The latest true crime on Netflix series is a deep dive into Kathy Schroeder, the infamous 1993 Waco Massacre and the manipulative religious sect behind the unnecessary tragedy.
Waco: American Apocalypse, which premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, March 22, features never-before-seen footage and in-depth interviews with former members of the Branch Davidians, the cult behind a notorious 51-day siege in Texas. Unlike other documentaries and shows about cults, Tiller Russell's three-part project doesn't focus specifically on cult leader David Koresh's apocalyptic beliefs and abusive ways, but rather on the month-and-a-half-long standoff that unfolded when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) tried to siege the cult's illegal weapons, which had been stockpiled in anticipation of "Christ's second coming."
Despite it all, Kathy Schroeder admitted that she'd live through it all again. In a YouTube video detailing her return to Mount Caramel, the compound where the horrific events from 1993 took place, she still stands by the beliefs Koresh instilled in her.
"I know that what I learned there and what I believed in was right for me," she said in the video. "Even to this day, if the raid had not happened, and we were all still alive, I would still be there."
But where is Kathy Shroeder now? Here's what we know about the Waco Siege survivor.
Where is Kathy Schroeder today?
Kathy Schroeder, who was formerly a member of the Air Force, ended up relocating from Florida to Waco, Texas with her second husband and children to follow along with cult leader David Koresh's beliefs—i.e. "living for God." Like Warren Jeffs from the FLDS, members of the Branch Davidians community experienced harsh realities, including abuse, restrictions, authoritarian beliefs and underage marriages.
"People think that a man having sex with a bunch of underaged girls is a crime,” Schroeder says in the documentary. “And in conventional wisdom, this could probably be very well true. However, these weren’t underaged girls because you come of age at 12. All these girls were adults in our belief system.”
When Schroeder and her husband became close to Koresh, she was given a hand grenade at the start of the siege and instructed to kill herself and members of the community if the Branch Davidians began to lose their battle. She ultimately did not listen to the commands, as she feared for her young children in police custody.
At the end of the tragic ordeal, which included the death of four federal agents and 80-plus sect members who died in a fire they allegedly set to the compound, Schroeder was sentenced to three years in prison in 1994 on a reduced charge (from first-degree murder to resisting arrest).
“I want to say I know a lot of people have suffered. I really am sorry for that. I don’t think it should ever have happened,” Schroeder told the judge at the time according to The Los Angeles Times.
Following her brief stint in prison, Kathy Schroeder returned to Florida and now reportedly lives under the radar. Sources claim that not much is known about Schroeder's life post-prison, but she does still remain close to her family, though her husband, Michael Schroeder, died on the first day of the Waco Siege. Judging from her reveals, it seems she is still sticking by Koresh's teachings.
Watch the 'Waco: American Apocalypse' trailer:
Waco: American Massacre is available for streaming on Netflix beginning March 22. Check out all of the other best true crime documentaries streaming.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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