Things had not been going well for 52 year old Marvin Heemeyer. His father died in a South Dakota hospital on March 31, 2004.
In May he traveled to Castlewood South Dakota, where he grew up, to help clean his
father's house to get it ready for an auction scheduled for June
19. He was going to get married, but he caught the woman he was seeing
cheating on him and called off the wedding. His muffler shop was put out of business because of an uncaring town government and unfair zoning regulations.
Marvin Heemeyer had reached his limit. On Friday June 4, 2004, he went on a rampage,
destroying several buildings in Granby Colorado with a custom made tanklike
Many who were familiar with the situation said the flash point for his bulldozer rampage stretches
back nearly four years, when he fought but failed to stop a concrete
plant from being built near his shop.
He bought a bulldozer two years ago with the intention of using
it to build an alternative route to his muffler shop, but city
officials rejected his request to build the road. He complained the concrete
plant had left dust on, and blocked access to, his business. Over the years, Heemeyer had used the adjacent property as a way to get to his muffler shop. The plan for the cement plant blocked that access.
The zoning commission and the town's trustees in 2001 approved the plant. Heemeyer appealed, and got neighbors to sign petitions against the use, and they attended the meetings, the newspaper editor said. But over time, protesters dwindled, and the lawsuit he filed was unsuccessful.
On top of that, Heemeyer was fined $2,500 by the fine Granby government for various violations, including "junk cars on the property and not being hooked up to the sewer line". Heemeyer sought
to cross 8 feet of their property (the concrete plant's) to hook up
with the sewer line. He wanted to install the sewer line, but because the town let the concrete plant in, and the plant would not allow Heemeyer to
cross their land with the pipes, he had no way out. He couldn't function without the sewer line and
the cooperation of the town.
In April 2002, Judge Richard Doucette dismissed Heemeyer's case. When he paid the
fine, he enclosed a note with his check saying "Cowards".
Soon, Heemeyer leased his business to a trash company. Heemeyer ended up selling the property.
Owners of all the buildings that
were damaged had some connection to Heemeyer's disputes. One of the first buildings the bulldozer tore into was
the concrete plant, Mountain Park Concrete. It then went on to hit
the Town Hall, the newspaper office that editorialized against him, and in favor of the cement plant, the home of the former mayor, and a hardware store owned by another man Heemeyer
named in a lawsuit, as well as others.
Heemeyer was alledgedly armed with a .50-caliber weapon, but he appeared to be DELIBERATELY AVOIDING INJURING ANYONE during the rampage. The dozer's armor plates consisted of two sheets of half-inch steel with a layer of concrete
between them. Grand County Commissioner Duane Daley said Heemeyer apparently used a video camera and two monitors found inside to guide the dozer.
Authorities speculated Heemeyer may have used a homemade
crane found in his garage to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself. "Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn't getting out," Daly said. Of course if there was any doubt, the SWAT team would take care of that. Investigators searched
the garage where they believe Heemeyer built the vehicle and found cement, armor and steel.
"He made quite a point with this," said Rick Kramer, a logger
who said he knew Heemeyer. "He went after everyone who crossed
An acquaintance described him as "down-to-earth"
and a "regular mechanic."
A brother, Ken Heemeyer of Castlewood, S.D., said Marvin would
bend over backward to help anyone in need.
"All the public needs to know is that Marv was one of the best
guys out there," Ken Heemeyer said. " Marvin was God loving and "would fight anything that was wrong," his brother said.
Floyd Cautrell said he liked Heemeyer.
"I've never seen him out of hand; he was the nicest guy you could
ever meet," Cautrell said. "He was a good businessman; he did a
fine job and he'd never overcharge you. They ruined his business when they put the concrete plant in," Cautrell said.
Anyway, at the end, Heemeyer's custom made bulldozer ground to a halt in the wreckage of a warehouse. One officer was perched on top, firing shot after shot into the top and once
dropping an explosive down the exhaust pipe. "He just kept shooting," witnesses
said. He threw what looked like a flash-bang down
the exhaust. It didn't do a thing." A flash-bang produces a blinding flash and
earsplitting boom designed to stun a suspect. "Gunfire was just ringing out
everywhere," said Sandra Tucker, who saw the bulldozer begin the rampage from
her office on Main Street, "It sounded to me like an automatic rifle, firing
about every second". At least 40 deputies, Colorado State Patrol officers,
federal park and forest rangers and a SWAT team from nearby Jefferson County
were at the scene. They claim Heemeyer killed himself by firing one bullet into his head.
All of this should make one ask, what really happened in Granby Colorado to make a decent small business owner go to such an extreme? The fact is that the government tried to ruin Marvin Heemeyer, and he
fought back to defend his rights. That is the very essence of America and
being an American. There were other people that opposed the cement plant, but he was targeted for fighting it as aggressively as he did. He had to. His honest livelihood was being threatened, and then for retaliation, altgether denied him. Unlike our own government, HE DIDN'T KILL ANYONE! But perhaps a few zoning board parasites and politicians will rethink the unjust rules that they heap on us after this. Just imagine a day when the entire country becomes outraged
enough at our bloated plutocracy we call a government. We need more Marvin Heemeyers to take this country back. It will take more people like him to stand up to tyrannical government dictators. These unjust laws and regulations can drive the public insane. He may have gone too far, but the root cause is the unfairness of what he was dealing with. The zoning board, and local politicians were nothing but slobbering corrupt monkies,
doing the bidding of selfish and greedy business, with absolutely no consideration for the people they were supposed to represent.
A population that won't stand against the government anymore will get trampled by
the tyrants. WELL MAYBE IT'S TIME THEY GOT TRAMPLED BACK! There was a time not so
long ago that we fought a war over TAXES ON TEA! Now look at the injustices that
happen everyday and yet no one does anything! His business was ruined, and town hall kept dragging him
through the ringer. Heemeyer was dealing with an oppressive local government that pushed him over the
edge. In his mind, he had NOTHING to lose at all, and in the end, he made a stand against those who represent the greatest threat to all of us.
We must keep a corrupt and tyrannical government at bay, and every patriot such as Marvin Heemeyer
who dies for principal, rather than for gain, or because he was told to, is a
true HERO! WE ARE NOT FREE IF WE ARE FORCED TO LIVE UNDER UNJUST LAWS! If we break them, we get
penalized, but when dealing with a government that daily ignores each and every article in The Bill of Rights, we are to turn our heads. I SAY GET OUT THE WRECKING BALL! We must swear a sacred oath on the green graves of
our sires, that WE WILL RECLAIM this country at all costs, reclaim the sacred
soil that our forefathers conquered, settled, built, fought and died for. We must
proclaim our destiny to move forward, never bow to the tyrants, and retain our
freedoms at all costs. Like America's founders, but unlike most of us, Marvin Heemeyer believed that freedom was a cause still worth fighting for.