Talkative Parrot May Hold Major Clue to Murder
Relatives believe Bud the parrot witnessed his owner’s murder and is repeating a phrase from the crime
In this year-old “who-dunnit?” an unusual witness may have the answer.
In May 2015, 45-year-old Martin Duram was fatally shot in his Ensley Township, Michigan, home. His wife, Glenna, was found next to his body with a gun shot wound to the head, but managed to survive her injury. According to The Washington Post, police originally thought Glenna was a victim of the incident, but now authorities are looking at her as a suspect in her husband’s murder, partially based on the testimony of a parrot.
Bud, an African gray parrot, who was Martin’s pet and lived at Duram’s home at the time of the shooting, has been repeating a peculiar phrase recently: “Don’t f—ing shoot.”
The bird’s new owner, Martin’s ex-wife, Christina Keller, told Wood TV the bird often repeats the phrase in Martin’s voice and also mimics a heated dispute between two people, who sound like Martin and Glenna Duram. Keller and Martin’s relatives believe the bird witnessed the shooting and that his owner’s final moments had a lasting effect on him.
“I’m hearing two people in an intense argument,” Keller, who believes “Don’t f—ing shoot!” were Duram’s final words, told Wood TV. “Two people that I know, voices that I recognize.”
“It’s intense,” she added. “When it happens, my house turns cold.”
Investigators have asked if Bud’s blurts can be used as evidence, but police are waiting to conclude their investigation and file charges before they consider what Bud has to say.
The wife says she has no memory of the day her husband died or the three suicide notes she wrote that were found at the scene. Glenna is maintaining she is innocent.
Doreen Plotkowski, the owner of Casa la Parrot in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told WABC that African gray parrots usually mimic things they have heard many times, but they can also voice phrases that they have only heard once or twice. After watching a video of Bud, Plorkowski said she could hear the bird mimicking an argument between a man and a woman, and could pick up the phrase “Don’t f—ing shoot.”
If Glenna does go to trial, it is unlikely that the bird’s words will be allowed into evidence, because there is no way to prove Bud didn’t just pick up the phrase from a violent TV show, movie or other source.
Keller agrees, “I don’t think he would be able to help the case,” she said. “But I think it puts the emotion out there, like there’s a dead man there.”