Did you read the title? Then you know where this is going.
Marvin Heemeyer (pronounce that however you want) was a put upon muffler repair man living in Granby, Colorado. He also had a small chain of muffler shops in surrounding cities. He leased out all but one of the shops to other operators. The one exception, Mountain View Muffler, he ran personally.
Friends and neighbors seemed to like Marvin, many went so far as to say that he’d “bend over backwards for anyone”, though some say he also had an explosive temperament. Marvin was very into local politics, and was a big proponent for legal gambling. He published newsletters to spread his views.
*Authors Notes: Political views + Newsletters = Some crazy shit’s about to go down.*
A local reporter interviewed Marvin for an editorial opposed to legalized gambling. Marvin was so upset by the opposing views the reporter brought up that a fight almost broke out.
Marvin was known for violent threats. One time he threatened to kill a customers husband because he refused to pay for a poorly done muffler repair.
This quote sums up Marvin’s character marvelously: “If Marv was your friend, he was your best friend, but if he decided that he was your enemy, then he was your worst and most dangerous enemy.”
It was late into the 1990s when the Docheff family came to Marv with an offer to buy his muffler shop in order to construct a concrete plant there. Marvin had purchased the land for $42,000, and the Docheffs were willing to buy it for $250,000. The deal fell through when Marvin demanded they pay him $375,000 instead.
The Docheffs, not wanting to deal with crazy man Heemeyer, decided instead to go to the Granby city council in order to rezone the land around Marvins muffler shop.
Marvin didn’t like that.
He attended numerous town meetings to try and protect his interests, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In 2001, the Granby city council approved the zoning request. To add insult to injury, the city council also fined Marvin $2,500 for not having his shop hooked up to the sewer line.
He appealed to the zoning commission to build a sewer line that would run under the land now zoned for the concrete plant, but was again unsuccessful. Marvin even bought a bulldozer to build a road that would lead to his muffler shop, because the concrete factory was now being built on the one and only road that had previously lead to it.
Marvin was at the end of his rope. He sent the $2500 to the city council (the memo line contained one word, “Cowards”), and then sold his muffler shop. He was given 6 months to leave the land.
Marvin Heemeyer then got to work on his revenge. The bulldozer that he had intended to use to save his business was moved to his muffler shop for some… modifications.
It took him a year and a half to construct, but by the end of it Marvin had added armor to protect the cab, engine, and parts of the tracks. Thus was born, The Killdozer.
Front and rear cameras were installed so that he could see his surroundings on a monitor in the cab. He even installed Gun ports around the cab so he could shoot out from them.
He tricked this thing out like it was the Batmobile. Hell, the damn thing even had air conditioning.
In the one of the many notes and letters he wrote during the construction of The Killdozer, Heemeyer claims, “I was always willing to be reasonable until I had to be unreasonable. Sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things.”
On the morning of June 4th, 2004, Marvin climbed into his Killdozer, lowered the thirty-ton armor shell onto the monstrous machine (trapping himself inside) and — at 3:00pm exactly — drove through the wall of his shed and into the newly constructed concrete plant.
In only a few minutes, Marvin destroyed two buildings and completely demolished several vehicles in his rampage.
Marvin and his Killdozer then headed for the highway towards the city. He even managed to crush one of the Police SUVs tailing him and his slow one-man-bunker. Police were unsuccessful in stopping Heemeyer even after an Undersheriff climbed atop the Killdozer and used 37 rounds from his service pistol to attempt to break in.
The police were powerless in the face of the Killdozer. Bullets, explosives, etc, nothing could stop the beastly machine. All they could do was evacuate civilians from the path of the KILLDOZER.
Heemeyer sought out and destroyed several specific targets on his rampage, including the home of a former mayor, the office of a newspaper that had sided against him in an editorial, the businesses of a former city councilman, and the city hall.
Granby police were desparate. So desperate that they too acquired some heavy machinery to battle the Killdozer, but again were overwhelmed by the Killdozer strength.
It was an hour and thirteen ruined structures later before the police resistance began to slow Heemeyer. The radiator had sprung a leak causing the Killdozer to lose horsepower. In a final act of destruction, Heemeyer drove into the wall of a nearby hardware store, and remained immobile.
As SWAT approached, a single gunshot was heard from the Killdozer, signaling the end of a 2 hour rampage that had caused over $7 million in damages to the city. It took twelve hours to break open the tank to access Heemeyer’s body in the cab.
Despite the sheer destruction of the event, Heemeyer is the only casualty of his rampage; he failed to kill or harm anyone other than himself and a couple of buildings that were likely asking for it.