‘Killdozer’ author demystifies Granby rampage
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — “On June 4, 2004, Marvin Heemeyer struck a blow against the tyrannical local government of Granby, Colorado … Marvin, a common muffler mechanic, never imagined that he would one day become a martyr for the fight against tyranny worldwide.” — Crushhumanity.org
Journalist and author Patrick Brower is determined to crush that false narrative of Heemeyer, “the martyr,” and how the man who created “killdozer” actually came into being. After all, Brower was there in 1992 when Heemeyer moved to Grand County and was there in 2004 when the infamous killdozer made its way through Granby, crushing 13 buildings including Brower’s newspaper, Sky-Hi News.
Long before the recent Annapolis newspaper shooting where five people died, journalist Brower was dealing with his own madman in the form of Heemeyer. He said Heemeyer was not just a “common muffler mechanic” as some of his internet fans call him. He was also a smart businessman who owned a number of muffler shops and had taken up the cause of bringing gambling to Grand Lake, which the local newspaper had strongly opposed.
Brower, the former managing editor and publisher of Sky-Hi News, will be in Steamboat Springs on Thursday, July 5 for a book signing of “Killdozer, The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage.” Brower will discuss the inside story of how Heemeyer turned a 65-ton bulldozer into an 85-ton armored tank that would virtually destroy the town of Granby.
But even more disturbing said Brower is the way Heemeyer has became a “modern folk hero.”
“Very shortly after the rampage, one persistent blogger said, ‘there were no guns in the bulldozer’ and that ‘police killed him.’ That was a blatantly false statement,” Brower said.
“They said the city took an easement away from him. The town never blocked, took or changed an easement to Heemeyer’s property,” Brower explained. “It’s a complete fabrication, and it justifies making him into the prototypical vigilante hero striking back at the oppressive government and freeing the little guy so he or she can live and operate independently.”
Brower’s perceived disgust when talking about Heemeyer’s “folk hero” status can be understood, considering how close he and others came to dying on that fateful June day.
“It was a miracle nobody was killed in that town,” said Brower. “He fired his gun at police and perceived enemies, and he tried to blow up the town” by firing at propane tanks and power transformers.
A journalist first, Brower delves into Heemeyer’s life in Grand County and the 12 years of his life leading up to the dozer attack, giving readers an objective look at an obviously intelligent man who loved working with his hands and who enjoyed the usual Colorado activities like snowmobiling.
The book gives readers a first-hand look at how the businessman eventually came to see himself as a victim of governmental “conspiracy.”
“I met with Heemeyer numerous times over ‘Letters to the Editors.’ He knew me. I don’t think we were jerks to him,” Brower said. “Whenever there were disputes, we ran two points of view. But there is this feeling out there that anything against government is justified … especially if they’re in alliance with the mainstream media.”
Brower said journalists can’t give up on “getting the true story out there,” no matter how fast the internet lights up with conspiracy theories.
“Let’s just look at what happened with the shooting in Maryland. Only six hours after the shooting, there were conspiracy theories online — being ‘liked’ and forwarded — that the shooter in Maryland was under the sway of the ‘deep state’ and leftwing operatives,” Brower said.
Brower will be at the Off the Beaten Path bookstore in Steamboat Springs from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
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