By Richard Thomas
In a new development in the Pappy Van Winkle theft case, the attorney representing a person of interest in the case has implied that Buffalo Trace Distillery, makers of the highly sought after Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, are themselves behind the theft.
Chris Pickett, a Bardstown school principal, was named as a person of interest by the Franklin County Sheriff’s office after allegedly trying to sell Pappy Van Winkle in Elizabethtown, KY on October 20. Through his attorney, Bardstown lawyer Doug Hubbard, Pickett denies that he tried to sell any Pappy Van Winkle, insisting instead that he was looking to buy some of the expensive and elusive bourbon.
Hubbard now alleges that Buffalo Trace itself is behind the theft. Pickett’s attorney told a Louisville area TV station “Don’t they say sometimes, follow the money? Who has profited the most from this? It wasn’t somebody stealing 65 cases or two hundred bottles of Pappy Van Winkle. I think the world wide attention that Pappy Van Winkle has gotten has certainly been wonderful to their advertising and marketing departments.”
Admittedly following the money is a good strategy to unraveling a mystery, and attorneys suggesting alternative theories in the media in the name of defending their clients is nothing new. However, someone should remind Hubbard that whoever was responsible for the Pappy Van Winkle heist got away with almost $26,000 in rare liquor, and that is assuming the robbery itself doesn’t drive prices sky high. Compare that to the typical bank robbery haul in the United States, a paltry $4,000. The value of the stolen Pappy Van Winkle is plenty of motive for theft, in and of itself.