It may be the only time a tropical bird helped crack a New York cold case.
On July 12, 1942, Max Geller, owner of the Green Parrot Bar and Grill on Third Avenue and 100th Street, was shot to death in his small restaurant by a lone gunman.
“None of the restaurant’s patrons could (or would) identify the killer, and the police had no clues,” wrote Patrick M. Wall in The Annals of Manhattan Crime, published in New York magazine in 1988.
Months passed, and finally, a breakthrough. Geller had kept a real parrot in his restaurant, and a detective learned that the bird was trained to call regular customers by name.
“Suspicion focused on a man named Robert Butler, 28, who had left Manhattan shortly after the shooting,” wrote Wall.
Cops located Butler, a former taxi driver, in Maryland, where he confessed to shooting Geller in a drunken rage because Geller refused to serve him.
Brought back to New York in November 1943, Butler was sentenced to 15 years.
[This is not the murder-solving parrot, but he probably looked similar. . . .]
Tags: Annals of Manhattan Crime, criminals and lowlifes of New York City, East Harlem Street, Green Parrot Bar and Grill, Green Parrot murder, New York in 1942, New York in the 1940s, notorious crimes New York City, Patrick M. Wall