Rachel Koresh, David Koresh’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

McLennan County Sheriff David Koresh

Rachel Koresh was only a teenager when she and David Koresh wed. But their wedding was celebrated by her family, who all followed the Branch Davidian teachings even before David came on the scene. They quickly transitioned to his faith, and Rachel gave birth to two children with David: a son and a daughter. He had children with many other wives, and Rachel and both of her children died tragically during the Waco siege in 1993. Rachel is gaining much more attention today, when Melissa Benoist portrays her in the Paramount series Waco. Benoist is regularly seen on Supergirl and was a series regular on Glee during its final years


1. 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, and Rachel gave birth to Cyrus and his sister, Star. 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. Rachel was 23 when she died. Rachel’s older brother, David, also died in the fire. He was only 38. David was also an ardent follower, one of Koresh’s trained “Might Men” warriors. Rachel’s younger sister, Michelle, also died in the fire at the age of 18. Her two children — Serenity Sea Jones, 4, and Bobby Lane Koresh, 16 months — also died in the fire. It’s rumored that Serenity Sea was also David’s daughter.


2. Rachel Was David’s Only Legal Wife, But He Had Children With Other Women, Including Rachel’s Younger Sister

David Koresh and Branch Davidian home moviesDuring the 51-day standoff, the FBI provided the Branch Davidians with a camera to record a video diary. FBI agent Byron Sage gives "48 Hours" a tour of some of the key moments captured on three videos recorded by David Koresh and his deputy, Steve Schneider. Hear from the Branch Davidians themselves, including Koresh, on why they believe the ATF did the wrong thing by conducting the raid on Feb. 28, 1993. Subscribe to the “48 Hours" Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/1DvRWbT Watch Full Episodes Of "48 Hours" HERE: http://bit.ly/1fop6N1 Investigate with "48 Hours: Crimesider" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/20pdMsu Follow “48 Hours” on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/1OLG2B9 Like "48 Hours" on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1KkQuRn Follow "48 Hours" on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1MOCAXf Follow "48 Hours" on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/1HqF6Mr Listen to “48 Hours” Podcasts HERE: http://bit.ly/1h0fPUg Get the latest news and best in original reporting from CBS News delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to newsletters HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1RqHw7T Get your news on the go! Download CBS News mobile apps HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Xb1WC8 Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B — "48 Hours" investigates the most intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all areas of the human experience including greed and passion. For 27 seasons, "48 Hours" has developed a rich history of original reporting and impact journalism that has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, caused cold cases to be reopened and solved, and along the way changed lives. Check local listings for "48 Hours" broadcast times.2017-12-27T18:01:20.000Z

Rachel was David Koresh’s only legal wife, but he had sexual relations with many of the women in the compound, reported The Washington Post in 1993.  Even Rachel’s younger sister, Michelle (sometimes spelled Michele), had at least one child — possibly two — with David. David himself admitted to fathering 12 children, but other sources said he may have fathered 15 or more. Even Rachel’s father, who also lived at the compound, went along with David having children with many women.

David Thibodeau, who escaped the siege, wrote about how David Koresh decided to start sleeping with Michele Jones too. He said that Koresh had a “vision” when he was in Israel that commanded him to have a child with Michele. It took a while, but Rachel finally agreed after she dreamed that Koresh would die if he didn’t follow that vision. David Koresh slept with Michele when she was only 12.

As a child, Rachel was “bubbly… real loving and happy and fun,” said Mark Bunds in 1993. He was a closely family friend of the Jones and was baptized one summer with Rachel. But he said that later, she became more serious and quiet. It was speculated that David Koresh’s many “wives” played a role in her change in demeanor, The Washington Post reported in 1993.


3. Rachel’s Brother, David Jones, Was David Koresh’s Bodyguard

Witness To Waco – MSNBC Documentary 2009 Cult David Koresh Branch Davidians (Rick Ross)Rick Ross via CultEducation.com is a leading Cult Expert. "Witness to Waco" provides an in-depth look into the Branch Davidians, a religious cult led by David Koresh in the late 1980s and early 1990s that ultimately met with a tragic, fiery end. Check out an in-depth look into the Branch Davidians, the religious cult, which came to a tragic and fiery end in Waco, TX. Duration: 1:38 Country: USA Language: English Release Date: 18 October 2009 Production Co: MSNBC Network, Sirens Media Rick Alan Ross is a private consultant, lecturer, and cult intervention specialist. He began his work as an anti-cult activist and community organizer in 1982. Ross first became concerned about controversial groups and movements in response to a radical religious group that had covertly targeted his grandmother’s nursing home. Since that time he has raised awareness about cults and facilitated more than five hundred interventions to rescue people from cultic situations. Ross is one of the leading experts on cults in the world today. He has consulted with the FBI, the BATF, and various other law enforcement agencies, as well as the governments of Israel and China, on the subject of cults. Ross has been qualified, accepted and testified as an expert court witness in eleven different states within the United States including US federal court. He has worked as an expert analyst for CBS News, CBC of Canada, and Nippon and Asahi in Japan. Ross has lectured at more than 30 universities and colleges including the University of Chicago, Dickinson College, Carnegie Mellon, Baylor, Wuhan University of China, Assumption University of Thailand and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has also been published within peer-reviewed academic journals on the topic of cults. Regarding his cult intervention work Ross states that historically about 75 percent of the people that he conducts an intervention with decide to leave the group by the end of such an effort. He has done interventions across the United States and around the world. Ross did two successful interventions with the notorious Branch Davidians led by self-styled messiah David Koresh. Ross has appeared in fourteen documentaries and has been interviewed and quoted in media all over the world. For information about this, and much more: http://www.CultEducation.com http://www.twitter.com/RickAlanRoss2016-12-19T01:56:59.000Z

Rachel’s brother, David Jones, was a USPS mail carrier, but also a bodyguard of sorts for David Koresh, according to The Washington Post. He slept with a firearm next to his bed, The Washington Post reported, and died of a single gunshot wound to the side of his head. It wasn’t known if that wound was self-inflicted.


4. Rachel’s Father, Perry Jones, Died in the February 28 Shootout at the Compound

Rachel and Michell’s father, Perry Jones, died in the February 28 shooting at the compound. 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.


5. Surveillance Tape Recorded Conversations Between Rachel and David

The FBI was able to bug parts of the compound, PBS reported. Some of the recordings ended up just being mundane. For example, they recorded a conversation where David asked Rachel: “Keep those children under control. They won’t be singing today.” But whether mundane or disturbing, Rachel seemed to never question Koresh, The Washington Post reported in 1993. Melissa Benoist explained about Rachel to Collider: “She was born into the church and that was all she had ever known… I still approached Rachel with an open mind and an empathetic heart. There’s no other way to tell her story.”