Flashback: Waco Siege Crowds Drew Hawkers to Branch Davidian Compound With Trunks Full of T-shirts

For many, the siege at Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, was a real-life nightmare playing out on the nightly news. For others, it was even closer — a violent horror show playing out in their state, in their city and, for many around the compound, before their very eyes.For hucksters who swarmed the perimeter of the compound, however, it was a golden opportunity. In 1993, long before Magnolia Market drew people to Waco, Mount Carmel did. Many came for the same reasons they visit now — to tell their friends they were there. Others came to protest the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or to spread their own particular brand of Christianity. But for many, the draw was the crowd itself — and their pocket books.In particular, T-shirt salesmen set up their stands, offering merchandise with slogans like "WACO — We Aren't Coming Out" and "Wacko WACO." The latter also featured a scorecard, which could be filled in with a laundry marker "to keep track of casualties." Others, like David Mevis, focused on crowds' stomachs. Mevis set up his grill and offered "Koresh Burgers" and "Koresh Dogs" for $2 each.The Dallas Morning News photo team stayed in Waco for weeks, capturing images of all aspects of the siege. They captured the opportunists looking to make a buck off the "End Times."  Continue reading...

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