Mansion’s caretaker charged with drinking 52 bottles of antique whiskey valued at $102,400
GREENSBURG, Pa. – $102,400 of well-aged whiskey disappeared down his throat, police say, and now they want a Pennsylvania man to cough up some cash.
John Saunders, former live-in caretaker of a Pittsburgh-area estate, faces criminal prosecution for allegedly drinking 52 bottles of the owner’s whiskey.
Owner Patricia Hill discovered nine cases of whiskey hidden in the walls and stairwell of the 100-year-old mansion built by industrialist J.P. Brennan after she purchased it in 2012. The Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was produced in the early 1900’s by the nearby West Overton Distilling Co.
“My guess is that Mr. Brennan ordered 10 cases pre-Prohibition,” said Hill, who bought the house to convert it into a bed-and-breakfast. “I was told that his family members used to greet him at the door each day with a shot of whiskey.”
Police say that Saunders drank dozens of bottles of the whiskey valued at $102,400 by a New York auction house. Saunders, 62, was charged with receiving stolen property and theft.
Hill told police she stored the whiskey in the original cases, which contained 12 bottles each. After Saunders moved out, Hill said she discovered that the bottles in four cases were empty.
Saunders initially denied drinking the whiskey when questioned by police, but DNA linked him to three of the empty bottles.
J.P. Brennan was a smart man, stashing a little away for a rainy day. And when those rainy days come, we like to pour a tipple over one of our handcrafted whiskey stones to chill without diluting. Then, we’ll sit and quietly sip as we wait for brighter days. Maybe we’ll send a care package to Mr. Saunders, sounds like he’s going to need it.