The Killdozer Rampage

Marvin Heemeyer built a weapon to flatten anything that stood in his way, and the internet called him a hero.

Josie Klakström
5 min readOct 22, 2021


Deputy Glenn Trainor on top of the modified bulldozer via

On Friday the 4th June 2004, a man with a grudge secretly built a death machine out of a bulldozer and went on a rampage around the sleepy town of Granby. The spree lasted over two hours before finally coming to a deadly standstill.

Granby is a small town in Colorado, sitting 86 miles from Denver. Many of its residents are early pioneer settlers, and in the early 2000s, the population was at around 1,500.

Marvin Heemeyer was born in October 1951 in Castlewood, South Dakota. He moved to Granby in the early nineties and set up a car repair shop in the town. The shop was built on two acres of land, bought from the Resolution Trust Corporation, which he later agreed to sell to the Docheff family. The deal was initially for $250,000 but later rose to around $1million.

In an interview, Susie Docheff said she believed Heemeyer was just trying to cause trouble. “I just think he set things up to the point where you would have to say no. He probably set you up to say ‘no’ just so he could get mad at you.”

In 2001, the town’s zoning commission approved the construction of a Mountain Park Concrete plant. However, Heemeyer strongly objected to the building being erected as it was on the land adjacent to his repair shop and blocked access to his land.

Instead, the government continued with the build and fined Heemeyer for not being connected to the sewer system. The pipes ran 18 metres from his property, and it would have cost over $80,000 to connect his shop to them, which he would have to pay. It appeared to Heemeyer that the town was trying to push him out and even fined him for having old cars scattered around the property. Heemeyer ended up paying $2,500 in fines, where he included a note with the cheques reading, ‘Cowards’.

Tom Hale said Heemeyer was angry over losing the dispute, “We felt he was venting his frustration that he didn’t get his way,” Hale told NBCNews. “We didn’t think he was going to do something like this.”

Over the next 18 months, Marvin Heemeyer tinkered with one specific project on his property. A bulldozer he’d…



Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing.