Guest column: Marvin Heemeyer lives on a Facebook page
June 13, 2014
A virtual Marvin Heemeyer has risen from the dead to appear on Facebook several days prior to the June 4, 2014, 10-year anniversary of the bulldozer rampage in Granby, posting a question to the Granby chamber and "liking" a negative post about Granby.
This appearance of a Marvin Heemeyer on Facebook is odd because the Marvin Heemeyer who carried out the bulldozer rampage in Granby killed himself in his homemade tank minutes after the machine stalled in a building he had razed. Heemeyer was the driver of the 85-ton armed and armored bulldozer that destroyed 13 buildings in the town of Granby and caused $10 million worth of damage June 4, 2004. During the rampage he fired weapons mounted in the bulldozer tank at police, a neighbor and propane tanks.
The existence of this new virtual Marvin Heemeyer was discovered when Cathie Hook, executive director of the Granby Chamber of Commerce, noticed a negative post about Granby on her Facebook wall just before the 10-year anniversary of the rampage.
The post, by a W. Ryan Krauss of Seattle, Wash., stated: "Small Business killers. I hope your whole town withers."
But what really got Hook's attention was when that negative post was "liked" by a Marvin Heemeyer. There appears on Facebook a Marvin Heemeyer page, complete with a profile photo of Heemeyer in the foreground, behind which appears a photo of the Town of Granby parking lot taken just after the rampage. It shows a damaged building and two smashed-up police cars.
The most recent incarnation of the Heemeyer Facebook page appears to have been created May 8, although there are two other apparent Marvin Heemeyer pages that have gotten less attention. Those appear to have been created earlier in the year.
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Shortly after the negative Krauss posting, another negative post appeared on the Granby Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page wall. Edward Kelly's post reads: "Why didn't you horrible people leave Marvin an outlet to address his grievances? You are the worst sort of politicians… ."
Another posting to the Granby Chamber of Commerce page two days prior to June 4, 2014, read: "Any fun celebrations happening on the 4th?" That posting came from the Marvin Heemeyer Facebook page and has the name Marvin Heemeyer attached to it. That question was clearly a taunt at the Granby community.
One of the Facebook "friends" of Marvin Heemeyer is a bearded Justin Popp. A post from "Marvin Heemeyer" states: "Shirt looks good on you bigot."
The shirt worn by Popp is a green T-shirt with a line drawing of the Heemeyer's bulldozer tank on the front, above which is written "Never forget," with the date "6/4/04" below it. The photo has 23 "likes."
This sort of endorsement of Marv Heemeyer, sadly, isn't surprising
There is a national phenomenon in which rampagers and mass killers are frequently touted as "heroes" by fringe groups and individuals on the Internet and in other venues. In the process, the rampage victims are then attacked as the "cause" of the incidents.
The Columbine shooting, the Aurora theatre killings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings and SandyHook Elementary, the Boston Marathon bombing and the recent shootings in Santa Barbara, Calif. are cited as examples of the way in which the Killdozer rampage set a template for this disturbing antihero phenomenon in America.
Patrick Brower was the editor and publisher of Grand County Newspapers when Marvin Heemeyer destroyed the Sky-Hi News building in Granby. Brower has written a book: "Killdozer: The Violent Birth of the New American Antihero," about the Killdozer rampage. The book, not yet for sale, focuses on the rampage and its causes, and the disturbing way segments of the general public embraced Heemeyer and the rampage and in many cases portrayed Heemeyer as a hero.