How a Pet Solved His Owner's Murder

Fatim Hemraj
Marty DuramPhoto byFacebook

Marty Duram was a bright-eyed teenager when he met a beautiful girl named Glenna Johnson in the 1980s. It was love at first sight and they went on a first date to a drive-in movie theatre. Ultimately, however, their relationship wouldn’t last and both would go on to marry other people.

At 17, Glenna married a 23-year-old man named Bob with whom she had three children while Marty fell head over heels for a woman named Christina. Marty and Christina tied the knot in 1991 and had two children together. They were incredibly happy — until a car accident changed everything.

One day in 1995, Marty was driving home from work when he was hit by another vehicle. His jaw was split in half and he sustained a traumatic brain injury. Although he survived, the brain injury changed Marty’s personality from a kind, fun-loving man to a mean, controlling person who couldn’t remember his wife or his kids. It was too much for Christina to handle and she ultimately filed for divorce, allowing Marty to retain custody of their children and keep their pet African Grey parrot, Bud.
Marty and Glenna DuramPhoto byFacebook

A few years later, Marty rekindled a romance with Glenna, who was by then divorced as well, and they continued right where they left off. They got married in 2004 and bought a house in Michigan. When Marty’s condition worsened in 2010 due to chronic pain, Glenna became his full-time caretaker and took on other responsibilities such as paying their mortgage and car insurance. At least, that’s what Marty thought.

On the morning of May 12, 2005, a neighbor heard two gunshots coming from the direction of Marty and Glenna’s home. Assuming Marty was simply out hunting, she didn’t think anything of it and went to work. Later that evening, her husband texted Marty but he didn’t respond which was unusual. He jokingly texted Glenna, “What have you done with Marty?”

The next day, the neighbor returned to the Durams' home and knocked on the door but there was no answer. Since the front door was unlocked, she made her way inside to check on the couple. As she entered their bedroom, she made a shocking discovery: Marty and Glenna were lying in a pool of blood. Frantic, the neighbor ran out of the house and called the police.

Sadly, Marty was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined the 46-year-old had been shot five times at close range with a .22 Ruger.

When officers attempted to check Glenna’s pulse, she suddenly opened her eyes and screamed, “What are you doing!” She was transported to the hospital and while she recovered, investigators worked diligently to determine who would have wanted the couple dead. They discovered that the Durams were selling Marty’s pain pills and concluded that the crime must have been drug-related.

Marty’s adult children disagreed and they broke into his home to find clues. It was then that they discovered three letters in manila envelopes; one addressed to Glenna’s children, another to her ex-husband Bob, and one to her mother. In the letters, Glenna apologized and wrote that she had “messed up.” It was clear that they were suicide notes and Glenna became the prime suspect in what appeared to be a botched murder-suicide.

A neurosurgeon determined that although Glenna had been shot in the head, the bullet had only grazed her and would have not resulted in unconsciousness or memory loss. Despite this, Glenna claimed she couldn’t remember what happened the night her husband was killed. She denied writing the letters but a handwriting expert confirmed she did.

Soon after, Glenna’s cousin told the police to look under a couch in the Durams' home for the murder weapon. Investigators did in fact find a .22 caliber Ruger revolver hidden underneath a loveseat and ballistics concluded it was the same gun that had been used in the murder. When questioned how she could have known the location of the gun, Glenna’s cousin claimed she was a psychic and named her daughter as her alibi.

Investigators would soon learn that while Marty thought Glenna was making the mortgage and car payments, she actually gambled the money away at a casino to the tune of $75,000. A month before his death, Marty discovered that their house was going into foreclosure and their car was repossessed. He confronted Glenna but she insisted it had to be a mistake. As it turned out, it was no mistake. They owed $48,000 on their house and it was set to go into foreclosure the exact day that Marty was murdered.

Marty’s adult children recalled that Glenna sometimes “joked” about wanting Marty dead and that the couple often had nasty, vicious arguments. Additionally, Glenna’s phone showed searches for information about .22 Ruger revolvers shortly before her neighbor heard the gunshots.

Unfortunately, most of the evidence against Glenna was circumstantial. No arrests were made and a year went by with Marty’s murder unsolved.

Marty’s ex-wife, Christina, took custody of Bud the parrot and she was stunned when just two weeks after the murder, he chillingly reenacted a conversation between Marty and Glenna, including Marty’s final words.

In Glenna’s voice, Bud said, “No, no! Shut up! Get your a** over here now!” Then, in Marty’s voice, Bud screamed out, “Don’t f*cking shoot!”

Bud often became distressed and he repeated the conversation over and over. Christina told investigators that Bud may have witnessed the crime but since he is a parrot, her claim wasn’t taken seriously — that was until she filmed Bud and released the video to a local news outlet 11 months later.

“It terrified me. I hear screaming, yelling, and fear. To listen to the whole two-minute rant and to know Marty, and to know Glenna, and to know the things that they would say to each other, it’s haunting. My house turns cold. I get chills when I hear it.” — Christina Keller

Three weeks later, Glenna was charged with first-degree premeditated murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Prosecutors argued that Glenna thought a murder-suicide was her only way out of her debt and her lies. They believed that she killed Marty, shot herself, and while injured, managed to hide the gun under the couch.
Glenna DuramPhoto byFacebook

Glenna pleaded not guilty but the 49-year-old was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. While her family believes she is innocent, Marty’s children, his parents, and his ex-wife Christina are confident that the right person is behind bars.

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30-something writer powered by two trusty companions: coffee and my feline overlords.


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