According to the Detroit Free Press, “A Sand Lake, Michigan couple’s pet parrot could be used as evidence to prove Glenna Duram murdered her husband Martin.” You read that correctly.
Over a year after Mr. Duram was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the couple’s Sand Lake home, Glenna Duram is incarcerated, accused of committing the crime. Family members believe the couple quarreled over her gambling debts which led to unpaid bills and a foreclosure on their home. They further believe that she killed him and subsequently tried- but failed- to kill herself.
According to the Free Press, “A few weeks after his death last May, the couple’s parrot started repeating a loud, profane argument between a male and a female.” The article didn’t say how experts knew the replicated ruckus was between a male and a female. The bird must be highly skilled in conveying the subtle tonalities and inflections of human voices.
At any rate, the pretty, feathered tape-recorder apparently recounts both sides of the run-in.
As per the parrot: (Martin told Glenna to) “Get out.”
“Where will I go,” (Glenna replied).
(Then Martin says) “Don’t f---ing shoot.”
The now-deceased Mr. Duram’s former wife, Christine Keller, stated: “I believe with all my heart that those are the last words of Marty. I recognize two different voices screaming and yelling and it always ends with, ‘Don’t f---ing shoot.’”
Robert Springstead, Newago County Prosecuting Attorney, says that they are studying the parrot’s words in an effort to determine if they are admissible evidence. “It’s an interesting novelty and it’s been a great opportunity for me to learn about African parrots. It is something we are going to be looking at to determine if it’s reliable to use or if it’s information we need to prosecute this case,” Springstead said.
I must admit, I thrill to the image of an African-American parrot taking the witness stand, beak near the microphone, and boldly testifying against an obviously morally-challenged white woman. After this groundbreaking testimony, this courtroom first, the courageous bird will need to be placed into the witness-protection program. (Tragically, it may now become commonplace for those about to commit heinous crimes to off any parrots in the vicinity before proceeding with their plans).
I can envision a time in the near future when these (low-tech, high maintenance) parrots are placed in every bank, airport and public space in an effort to aid prosecutors and deter crime. They may serve the same function as the iconic “black boxes” on passenger planes. Husbands and wives may hide these birds in private places of potential spousal philandering.
“I never cheated on you!”
“Oh yeah? Tell it to the court!”
“Ladies and gentleman, the prosecution calls Polly Parrot to the stand.”
“ Polly, what did you hear on that rainy night three months ago?”
“It’s my husband! He’s coming home! Quick, out the backdoor my lovely Latin lover!”
“Thank you, Polly. Here’s a cracker. Your honor, the prosecution rests.”