Odd News Show

Shame Of Thrones: Man Pleads Guilty To $6 Million Gold Toilet Theft

The guy really had to go - to jail - after stealing an 18-carat crapper from Winston Churchill’s palace

By Bram Teitelman · April 12, 2024

Sitting pretty Canva/Odd News Show

Disclaimer: While this post is overflowing with facts, it also contains flushes of satire.

What do you get the man that has everything but the kitchen sink? How about the bathroom toilet - made entirely of 18-carat gold? Nothing says “I’ve got money to piss away” like a loo valued at a cool $6 million.

Imagine how jealous everyone will be at the country club when talk turns to bodily functions (as it always does) and you state, “Well, ever since we got our fully functional solid gold toilet, Buffy and I just can’t go back to porcelain.”

Sadly those dreams were shattered in 2019 when thieves made off with a toilet from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, but crime doesn’t pay, and the ringleader of the operation has pled guilty.

We should back up a bit first - the toilet was initially designed as an (f)art piece by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and it’s called “America,” because, of course, it is.

It was originally displayed at the Guggenheim Museum in 2016, where guests were invited to be its #1 (or #2) fan, with a security guard stationed outside and given a three-minute time limit to appreciate it. To digress here, three minutes isn’t nearly enough time to fully take it all in, either as an art fancier or a bathroom-goer.

Talk about going in style.  Stu Spivack/Creative Commons

In 2019, it made its way over to Churchill’s crib as part of an exhibition called “Victory is Not an Option.” Edward Spencer-Churchill, the brother of Blenheim Palace resident the Duke of Marlborough, pretty much dared the thieves to take it, telling the Sunday Times “It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick. Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan on guarding it.”

It lasted two days before ringleader James Sheen and three accomplices went for the gold in the wee hours of the morning. Get it, wee? It’s funny because urine! And since the purloined pooper was fully functional and neither he nor his crew were plumbers, there was extensive flooding done in the wake of the theft.

It took four years to track down the thieves, and Sheen didn’t have to get locked up, because he was already in prison when he pled guilty, serving 17 years for a variety of other thefts, including stealing tractors and trophies from the National Horse Racing Museum.

You can’t say the guy doesn’t have taste, but it’s got to be quite a difference going from a solid gold toilet to a metal one used by three other cellmates. Seven people have been arrested in total, but the toilet itself still hasn’t been found, so perhaps he who dealt it, smelted it.