ABILENE, Texas — Yisrayl Hawkins, 87, died at his home Friday in Clyde, Texas, according to three different sources close to the family.
Hawkins led a group called The House of Yahweh. After the Waco standoff between Branch Davidian and Waco, he attracted national attention.
Also known as “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins, he started the group — referred to as a cult — in 1974 after serving as a Abilene police officer.
On several occasions, the leader predicted the end of time. The latest was in 2020.
“My job is to preach the Message of the Kingdom to the world, whether you will listen or not is up to you,” he warned. “Look at how many people listened to Noah; don’t let that be you. Read this letter and get on our mailing list, so you don’t get caught in the flood.”
There were rumors that Hawkins may have had as many as 30 wives in the 2000s.
Hawkins stated, “I have a wife and one wife” in an interview that was broadcast on 20/20.
Hawkins was subsequently arrested for four counts of bigamy on February 8, 2008. These charges were dropped later. Hawkins agreed to pay a $2,000 penalty and 15 months probation for child labor violation.
Many members live in trailer homes that are unsafe. The two-story, well-guarded home of the leader was a safe haven.
Many members have left the group. Hawkins’s exwife Kay Hawkins authored a book about her experience, and she appeared on Dr. Phil.
We reached out to Yahweh. They have yet to release a statement.
Nick Bradshaw of KXXV reported the story.