A sequel to a TV miniseries about the tragic events of the Waco, Texas, siege premieres this weekend, and is based in part on a book by a Bangor native who survived the events.
The 51-day standoff in 1993 between an extremist Christian cult and the federal government in Waco ended in a fire that killed 86 people.
“Waco: The Aftermath” premieres Sunday on Showtime, and draws from “Waco: A Survivor’s Story,” written by Bangor native David Thibodeau, one of nine people who left the Branch Davidian compound before it burned down. April 19 is the 30th anniversary of the devastating fire that ended the siege.
The first miniseries, “Waco,” came out in 2018, and was based in large part on Thibodeau’s book, first published in 1999, which recounts his experience living with the Branch Davidian religious sect for about 18 months in his early 20s, and the years immediately following the raid by federal authorities on the group’s compound.
“Waco: The Aftermath,” details the months and years immediately following the siege, including the trial of surviving Branch Davidians. It explores the ongoing repercussions of the events, including the fact that Timothy McVeigh said the raid was one of the main reasons why he engineered the 1995 bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people.
The new series sees Michael Shannon return to the role of FBI negotiator Gary Noessner, and John Leguizamo returns as ATF agent Jacob Vasquez. Thibodeau, who was portrayed in the 2018 series by Rory Culkin, is not a character in the new series.
Thibodeau does appear in a new three-part docu-series about the Waco siege, “Waco: American Apocalypse,” which premiered last month on Netflix.
Thibodeau graduated from Bangor High School in 1987 and moved to Los Angeles, where he met Branch Davidian leader David Koresh at a Guitar Center — Koresh was a guitar player, and Thibodeau is a lifelong drummer. He lived at Koresh’s compound in Waco for 18 months before leaving just a few days before the siege ended. Thibobeau lost his wife, Michele, and daughter, Serenity, in the raid.
Thibodeau returned to Maine afterward, and has lived in Bangor since 2003, where he has played drums in a number of local bands. He said in a 2018 Bangor Daily News interview when the first “Waco” series came out that he felt the show’s producers did the best job yet of telling the story of Waco.
“This is the first time that all sides of the story have been told,” said Thibodeau. “I really felt like it captured everything.”