1"Don't f---ing shoot."
Michigan resident Glenna Duram, accused of gunning down her husband, appeared in court in December 2016. The only witness to the alleged crime remained behind bars—the bars of a bird cage, to be exact.
It has been revealed that the Duram's parrot was the sole witness of the fatal shooting of her 45-year-old husband, Martin, on May 12, 2015. Several weeks after the killing, the family recorded the bird as it mimicked a couple arguing and believe it saw Martin in his last moments.
Glenna, who survived what prosecutors believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, is charged with first-degree murder. But will the bird take the stand? Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead said, "I can't imagine a scenario where a parrot is qualified as a witness in a court of law." Still, it has not been ruled out.
Police said Glenna left several suicide notes, and the marriage was strained by financial and gambling problems.
On the night of September 7, 1996, Officer Chris Carroll was on bike patrol when boxer Mike Tyson won a first-round knockout match against Bruce Seldon at the MGM Grand Hotel. After the match, a gang-related skirmish involving Tyson's good friend, Tupac Shakur, and Death Row Records boss Suge Knight broke out. After the duo had driven away from the scene, they were involved in a shootout with a white Cadillac that contained Shakur's killers.
Carroll was on hand and opened the passenger door of Knight's BMW to catch a bleeding Shakur as he fell out of the car. He was alive, but shot in the chest four times, and stuck to his no-snitching mantra to the bitter end. Carrol said, " So I'm looking at Tupac, and he's trying to yell back at Suge, and I'm asking him, 'Who shot you? What happened? Who did it?' And he was just kind of ignoring me. He was making eye contact with me here and there, but he's trying to yell at Suge. And I kept asking over and over, ‘Who did this? Who shot you?' And he basically kept ignoring me. And then I saw in his face, in his movements, all of a sudden in the snap of a finger, he changed. And he went from struggling to speak, being noncooperative, to an 'I'm at peace' type of thing. Just like that.
"He went from fighting to 'I can't do it.' And when he made that transition, he looked at me, and he's looking right in my eyes. And that's when I looked at him and said one more time, 'Who shot you?'
"He looked at me and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and I thought I was actually going to get some cooperation. And then the words came out: 'Fuck you.'
"After that, he started gurgling and slipping out of consciousness. At that point, an ambulance showed up, and he went into unconsciousness."
The killers were never found.
3"Please don't. Stop. I'm scared."
Angela Wrightson, 39, was found semi-naked in her living room in Hartlepool, England with more than 100 injuries, in December 2014. Her murderers, then aged 13 and 14, used everyday objects as weapons including a shovel, a TV, and computer printer. They left the scene and later callously returned to make sure their victim was indeed dead, all the while posting selfies with Angela before and after her demise on Snapchat. Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell told jurors that one of the girls told a friend that Wrightson had pleaded for her life. “Please don't. Stop. I'm scared,” Wrightson said.
The deeply troubled girls, who have been in and out of foster care, showed no remorse—they even called police for a ride home. The younger girl then took a picture of her friend in the police van and posted it to Snapchat saying they were “in the back on the bizzie van again.” They have since been given life sentences with the minimum terms of 15 years each for the torture and murder of the vulnerable woman.
4"I don't want to die."
In 2016, 15-year-old Karen Perez said "I don't want to die" as her teenage boyfriend allegedly raped her and then strangled her to death on camera. Her body was then stuffed under the kitchen sink inside an abandoned apartment in a Houston, Texas, complex. Her boyfriend, who is also 15, was charged with murder after police say they found the horrifying audio footage on his cell phone.
Perez was last seen on surveillance video from a taqueria, which shows her walking into the restaurant followed by two young men—one of which is believed to be her boyfriend. She was not heard from again after she left the restaurant.
Police arrested the juvenile suspect and later charged him with murder.
5“It's dangerous, Dad, I don't know if I should be going over there.”
20-year-old Elly Warren was in Mozambique pursuing her passion—marine biology and underwater conservation. Before she jetted off to Africa, she got cold feet, telling father Paul Warren “it's dangerous...I don't know if I should be going over there.”
Her father agreed. But she mustered up the courage and went. For a little while, she spent time on a diving trip with a tour group operating in the southern African nation. She had booked two nights at the Wuyani Pariango backpackers hostel in Tofo Beach, but never made to her destination—after a party with friends she left on her own and was attacked. Her killers have yet to be found.
When asked who shot him on the evening of January 8, 2013, Martin Paulk replied "Cito." The dying Syracuse, New York man stumbled for about a block before collapsing with gunshot wounds to his chest, face, and lower body. He was later pronounced dead at Upstate University Hospital.
George Colon, 22, and Alfred L. Thomas, 29, were arrested within days of the murder. Colon is known by his nickname, Cito, and has a tattoo with that nickname. Thomas is his sister's boyfriend. The duo denied being involved in the man's death, but Thomas took to Facebook to make a bold proclamation three weeks after a Syracuse jury acquitted him of murder in 2014.
He did it, he said. He even went so far as to make a video of the crime scene and post it on Facebook. In it, he says his convicted co-defendant was innocent.
"I did that. Me and another black male," Thomas said in the video, according to court papers.
A jury convicted Colon of murder in the fatal shooting of Paulk, and because Thomas could not be prosecuted twice for the same crime, investigators got a search warrant for his Facebook account and used the posts against him on a pending charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition in 2012. He's scheduled to go trial in January 2017.
7"Burn them alive."
Four men were found guilty of the December 16, 2012, gang rape and murder of an unnamed 23-year-old girl—who was dubbed "Nirbhaya" (meaning "fearless") by the media—after six men offered her and her male friend a lift in a mini-bus. In her statement to the magistrate five days after the barbaric attack she said, "They should be hanged so that such an incident does not happen with another woman. They should be burned alive."
The girl was raped and assaulted with an iron rod and later succumbed to her injuries. This incident sparked off massive protests against India's apathy towards sexual violence incidents.
A dying 16-year-old girl from Pico Rivera, California used her last words to scream her murderer's name.
Elena Moore staggered into her mother's bedroom, bleeding from her chest and shouting “Rory!”—the first name of a 17-year-old boy she broke up with just two weeks before.
The teen's chilling final words prompted investigators to name ex-boyfriend Rory Murga a top suspect in the case. Murga allegedly entered his ex-girlfriend's home and stabbed her multiple times before fleeing. After a four-day search, police found him in another Pico Rivera location and arrested him in connection with the killing. He faces up to 26 years in prison.
9"They tasing me."
In November 2016, the mother of Walter L. Scott, 50, told jurors about the last words she exchanged with her son in the moments before South Carolina cop Michael Slager shot and killed him.
Scott told the jury—of 11 white men and women and one black man—that she and her grandson were on their way to get the young boy's eyeglasses repaired when she got a phone call from Walter. He was in distress. She could also hear another man's voice in the background, yelling, "Get on the ground and put your hands behind your back."
Scott said her son told her: "They tasing me." Then, beginning to sob, she said, "I heard him groaning like he was in excruciating pain a couple of times."
Slager shot and killed Scott, after an April 2015, traffic stop. The shooting was captured on video by a bystander. It showed Scott running away as Slager fired eight times, striking Scott three times in the back after a routine traffic stop.
The jury failed to reach a verdict following 22 hours of deliberation, and the judge declared a mistrial. The state retrial of Slager is set for March 1, 2017. He also faces federal charges of violating Scott's rights under the color of law, lying to investigators, and using a firearm in a violent crime. The federal trial is scheduled to begin on May 1, 2017. Slager faces life in prison if convicted on the civil rights count.