The Real-Life Story Of Waco Survivor David Thibodeau

As a young man, David Koresh wanted to become a rock guitarist, per Rolling Stone. Instead, he would become the frontman of a Branch Davidians cult and proclaim himself the "Lamb of God" who, according to the Book of Revelation, would reveal the secrets of the end times. But before he went from plucking guitar strings to pulling all the strings as a cult leader, Koresh still added a drummer to his band of believers. That drummer was David Thibodeau.

As the Austin Chronicle recounts, Thibodeau was eking out a living in Hollywood when he met Koresh. He worked at the Mann's Chinese theater gift shop and played in a band he felt was throwing its musical gifts away. "I was in a good band," Thibodeau recalled. "But they didn't want to get serious. They just wanted to get high." Koresh, however, invited Thibodeau to answer a higher calling as part of a Christian rock band.

Thibodeau became involved with the Davidians and was iImpressed by their religiosity as well as Koresh's guitar skills. Eager to make his music dreams come true, the drummer decided to march to the beat of the cult leader and agreed to go to Waco, where things ended on a tragic note.

The little drummer ploy

As detailed by the Austin Chronicle , Thibodeau describes his life in Waco in the book, A Place Called Waco: A Survivor's Story. He spent two years under the tutelage of David Koresh, learning and observing. Per PopSugar, Thibodeau has claimed didn't consider himself a Davidian and never viewed Koresh through the messianic lens that other followers might have. Even so, Thibodeau thought of him as a prophet and married a woman at Koresh's behest. Koresh, meanwhile, took multiple partners of his own choosing. Described as "spiritual wives," via Rolling Stone, some were as young as 12 years old.

In his book, Thibodeau says Koresh slept with 15 women and fathered 17 children. Twelve of his children and eight of his wives ultimately perished during the Branch Davidians' fiery 1993 standoff with the FBI and ATF in 1993. That incident lasted 51 days and claimed roughly 80 lives when a fire broke out for reasons that remain in dispute. Some members died from gunfire. Thibodeau was one of nine survivors. He went on to tell his story, acted as a consultant on a miniseries about Waco, and became a drummer in a band called the Blast Addicts. Hopefully he's having a blast.