Thompson's 82-year-old widow Thelma Thompson was living at the home when it was destroyed. Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 - June 4, 2004) was an American automobile muffler repair shop owner who, following a dispute with town officials, demolished numerous buildings with a modified bulldozer in Granby, Colorado, on June 4, 2004. About this time, Heemeyer began having religious delusions that God was preparing him for a mission. [citation needed], Defenders of Heemeyer contended that he made a point of not hurting anybody during his bulldozer rampage;[1] Ian Daugherty, a bakery owner, said Heemeyer "went out of his way" not to harm anyone. A patriot, even, in some people's eyes. Just not enough.. According to the police, it included the buildings he destroyed, the local Catholic Church (which he didn't damage), and the names of various people who had sided against him in past disputes.[17]. or its 1974 film adaptation, or if this is independent coinage. In places, this armor was over 1 foot (30cm) thick, consisting of 5,000psi (34MPa) Quikrete concrete mix sandwiched between sheets of tool steel (acquired from an automotive dealer in Denver), to make ad-hoc composite armor. After two hours and seven minutes, Heemeyer had bulldozed every business or home that had some connection to his case against the zoning committee. Marvin Heemeyer had a vendetta against the small town of Granby Colorado and its government officials. Thats not an excuse to go out and tear the town to pieces and shoot at people.. "Dick" Thompson. And when the brother naturally refused, Heemeyer threatened that one day he would collect on this made-up debt. It was estimated that Heemeyer caused $7 million in damages during his 90 minute spree. The killdozer was surrounded, and a SWAT team fired bullet after bullet at the hull of the beast, only to see the shots ricochet off pitifully while Heemeyer, armed with a rifle, returned fire. "How many people lose petty zoning fights with government in America? As often is the case, the true story has little to do with the internet legend. Caldwell, Alicia. The story of Marvin Heemeyer and his "killdozer" is absolutely true. Writing a blog post like this means hours of research and website formatting. He was armed with several weapons, attempted to shoot at least one civilian, and fired several shots at propane tanks in an attempt to create an explosion. Marvin John Heemeyer was an American skilled welder and owner of an automobile muffler shop. Heemeyer's story, at least the interesting part, begins in Granby, a town in a high basin of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. When Marvin Heemeyer made the decision June 4, 2004 to plow through Granby, toppling buildings, destroying vehicles then killing himself, he did so with much devastation for the town of Granby and the region. Then there was all the God stuff. "I think God will bless me to get the machine done, to drive it, to do the stuff that I have to do", he said. The government should fear their people, the people should not fear their government. These notes indicated that he held grudges over the zoning approval. A rare photo of Marvin Heemeyer, the man who built the infamous killdozer. As Heemeyer barreled down on him, the driver tried to run, but Heemeyer slammed into his grader, easily pushing him out of the way. He said he wasnt afraid of death and resigned himself to his fate. When Marvin Heemeyer of Granby, Colorado, reached a dead-end in his fight with the local zoning commission, the logical response would have been to petition them once again and await a future reply from them. "After Bulldozer Rampage, Town Strives to Rebuild Trust." So, in early 2003, Marvin Heemeyer decided he had had enough. [5] The sheriff's department also notes that 11 of the 13 buildings Heemeyer bulldozed were occupied until moments before their destruction. "God blessed me in advance for the task that I am about to undertake. The bulldozer's engine failed and Heemeyer dropped one tread into the basement and couldn't get out. I endured the roughly 2 1/2 hours of his recorded ramblings. Somehow during the past 17 years since, Heemeyer has become a legend of sorts. It was later determined that Heemeyer had shot himself in the head with a .357-caliber handgun. "The Wrath of the Killdozer." John Donovan Instead of building the armor plating entirely onto his bulldozer, he fashioned the top piece separately to be lifted by crane onto the bulldozer once he was inside. He added armored plates, covering most of the cabin, engine, and parts of the tracks. I dont know how to put it into words, really.. Muchos Gracias for your article.Really thank you! He also said it was God's plan that he not be married or have a family so that he could be in a position to carry out such an attack. In 1977, Marv Heemeyer was honorably discharged from the US Air Force, and immediately he returned to his beloved Colorado and bought a home in Denver. Many people considered Heemeyer to be a the victim of a careless and indifferent government that approved the construction of a concrete factory with no regard to how it would affect Heemeyer's business at the muffler shop. A few years earlier, he had purchased a bulldozer with the intention of using it to create an alternative route to his muffler shop. They begin with various ramblings about how he came to Granby and his past work experiences at muffler shops he formerly owned. But as any small-business owner in any small town anywhere in America will tell you, the red tape can be a bear. "Citizens Reflect on June 4, 2004, Bulldozer Attack in Granby." He attempted to tell events chronologically leading up to 2004, but he often jumped around in his storytelling as he remembered or failed to remember key events of his tale. Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty ImagesAuthorities examine the killdozer driven by Marvin Heemeyer through Granby, Colorado. Another item that stood out to me in Heemeyers taped manifesto was dozens of references to his money. Aged 52, Marvin Heemeyer was the only man to die that day. And on June 4, 2004, he sealed himself inside his cockpit and set out for Granby. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives. Another argument for Heemeyer's folk hero status is that he only targeted those who had wronged him. I knew, right away, I said, 'I'm on the wrong side of this story,'" says Brower, who had been covering Heemeyer's interactions with the town government for years and had met with him to hear out his beef against the paper. Marvin Heemeyer is a hero. For two hours and seven minutes, Marvin Heemeyer and his killdozer pummeled through the town, damaging 13 buildings and knocking out gas services to city hall. Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this article: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images. All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out stories that illuminate the past, present, and future. He could have done whatever he wanted, hung out in his hot tub and gone snowmobiling and enjoyed life. That Marv is a hero, that the town tried to screw him, and that I'm a liar. The truth is his actions, even if blurred into the category of some kind of righteous civil disobedience, were hardly heroic to a lot of people in Granby. He mailed these to his brother in South Dakota shortly before stepping into his bulldozer.[18]. Outraged over the outcome of a zoning dispute, he armored a Komatsu D355A bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it on June 4, 2004, to demolish the town hall, the former mayor's house, and other buildings in Granby, Colorado. [18] The first recording was made on April 13, 2004. Marvin Heemeyer. The Denver Channel. While some described him as cheerful, polite, and a wonderful man, others had a much different opinion of Heemeyer remembering him as argumentative, antagonistic, and combative. Indeed, the rounds fired at the tractor during the rampage had no ill effect. Heemeyer disapproved of the rezoning and for the next nine years, he vehemently fought everyone from city hall to the mayors office to prevent the rezoning. "It's really a mix between that and just a service town," with a couple of banks, a concrete plant, an electrical co-op and many businesses that cater to the tourism industry. Embittered by this time against both the city and the concrete plant, Heemeyer balked. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my mystery/crime/thriller novel The Missing. [14], Various problems arose as Heemeyer destroyed the Gambles hardware store. Local and state police, including a SWAT team, walked behind and beside the bulldozer occasionally firing, but the armored bulldozer was impervious to their shots. According to Heemeyer, the bulldozer fit through the door with just one inch of clearance another sign from God. The radiator of the dozer had been damaged and the engine was leaking various fluids, and Gambles had a small basement. [2][5], One officer dropped a flash-bang grenade down the bulldozer's exhaust pipe, with no apparent effect. In 1992, before the city rezoned the land to allow the construction of a concrete factory, Heemeyer was offered $250,000 for his land. Heemeyer had purchased the Komatsu D335A bulldozer with the intention of clearing a path to connect his store to the main road, but city council members rejected his proposal. [citation needed], On April 19, 2005, it was announced that Heemeyer's bulldozer was being taken apart for scrap metal. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives; three external explosions and over 200 rounds of firearm ammunition fired at the bulldozer had no effect on it. He says that he was never caught was a sign that God wanted him to go through with his plan. Which, for more than one witness to this bizarre chapter in modern American history, is simply wrong. In the final weeks leading up to June 2004, Heemeyer made seven recordings, totaling 2 hours and 45 minutes of audio. His final step was to mail his tape recordings to his brother and climb inside his tank. According to Susan Docheff, Heemeyer changed his mind and increased the price to $375,000, then to a deal worth approximately $1 million. "Man Who Bulldozed Granby Says He Got Idea from God." He bought the two acres for $42,000 but. However there were concerns about collateral damage from either military weapon. lift fully exposed". Marvin Heemeyers actions on June 4, 2005 have been described in many terms, ranging from deranged to heroic. Authorities initially speculated that he may have used a homemade crane found in his garage to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself. He was born in 1951 in South Dakota. And Granby had its share of red tape. Again an agreement was met, but he changed his terms again, asking for $1 million. Ultimately Im just grateful youre here reading my content, but if youd like to say thanks back, you can buy me a coffee . Cool. He lived in Grand Lake, Colorado, but he moved to town 10 years before the incident, according to his neighbor. Fewer than 2,000 people live there now, and it was no bigger than that in June 2004, when Heemeyer bulldozed his way into history. Everybody, all the time. [1], For visibility, the bulldozer was fitted with several video cameras linked to two monitors mounted on the vehicle's dashboard. The most famous phrase attributed to Heemeyer is, I was always willing to be reasonable until I had to be unreasonable. "I just think he set things up to the point where you would have to say no.'" 6 June 2014. At one point during the rampage, Undersheriff Glenn Trainor managed to climb atop the bulldozer and rode the bulldozer "like a bronc-buster, trying to figure out a way to get a bullet inside the dragon". After the dust settled, authorities searched Heemeyers home and found notes and audio tapes that outlined his motivations. A man with a grudge built something, instantly christened a "killdozer," to tear up a town: How is he a hero? The only thing that Marvin Heemeyer was a victim of was his own greed and vengeful bitterness. Despite the nearly $7 million in property damage done to the town of Granby, not a single human besides Heemeyer was killed during the rampage. Authorities examine the killdozer driven by Marvin Heemeyer through Granby, Colorado. It's up to you, however, to decide if he should be hailed as hero. At the town library, for example, a children's program was in progress when the incident began. Although this list did not carry a label suchas "targets" or "enemies," it did list thirteen of the buildings that were damaged by hisbulldozer. Heemeyer also destroyed patrol cars, service trucks, and at least one pickup truck. Some time after military service, he returned to Colorado where he ran a chain of successful muffler shops in the Denver area. [1] Onboard fans and an air conditioner were used to keep Heemeyer cool while driving and compressed air nozzles were fitted to blow dust away from the video cameras. Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 June 4, 2004) was an American automobile muffler repair shop owner who demolished numerous buildings with a modified bulldozer in Granby, Colorado, on June 4, 2004. Heemeyer leased his business to a trash company and sold the property several months prior to the rampage. In places, the vehicle's armor was over one foot thick, consisting of concrete sandwiched between sheets of steel to make ad-hoc composite armor. [1] "Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn't getting out", Daly said. June 5, 2004. Indeed, in the years after the rampage, Heemeyer became a controversial folk hero in certain circles, with some believing that he was a victim of a town government that didnt think twice about hurting a local business. Such a panic ensued that the governor considered authorizing the National Guard to attack with Apache helicopters and an anti-tank missile. With Marvin Heemeyer, Patrick Brower, Glenn Trainor Jr., Casey Farrell. He took it as a sign from God that his bulldozer didnt sell. Its unclear whether this complaint was true or not. But the idea, somehow, that Granby was sophisticated enough to launch this campaign to go get Marv really defies my imagination.". "'Something snapped': Suspect called emotional, angry over rezoning fight". [16], On April 19, 2005, the town announced plans to scrap Heemeyer's bulldozer. About a minute later, one of the SWAT team members who had swarmed around the machine reported hearing a single gunshot from inside the sealed cab. [5], Later, Heemeyer fired on two state patrol officers before they had fired at him. Inside The Eerie 'Lead Masks Case' That's Gone Unsolved For More Than 50 Years, Scientists Observe Chimps Treating Their Wounds With Bugs In Historic First, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch, Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty Images. [1] Authorities speculated Heemeyer may have used a homemade crane found in his garage to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself. A patriot? The killdozer itself was cut into pieces and scrapped. As Marvin Heemeyer attempted to bulldoze Gambles hardware store, he accidentally got the killdozer stuck in the foundation. During the 1990s, Heemeyer owned a small welding shop in town, where he made his living repairing mufflers. At the town library, for example, a children's program was in progress when the incident began. Take on what happen and why. As for Marvin Heemeyers killdozer itself, state officials decided to take it apart and sell it for scrap. Working every day by day Im a lot more impressed by your post. Gambles had been a hardware store with five employees. Language links are at the top of the page across from the title. "[16], Heemeyer's actions were apparently a political statement. Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post/Getty ImagesA destroyed truck was stuck inside the Mountain Parks Electric building after Marvin Heemeyers rampage. Police used a series of explosive charges to pierce the killdozer's armor, to no avail. [8] It was planned that individual pieces would be dispersed to many separate scrap yards to prevent admirers of Heemeyer from taking souvenirs. "Man who bulldozed through Colo. town is dead", "Granby Rampage Damage Expected To Exceed several Million", "Crews Begin Dismantling Granby Bulldozer", "Rampager was surprised his plans went unnoticed", "Rampages Tanks, Bulldozers, Whatever You Got! Incredibly, no one else was injured in the rampage. In addition to writings that he left on the wall of his shed, Heemeyer recorded three audio tapes explaining his motivation for the attack. 5 5 tape 3 side a 31:29. At one point, the the sheriff climbed atop the still-moving Killdozer to gain entry, only to discover Heemeyer had sealed himself inside. Wikimedia CommonsA rare photo of Marvin Heemeyer, the man who built the infamous killdozer. They sent the pieces to dozens of scrap yards to stop admirers of Heemeyer from snatching a piece, as it soon became clear that the killdozer was going to be a subject of fascination. [10][11] According to Grand County commissioner James Newberry, emergency dispatchers used the reverse 911 emergency system to notify many residents and property owners of the rampage going on in the town. He joined the Air Force in 1971, during which time he had his first introduction to the state of Colorado while stationed there. "But I can tell you that the vast majority of comments that I get, either on my blog or anonymously through email or whatever, are that I'm a SOB, that I'm an a******, all kinds of negative language. The sheriff's department argued that the town was lucky that nobody was killed, considering that eleven of the 13 buildings were occupied moments before they were destroyed bythe "killdozer". "[7], Heemeyer took about a year and a half to prepare for his rampage. Tired of dealing with Heemeyer, they began instead negotiating with the Granby, CO zoning commission to rezone land next to Heemeyers muffler shop to allow them to continue with their plans for a concrete plant. Over the years, he had agreed to sell the land to a concrete company to build a plant. [4] Baker said her husband later paid Heemeyer $124. It took until six o'clock the next morning for workers to make an opening; inside, they found Heemeyer's body, dead of a single gunshot to the head. In the end, Heemeyer left the world believing that God had asked him to undertake his rampage. The tapes contained two separate recordings on each side for a total of six recordings. Heemeyer had no intention of leaving the cabin once he entered; the hatch was permanently sealed. Heemeyer was furious, as hed used the land for the past nine years as a shortcut between his home and his shop. Connecting to the sewer would cost him an estimated $80,000, plus require him to bring the sewer line through eight feet of Mount Park Concretes property. Thompson served as mayor when Heemeyer's fight with the city began but passed away in 2001, three years before the rampage. Great, thanks for sharing this blog.Really looking forward to read more. A ton of videos of that day, too, are available online, many of them containing archival news footage of the rampage. And I picked up on a number of important items. Father: (d. 31-Mar-2004)Brother: Ken HeemeyerBrother: Donald HeemeyerGirlfriend: (broken engagement), Road Rage Reckless Driving Shot: Self-Inflicted (4-Jun-2004) Risk Factors: Depression, Do you know something we don't? Instead, Marvin Heemeyer went home, outfitted his Komatsu D355A bulldozer with armored plates, a layer of concrete, and bulletproof plastic, and drove it through the town in a rampage, knocking down 13 buildings and causing $7 million worth of damage with his makeshift killdozer.. There were also fans and an air conditioner to keep him cool. The tapes are about two and a half hours in length.[15]. Snopes and the logo are registered service marks of why does professor frink say glavin,
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