A reasonable man does an unreasonable thing

We live in a society. Every person on Earth has their own agenda. A reason to keep going, to wake up every morning. What if one day you woke up and all that you’ve worked for was gone? Every minute you spent working towards a goal, something you loved, was taken from you. You don’t know what to do. You need something, someone to blame. But then you find out why everything you know and love was taken from you. The only thing you have left is a burning, driving need for revenge. This is the story of a war against a powerful system. A story of love, hate, genius, and insanity. The story of a battle against a zoning commission. This is the story of Marvin Heemeyer and his Killdozer.
The year was 1992. George H. W. Bush had just lost the presidential reelection to big bad Bill Clinton. However, the town of Granby, Colorado hadn’t changed much except for the new shop which was under construction. What was this shop, you may ask? Well, this was a muffler and auto body repair shop owned by none other than Mr. Marvin Heemeyer. Heeymeyer was born and raised in this small town of Granby (near Tabernash). His father taught him at a young age the basics of building and fixing things. This gave him quite the knack for learning in school. He graduated from UOC with a degree in engineering which earned him a career in automotive repair. His auto body shop, which officially finished construction in 1993, provided a steady flow of income for himself. Heemeyer never married and only committed to his line of work. He lived his life as a good neighbor, a helping hand, and someone you could always count on. That is, until that fateful day 32 years after his high school graduation. That fateful day when the dispute began.
On May 6 2003 the city council of Granby reached out to Heemeyer to warn him of an oncoming change to Heemeyer’s ownership rights to his property. The city council warned Heemeyer that the 30-year lease that he purchased in 1973 had expired due to the state requiring individual funding for social service programs. In other words, a small town city council lacked funds and used a counterintuitive loophole to charge Heemeyer redundantly. Heemeyer received this information quite abruptly and was given 4 months to relocate. Heemeyer, consumed by rage and confusion, wasted no time. Having access to a significant amount of resources, Heemeyer’s need for revenge created his vision. Heemeyer owned a Komatsu D355A bulldozer, which he used for various landscaping projects. Mar. 2 2004 was the day the conversion began. Heemeyer had access to several thousand pounds of concrete salvaged from previous projects. He used this concrete along with his welding knowledge to fasten and harness molded concrete slabs around his bulldozer. After a month of molding and welding the concrete shell with a homemade chain crane inside his shop, he began other adjustments. Heemeyer implanted bulletproof plexiglass framing around the exposed joints of his bulldozer which were not covered with concrete. Inside of the shell, he created a command center for operating the bulldozer. He calibrated two Nikon video cameras each to the front and back of the bulldozer which were wired to monitors that projected a 180-degree view. Miniature leaf blower-like air filtration systems were put in place in front of the cameras to blow dust away from the lenses. The final touches included two portholes that supported two 308 caliber semi-automatic rifles. Heemeyer also had access to 40 pounds of ammunition.
The day was finally here: June 4 2004. Heemeyer’s work was finally complete. The last 3 months of his life had been devoted to nothing but this bulldozer. This was his Picasso, his finished symphony. But all perfect things come with a price. Heemeyer’s last look at the world around him was one of fulfillment and bittersweet conclusions. The 206-pound circular hatch of the bulldozer tank’s cabin was sealed shut with Heemeyer inside of it. The fully operational bulldozer tank drove through the walls of the lease-ending garage where Heemeyer’s shop stood. The rampage began. Heemyer drove down the dirt road to the suburbs of the small town of Granby. He used the scooper of the bulldozer, which had been mechanically amplified, to knock down several buildings, including a gas station, the town hall, and the home of former mayor Paul Chavoskie. You may be wondering how he used those previously mentioned guns of absurd size. Rest assured, no people were killed in the short tenure of the Killdozer; the only targets for those guns were large communal propane tanks, which are a common sight in small towns. The rampage continued throughout Granby even after residents contacted the authorities. The National Guard attempted to stop the enormous machine with gunfire, to no avail. Despite the military’s efforts, this destruction went on for another hour and a half. Heemeyer’s path of rage and revenge was finally brought to an end by the basement of a hardware store. The right tread of Heemeyer’s bulldozer fell into the depths of the basement, causing the tread to strain the internal system of the machine, ultimately resulting in the dozer’s engine failure. Heemeyer, sealed inside his creation, took his own life inside of his bulldozer at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2004
A week after the incident an investigation was opened on Heemeyer’s property. Inside the workshop where Marvin had altered his bulldozer, investigators retrieved several tape recordings of Heemeyer’s personal journey through the bulldozer’s construction. His final words were released to the public later that evening. “Sometimes reasonable men do unreasonable things.” The investigators then tracked down officials of the concrete plant that was built on Heemeyer’s property. The company’s CEO was personally involved in the lease dispute and was fined a mere $20,000.
Marvin Heemeyer was indeed a reasonable man, but sometimes the train of life doesn’t always follow the tracks of morality. Marvin lived a perfectly normal life, but that perfectly normal life changed very quickly and Marvin responded in the way that he thought was best. I think we can all learn something from Marvin John Heemeyer: Sometimes life doesn’t always work out, but in the end, the right things were done for the right reasons.