AP/Wide World Photos

Inferno at Waco. Raging fires swept through the Branch Davidian’s compound near Waco, Texas, on April 19, as FBI agents in armored vehicles stormed the fenced-in area and pumped in tear gas. The fire left 86 dead. David Koresh (see photo of David Koresh), leader of the organization, and his followers believed that Koresh had been chosen by God to open the Seven Seals described in the Book of Revelation, which tells of the events leading up to the end of the world. James Tabor, working with his colleague Phillip Arnold, advised the FBI throughout the crisis. Tabor suggests that the tragedy could have been avoided if the FBI had taken Koresh’s message seriously and had approached the standoff with a better understanding of Revelation, rather than with guns.