After a long day, John Saunders, 62, would kick back, reach into the wall, and pull out a bottle of 100-year-old whiskey. Saunders, who rented a basement apartment in a large mansion in western Pennsylvania, had stumbled upon a massive stash of pre-prohibition era whiskey.
But what started as an innocent drink has become a bad hangover for Saunders, who is now facing theft charges from the owner of the mansion. The whiskey that Saunders found hidden behind a staircase was stashed there by industrialist J.P. Brennan, the original owner of the mansion, who probably hid it there during prohibition, then forgot about it. Saunders drank over 45 bottles of the hooch. The owners of the mansion, now a bed and breakfast, claim that the whiskey he drank is worth over $100,000.
"The whiskey was buried right back here under these stairs. They were doing renovations down here for the plumbing and electrical and they had to rip out underneath the stairs. Whenever they did, they discovered 9 cases of the old farm, pure rye whiskey," said South Broadway Manor's chef and innkeeper, Rick Bruckner. "The story with this isn't just, 'Hey, we have some really old whiskey.' It's, 'Hey, we have some really old, historical whiskey.'"
Saunders is claiming the whiskey "evaporated" from the old bottles. The police, however, have picked up his DNA from the empty bottles. Saunders claims he was only "cleaning" them.
John, we believe ya.
[Image courtesy of AP]