When Marvin Heemeyer of Granby, Colorado, reached a stalemate with the local zoning commission, the logical next step would have been to petition them again and wait for a response. After all, Marvin Heemeyer was known to be a logical man, so it was natural for him to take a logical approach. But why did Heemeyer created the Killdozer in the first place?
After several disagreements with his town, Marvin Heemeyer built the “Killdozer,” a concrete/steel armor-plated bulldozer, to destroy those who had sided against him. His rampage destroyed 13 buildings and was unstoppable by cops and SWAT until the dozer broke down. He committed suicide and was the only casualty.
The Infamous Killdozer
Heemeyer ran a small welding shop in town in the 1990s, where he repaired mufflers for a living. In 1992, he bought the land on which his shop was built. He had agreed to sell the land to a concrete company to build a plant over the years. Negotiations had been difficult, and he’d been having difficulty reaching an agreement with the company on a reasonable price.
The city approved the construction of a concrete plant in 2001, zoning the land adjacent to Heemeyer’s for use. Heemeyer was enraged because he’d been using the land as a shortcut between his house and his shop for the past nine years.
He petitioned the city to rezone the property to prevent the plant from being built, but he was repeatedly denied.
Marvin Heemeyer decided enough was enough in early 2003. He had bought a bulldozer a few years before, intending to use it to create an alternate route to his muffler shop. It would now serve a new purpose as his weapon of destruction: the Killdozer. (Source: All That’s Interesting)
Unleashing the Killdozer
Marvin Heemeyer spent about a year and a half customizing his Komatsu D355A bulldozer for his rampage. He added armored plates that covered most of the cabin, engine, and tracks. He’d made the armor himself out of a concrete mix poured between steel sheets.
Because the armor covered much of the cabin, a video camera with three-inch bulletproof plastic was mounted on the exterior for visibility. Heemeyer could watch his demise on two monitors inside the makeshift cockpit. Fans and an air conditioner were also available to keep him cool.
Finally, he made three gun ports and outfitted them with a.50 caliber rifle, a.308 semi-automatic rifle, and a. 22-long rifle. Authorities believe that once he’d sealed himself inside the cockpit, he’d be unable to escape — and they don’t believe he ever wanted to.
He readied himself for his attack after finishing his Killdozer. On June 4, 2004, he locked himself inside his cockpit and took off for Granby.
He drove the machine through the wall of his shop, then through the town hall, a newspaper office, a former judge’s widow’s home, a hardware store, and other houses. Authorities later discovered that every building demolished had some connection to Heemeyer and his protracted battle with the zoning committee.
Despite multiple attempts by authorities to destroy the vehicle, the Killdozer proved impervious to small arms fire and explosives. The rounds fired at the tractor during the rampage had no negative impact.
Marvin Heemeyer and his Killdozer pummeled through town for two hours and seven minutes, damaging 13 buildings and knocking out gas services to city hall. The governor considered authorizing the National Guard to launch an anti-tank missile attack with Apache helicopters. The attacks were planned, and if Heemeyer hadn’t been trapped in a store basement, they would have been carried out. (Source: All That’s Interesting)