David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell; August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the American leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect, believing himself to be its final prophet. Coming from a dysfunctional family background, Koresh claimed to become a Christian in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before joining a splinter group, based at the Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas, which took the name Branch Davidians. Here he competed for dominance with another leader named George Roden, until Roden was jailed for murdering another rival. Koresh was then accused of seducing a 13-year-old girl, apparently with her parents’ consent, a relationship that he sanctified as a ‘spiritual marriage’. But it was the serving of arrest and search warrants by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of an investigation into illegal possession of firearms and explosives that provoked the historic 1993 raid on the center. Four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed during the initial two-hour firefight, both sides claiming the other side fired first. The subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the center, where Koresh and 79 others were found dead after the fire.