AP/Wide World Photos

David Koresh, 1959–1993. A young David Koresh, shown inside the compound (see previous photo), joined the Branch Davidians in 1984. He quickly overcame dissension within the group and took over the leadership. Although the more sensationalistic aspects of Koresh’s life have made headlines, his theological message has been largely ignored. Koresh believed that he played a key part in Revelation as he interpreted it.