For fifty-one days, the drama of the Branch Davidian standoff in Central Texas was given daily coverage by the media throughout the world. From the time of the assault on the Branch Davidian compound on Sunday morning, 28 February 1993, by approximately one hundred federal agents, during which four agents and six Davidians within the compound were killed and sixteen agents and an indeterminate number of Davidians were wounded, to the drama's fateful fiery climax on Monday, 19 April, in which at least eighty-six persons in the compound (including seventeen children) lost their lives, the flow of news stories remained constant. Daily reports were released by the press, radio, and television, with several feature cover stories appearing in weekly news magazines. Cover stories of the standoff appeared in major news magazines such as Time and Newsweek.
From the very beginning, the confrontation between federal agents and the Branch Davidians provoked a storm of controversy and acrimonious debate. It should be kept in mind that the Branch Davidians had not been charged with any crime. The initial assault by approximately one hundred armed agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on the compound occupied by little more than one hundred Branch Davidians, more than half of whom were women and children,