There is an interesting property case out of Pittsburgh this week. Patricia Hill, owner of the South Broadway Manor Bed and Breakfast, has charged that her former tenant drank 52 bottles of vintage whiskey valued that he was supposed to safeguard. Hill found 104 bottles of pre-prohibition Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey when she bought the historic mansion. She is accusing her caretaker, John Saunders, 62, of drinking the booze but he denied it. However, police say that a DNA test found his DNA on the empty bottles. The consumed whiskey was valued at $102,400 or roughly $2000 a bottle.
Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey was part of a collection of historical whiskey believed to have been consumed by such legendaries as Henry Frick and Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh. The mansion belonged to Pittsburgh businessman J.P. Brennan and the whiskey was distilled in 1912. Somebody hid the booze in an enclosed staircase and it was found many years later during remodeling.
By the way, the necessity of hiding the whiskey may not have been due to prohibition. Alcohol purchased before January 17, 1920 and stored in private homes was legal.
Hill said that she had a rude discovery when she found 52 bottles empty. What is impressive is that all of the bottles had to have been emptied in the last year. That is a bottle a week. The police say that seven months of DNA testing linked Saunders to the bottles and he was charged with felony theft and receiving stolen property. The other telltale sign could be that Saunders is now awaiting a liver transplant.