Victim's Pet Parrot Helps Solve Murder Case

Police in India had been short on leads during their investigation of a recent murder -- that is, until the victim's pet, a talking parrot named Hercule, provided them with a crucial tip that ultimately helped solve the mystery.

After Neelam Sharma was found dead in her home last week in the city of Agra, detectives were unable to find any clues pointing them to the murderer. But a break in the case came when Neelam's husband, Vijay, began to notice Hercule -- who had been in the room at the time -- suddenly acting agitated when his nephew Ashutosh came to visit after the murder.

"During discussions too, whenever Ashutosh's name was mentioned, the parrot would start screeching," Vijay says. "This raised my suspicion and I informed the police."

According to the Times of India, investigators acted on the parrot's tip and brought Ashutosh in for questioning. During the interrogation, Ashutosh broke down and confessed to killing his aunt while attempting to rob the home, fearing that she would identify him to authorities.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time an eyewitness bird has been involved in a murder case. In 1993, defence lawyers in Northern California attempted to submit evidence gleaned from victim Jane Gill's pet parrot, Max, which they said proved their client was innocent.

A few days after Max was rescued from the scene of the crime, he was reportedly heard by a pet store owner crying out "Richard, no, no, no!"

The accused's name was Gary.

The judge in that case ruled the bird's testimony inadmissible.