Graeme Craddock Testimony on Waco Fire
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS WACO DIVISION
ISABEL G. ANDRADE, et al.
C.A. NO. W-96-CA-139
JUDGE WALTER S. SMITH
and consolidated actions:
VS. Holub v. Reno W-96-CA-140
Ferguson v. Reno W-96-CA-141
PHILLIP J. CHOJNACKI, Brown v. U.S. W-96-CA-142
Riddle v. Reno W-96-CA-143
Gyarfas v. U.S. W-96-CA-144
Defendants. Martin v. U.S. W-96-CA-145
Holub v. U.S. W-96-CA-146
Brown v. U.S. W-96-CA-147
Sylvia v. U.S. W-96-CA-373
ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF GRAEME CRADDOCK
October 29, 1999
Volume 2 _____
ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION of GRAEME CRADDOCK, produced as a witness at the instance of the Plaintiffs, and duly sworn, was taken in the above-styled and numbered cause on the 29th of October, 1999, from 8:53 a.m. to 3:47 p.m., before Holly P. Burns, CSR in and for the State of Texas, reported by machine shorthand, at the Federal Correctional Institute, 1507 East Whatley Road, Oakdale, Louisiana, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the provisions stated on the record or attached hereto.
Job No. 44486
p. 210 1 A P P E A R A N C E S
2 FOR THE ANDRADE, FERGUSON, GYARFAS, MARTIN, RIDDLE,
3 SYLVIA, AND HOLUB PLAINTIFFS:
Mr. Joe Phillips
4 Caddell Chapman
1331 Lamar, Suite 1070
5 Houston, Texas 77010-3027
6 FOR THE FERGUSON and GYARFAS PLAINTIFFS:
Mr. D.M.A. (Dave) Hollaway
7 Associate Director
CAUSE Foundation, Inc.
8 12227 F.M. 529
Houston, Texas 77041
9 FOR THE HOLUB PLAINTIFFS:
10 Mr. James H. Brannon
Law Offices of James H. Brannon
11 5847 San Felipe, Suite 1450
Houston, Texas 77057
13 FOR THE DEFENDANT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Mr. James G. Touhey, Jr.
14 U.S. Department of Justice Torts Branch
15 Civil Division
National Place Building, Room 8058
16 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
17 and Ms. Elizabeth R. Beers
18 Federal Bureau of Investigation Civil Litigation Unit
19 J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
20 Washington, D.C. 20535
21 FOR GRAEME CRADDOCK:
22 Mr. Stanley Rentz
Law Offices of Stanley Rentz
23 506 Franklin
Waco, Texas 76701
24 ALSO PRESENT:
25 Mr. Sean Morella, the Videographer
9 Q. What did you observe the people doing in the
09:51 10 chapel?
11 A. Most of the people, I think, were -- had gone
12 into the back point after this -- this is after the,
13 the, the vehicle had sprayed its thick cloud into the
14 chapel. Most of the people had left the chapel area
09:51 15 and gone to the back.
16 I think there was Raymond Friesen, which
17 was beside, beside me. I don't recall exactly what he
18 was doing. I remember I, I got the water bottle from
19 him to wet the rag.
09:51 20 Across any of the central -- or on, on
21 the other side of the chapel was Pablo Cohen; and he'd
22 just finished screaming out, "Wait. Wait" telling
23 this other guy not to pour all the fuel inside, poor it
24 outside. There was a conversation he, he then had with
09:52 25 whoever was pouring this fuel. Then --
09:52 1 Q. All right. You, you described people going
2 into the gym, and, and then they would exit the gym to
3 escape gassing from the gym area; is that correct?
4 A. I don't know if they were gassing the gym area
09:52 5 or, or whether they were just trying to escape the
6 possible path of this vehicle where they were concerned
7 they were going to get run over by the vehicle, but --
8 Q. The vehicle that was operating behind the gym?
9 A. Yes.
09:52 10 Q. Okay. Now, you described earlier the movement
11 of fuel cans; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you participated in that?
14 A. Yes.
09:52 15 Q. And you observed other people doing that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What were your reasons for moving the fuel?
18 A. We didn't want the vehicle running over the
19 fuel cans that were in the, the entrance to the chapel.
09:53 20 Q. Okay. And, and why were you concerned about
22 A. Well, if the vehicle came in and ran over the
23 fuel, then it would spill fuel everywhere, which would
24 be a, a fire hazard, plus the fact that I think fuel
09:53 25 was a valuable commodity, not that I -- I don't know if
09:53 1 we actually used some of that Coleman fuel, or whatever
2 the fuel was. I -- the main fuel that I took -- looked
3 after was the fuel for the diesel generator, and that
4 was in the machine shop.
09:53 5 Q. Did anyone -- who was assisting you in moving
6 the fuel?
7 A. There was, I think, Pablo Cohen. I'm not
8 certain as to who the others were. I, I just can't
9 picture their faces right now; but I know there were
09:53 10 other people there.
11 Q. Did any of them state to you why they were
12 participating in moving the fuel?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay.
09:54 15 A. I think it was pretty much obvious the purpose
16 of moving the fuel if you're seeing the vehicles come
17 and wanted to get them out of the way.
18 Q. Okay. Do you recall Floyd Houtman helping you
19 move the fuel?
09:55 20 A. No, I don't recall.
21 Q. What about Wayne Martin?
22 A. I think Wayne was there, but I don't recall.
23 Q. What about Derek Lovelock?
24 A. I remember seeing Derek Lovelock there, but I
09:55 25 don't recall him helping.
09:55 1 Q. What about Clive Doyle?
2 A. Clive Doyle was there, but I don't recall
3 Clive -- whether he did or didn't.
4 Q. Okay. For these people, you just can't recall
09:55 5 whether they helped --
6 A. No.
7 Q. -- or not?
8 A. I, I know there were other people helping
9 then; but I just can't picture these people's faces --
10 Q. All right.
11 A. -- as I was moving the fuel.
12 Q. Okay. And where was the fuel placed?
13 A. On the front edge of the chapel. I'd say it
14 would be the southeast side of the stage. I think some
09:55 15 was put along the southeast wall, chapel wall.
16 Q. About how many can, cans of -- well, first,
17 what size were these cans?
18 A. These were one-gallon cans.
19 Q. And about how many are we talking about?
09:56 20 A. I think there was about maybe a dozen cans
21 along that front area. I think I might have grabbed
22 about three of them.
23 Q. Why was that location chosen to place them?
24 A. Well, it was away from where the tanks were
09:56 25 coming in at that stage. I put them on the front of
09:56 1 the, the stage so -- I thought that would be the
2 easiest place if we needed to move them again. If you
3 put them back further in the -- onto the stage, you'd
4 have to jump up on the stage, which would have made it
09:56 5 difficult. So, I put them at the front so if you
6 needed to grab them from below, that would be easy. If
7 you needed to grab them from the -- on the stage, you
8 could do so there. So, it was the most accessible
09:56 10 Q. Okay. Did you observe any damage to any of
11 the stairwells?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Okay. But you had situated yourself in the
14 chapel by what time?
09:57 15 A. I, I first moved there by about 11:30. I
16 think I was -- had a brief stint upstairs; and after
17 moving the fuel, I'd say about 11:45 I was -- stationed
18 myself against that, that northwest wall.
19 Q. So, after 11:45 you did not leave the chapel
09:57 20 until you exited the chapel to go into the cinder block
21 building below the water tower; is that correct?
22 A. There was a brief time I went towards the gym,
23 then came back, then left out through the window, then
24 ultimately into that cinder block building.
09:58 25 Q. But other than that, you didn't leave the
09:58 1 chapel --
2 A. No.
3 Q. -- prior to exiting it to go to the cinder
4 block building?
09:58 5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Now, at some point you hear people
7 talking about fire; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Okay. Now, would you recount those statements
09:58 10 for us in chronological order and, and -- well, sorry.
11 Just please do that.
12 A. I'm just trying to remember the exact time it
13 was. This would have been after the last penetration
14 when the vehicle came into the building where its boom
09:59 15 came to the end of the bleachers. After I heard Pablo
16 scream about not pouring fuel inside, maybe about a
17 minute after that, I heard a voice from -- coming from
18 upstairs direction through the ceiling of the chapel
19 back -- well, actually it would have been the front
09:59 20 part of the -- towards the front part of the building,
21 that is, which is the back part of the chapel.
22 Q. This is the area --
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. -- over the seating?
10:00 25 A. Yes.
10:00 1 Q. Okay.
2 A. It was at the rear of the chapel. Some of the
3 ceiling tiles had been removed and you could see up
4 through the ceiling into where the opening was into the
10:00 5 hallway above the stairs and I could see and hear Mark
6 Wendel call out the building was on fire.
7 Q. How many times did you hear him say that?
8 A. I heard him say that twice.
9 Q. Okay. Did he say it twice at that point, or
10:00 10 did he say it once and then state it again at some time
12 A. He said it once; and then about two minutes
13 later, he said it again, the building was on fire.
14 Q. All right. Please continue with the
10:00 15 description of what you heard.
16 A. Shortly after his second call that the
17 building was on fire -- I'm not certain exact period of
18 time. It may have been about 30 seconds later -- he
19 said -- another call came and said, Light the fire.
10:01 20 That was the point I left the chapel.
21 Q. Okay. I'm going to show you what I'll
22 represent to you is a portion of your testimony before
23 the grand jury, Page 12, Lines 10 through 20. Would
24 you read that into the record, please?
10:01 25 A. Someone said -- sorry. This is an answer:
10:01 1 Someone said the building was on fire. It sounded
2 like to me someone said, 'Light the fire.'
3 Then there was a call back, 'What fire?
10:01 5 And the next call I think I heard was,
6 'Don't light the fire.'
7 That's when I left the church area. I
8 went back into the gymnasium. I was probably only
9 there for about half a, half a minute. Then when I
10:02 10 came back, the southern wall facing the power station
11 was alight. Anyway, the Coleman fuel containers were
12 there. I think some of the fuel had been spilled. I
13 don't think there was any accident or otherwise.
14 Q. I'm sorry. Could you read that last --
10:02 15 A. I don't think it was any accident or
17 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask you to reread that
18 last sentence again.
19 A. Okay. I'm sorry. I don't know -- sorry.
10:02 20 I don't know whether it was accident or otherwise.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. Sorry.
23 Q. Now, do you recall giving that testimony
24 before the grand jury?
10:02 25 A. Not those specific words, but I remember being
10:02 1 before the grand jury.
2 Q. You don't, you don't have any reason to
3 disagree that this is your grand jury testimony, do
10:03 5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Now, does this refresh your
7 recollection as to what you heard on April 19th?
8 A. To some extent, yes.
9 Q. Okay. All right. Let, let's just see if we
10:03 10 can, we can get this clearly stated on the record. The
11 first thing you hear regarding fuel or fire is Pablo
12 Cohen saying, Don't pour it -- well, I don't want to
13 put words in your mouth.
14 The first thing you hear regarding fuel
10:03 15 or fire is a statement by Pablo Cohen; is that correct?
16 MR. TOUHEY: Objection to form.
17 Q. (BY MR. PHILLIPS) Well, let me ask the
18 question this way: What's the first statement you hear
19 when you're in the chapel about fuel or fire?
10:03 20 A. I think he said, Wait. Wait. Don't pour it
21 inside. Pour it outside.
22 Q. Okay. And who's saying this?
23 A. Pablo.
24 Q. Okay. And, and what do you see when you, when
10:03 25 you hear him say that?
10:03 1 A. I saw Pablo rushing towards someone that was
2 near the front of the bleachers on the other side of
3 the chapel, and they appeared to be pouring fuel on the
10:04 5 Q. Okay. Now, what is the next statement you
6 hear regarding fuel or fire?
7 A. There was some conversation between Pablo and
8 the guy pouring the fuel, and I don't recall exactly
9 what it was about. I don't think I heard all the
10:04 10 conversation; but at, at the time, as I said, I had a
11 problem with my own gas mask. So, I didn't really pay
12 too much attention to what was being said.
13 Q. Let me ask you this: Did the person who was
14 pouring the fuel stop pouring the fuel?
10:04 15 A. I think they initially did, yes.
16 Q. Okay. All right. Now, what's the next
17 statement you hear about fuel or fire?
18 A. I think it was when Mark Wendel called down to
19 say the building was on fire; and as I said, about two
10:05 20 minutes later he called down again and said the
21 building was on fire.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. And then there was a short break and he called
24 back again and said, Light the fire.
10:05 25 Q. All right.
10:05 1 A. Pablo, Pablo, in return, said --
2 Q. Let me -- if, if this will refresh your
3 recollection, let me again show you Page 12, Lines 10
4 to 20 of what I represent is your grand jury testimony.
10:05 5 A. According to what I said back in the grand
6 jury, there's a callback that says, What fire?
7 Where? The next I heard was, Don't light the fire.
8 You know, I don't specifically re --
9 recall hearing those statements. I -- there was some
10:06 10 conversation between Pablo and Mark Wendel, and I'm not
11 certain exact -- certain of the exact words that were
12 used. So, when I gave these statements to the grand
13 jury, I was thinking I was -- I gave what I thought he
14 gave, but I wasn't exactly certain. I'm not exactly
10:07 15 certain the exact words that Pablo used or the exchange
16 that occurred, but I do recall something -- there was
17 some con -- conversation between Pablo and Mark Wendel,
18 and the effect of that conversation was simply to wait
19 and to find out.
10:07 20 Q. Well, would you agree that your memory at the
21 time of your grand jury testimony was, was, regarding
22 this conversation, was better than it is today?
23 A. I'd say so, yes.
24 Q. Okay.
10:07 25 MR. TOUHEY: Objection to the form of the
10:07 1 last question.
2 Q. (BY MR. PHILLIPS) All right. What's the --
3 did you hear any more statements about fuel or fire
4 after this exchange between Pablo Cohen and Mark
10:07 5 Wendel?
6 A. Not that I can recall, no.
7 Q. Okay. At this point you exit the chapel and
8 go into the area between the chapel and the gym?
9 A. Yes.
10:08 10 Q. Okay.
11 A. I went back to the, the wall of the gym.
12 There was another hole in the back of the gym
13 somewhere. It might have been under the stairway that
14 led upstairs.
10:08 15 Q. And who was with you?
16 A. There were quite a number of people back
17 there. I can't recall now specifically the -- who
18 exactly was, was there; but I just know there were
19 other people back there.
10:08 20 Q. Do you recall Clive Doyle being with you? 21 A. I recall seeing Clive Doyle that morning. I
22 re -- when I was in the chapel, I recall Clive Doyle
23 coming out from back, behind that area behind the
24 chapel; and he later went back into that area behind
10:08 25 the chapel.
10:09 1 Q. All right. And then you went back into the
2 chapel; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. And then what did you see when you went
10:09 5 back in?
6 A. The chapel was alight. There was a fire in
7 that -- well, I guess it would be the eastern corner of
8 the chapel. It was along the southeastern wall and
9 part of the northeastern wall all up on the stage area.
10:09 10 The fire was up -- all the way up the wall; and it was,
11 in part, traveling along the ceiling, the suspended
12 ceiling tile.
13 I recall the heat from the fire. It was
14 quite intense. Even though the entrance, or opening in
10:09 15 the back of the chapel was on the other side of that
16 stage area, I could feel the heat. It was quite
17 intense from that fire.
18 Q. All right. And what did you do at that point?
19 A. I started to head up towards the back of the
10:10 20 chapel. I was going to try and get up to -- upstairs
21 to find out what was happening up there because Wayne
22 Martin and Pablo were in front of me, and they looked
23 like they were heading up that direction.
24 I decided it was going to take them too
10:10 25 long to get through; and if I did go up there, there
10:10 1 was a chance I may not be able to get back down again.
2 So, I decided to leave by, by the window.
3 Q. All right. Okay. I'm going to show you what
4 I'll represent to you is another portion of your grand
10:11 5 jury testimony and ask you to read this into, into the
6 record. This will be Page 13, Lines 1 through 23.
7 A. You want me to read the whole section?
8 Q. Yes, please.
9 MR. TOUHEY: I'm going to object to --
10:12 10 why don't you have him read the --
11 MR. BRANNON: Where are we talking about?
12 MR. TOUHEY: You're saying from Line 13,
13 1 down to where?
14 MR. PHILLIPS: Through -- to the first
10:12 15 word on Line 23.
16 MR. TOUHEY: Why don't you have him read
17 all the way to Page 14, Line 9.
18 MR. PHILLIPS: Well, you can have him do
19 that, if you'd like. I'm just interested in the fire
10:13 20 at the moment.
21 Q. (BY MR. PHILLIPS) Would you please read that,
22 Mr. Craddock?
23 MR. TOUHEY: I object.
24 A. Question: You say, you say not at that
10:13 25 stage. What did you see next? Did you hear any other
10:13 1 calls at that time?
2 Answer: I cannot remember anything
3 specific that was said; but people were calling out in
4 various -- in varying stages of panic, you might say.
10:13 5 Question: And what happened next as far
6 as what you saw or what you observed or what you did?
7 I remember walking back into the chapel
8 area, and the fire was starting to -- I, I recall start
9 to feel the -- I could start to feel the heat from the
10:13 10 flame. I then looked out the window. I noticed it was
11 smoking outside. I looked out the window and what
12 Sorry. Question: You looked out the
13 window and what?
14 I looked out the window on the north
10:14 15 side, which was where I was before, and I noticed smoke
16 outside and then --
17 Question: Now, what would you have been
18 near the kitchen area -- sorry. Now, would you have
19 been near the kitchen area, right?
10:14 20 MR. TOUHEY: No. Now, that would have
21 been near the --
22 THE WITNESS: Okay.
23 MR. TOUHEY: -- kitchen area?
24 A. Sorry. Now, that would have been the kitchen
10:14 25 area, right? Okay.
10:14 1 Answer: Yeah, that's correct.
2 Question: Was there smoke coming from
3 the kitchen area at the time, or do you know where the
4 smoke originated?
10:14 5 Answer: I couldn't say where the smoke
6 was originating from. There was smoke everywhere, and
7 that's when I hopped out.
8 Q. (BY MR. PHILLIPS) Okay. Before you --
9 MR. TOUHEY: I would object because he
10:14 10 should be able to continue with the answer that he
12 Q. (BY MR. PHILLIPS) Okay. You -- okay. Before
13 you exited the chapel, you looked out one of the UU
14 windows, which we've marked as UU on Craddock 1.
10:15 15 Which window were you looking at?
16 A. It would have been the, the one closest to
17 Steve Schneider's room --
18 Q. All right.
19 A. -- furthest away from the gymnasium.
10:15 20 Q. All right. And what is it you saw when you
21 looked out that window?
22 A. This was when there was fire in the chapel?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I saw smoke billowing from the -- I don't know
10:15 25 if it was the gymnasium area or the -- David Koresh's
10:15 1 room area. There was a lot of smoke around.
2 Q. What would have been David Koresh's room area?
3 A. It was the area above the area behind the
4 chapel, or the stage area, on the stage of the chapel.