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Marvin Heemeyer and the KILLDOZER. Freedom Fighter or Domestic Terrorist?

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posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 11:32 AM
All this news of the Austin pilot who flew his plane into the IRS building reminded me of this old story from back in the good old days of Billy Clinton. I noticed the story hasn't been posted on ATS yet and thought it would be good to share this story in light of the IRS building attack.

Stories like this should serve as an example of what happens when the ordinary man is pushed too far by government intrution and corruption.

The Wrath of the Killdozer

Marvin Heemeyer of Granby, Colorado was a profoundly frustrated muffler repair man. In the late 1990s–after years of protests, petitions, and town meetings–it became obvious to the 52-year-old that he was entwined in a gross miscarriage of justice. His business was ruined by some shady zoning changes, and Heemeyer contended that mayor and city council were corrupt. Even as he was forced to give up his legal fight and sell his land, he hatched one last plan to secretly retool his muffler shop to serve a single malevolent purpose: to construct a machine that would allow him to exact his revenge upon those who had wronged him.

Heemeyer was forced out of business after he refused to sell his muffler shop to developers and the developers had the city council re-zone the land around his property, cutting off the only route to his muffler shop.

Heemeyer fought the zoning change for years using legal means but in the end, the big developer won and Heemeyer was forced to sell his business. To add insult to injury,the city also fined Heemeyer $2,500 for “junk cars” on his property, and for failing to have his shop hooked up to the sewer line.

Having no recourse, Heemeyer sent the city a $2,500 check to cover the fines, with the word “cowards” written ominously on the memo line. He then sold the muffler shop property to a trash company, and was given six months to vacate.

Heemeyer set to work on his new project almost immediately. The Komatsu D335A bulldozer that was meant to save his business was instead moved into the muffler shop, and Heemeyer began to make some modifications. He started by adding home-made composite armor–cement sandwiched between thick sheets of steel–to protect the cab, engine, and parts of the tracks. He installed front and rear cameras to feed images to monitors in the cab, and several gun ports were set around the control center. A stockpile of food and water was stored inside, as well as an air tank to help provide air circulation.

On the morning of Friday, the 4th of June, 2004, Heemeyer set out in his Killdozer and terrorized the town for over two hours during which he time he destroyed 13 structures belonging to those whom he believed had wronged him.

At just after 3:00 PM, the makeshift tank tore through the side of his shed, and smashed into the Mountain Park Concrete plant. Shortly thereafter, the phones at the 911 response center began ringing incessantly.

Within minutes two buildings and multiple vehicles were eviscerated, and the Killdozer rumbled towards the highway into town. The slow-moving bulldozer picked up a parade of emergency vehicle escorts as it approached the city limits. One police SUV was crushed when it strayed too near.

When Heemeyer and his Killdozer arrived in town, the Granby police were waiting for him. Against the armored behemoth, however, the lawmen were powerless. When it became clear that the armor was impervious to bullets the police tried explosives, but they too were without effect.

The overencumbered vehicle was obviously difficult to control, and swerved widely through the streets, but Heemeyer was still able to seek out and and hit his specific targets. The bulldozer effortlessly demolished cars and buildings, 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. Despite the destruction of property, no people had been injured or killed. The Granby Police requisitioned an industrial scraper to pit heavy equipment against heavy equipment, but the Killdozer merely shoved the lighter adversary aside.

In about an hour of mayhem, the bulldozer had demolished thirteen structures and was en route to its next target: Gamble’s Hardware. The damage from small arms and the extra weight of the armor were taking a toll on the vehicle, however. The radiator had sprung a leak, and the Killdozer was losing horsepower. As the fatigued machine crashed through the wall of the hardware store the floor beneath the beast broke, and the front end of the bulldozer fell into a shallow basement. The engine struggled, but it could not power itself out of the pit.

As SWAT teams surrounded the wounded Killdozer, one of the members reported hearing a single, muffled gunshot from within the cab. The vehicle didn’t move again, ending a rampage that had lasted 2 hours 7 minutes, and caused about $7 million in damage.

Anyone who has tried and failed to influence an uncaring government cannot help but feel a twinge of admiration for the extreme measures taken by Marvin Heemeyer. But while there is certainly a time and place for relentless, city-crushing machines, the line between legitimate vigilante and crazy-muffler-man-with-notions-of-divine-approval is much too fine for any one man to distinguish.

Read more: Damn

Here's a cool vid of the Killdozer in action:

And a tribute to Marvin Heemeyer made by an admirer:

[edit on 19-2-2010 by FortAnthem]

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 12:07 PM
Thanks for sharing this, I actually never heard about it before.

At first I thought it was the story about the guy who hijacked a M60 tank in Cali but soon realized this is a totally different story.

Crazy though.

Thanks for the info. It was a compelling read.

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by FortAnthem

He is a freedom fighter. Perhaps on a more local scale but he was obviously too acting out of emotion out of being screwed over so many time.

It was more, however, of a personal motive then a grand one.

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by gwydionblack

Yeah, his motives may have just been personal and he wasn't striking out for everyone's rights but still, he stood up to the powers that be and DID SOMETHING to fight government injustice.

He had the courage to actually strike back against corruption instread of just whining and complaining about it like most of us do.

I think it's a shame he felt he had to commit suicide. It would have been awesome to have seen him in the courtroom laying out the corruption that drove him to this act.

This incident would have gotten a lot more publicity than it did at the time if he had lived to tell his tale and the guy would probably have been seen as a true hero by those who seek to fight government oppression. Heck, he might even be free from prison by now and running for public office on an anti-corruption platform.

He would've gotten my vote.

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

I read this story a while back and thought it was just awesome how he worked on that thing for about a year right in his shop in plain sight and nobody though much about it.

He had the whole thing planned out with a list of targets. He made tapes about how he thought he was doing God's work and sent them to his brother the morning of the attack.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by gwydionblack

I am sure if you lived in that Denver town at the time this happened and one of the buildings he dozed was your house or business you would think much less of him.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 12:05 AM
Hero. A fighter for freedom against the massive amounts of corruption that pretty much act as our government at virtually all levels these days.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:30 AM
Dude declared war on the town of Granby. The only thing that stopped him was when his radiator sprung a leak and he got stuck underneath a roof that collapsed on him.

Otherwise, he was taking that town down. Pretty much succeeded. Domestic Terrorist? Yes, absolutely. Pushed way way too far? Oh yea!

See, he's not a freedom fighter, because he wasn't planning on living through the event. He wasn't planning on demanding a change, or fixing what was wrong. He was intent on destruction. He did so rather well. The police in Granby were absolutely powerless to stop his rampage.

I am thankful that other's haven't repeated or copied this guy. An armored bulldozer is as was demonstrated in this event a devastating weapon.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:31 AM
reply to post by problemsolvr

Granby is pretty far away from Denver, over the continental divide. But otherwise you are correct.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 02:09 AM

Originally posted by FortAnthem
.... story from back in the good old days of Billy Clinton....

...On the morning of Friday, the 4th of June, 2004...

Not sure What Clinton had to do with it...?

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:15 AM
reply to post by nasdack24k

I was just setting the time frame for the event because this is a pretty old story. Clinton had nothing to do with this story.

Edit to add: It's funny, I hated everything about old Billy Clinton while he was in office but, it's hard not to think back on his Presidency as the "good old days".

I guess we had no idea how bad it could really get back in those days.

[edit on 23-2-2010 by FortAnthem]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:29 PM
This is a pretty cool story so I fugured I'd give it a bump for those who may have missed it.

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