With Showtime’s ‘Waco: The Aftermath’ living up to its title in every way imaginable, we get a deep insight into the reality of what precisely transpired following the horrific 1993 siege in a Texan city. After all, even though it is a five-part drama miniseries, it manages to explore the full gravity of the avoidable, controversial, heinous, and disastrous FBI standoff at the Branch Davidian compound. Amongst those to thus be heavily featured in this narrative was survivor Clive Doyle — so now, if you wish to learn more about him as well as his experiences, we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who Was Clive Doyle?
It was reportedly in the early 1950s when a young Clive and his mother became a part of the Shepherd’s Rod religious community, only for it to later be renamed the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. In fact, by the time 1958 rolled around, the 17-year-old Australian native had decided to quit his stable job as a cabinet shop apprentice with the explicit intention of spreading the sect’s message. He hence relocated to Tasmania for six years but then came to the United States believing that being a Branch Davidian would help him reach Israel — a kingdom set up by God on Earth — quicker.
However, despite the fact Clive played more than an influential role in formulating both Lois Roden’s and David Koresh’s (real name Vernon Howell) theologies, he never got to go any further. He was actually an editor for their 1980s publication SHEkinah used to disseminate ideas to others, and he was a part of their educational video company in 1990, but Texas was his endpoint. The fact that he’d settled his entire family in the Branch Davidian compound just outside of Waco as well as his nearly unwavering loyalty to the group as a whole ostensibly didn’t hold much sway.
Then came February 1993 when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ attempt to serve an arrest warrant against leader David on weapons charges went completely haywire. It resulted in a shootout lasting more than two hours, followed by a 51-day siege which ultimately ended only owing to a devastating fire whose precise point of origin is still disputed by many. We say devastating because these flames took the lives of 76 Branch Davidians, including Clive’s youngest daughter Shari, 24 other children, and David — there were just nine survivors, amongst whom was he.
“All hell broke loose — bullets flying through the windows and going through the walls,” Clive once said while recounting the initial incident. As for the final day, he added, “I saw grown men crying when gas got on them… I was on fire. My jacket was melting, my hands, skin was rolling off.” Nevertheless, unlike most of his fellow survivors, he never blamed any particular party for his injuries or the unimaginable loss he endured; he always maintained it was an act led by God. The only thing he detests is that conspiracy, weapons, and murder charges were subsequently filed against him in connection to this matter.
How Did Clive Doyle Die?
Clive did have to face an extensive as well as a personally invasive trial in 1994, but he was acquitted of all the counts against him as the evidence pointed towards nothing criminal from his side. He thus returned to Waco, Texas, for good, where he settled down while still continuing to believe in David’s theology and proficiency in every sense of the term — he believed God led David. That’s why he, along with other survivors, attempted to erect a museum on the siege’s site in 1998 before successfully rebuilding a chapel at the same spot without any significant issues or disputes around a year later.
Regardless, it is imperative to note that Clive did not support/appreciate the way Timothy McVeigh car-bombed a federal office building in Oklahoma City in 1995 in the name of revenge for Waco. He admittedly saw “no honor” in his actions, insisted that he “is not any sort of champion from our [the survivors’] point of view,” and later expressed fear about the far-right groups’ obsession with the siege. Peace as well as remembrance are the sole things he hoped to facilitate through his 2012 memoir ‘A Journey to Waco,’ his active participation in various memorial/anniversary services, and his public interviews.
In the end, Clive passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer on June 8, 2022 — the 81-year-old grandfather was still residing in Waco, Texas, albeit he did sometimes visit his homeland. This happened a little more than four years after he lost his elder daughter Karen too; she was killed when a drunk driver hit her vehicle in Pennsylvania nearly three weeks before the 25th anniversary of the siege.
Read More: Ruth Riddle: Where is Waco Survivor Now?