my pilot. He
taught me how to fly," Janklow said.
“Everyone of these people was a
Mickelson’s death means Li. Gov.
Walter Dale Miller takes over the
Mickelson, the son of former Gov.
George T. Mickelson, followed his
father’s political footsteps and was
elected South Dakota’s governor in
1986. His father was governor from
Mickelson, 51, a Republican, was
serving his second term. He was
elected governor in 1986 and won
another four-year term in 1990. He
also served six years in the South
Dakota House, where he was speaker
The plane was returning to South
Dakota from Cincinnati when it
crashed after reporting engine trouble.
The twin-engine turboprop had
been headed for an emergency land
ing at the Dubuque airport when it
struck a bam and silo about 15 miles
southwest of Dubuque at about 4 p.m.,
said Sandra Campbell, a spokes
woman at the Federal Aviation Ad
ministration regional office at Kansas
A flight plan filed earlier listed
eight people aboard, she said.
“We were notified by the highway
patrol that seven have been confirmed
dead. They ’ re searching for a possible
eighth person who was aboard,” Mrs.
Editor Chris Hoplanaperger Night News Editors «aphan»a Purdy
Managing Editor Alan Phatpf «,tt» .
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Editorial Page Editor Jeremy FtUpetrick " '
\Mre Editor Tadd Cooper KMhaitea Pottoky
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Diversions Editor Kim Spurlock _ . _„_ SJTiSLm.
Photo Chief KUey flmpertey Professional Advieer OtonWeRon
FAX NUMBER 472-1781 \ _
The Daily Nebraskan(USPS 144-080) ispubkahed
breaks Union 34.1400 R St . Lincoln, NE. Monday tupugh Friday during the academic year.
^^Ree^rsweeno^raged to submit story IdeedandqorTwnerita torn*
The Mitsubishi turboprop corpo
rate plane is registered to the Depart
ment of Transportation of the slate of
‘‘The pilot reported a lost engine
and lost pressurization. The aircraft
then was handed off to the Dubuque
tower for clearance to land. It was the
nearest location,” Mrs. Campbell said.
“It was cleared to land. About a
minute after the last transmission, the
Dubuque tower reported to the sheriff
the aircraft was down on the ground,”
Heavy rain was reported in the area
at the time, but the FA A said it had nol
determined if it was a factor in the
Investigators from the National
Transportation Safety Board were en
route to the crash site.
Students with Disabilities
Notetakers and Readers
Thank-you reception .
Thursday, April 22,1993
7:00 to 8:30 pm
NE Union Georgian Suite
Refreshments will be served
‘ '1; •;
Cud the cutt compound^ '•: :-m
JProfile of the final hours of the Branch Javidian ait In WacopTexas;^
6 a.m.: Armored assault
Federal CEV assault vehicle
began punching holes in walls
to deliver tear gas.
12:15 p.m.: Fire in compound
Reportedly started by two
members of the Branch Davidian
cult. Blaze appeared to start
directly above the main entrance.
Firetrucks arrived at 12:38 p.m.
B . ,
Branch Davidian Q /
Sources: U.S. Army Material Command; Waco Herald-Tribune; AP
Jane's Armour and Artillery
Ohio prison inmates turn
a cellblock into fortress
LUCAS VILLE, Ohio (AP) — In
mates barricaded inside a state prison
for more than a week hung a banner
from a ccllblock window Monday
saying they’re willing to end the stand
off, but want to talk to a lawyer first.
A newspaper reported that prison
ers were arming themselves with
makeshift weapons and may have
booby-trapped some prison entrances.
Authorities dug a trench on prison
grounds looking for possible tunncLs
dug by inmates. Bulldozers were
brought there over the weekend after
reports of tunneling, prisons spokes
woman Sharron Komegay said.
Inmates turned their ccllblock at
the maximum-security Southern Ohio
Correctional Facility into a fortress in
case authorities decide to rush it, the
Dayton Daily News said Monday.
Rhonda Millhousc, a spokes
woman for the slate prison system,
said she could not confirm the report.
About 450 inmates have held the
cellblock since a riot on April 11,
when they look eight guards hostage.
At least seven inmates and one guard
died. Two hostages were released last
Does Your Heart Good.
American H#art Association
The banner made from a bedsheet
read, in part: “State lying to public.
We arc willing to end. Must first talk
face-to-face with attorney.”
The banner referred to attorney
Niki Schwartz, who spoke with in
mates Sunday. There was no indica
tion when that meeting would be held,
but Komegay said negotiations Mon
day were ‘^positive.”
The newspaper, quoting sources it
did not identify, said prisoners were
armed with knives, shovels, barbells
and “zip” guns—handmade weapons
made from nails and rubber bands.
Some ccllblock entrances were
believed to be booby-trapped, possi
bly with makeshift arrows, the news
paper said. Inmates also were thought
to have tapped the prison’s gasoline
supply and could have made fire
About 1,000 mourners paid their
last respects for the slain guard, Rob
ert Vallandingham, 40, during a me
morial service at a high school in his
hometown of Min ford, about lOmiles
cast of Lucasvillc.
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