Mansion Caretaker Drinks $102K Worth Of 100 Year Old Whiskey & Dies

The new owner of a nineteenth century mansion near Pittsburg, Patricia Hill found unexpected value in the property when she purchased it in 2012. Inside the walls of the old house were hidden 9, 12 bottle cases of 100 year-old whiskey that was produced in the early 1900’s. Hidden there since Prohibition the dusty bottles of Old Farm Pure Rye produced by the West Overton Distilling Co. were appraised for a whopping $102 thousand dollars. That’s quite a few nights of bottle service at da club.  

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While that kind of find should be celebrated with a drink, it seems that the mansion’s live -caretaker took things a little too far.  Alfred would not approve.

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Normally people have to worry about their kids hitting up dad’s liquor cabinet when he goes out. However 63 year old mansion-keeper John W. Saunders drank 52 of the old bottles of whiskey  – was he trying to complete the song 100  Bottles of Beer On The Wall by himself, and with whiskey? Because that would be the only rational explanation for this.  He was originally charged with theft of the whiskey which was worth around $2K a bottle as police discovered his DNA from saliva on the empty containers.  Unfortunately for him the whiskey was too old to drink and not safe for consumption and Saunders died from it.

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Like most things in life there is a classic episode of Seinfeld that clearly illustrates the plight of this man. When Elaine eats Peterman’s $29K cake from 1937, and he tells her “Well, I have a feeling what you are about to go through is punishment enough.”

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It sucks the guy died over something as dumb as drinking a bunch of old whiskey, but why did he have to drink so much of it? Like I get maybe trying one of the bottles out of curiosity. He looked after the house for years so he probably thought he was owed a sip of it as much as anyone… but 52 bottles? Or maybe he realized that it’s 2014 and he is an old guy looking after an old mansion like something out of a Dickens novel and he said screw it; I’m going out with a bang!  Or maybe it’s more like a Sherlock Holmes and the caretaker knew a dark family secret he was going to expose that would ruin their public reputation, so they forced him to drink the old whiskey knowing it would kill him. Or more likely he was just and old drunk who gave no shits and decided to drink a bunch of whiskey.

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney