June 06, 2004
Killdozer in Colorado! 
This story from Granby, Colorado caught my eye yesterday: a disgruntled muffler-shop operator goes on a rampage in a homemade armored high-tech bulldozer, leveling city hall, the bank, the post office, and the homes of several town coucil members before his contraption mired in a corrugated steel building. Police were unable to blast their way into the armored vehicle for hours, and eventually the driver, 52-year old Marvin Heemeyer, was found dead inside of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Report say Heemeyer was seeking vengeance for losing a zoning decision the $2,000 fine he was levied. He paid, all right...inside the envelope was a note that read "Cowards." From the Rocky Mountain News (News 4 video of the rampage):
GRANBY — A 52-year-old welder nursing a grudge against the town fathers and driving a bulldozer converted into a war machine ripped the heart of this high-country ranching town from its foundations Friday.

Among the structures destroyed or heavily damaged in a relentless 90-minute rampage were Granby's town hall and library, a bank, the town's newspaper, an electric cooperative building, Gambles Store, an excavating business and a house owned by the town's former mayor, as well as a concrete plant adjacent to the business of the man believed responsible for the bizarre assault.

Police fired away during the frenzy of destruction, to no avail.

"He's put armored plates all around it and it's impenetrable," said business owner Terri Hertel, her voice trembling as gunfire rattled in the background. "Armor- piercing bullets won't go through it. He's destroying the town of Granby."

Heemeyer had discussed plans for his apocalyptic assault over beer and dinner with several acquaintances in Grand Lake late one afternoon in January. One of those at the table was Bonnie Brown, owner of a Grand Lake business. ... "He said, 'By God, I am going to bulldoze those businesses,' the businesses of all the people who'd done this to him," Brown recalled.

About 4 p.m. Friday, Brown found out Heemeyer's threats were not idle fantasies. "When someone came into my store and said, 'There's a madman with a bulldozer in Granby,' I said 'Oh God, that's Marv!' "
How quintessentially frontier justice. How trailer-park B-movie operatic. It's tragic, but somehow humorous in its macho hubris, as well. I Googled 'Marvin Heemeyer', and prior to this event (which ripped up enough of the town that Colorado governor Bill Owens traveled to Granby to see the destruction) he's only listed on a property assessment document: HEEMEYER, MARVIN JOHN PO BOX 824 GRAND LAKE, CO, 80447-0824.

I think we drove through Granby last summer on our trip through Colorado and the Southwest. When I was a little kid I saw a freaky ABC "movie of the week" on TV called "Killdozer" - which, coincidentally is one of the first movie memories cited by Ginger Snaps director John Fawcett - the 3B Bad Movies! site gives a little background on this obscure flick:
Killdozer was a made for TV film. It was based on a 1944 short story by Theodore Sturgeon. If memory serves, the author postulates that the Earth used to be inhabited by a race of super intelligent beings; whose machines become possessed by some "intelligent electrons" and turned on their masters.

They create a "neutronium shield" to combat the machines but it, too, was corrupted - and destroyed everything but itself. It sat dormant for centuries and was eventually discovered by the native islanders who worshipped it as a god.

Along came World War II and the island is targeted by the Allies as a perfect spot for a strategic airstrip. The engineers move in and demolish the temple where the idol was stored. It activates and takes control of Daisy Etta, the team’s bulldozer, and it runs amok breaking the driver’s back.
Wonder if Marvin Heemeyer saw that movie.

[crossposted on farkleberries]

posted by Lenka Reznicek  [link] | |

 Atom Syndication

June 06, 2004
Killdozer in Colorado! by Lenka Reznicek



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