James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
22 July 2017, 20:50
You would think that with hundreds of episodes of Columbo and countless other crime dramas constantly playing on television that people would have got the hang of getting away with murder.
Fortunately for the rest of us, criminals don't seem to have learned a thing.
Murderers leave clues behind them like breadcrumbs in Hansel and Gretel.
According to the murder mysteries I’ve seen , the most obvious perpetrator is the victim's spouse.
You don't need to be Miss Marple to figure our whodunnit, you just need access to the marriage register.
In Michigan in the USA, a woman called Glenna Durham was found guilty of murdering her husband.
It did not go well from the start. She shot her husband five times then turned the gun on herself in what was described as an attempted suicide.
The word "attempted" is important. She conspired to hit her husband five times, apparently she then managed to miss herself. Maybe she was a moving target.
The thing that gave her away was the witness she overlooked when clearing up the crime scene.
Martin Duram’s pet parrot, Bud, was the only witness to the murder.
His ex-wife, Christina Keller, took Bud in after the murder. The parrot then did what parrots are famed for doing - it repeated the last thing it heard.
Unfortunately for Glenna Durham, the last thing it heard was her husband pleading for his life before being shot.
In his new home, Bud repeatedly said, 'Don’t f***ing shoot' while mimicking his former owner's voice.
Martin's parents said "That bird picks up everything and anything, and it's got the filthiest mouth around".
Technically, that is not possible. The bird was only as filthy as the language it heard from its owners.
This was not brought up in court. They had bigger things to deal with than the profanity of tropical kakapos.
Glenna Duram will be sentenced in August and faces life in prison.
And the moral of the story is...if you absolutely, positively have to kill your husband, don't forget to shoot the parrot.