“Waco: American Apocalypse,” a three-part documentary series on Netflix, is unlike any other. We can only describe it as confusing, interesting, sad, and heartbreaking all at the same time. This is because it has interviews not only with Branch Davidian cult members but also with former federal officials. This gives a clearer picture of the 51-day standoff between the two groups in 1993, which ended in 51 deaths. Christopher “Chris” Whitcomb, a sniper on the Hostage Rescue Team of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was one of them. If you want to know more about him, here’s what we know.
Who is Chris Whitcomb?
Chris Whitcomb first applied for a job with the FBI in 1986 because he wanted to do more with his life. He didn’t know that his life would be turned upside down in March 1987. After all, the stable, married man went from being a speechwriter and press secretary for Congressman Silvio Ottavio Conte in Washington, DC, to starting a gurgling training programme. It was both exciting and tiring for him, but he did so well at every step that he slowly moved up the ranks and, in 1991, joined the elite Hostage Rescue Team.
Even so, Chris really showed what he was made of in HRT, where he stood out as an Assaulter, an Explosives Expert, a Sniper, and a Tactical Helicopter Operations Officer in almost every situation. So, it’s not surprising that in his six years on the team, he won a lot of awards, including the FBI’s Medal of Bravery for extraordinary bravery on the job. This honour speaks for itself, but the fact that he was involved in high-profile cases like the 1992 LA Riots, the 1992 Ruby Ridge case, and the 1993 Waco Seige also helped.
Chris is said to have used his Master’s degree in education to become an Interrogation Tactics trainer at the FBI Academy for new agents and law enforcement officers from around the world. As if that wasn’t enough, he also wrote an innovative training method during this time called Integrated Case Scenario, which is still a big part of what new agents learn. But this elite’s last job before retiring in 2001 was very different: he was Director of Strategic Information Management at the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group.
In other words, Chris knew it was time for him to move on after 15 years of service, so he not only helped train new agents but also planned for and managed crises. But this information command job was probably the most stressful for him because he had to deal with weapons of mass destruction, threats from terrorists, and strange criminal investigations. The main example is the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City on February 26, 1993, or the suicide bombing of the USS Cole by al-Qaeda in Aden, Yemen, on October 12, 2000.
Where is Chris Whitcomb Now?
Chris Whitcomb has had an amazing FBI career, and one of the first questions people ask him is how many people he has killed. He has always been careful not to give a number, though. This is because he thinks that our already violent society might end up praising his actions, which would hurt more than help, especially since he had to kill or be killed in every situation. The former agent once said, “I’ve seen a lot of these books where people say things like ’97 confirmed kills’ and similar things.
Chris went on, “Enforcing the law is very different from running a military operation. When I first went to the FBI Academy, an instructor told us, “Here’s a gun. We’ll teach you how to shoot it, how to clean it, how to wear it, and all these other things, but we can’t teach you what it’s like to use it.” He told us in very personal terms what happened the first time he shot someone, and he said it was a very traumatic experience.
He also said, “I really stay away from that because of the personal cost; it’s a very, very different thing than most people think.” Chris’s life after retirement is interesting because he wrote a memoir called “Cold Zero: Inside the Hostage Rescue Team” in 2001 before he started writing fiction. In fact, he published his first book, “Black,” in 2005. Then, in 2006, he published “White,” which was said to do very well despite the fact that he was a first-time author who was still growing.
Chris Whitcomb also co-founded Watch House International in 2007 to help build safe infrastructure in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The former CEO of this organisation still gives talks around the world about security and how to deal with crises. He also writes freelance for a number of international publications.
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