John W. Saunders would.
Well, he says he wouldn’t. But DNA evidence says he would.
The 63-year-old caretaker’s boss, Patricia Hill, bought the mansion to convert it into a B&B; during the course of renovations, she found nine cases of Old Farm Pure Rye Whiskey hidden in the walls and a staircase. The whiskey had been distilled in 1912, bottled five years later and then apparently, forgotten. It was originally put there by Pennsylvania coal industrialist, J.P. Brennan and was from the nearby West Overton Distilling Co. – a Pennsylvania auction house had valued the collection at $102,000.
Hill stored the cases of whiskey in an unused room, but when she went to check on them a year later, there were 52 empty bottles (roughly a bottle a week if someone had consumed it). She accused Saunders of drinking the vintage whiskey, but he vehemently denied that he was the culprit. After she contacted the police to report the incident, they obtained a warrant and swabbed him for DNA. That DNA matched the DNA on the mouth of three empty whiskey bottles.
Saunders’ explanation? Apparently he puts no trust in the science behind DNA, because he insists that the whiskey evaporated. Yeah, good one Saunders…we used that one on our mom after we raided her liquor cabinet in high school.
Saunders told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Yuck! That stuff had floaters in it and all kind of stuff inside the bottles. I don’t think it would even be safe to drink.” Meanwhile, the remaining 56 unopened bottles show no signs of “floaters” or other weird stuff.
The world’s least convincing whiskey thief says that he thinks the owners of the mansion are just looking for money. He believes the whiskey is actually worth about $10 a bottle, instead of more than $1,900 each.