Cyrus Howell Koresh, David Koresh’s Son: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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McLennan County SheriffDavid Koresh

Tonight the six-part miniseries about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, called Waco, begins on the Paramount Network. One of the historical figures who will appear in this series is Cyrus Koresh, David Koresh’s son. David Koresh was rumored to have as many as 15 children, possibly more, but Cyrus was one of the few known officially. In the series, he is portrayed by Duncan Joiner and appears in all six episodes.


1. Cyrus, the Son of Rachel and David Koresh, Was Only 8 When He Died

Cyrus Koresh Howell was 8 when he died in the fire. His mother was Rachel Koresh. Rachel and Cyrus’ sister, Star, also died in the fire. Star was only 6 years old.

According to Cyrus’s autopsy, his body was “charred” from the fire and there was no evidence of a gunshot wound. His cause of death was likely due to suffocation from the building’s collapse, but the medical examiner said he could not rule out trauma to the head as another possibility.


2. Koresh May Have Fathered At Least 11 Children in Addition to Cyrus

FBIImage from a home video David Koresh released.

Former Branch Davidian Jeannine Bunds claimed that Koresh had fathered at least 15 children from various women, and she had personally delivered seven of them. She said that every couple who joined the group had their marriage annulled, and Koresh often had sex with the women in his compound. Koresh himself acknowledged in a video that he had fathered at least 12 children by several wives. At least three children of David are known: Cyrus, Star Howell, and Bobbie Lane. Bobbie Lane was 16 months when she died in the fire.

A forensic pathology evaluation stated that DNA studies showed it was reasonably likely that Koresh had fathered at least 12 children who died in the fire. These children included Dayland Little, Pages Gent, Chanel Andrade, Star Howell, Cyrus Howell, Bobbie Koresh, Hollywood Sylvia, Mayannah Schneider, the Jones twins, and two unborn children. All the children died in a concrete bunker on the property, which some referred to as a central sleeping room. One of the survivors said that Koresh herded the children there during the raid, intending them to die.


3. Cyrus Was Temporarily Exiled at the Age of 4 and Not Allowed to Eat

David Koresh was harsh on his children, and according to some reports he abused them. But he seemed to be harshest on Cyrus. The Chicago Tribune reported that when Cyrus was only four years old, he was exiled temporarily. He had to sleep in a dark garage and was told that rats were going to gnaw on him while he slept. A follower said that Koresh told him that he believed any child who died as a result of discipline would go directly to heaven.

People reported that the garage incident happened when Cyrus was 3, not 4. It started because he refused to acknowledge that one of the cult women was also his “mother.” Koresh first made him spend the night on the kitchen floor and wouldn’t let him eat for a few days. Cyrus started getting very weak, so Koresh let him eat but then made him sleep in the garage.


4. Rachel Married David Koresh When She Was 14

Rachel and David Koresh married when Rachel was only 14, the Washington Post reported in 1993. They were married for nine years before they died when Rachel was 23.  Rachel gave birth to Cyrus and his sister, Star, who also both perished in the fire. Rachel was one of David’s most passionate followers. She was described as pretty, with long blonde hair, and dressed casually in slacks and sweatshirts while living at the compound.


5. All of Cyrus’s Family Followed David Koresh

Cyrus’s entire family was involved in the Branch Davidian religion. Cyrus’s uncle and Rachel’s older brother, David, also died in the fire. He was only 38. David was an ardent follower, one of Koresh’s trained “Might Men” warriors, and sometimes referred to as David Koresh’s bodyguard. Rachel’s younger sister, Michelle, also died in the fire at the age of 18 along with her two children — Serenity Sea Jones, 4, and Bobby Lane Koresh, 16 months. It’s rumored that Serenity Sea was also David’s daughter, in addition to Bobby (sometimes spelled Bobbie) Lane.

Cyrus’s grandfather, Perry Jones, died in the February 28 shooting at the compound that led to the siege. He was 66. He was Koresh’s “chief errand runner,” The Washington Post reported, working with Waco contractors and often overseeing construction projects. He was described as being older and frail, but also very nice and polite. The Jones family were followers of an independent Seventh-Day Adventist sect that had summer camps at the compound years before Koresh started leading the group, and then they transitioned into following David Koresh.