Pets are loyal and loving, but they can also help solve crimes.
The devotion that pets show their human companions shows no limits or bounds. A dog's wagging tail or a cat's purr are proof that the love of a pet is easily quantified as unconditional. Even when there are murderers involved.
What lengths will pets go to protect and help their loved ones? These five pets show us exactly how far they will go.
1. Bird the Cockatoo Was a Fighter
Kevin Butler named his pet Cockatoo after the NBA player, Larry Bird. When Butler's home was broken into in 2001, loyal Bird was "valiant" in his fight with intruders, as mentioned during the trial.
Bird tried to fend off his owner's murderers but was mortally wounded in the fight. One of the suspects denied all involvement until DNA was found on Bird's beak that led to a guilty conviction of the suspect.
2. Cat Hair Sticks to Everything
In 1989, a pet shop owner, Lori Auker, went missing in Pennsylvania. Her body was found off a dirt road nearby and it was her cats that got her estranged ex-husband, Robert, the death penalty.
Robert had been following his ex-wife for weeks leading up to her disappearance. His parents reported that he had been meticulously cleaning his car, a 1984 Chevrolet Celebrity, before selling it.
Surveillance videos placed a similar car near the pet shop Lori owned. Investigations found cat hair in the car and on a splint Robert had worn on his hand the day Lori disappeared. The cat hair found matched the DNA of Lori's two cats at home.
3. Chief the Pit Bull Labrador Mix's Blood Was Key
In 1998, a couple and their dog were found murdered in their home in Seattle, Washington. The blood of the dog, Chief, was found on the suspect's clothing. This DNA evidence was planned as the primary evidence in the case.
The suspects were surprised at the evidence. Tim Bradshaw, prosecutor, said "the irony will be that the witness who could never speak, even when he was alive, will present the most eloquent of evidence."
4. Hira the Parrot- A Noisy Witness
Hira was the only witness to the murder of Neelam Sharma and the family dog. After exhausting all possible suspects, prosecutors weren't sure where to go with the case.
Then, Neelam's husband, Vijay, noticed that Hira would get highly agitated whenever his nephew, Ashutosh, was at the house.
Ashutosh was questioned and confessed that it was a robbery turned murder. He and an accomplice intended to rob them, but when he found his aunt home, he killed her in fear of her recognizing him.
The confession, in addition to a suspicious bird-like bite mark on the boy's shoulder, confirmed the guilty verdict.
5. An Anonymous Grasshopper
While not a pet, a grasshopper helped solve a homicide in Texas in 1985. There was little evidence in the case, except for a grasshopper's body found on the victim. The grasshopper was missing a leg.
Upon further investigation, one grasshopper leg was found in the cuff of a suspect's pant leg. When reassembled by forensic entomologist M. Lee Goff, it was a perfect match. Even insects can help find murderers!
Both pets and insects are helpful in ways we can't quantify. Even when their life is at stake. Because of these brave, loyal animals, murderers were brought to justice!