(1959-93) the leader of the religious group called the Branch Davidians. He was born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston and became a member of the Church of Seventh-Day Adventists but was forced to leave it because he was considered a bad influence. He tried to become a pop singer in Hollywood but failed. In 1981 he joined the Branch Davidians, later becoming their leader and changing his name. He died with most of the group's members during a battle with US government forces in Waco, Texas, in 1993.