Waco Unraveling No. 3
The Missing Watch Cap
Outpost of Freedom
September 13, 1999
It seems so little that a simple watch cap, a wool cap worn by sailors, commandos, hunters and campers could be so significant – unless we consider the circumstances surrounding this particular cap – and the possible murder of Mike Schroeder.
OPF interviewed a neighbor of the Davidians early March 1993. He told of the events of February 28, 1993, as he saw them. He had heard gunfire earlier in the day. He lived about a mile from Mt. Carmel Church on FM 2491. It was about 10:00 Am and he had gone out to look to his stock. Suddenly, he heard yelling. "Get Down! Down on your face! Get you hands out! Get Down!" He recalled his surprise, and suddenly, on of two black hooded men pushed him, violently, to the ground. They held a gun to his head and searched him. They asked him who he was and what he was doing here. He told them. After some conversation, he was allowed to get up and told to get in his house and stay there. No apology, no explanation, just brute force and threats.
It took a while to put the pieces together, but after Mike Schroeder’s body was found, about March 3, the pieces came together. Delroy Nash, "Woody" Kendrick and Mike Schroeder had been at the Mag Bag working when the raid took place that Sunday morning. The three of them, after hearing what was happening, went to Mary Bell Jones’ house and parked their truck. The then began working their way up a wash the two miles to Mt. Carmel. About fifty yards from the corner of the Church property there is a hay barn belonging to a neighbor. The barn is open to the West and South, the same direction the Church is. The east side backs against the wash and the North side is closed.
Inside the hay barn was a squad of BATF agents. Presumably, they were a sort of perimeter guard. Whether they began the mission in this location, or were moved here after the initial failed assault, there were probably four or five agents relaxing in the shade when Delroy Nash and Mike Schroeder came up out of the wash. Woody, being a bit older, was a ways behind. What, exactly, happened next is hard to discern. You see, there were no witnesses to Mike Schroeder’s death and Delroy Nash"s was arrest.
A few days later, the FBI reported that a body was found in the trees to the northwest of the property. They speculated that it was a photographer who had been hiding in a tree and was killed by a stray round that had been fired by the Davidians. The moved his body out of the area in an armored personnel carrier.
Within a few days, the story changed Mike had been killed in a gunfight with agents. The story change seemed to coincide with the identification of the body and the fact that he was a Davidian whose wife and child were still inside Mt. Carmel.
Back to the neighbor. He was probably very fortunate. The BATF had already killed someone who may have just been a curious local who had moved toward Mt. Carmel, curious to find out what was happening. In the neighbor’s case, though the apprehension was obviously there, I’m sure the orders were to be very careful so as not to kill any more innocent people.
So, where does this watch cap come in to play? Mike was wearing it when he was killed. Mike was killed as he attempted to climb a wire fence – where is body lay draped for a couple of days until he was identified. The section of wire fence was removed, by the Texas Rangers, as evidence. This made it easy to find when I visited the site. It was easily in view of the open side of the hay barn. Plausible deniability would be the reason. After all, they didn’t want to kill any local farmers.
Of course, Mike was hit be 9 rounds of 9mm bullets. Many in his head, but nobody knew he had been killed. The defense was told that his watch cap was lost. But, Mike McNulty, who has forced so many issues into the open over the events at Waco, came across the cap while searching the 24,000 lbs. of evidence stored in Waco. He also observed what appeared to be residue on the cap. The Texas Rangers are examining the cap to determine if the residue is gunpowder. Perhaps Mike was shot, at very close range, by one of those guys who couldn’t find the body for three days.
If Danforth, or the Texas Rangers, gains access to the bullets that were removed from the Davidians’ bodies and the ballistic characteristics of the weapons used by the BATF and the FBI, there will probably be little less than murder charges brought, finally, against the real criminals at Waco.
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