From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom in Dallas, Oregon
Date: May 2, 1994                              Phone: (503) xxx-xxxx


I have recently received notes taken at the San Antonio trial of the Branch Davidians. These include the report by Dr. Peerwani, and others, testifying in regard to the bodies found, and, the transcript of voices recorded throughout the fateful morning of April 19, 1993.

Lets look at what the reports on the bodies reveal. 81 bodies were recovered. Of those 18 died of gunshot wounds, 43 of fire or smoke inhalation, 8 of suffocation, 3 of blunt trauma, 1 stabbed and 6 not determined. The bodies were found in the following locations: 5 in the auditorium, 3 in the kitchen area, 3 in the stairwell, 7 in the hallway, 6 near underground access, 9 on top of the "bunker" and 27 (18 children, 9 women) in the "bunker" (above ground). ALL of the children were seeking refuge from the fire and/or gas in the concrete "bunker" the Davidians called the "cooler". All had been covered by wet blankets - an effort to survive, not to commit suicide. James Riddle, who Jaime Castillo told Rita Riddle had escaped the fire was found with a gunshot wound to the forehead. Of the gunshot wounds 11 had to have been inflicted by others. Not very consistent with the picture of ‘‘mass suicide’’ painted by the FBI in the week preceding the fire.

What of Mike Schroeder, the young man seeking to join his wife and children inside Mt. Carmel the afternoon of February 282 Two 9mm. wounds over his right ear. Not the type of wounds you would expect from a face to face gunfight, more like a sniper assassination. The details of the others (autopsies and ballistics) are not available, however I feel certain that when these are acquired we will find more inconsistencies with the "suicide" theme.

Let us note that "Showtime" (the name of the operation) was, apparently, fun and games for the BATF, or so they thought. Of those killed that first day, 2 had personal cameras and one was carrying film for them. Tourists on vacation? Perhaps agents thought that this would be some sort of event to talk to their grand children about. These three were entry team members.

Now, let’s look at the transcription of the bug that was inserted in Mt. Carmel Center. The recording, which I have not heard, was supposed to have come from a "bug" sent in on some packaging, as had others in the past. The first portion of the transcript is from the bug although it is of a telephonic communication. Perhaps the FBI decided not to present the tape of the phone conversation as it might have been more revealing. The testimony of the fellow who prepared the transcript was that he was to exclude certain, more human type, conversations and dwell on certain areas. His testimony indicated that it was very difficult to determine what was said and that he was guessing much of the time. For this he was paid $20,000.

From the transcripts [my comments in brackets] - underlines are my emphasis – {Cogsdel comments are from testimony, not transcripts}


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-2, Side A –

Time 0556 (Telephone ringing)

UM (Unidentified Male): Hello, hello. SAGE (S/A Sage

- FBI): Hello, is Steven there?

UM: I can hardly hear you.

Sage: Is (unintelligible) there?

UM: Uh, no he’s asleep right now.

Sage: Wake him up . . This is Byron Sage, it’s a very important call.

UM: sir, he asked not to be bothered now. He really had a very (unintelligible) day... I’m gonna go check again, ok? Hold on unintelligible).


Time 0600

UM(S) (possibly Steve Schneider) Hello, yes, I can hardly hear you.

Sage: Hear now?

UM: very weakly

Sage: Ok, this is Byron Sage. I’m going to advise you of something that’s very important.

UM: OK. I’m glad I can hear you.

Sage: OK, we’re in the process of putting tear gas into the building. This is not an assault. We are not entering the building. Not an assault.

S(Schneider): You are going to spray tear gas into the building.

Sage: In the building.. .we are not entering the building. This is not an assault.

UM: Tear gas (unintelligible)

Sage: Do not fire your weapons. If you fire, fire will be returned.

UM(S): Everybody grab your gas masks, everybody grab your gas masks. ---


Time 0601

UM(S): Everybody wake up...let’s start to pray.

Sage: Dealt with accordingly. Come out now - you will not be harmed, follow all instructions, come out of the compound with your hands up - carrying nothing. Come out of the compound with your hands up, carrying nothing. Come out of the building and walk up the driveway toward Double Ranch Road. Walk toward the large red cross flag. Follow all instructions of the FBI agents in the Bradley vehicles. ---

Sage: The gas will continue to be delivered until everyone is safely out of the building. ---


Time 0605

Sage: Exit the compound now. You are advised there is to be no one in the tower, the tower is off limits. Be advised that the tower is off limits. No one is to be in the tower. Anyone observed in the tower will be considered to be an act of aggression and will be dealt with accordingly. [was this for the safety of the agents in the Bradleys, or, perhaps, a means of limiting communication, remember the painted sheets, from inside?]

UM: They’re hitting the building. Whoa!

UM: Pablo, have you poured it [um?] yet? [As you read on wonder if Molotov cocktails might be the objects discussed]

UM: Uh?

UM: Have you poured it [um?] yet?

UM: In the hallway.

UM: Things are poured. Right? (unintelligible)

Sage: Do not fire any weapons

UM: Need to get the fuel out.


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-2, Side B

[no time line given???]

Sage: David, we have observed the flag outside the front door. You need to get info to us whether or not the phone is working [no indication of when conversation went to, apparently, a bull horn, from the original phone call], or whether or not you have thrown the phone out of the building. If, in fact, the phone is working, please initiate contact with the negotiators now. If it is not working, if it is not working you will have to (unintelligible) a message to us with the first people coming out of the compound. This (unintelligible) is over, David. (unintelligible), it is time for those people to come out. They can bring forward the message.

UM: What?

Sage: And reattempt to reinitiate contact at that time. Gas will continue to be delivered until everyone is out of the building. Exit the compound now. You can retrieve the flag [phone?] if it was in fact hauled [thrown?] out and reinitiated contact with the negotiators. If that (unintelligible) is not operational.

UM: Wendell

Sage: We’ll have to work on getting another phone.

Sage: David, Steven, if you are attempting to go back on the phone, if you’re attempting to go back on the phone, retrieve your flag and we’ll (unintelligible) a different colored instrument.

UM: Steve.

Sage: If you’re attempting to get back on the phone retrieve the flag.

UM: Retrieve the flag and put a different color out.

UM: We want to have {negotiations with - Cogsdel} them again?

UM: Where’s another colored flag or cloth or something? -


UM: You go out, you can throw out a flag. Go out.

UM: Steve.

UM Yeah.

UM: hey.

UM: Okay. ---

Sage: David. (unintelligible) compound. It’s time to exit the compound in an orderly fashion. We have observed the red flag. It is the opinion of the commander that we will continue to attempt to contact or communicate with you however it’s time for you to exit the compound in an orderly fashion. We have received reports that although we have not initiated fire toward you, there has been fire initiated toward the (unintelligible).

UM: No way.

Sage: We are not in a position to place our agents in jeopardy to deliver a phone to you at this time. If you intend to come out at this time place a flag out the front door and we will ensure that you have a safe exit from the compound. If you intend to come out at this time change the flag at the front door and we will ensure that you are exiting into a safe environment. ---

UM: Says he sees fire (unintelligible) cannot deliver the phone.


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-3, Side A –

Time 0720

UM: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

UM: Don’t fire, don’t fire, don’t fire.

UM: Pat, they’re, they just rammed into the wall.

UM: Gas, gas.

UM: Look at the gas.

UM: What kind of gas is it?

UM: Tear gas is irritating (unintelligible). ---


Time 0723

UM: Is there any way to spread fuel in there? There.

UM: I don’t know. I know that one (unintelligible).

UM: (unintelligible)

UM: So we only light them as they come in (unintelligible) right? Not if they (don’t come in - Cogsdel}.

UM: Well, that’s the fuel. We should get more hay in here. [Is it possible that Molotov cocktails have been poured and spread around for defensive purposes? Hay bales to fortify the positions, should the FBI "come in"? This makes more sense than suicide based upon all of the information.]


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-4, Side A –

Time 0906

UM: Hang out the banner. Bring down the banner. Anybody got the banner from here?

UM: Yeah.

UM: Damn phone ---


Time 0920

Graeme [Craddock]: The {line - Cogsdel} could be fine. It could be broken under that pole. Schneider: I see. Graeme: See that junction box (the junction box runs to - Cogsdel} back into the junction box. (All we have to do is run a line back to that junction box - Cogsdel} Pablo: Pull from this end (unintelligible). When they were, about 6:00 o’clock, before they even started driving, the first

driver, it pulled out [was the telephone cut, prior to the "assault", by the FBI to avoid having to communicate with those that had been marked for surrender or death? A real ultimatum?]

Sage: David, this is Byron Sage. Be advised that, uh, we received your message that the phone line appears to be cut. We want you to retrieve as much of the cord and the device back into the building as you can, to see if it is repairable. Let us know if it appears to be repairable. Give us a signal. If it is not, they’re exploring avenues as to whether or not we have another phone which we can provide to you. Once again I stress to you that the only purpose for reestablishing that contact is going to be the coordination of a rapid and orderly extraction of all people from inside the compound. We will ask you to retrieve the wire and instrument back into the compound and Graeme or whoever (unintelligible) to see if it is repairable and give us some sort of message. The primary message that we are delivering to you is that it is time to exit the compound and exit now. We will once again assure you that you will be treated professionally.


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-4, Side B –

Time 0944 ---

UM: Can you keep reporting to me that, progress if there’s any at all about that hot line?

UM: What?

UM(S): About getting a line going.

UM: Where are you? Oh, out right there?

UM: I’ll be upstairs by David.

UM: the line is dead.

UM: I know it is, I figured it would be cause they cut it themselves.

UM: Yeah.

UM: The first thing that happened, isn’t it?

UM: It is.

UM: Let’s draw the line in.

UM: Get that line there.

UM: Do you find that it is dead?


The whole wire’s

UM: They know it already anyway.

UM: Well, they asked to check again.

UM: Well, just kinda listen to what they’re announcing. So, I think they already know, don’t they?

UM:-I, I made them aware.

UM: Yeah, exactly.

UM: And they acknowledged it/

UM: So (unintelligible)

UM: (unintelligible) they asked again. They just wanted to check again.

UM: Okay, just respond accordingly cause we do want to get a line to say at least something to ‘em. We’ve asked that we could finish the (unintelligible) here the manuscript, the first one was about completed. It was worked on all last night. But there’s no way, you know I gotta be able to say that to ‘em. But not, you know.

UM: Want me to let ‘em know that the line was cut at that spot?

UM: Yeah, see the problem is (Pablo already has- Cogsdel} he just went out already. ---

Sage: One person can come outside, grab the wire and bring it back in the house.

Sage: We will get another piece of line to you if necessary.


Excerpts from Tape SA 73-5, Side B ---

UM: Get with the kids [presumably seeking refuge under wet blankets in the "cooler"]



Time 1140

UM: I want (no firing around the back or anywhere else. - Cogsdel}


Excerpts from an Unidentified Tape [time line shown appears to be grossly in error] - [no time line at beginning]

UM: They’re coming in, they’re breaking the building down. ---

Sage: We don’t want anyone hurt.

UM: They’re punching the walls in.

Sage: No one in the (unintelligible)

UM: (unintelligible) Hey, hey.

Sage: This is not an assault. Do not fire any weapons. Do not fire any weapons. We do not want anyone hurt. ---


Time 0612 [?]


UM: What’s the problem?

UM: You want to (unintelligible) more people.

UM: They’re going to kill us.

UM: They don’t want to kill us. ---

UM: Don’t move around (unintelligible) get ready. Don’t let anybody come in.

UM: Nobody comes in, huh?

UM: Nobody (unintelligible)

UM: Right. ---


Time 0619 [?]

UM: Hmm?

UM: (unintelligible) [perhaps: did they] start the [a] fire?

UM: We have a (unintelligible) goin’ in.


The tape continues with speculation that the repeated orders not to go to the tower indicate that they will be "landing" on it, obviously a fear inside that an assault was going to take place. The actions, if listened to in this light, would be consistent with preparations for the defense of the Church against an anticipated final assault by the FBI. the preparations, pouring and spreading of fuel would, presumably, be the distribution of Molotov cocktails to attempt to repel tanks or personnel. The precautions, actions, efforts to restore communication, protect women and children and the general conversation ARE NOT consistent with what would be anticipated if suicide were being contemplated. This, perhaps, was also in the minds of the jurors who deiced that there was no "conspiracy" on the part of the Davidians. There is also the physical proof, the computer disc that came out, and, that efforts were in progress, as indicted on these tapes, to complete the Seven Seals.

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