Paths to The Waco Inferno THE EMBITTERED DEPUTY

STEVE SCHNEIDER WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT, IF NOT TO HIMSELF, THEN to some of the people who wanted to use him.

He made his initial public appearance in the unfolding Waco tragedy as a substitute for a wounded David Koresh, grown weak after hours of haranguing FBI hostage negotiators. The bureau told the press that like his boss, Schneider enjoyed explicating Scripture, and that he seemed moody. But his background and character were of considerably more interest than they let on at the time.

Schneider, 43, had been reared, like some of the cultists, as a Seventh Day Adventist. Unlike the others,...

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