A vicious American heartland murder has an interesting witness, according to some accounts: He speaks in two voices and is covered with feathers. Now a family is hoping the victim's pet parrot will sing like a canary and help bring a killer to justice.
Martin Duram, 46, was killed in a hail of five bullets in his underwear in his Michigan home nearly a year ago as investigators continue to struggle with the case. His African grey pet parrot, Bud, still sometimes carries out a dark conversation between two voices, both produced by him, that sound like a man and woman arguing. "Shut up," says the male voice. Bud also says: "Don't f---king shoot."
Duram was found dead alongside his wife, Glenna, who survived a bullet in the brain. She is now a suspect in the murder and attempted suicide, according to WOOD-TV. Duram's parents and his ex-wife are convinced Bud was a witness and that the information in his conversations could help land her behind bars.
"I personally think he was there and he remembers it and [Martin] was saying it," said the murder victim's father, Charles Duram. Christina Keller — Duram's former wife who now owns the parrot — added: "He was there to see it all and he heard it. It imprinted in his brain. He can't let it go. I'm hearing two people in an intense argument — two people that I know, voices I recognise."
Family members say that Glenna often joked about killing Duram or waiting for him to die so she could inherit his money. In fact, the two were facing hard financial times and foreclosure on their home. Duram had suffered a serious brain injury in a car crash and depended on his wife to care for him.
Martin Durham's daughter told MLive that she found what appeared to be suicide notes in the home after the murder signed by Glenna and apologising to her two adult children and ex-husband. "I'm sorry but i love you and so sorry I've been a disappointment to you these last 12 years or so. Please forgive me your one of the best things I ever did — Love mom," she wrote to one of her children, according to police.
Glenna Duram has reportedly told investigators she remembers nothing about the shootings. While the family hopes Bud might provide a vital witness account, experts say such "testimony" would be unusable because it can't be ascertained where and when bird heard the words.
Law enforcement officials will make a determination on whether or not to prosecute Glenna Duram for the murder of her husband sometime in June — without Bud's help, said officials.