Long known for their binge-able deep dives into some of the most prolific true crime stories in history, Netflix has announced the topic of their next docuseries. Waco: American Apocalypse will hit the streamer in three parts on March 22, 2023, and tell the story behind one of the most infamous showdowns between a cult and the United States government. Audiences who tuned in for the streamer’s in-depth docuseries centered around the infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez in Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, will be happy to know that its director Tiller Russell is the storytelling eye behind Waco: American Apocalypse.
The events of Waco unfolded back in 1993 in the Texas town where cult leader David Koresh and his followers known as the Branch Davidians resided. The church was an offshoot of Seventh-Day Adventists with Koresh grasping at an opportunity to claim that he was the true Messiah. Although the government had its eyes on the cult for quite some time, the tragic events now synonymous with the town of Waco began one morning in February 1993. After obtaining a warrant to investigate allegations of illegal weapons violations and sexual abuse charges, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms laid siege to the compound where the religious sect resided.
What would unfold over the next 51 days was an all-out war with Koresh forcing his people to stand their ground against the government. Aided by a stockpile of weapons and ammunition, the Branch Davidians did just that and managed to hold off the federal agents in an event that would see multiple casualties on both sides. In the end, the compound would catch fire in a way that’s still debated to this day, with the entire horrific event playing out on news channels around the world.
In shaping his vision for the story, Russell will be using never-before-seen news footage and FBI recordings as well as interviews with those who witnessed the tragedy firsthand. Gaining information from both sides, the docuseries will feature accounts from one of Koresh’s spiritual wives, the last child who was able to escape the compound before its destruction, an FBI sniper, the FBI Crisis Negotiation Chief, and many more. In a statement released alongside the announcement, Russell says that his project will not be “assigning blame or pointing fingers,” but will rather be a deeper look at “what it feels like for people on all sides to be caught in the maws of history.”
Waco: American Apocalypse is the latest in Netflix’s true crime slate having recently released scripted hits including Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and similar cult-based documentaries like Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.