• gun for killing

    People question the name KILLDOZER, but the barrel of the 50-caliber rifle protruding from the bulldozer-tank built by Heemeyer says it all. Heemeyer fired the 50-caliber at people and at propane tanks that he had hoped to explode in a residential neighborhood.

They are asking again: Why is it called KILLDOZER?

It’s a common question. Lately, a Facebook follower posed the question: Why is the book called KILLDOZER if nobody was killed?

I’ll respond to that question again. Here’s why.

The world named it

First, in some sense, I didn’t really name it the KILLDOZER. The world did that without any coaxing or coaching from me.

Within hours after the Granby bulldozer rampage made national news the web postings, phone calls and letters to the editor started. And many of them grasped onto the moniker KILLDOZER. It suddenly became the popular go-to name for Marv Heemeyer’s creation.

So first, I decided to call the book “KILLDOZER: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage” because many people out there in the world recognized that as the name that’s been attached to the Komatsu bulldozer that Heemeyer made into an armed and armored tank.

Origins in popular culture TV movie

Where did that name come from? The first documented and popular use of that name can be traced to a B-grade, campy, made-for-TV movie from the early Seventies called KILLDOZER. The movie is about a bulldozer that becomes possessed by an alien spirit. That spirit then makes the bulldozer act aggressively against humans, killing them when it wants. Hence the film’s name: KILLDOZER.

While the movie isn’t exactly a great work of art, it garnered a following. That following prompted the publication of an entire comic book called “KILLDOZER,” the cover of which can be seen elsewhere on this blog. It’s an excellent piece of comic book art.

So there’s that . . . the popular culture reason.

Even more interesting, from what I can discern there have been two bands named KILLDOZER. One was a pop-rock band in Wisconsin that played long before the KILLDOZER rampage took place. The other was a punk rock band, also from the Midwest. The punk rock band came about after Heemeyer’s rampage.

And then there’s other more telling reason for calling the book, and Marv’s machine, KILLDOZER.

He certainly didn’t care if he killed

Out there in the world of the Internet, YouTube, Facebook postings and more there’s a myth that contends Marv Heemeyer didn’t intend to hurt anyone on his rampage. After all, he didn’t kill anyone as he destroyed or severely damaged 13 buildings.

This fact is used by Marv’s defenders to claim that all Heemeyer set out to do on his rampage was to damage the property of the people who had caused him harm. Therefore this somehow seems to anoint Heemeyer as almost saint-like and heroic in his efforts to wreck the town.

This near-noble glorification of Heemeyer misses the truth about the rampage. In fact, Heemeyer did try to hurt people.

First, he fired his guns (he had three weapons mounted in the bulldozer tank) at people. He shot at Cody Docheff. He shot at Rich Garner, a sergeant with the Grand County Sheriff’s Department. He shot five times with his 50-caliber rifle at Corporal Dave Batura of the Colorado State Patrol. He fired at barricade behind which police were hiding during the rampage.

Oh, and don’t forget that he fired his 50-caliber rifle at massive propane tanks in eastern Granby, attempting to create a massive explosion by shooting at nearby electrical transformers in order to create sparks to ignit the escaping propone. Luckily he missed the propane tanks but he did hit the transformers.

So through the use of his firearms I think one can logically conclude that Heemeyer was certainly trying to hurt, if not kill, people.

And then there’s the fact that in the process of driving his dozer right inot buildings, knocking many of the buildings down, he had no way to know whether he had killed people. He almost killed me as I remained in my building when he slammed into it with his KILLDOZER.

There are many ways in which Heemeyer certainly could have killed people on his rampage. At the very least, he certainly didn’t care if he killed people.

Hence the name KILLDOZER.



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