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Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Talking Parrot Murder Case

     In 2015, Martin "Marty" Duram and his wife Glenna resided in Sand Lake, Michigan, a village of 500 people in the southwestern part of the state. In their mid-forties, the couple had been married 15 years. They each had children from previous marriages.

     According to their children, and people who knew them, the Durams, both quick tempered types, argued a lot over money. They had a so-called love-hate relationship.

     Glenna Duram liked to gamble at local casinos. In 2010, she lost $75,000 to the slot machines. In April 2015, Mr. Duram learned to his shock and dismay that their house was in foreclosure. Glenna Duram, instead of paying their bills, had gambled the money away.

     On the night of May 13, 2015, police and emergency personnel were summoned to the Duram house following a shooting. Officers found the couple in their bedroom lying next to each other. Mr. Duram had been shot five times, once in the head. He lay dead among six shell casings. Mrs. Duram had a superficial head wound and was conscious.

     When asked by the police who shot her and her husband, Glenna Duram said she didn't know. She also became combative when paramedics tried to take her out of the house for medical treatment. She kept yelling, "Why are you doing this to Marty."

     Police officers at the scene found no evidence of forced entry, and nothing had been taken from the house. Mr. Duram was found clutching a clump of hair. Officers also discovered, in the living room, three manila envelopes containing suicide notes signed by Mrs. Duram and addressed to her children. In these notes she apologized for being such a disappointment.

     The dead man's parents, Lilian and Chuck Duram, told the authorities they believed Glenna Duram had murdered their son during a violent argument. At this point the police suspected a failed murder-suicide. When questioned again by the police after she had fully recovered from her head wound, Glenna Duram still claimed to have no memory of the shooting.

     Soon after the murder, Christina Keller, Mr. Duram's ex-wife, took custody of Bud, the former couple's 20-year-old African Gray parrot. In late May 2015, Bud began squawking in voices that sounded like a man and a woman arguing. In the man's voice, Bud said, "Don't f…ing shoot!" Christina Keller video taped the parrot's crime scene re-creation for the police.

     In July 2017, a Newaygo County jury, after deliberating a day and a half, found Glenna Duram guilty of murdering her husband in the first degree. A month later, the judge sentenced her to life in prison.

     While Bud the parrot didn't take the stand for the prosecution, Christina Keller testified regarding the bird's repeated remarks that incriminated the defendant. 

2 comments:

  1. But the parrot saying in a man's voice "don't shoot" doesn't tell anyone the identity of the shooter.

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  2. this is really interesting. I mean, there should be enough evidence WITHOUT the parrot testimony... but those are all interesting thought provoking questions at the end!

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