Today marks the 12th Anniversary of a very interesting case of Civil Disobedience in the small Colorado town of Granby.
Back in 2004, local Grand County area man Marvin Heemeyer was absolutely sick of being the victim of zoning laws and his muffler repair business being blocked by a federally funded Concrete batch factory. Like any other good respectable Coloradoan, Mr. Heemeyer decided it was time to take matters into his own hands and began construction a vicious machine. For a year and a half, Heemeyer spent his days modifying his Komatsu D355A bulldozer that he had originally bought to create an alternative path to his shop, but Heemeyer had better plans for it, thus the KILLDOZER was born.
Heemeyer had fabricated a solid steel cage around his Komatsu, in some places being more than a foot thick. To bind this all together, Heemeyer applied a 5,000 psi concrete mix between plates, effectively making homemade composite armor. This made the now venerable KILLDOZER impervious to the trivialities of small arm fire and explosives.
Similar to many armored vehicles now found in the Syrian Civil War, the KILLDOZER was wired with two cameras and monitors mounted on the vehicles dashboard. Furthermore, the video cameras were protected by 3-inch shields of bullet-resistant plastic. Gun ports, air nozzles, fans and air conditioning were also added to the beast. On the morning of June 4th, 2004, Heemeyer lowered the armored hull onto the KILLDOZER, sealing himself away and permanently saddling himself on his death machine. The KILLDOZER erupted from Heemeyer’s shop and set its cross hairs on all that had done him wrong.
The concrete plant, the Town Hall, the office of the local newspaper that editorialized against him, the home of a former judge’s widow, and a hardware store owned by another man Heemeyer named in a lawsuit, all fell victim to mechanized destruction.
No one was safe from the wrath of the KILLDOZER.
Local Police Officers and SWAT teams were deployed to combat the steel beast, but all attempts (including dropping a flashbang into the exhaust pipe) were ineffective in diverting its steely vengeance.
Colorado State Police were running out of options and feared that Heemeyer might turn against the civilians of Granby. Bill Owens, the governor of Colorado at the time, considered authorizing the National Guard to dispose of the KILLDOZER. Owens suggested the use of AH-64 Apache Helicopters or Javelin teams. However, the death of the KILLDOZER would not come at the hands of Apaches or Anti-Tank missiles, but rather the basement of the local Gambles Hardware store.
At the second hour of Heemeyer’s rampage, the KILLDOZER began to destroy Gambles Hardware store, unaware that it contained a basement level. Already leaking fluids and radiator fluid, the KILLDOZER took its third and final strike. As Heemeyer attempted to exit Gambles, the KILLDOZER’s engine failed, then had dropped a tread into the small basement. Seconds later, the mortally wounded KILLDOZER was surrounded by SWAT members. Heemeyer knew his luck had run out.
Heemeyer put a .357 revolver to his head and ended his life, taking 13 mangled houses and $7,000,000 worth of damage with him. His lifeless body wouldn’t be retrieved from KILLDOZER until 2 AM the next morning.
Despite Heemeyer’s two hours of carnage, Heemeyer and KILLDOZER remained the only casualties. KILLDOZER, as many tools of crime end up, was turned into scrap and sent to a multitude of scrapyards. This was to prevent any admirers of Heemeyer from taking souvenirs.