In the world of crazy, Marvin John Heemeyer decided to take revenge with the whole town after his zoning petition got dismissed by the zoning commission. For which, Marvin, an automobile muffler repair shop owner, and welder decided the most bizarre way; He built a “Killdozer”.

via Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Heemeyer ‘s fight with the town begun three years before he decided to build the killdozer when the city approved the construction of a concrete plant next to Heemeyer’s small muffler repair shop. He filed rezoning appeals against the decision which was rejected multiple times by the zoning commission and town’s trustees.

Heemeyer purchased the land on which his shop was built in 1992 for $42000, but later he agreed to sell it to a company for building a concrete batch plant. The negotiation didn’t go well as initially it was $250,000 which Heemeyer raised to $375,000 but again finding it not reasonable asked for around 1 million for the deal.

But unfortunate for Heemeyer that the zoning commission approved the construction of a concrete batch plant for which Heemeyer claimed that the construction blocked his access to the shop. Moreover, he was fined by the town council for various violations.

The Killdozer

This made Heemeyer furious and he decided that he had enough with the authorities. He started modifying his bulldozer (Komatsu D355A) with armor platings covering the bulldozer’s cabin, exterior and parts of tracks. The armor was over 1 foot, consisting of a concrete mix sandwiched between sheets of steel. Moreover, he used cameras fitted outside of the killdozer which were connected to two monitors inside the cabin. Police later claimed that Heemeyer also installed two rifles in firing ports on the side of the bulldozer.

killdozer inside
Inside the Killdozer, Credits – Brian Brainerd/The Denver Post/Getty Images

There were several audio recordings left by Heemyer to his brother, on the day of the rampage, in one of which Heeymeyer referred his dozer as “MK Tank”.


It was discovered that it took a year and a half for Heemyer to build his armored tank. He also mentioned in his notes that he was surprised no one caught an eye on his modified dozer anyone who visited him in the shed, even when there was a 900kg (2000-pound) lif fully exposed.

The Rampage

On June 4, 2004, Heemeyer drove his modified bulldozer which was capable of impervious to small arms fire and even resistant to explosives. His first target was obvious, the concrete plant. Next, he begins demolition the town hall, the office of the local newspaper who went against him, the home of former mayor and a hardware store owned by a person Heemeyer named in a lawsuit.

His rampage lasted for around 2 hours causing damage to 13 buildings overall, damaging a truck, and some other establishments. But no one except Heemeyer was killed in this rampage on the town. The total damage was estimated to be $7 million.

Sheriff’s Department and SWAT team were unable to take out Heemeyer from his killdozer while he was demolishing the town. The armor on the machine was so thick that even firing explosives had no effect on it. Officers also failed to take out the cameras as those were also covered armored with 3-inch bulletproof plastic. At one point, one of the officers jumped on the bulldozer’s top trying to figure out a way to get a bullet inside it but had to jump off to save himself from the debris.

Efforts by the authorities failed to stop Heemyer’s rampage, but fortunately, the killdozer’s engine failed while Heemyer was destroying a hardware store, it was reported that the radiator of the dozer had been damaged and the engine started leaking various fluids. The dozer was now stuck, which gave the police official a chance to take Heeymyer out of the dozer. Before he could be taken out, a single gunshot was heard from inside the sealed cabin; Heemyer shot himself in the head with a .357 caliber handgun.

Police had to cut open the dozer using oxyacetylene cutting torch after three explosions failed on the dozer. His body was removed and the dozer was later scrapped and sold to prevent any souvenir-taking.


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