Waco massacre victims buried

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THREE hundred people packed a church yesterday for the funerals of two of the British victims of the Waco siege in Texas seven months ago.

Stephen Henry, 26, and his brother Phillip, 22, died with their mother and three sisters as fire consumed the Branch Davidian sect's headquarters at the end of a 51-day siege in April.

The men's father, Sam Henry - the last surviving member of the family - told the congregation: 'I put the blame for the death of my family on the Devil. Satan is the author of destruction. My children were my treasure.

'They were all that I had got, except salvation in this life. Now they are all gone.'

The two-hour service at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fallowfield, Manchester, was also in memory of Mr Henry's wife Zilla, 55, and daughters Diana, 28, Paulina, 24, and Vanessa, 19. The American authorities have been unable to identify their bodies.

Post mortem examinations showed that Stephen and Phillip died of gunshot wounds. Eighty-seven people - including 24 Britons - died when fire broke out as federal agents tried to storm the headquarters of David Koresh's sect.

Mr Henry tried to persuade his family not to join the cult. All were originally members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at which yesterday's funerals were held.

The church's former pastor, Derek Marley, told the congregation: 'To many people, what has happened to this man (Mr Henry) . . . will have blown their minds.'

The service was followed by burials at Stretford Cemetery.