Reporter Recalls Standoff

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

02-28-07 A deadly Texas standoff in an event etched in the minds of people all over the world. Wednesday marks the fourteenth anniversary of the Branch Davidian standoff near Waco. A former KXII reporter covered the standoff as a student journalist.

As a student journalist at SMU, Michelle Rauch went down to Waco to report of the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound. Rauch describes the scene as one where people came from all over the country to witness what was happening.

One woman concerned about children inside the compound was selling t-shirts saying, "Save the Children."

A group of Seventh Day Adventists were on hand. They were concerend people would confuse their religious beliefs with those of Branch leader David Koresh.

Rauch also interviewed a soft-spoken man with strong beliefs about the US government. The man turned out to be Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh was selling bumper stickers with one reading, 'A man without guns is not a citizen.'

McVeigh was later convicted of bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City two years after the standoff.

In the KXII newsroom, one year after the bombing, Rauch realized her interivew at the standoff was with McVeigh.

"Here's this person who's the center of a nationwide, really worldwide story was someone that I had actually met and that I had acutally spent 20 minutes talking to on a hilltop there in Waco," Rauch said.

The FBI asked Rauch for her photos and the article she wrote to use in their investigation of the incident.

Rauch is now a reporter with a station in Lexington, Kentucky. She says the Branch Davidian standoff and her interview with Timothy McVeigh is one of the most memorable stories of her career.

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