Dan Mulloney Robert Bryce oney to hear about the ATF raid on Mount Carmel a couple of days ahead of time. Mulloney knew someone who worked with Waco’s ambulance crew who told him about the raid. He later confirmed the tip when he talked to Tommy Witherspoon, a reporter for the Waco Tribune-Herald, who had been friends with Mulloney for years, and who had also received a tip about the upcoming raid. According to Mulloney, Witherspoon named a man in the McClennan County Sherriff’s Department as his source. Law enforcement officials in Waco who investigated the incident confirmed that a sheriff’s deputy named Cal Luedke was the source of the leak that allowed the TV crew to be at Mount Carmel that day. Yet in the aftermath of the disaster, it was Dan Mulloneynot Witherspoon or Luedkewho became the pariah. Witherspoon has since denied that he ever told Mulloney who his source was. “I deny ever telling Dan Mulloney anything,” he told me. Then he added, “Mulloney is a drunk.” There’s certainly no denying that fact. After Mulloney left KWTX in 1998, after 15 years at the station, his life began a slow downward spiral. When I interviewed him at his small but tidy garage apartment a few blocks south of downtown Waco last year, he went through several 16-ounce beers in less than an hour. Infected with hepatitis-C due to a blood transfusion he had received several years before, Mulloney’s liver was already damaged. He shouldn’t have touched alcohol, much less worked in a tavern like Charlie’s Corner, where his last job was. But Mulloney’s pain and desire to soothe his life with drink is a bit easier to understand for those who have seen the entirety of the videotape that he shot on February 28, the day of the disaster for which he has been blamed. There are the familiar images of the ATF agents breaking windows on the second story of the Davidian building and of agents exchanging gunfire with the Davidians. But the more haunting images are of the ATF agents carting off their dead and wounded. The entirety of the footage that Mulloney shot that daythe video of the long, slow retreat of the anguished ATF agents with Mount Carmel in the backgroundhas never been broadcast. In one shot, Mulloney captured four agents dragging the limp, face-down body of one of their dead comrades by his arms. Other wounded agents, grimacing in pain, are being carried away from the battle. At one point, a pair of ATF agents and a group of deputies from the McClennan County Sherriff’s Office attack Mulloney, and begin slapping him in the face and neck, kicking him, and trying to wrestle the camera away from him.”Get that fucking camera out of here,” one agent yells, while assaulting Mulloney. Mulloney put the camera between his legs and tried to cover his head against the blows. But he kept shooting, kept doing the job he was trained to do. ulloney died alone, and that that was undoubtedly how he wanted it. His bellicosity and AL.1 i prickly personality had estranged him from most of his friends and family, including his only sibling, Patricia. His heart had begun giving him trouble earlier this year. On November 19, he went to the hospital and had some of the fluid drained from the area around his heart. He drove home and went to bed. Several days later, his landlady became curious and called the Waco Fire Department. On November 24, firefighters climbed through a window and found his body. As we sat in his apartment last year, Mulloney sorted through a four-inchhigh stack of news clippings on the Davidian disaster. And he repeatedly asked why the ATF never disciplined Sarabyn and Chojnacki for their mistakes. “We’re tired of being the brunt of this,” he told me. “The ATF has had a chance to rebut all of the allegations against us. The problem is they don’t want to admit they made a mistake. I don’t have an axe to grind. I just want the truth to come out.” Some of the truth about Waco died with Dan Mulloney. He was 52. Contributing writer Robert Bryce lives in Austin. 12/21/01 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.