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5 Pets Who Helped Solve Their Owners' Murders

Forensic science has come a long way in solving crimes, although murder remains unusually difficult do to the lack of cooperation from the victims. Investigators have to keep an open mind in order to find clues wherever they may be, including evidence from the deceased’s pets. In one particular case, that meant the victim’s cockatoo.

Texas native Kevin Butler was such a fan of NBA great Larry Bird that he ignored the potential redundancy and named his pet cockatoo after him. Friends said Bird was very devoted to Butler, and when Butler’s home was broken into in 2001, Bird tried to fend off his owner's murderers before he was mortally wounded himself. One of them, Daniel Torres, denied involvement until prosecutors presented evidence linking the DNA recovered from Bird’s beak to Torres. He received life in prison. Bird, just 18 inches tall, was heralded as “valiant” during the trial.

There are four other tales of crime-solving pets in this roundup at mental_floss. Not all of them had to die to solve the crime.

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