On June 04, 2004, Marvin Heemeyer decided that enough was enough. He went on a complete carnage that would change the course of history. Marvin modified his bulldozer and destroyed over 13 buildings, amassing total damages of more than USD 7 million. Though some people sympathize with him, Marvin has been called a deranged, delusional man who resorted to violence when all other options were closed for him.
In the past 17 years, Marvin has become a legend, someone who stood up and tried to fight the authority that was becoming increasingly abusive and discriminatory against him. But what is the true story from a completely objective viewpoint? Was Marvin indeed forced to do what he did, or was he mentally ill to build an actual tank of a bulldozer and raze half of his town?
The Origins Of A Crime
In the 1990s, Marvin had settled in the Rocky Mountains town and had been running a welding shop for a while. He managed to earn a living by repairing mufflers and other machinery. He had purchased the land where his shop was in 1992 and, over the years, had agreed to sell it to a cement company setting up its plant next door. But the negotiations with the plant officials, the townsfolk, and the city officials hadn’t been easy, and Marvin was having a hard time closing the deal.
However, things took an ugly turn in 2001 when the city ruled in favor of the concrete plant. The city zoned the land next to Marvin’s property in favor of the company. This was a terrible blow for Marvin, who had been using the land as a way from his home to the workshop for the past nine years. Over the years, Marvin tried appealing the decision and asked the city to rezone the land. But he was unsuccessful on that front, and the city decided to continue with the project.
By 2003, Marvin had had enough. He had been going back and forth on the issue, and the city had made it clear that they would turn a blind eye to his plight. After he felt the city was ruled in favor of the company because they offered huge bribes, Marvin completely lost it. He had purchased a bulldozer a few years before to shovel a new path from his house to the shop. But by early 2003, Marvin decided to upgrade it into his tank. A machine that would let him avenge his honor.
A Trail Of Destruction
Marvin started keeping a low profile for the next one and half years. He worked on his bulldozer, transforming it into a formidable beast. He added reinforced plastic and concrete between the armor plates, making the cabin, the engines, and the auxiliary power systems immune to gunfire. The bulldozer was heavily modified, with all airways sealed, and the cabin was made bulletproof.
As the concrete and armor plates covered most of the cabin, visibility was extremely restricted. TO compensate for this, Marvin discreetly added a video camera on top of the bulldozer and encased it in a three-inch bulletproof plastic case. Inside the cabin, which had been converted into a control room, Marvin also installed two monitors to survey the destruction. Due to the lack of ventilation, Marvin added a fan and an air conditioner in the cabin to keep him cool.
Finally, he installed three gun ports on the sides of the vehicle and added three high-powered rifles on each side. Finally, Marvin sealed himself inside the cabin. Authorities believe that Marvin had no intention of escaping the cabin alive and intended to unleash maximum carnage on the people who had wronged him and the carnage he did.
His Killdozer was finished by early 2004. Marvin thought about the attack he had planned multiple times and ultimately decided to go on with it. Finally, on June 04, 2004, he sealed himself inside the Killdozer and set out towards the town of Granby.
Marvin drove the Killdozer out of the shop by driving through his wall, kicking off the carnage. He mowed down a post office, the local newspaper office, the house of a former judge, the concrete plant, the town hall, and multiple houses. Thankfully, no one was physically hurt in the incident, and authorities later realized that all the houses and buildings razed were connected to Marvin’s case.
Local authorities tried to stop the machine with small arms and explosives. The Killdozer’s armor was effective and held up against everything thrown at it. The governor finally considered bringing the National Guard to the scene. He authorized Apache helicopters armed with anti-tank missiles to destroy the machine, but before that, the Killdozer ran into trouble.
As Marvin was razing a local hardware store, the land caved in, and he got the Killdozer stuck in the basement. He tried to get out of that spot, but after much effort, he realized it was fruitless. After minutes of useless toil, with the armed forces closing in on him, Marvin decided to leave the world on his terms and killed himself using a gunshot to his head.