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Marvin "Killdozer" Heemeyer - Badass of the Month November 2008
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
-Robert A. Heinlein
In 1992, welder Marvin Heemeyer won a public auction for two acres in the quiet, small town of Granby, Colorado. 12 years later, after being jerked around by allegedly corrupt city officials and having his livelihood ripped out from under him, he'd had enough.
This is his story; the story of a man who when pushed into a corner, pushed back...
...with a fucking bulldozer.
At 6'4" and 240lbs, Heeymeyer was described by locals as a "gentle giant", someone who would "bend over backwards" to help people and was a good-natured person in general. "Marv was the kind of guy who’d do anything to help anybody — he was just simply a nice man. He was pushed into this by these people", said one individual.
"These people" included: the Mayor of Granby, Edward Wang, the Granby town council, and Mountain Park Concrete. You see, despite community protest, the town council changed the zoning laws in order for Mountain Park Concrete to build a plant not only right next to Heemeyer's muffler shop, but in a way that cut off all access for the public to the shop itself. Along with this devastating blow to his business, the dust and pollution from the plant forced him to close his doors.
That's not where it ended either. After the plant was built, the concrete company hooked itself up to the town sewage line. Due to this, it was decided that Heemeyer's property must also be connected to the sewage line despite operating a septic tank without incident. In order for him to connect to this sewage line, he needed an easement of approximately eight feet onto the property of the concrete company, which was refused by the town council. Instead, they fined him at least $2500 for failing to connect to the very sewage line to which they would not give him access.
Furthermore, when Heemeyer dared to complain about the rusted junk cars that were piling up on the concrete company's property and along the line to his land, he was instead cited himself for having an old truck and some used equipment.They simply broke the man down and, then, kept beating on him: placed him in no-win situations, where he had no way out, then punished him for it. In some ways, I do not understand it. But seeing how some government officials let the position go to their heads so much that they abuse their privilege, I do understand how it comes about. It is really sad when that happens, and this one is a tragic and heart tearing case of that."Around January of 2004, Heemeyer sold his property. He was given 6 months to move his equipment and vacate the facility. He spent those six months in his now failed muffler shop, building his revenge: a Komatsu D355A bulldozer, to which he affixed steel and concrete armor.
Anonymous Granby resident
Then, as Wikipedia puts it:
On June 4, 2004, Heemeyer drove his armored bulldozer through the wall of his former business, 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, as well as others. Owners of all the buildings that were damaged had some connection to Heemeyer's disputes.
Heemeyer's rampage resulted in 13 buildings destroyed, resulting in total damages estimated at over $7 million. The bulldozer also knocked out natural gas service to City Hall and the cement plant, and damaged a truck and part of a utility service center. Despite the great damage to property, no one besides Heemeyer was killed.
He took no life but his own.
"Many men lead lives of quiet desperation", and those who benefit at the expense of such men will occasionally get their due from a man who may not exactly be called a hero, but who most definitely can be called a Badass.