This Would Never Happen at Downton Abbey

I find it hard to be sorry for anyone who has a butler, but this sounds like a scary and bizarre ordeal:

Federal prosecutors say Emanuel Nicolescu and two others broke into Anne Bass’ Kent home in April 2007 and held Bass and her longtime companion Julian Lethbridge hostage. They eventually injected the victims with what they claimed was a deadly virus and offered to provide an antidote in exchange for $8.5 million, according to prosecutors.

I might laugh at any home intruder that claimed to have an “antidote” to anything other than snake venom. Who knew there were antidotes to deadly viruses?

But back to this whole “butler” thing? According to Wikipedia:

A butler is usually male,[2] and in charge of male servants, while a housekeeper is usually a woman, and in charge of female servants. Traditionally, male servants (such as footmen) were better paid and therefore rarer and of higher status than female servants. The butler, as the senior male servant, has the highest servant status.

You probably already know this if you watch Downton Abbey, or The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. What you probably didn’t realize is that people actually still have them…and right here in Connecticut, no less. Not only are there Butlers, but they have their own schools: The British Butler Institute, the International Institute of Modern Butlers, the Guild of Professional English Butlers, and The International Guild of Butlers & Household Managers. More disturbingly, they make way more money than you’d expect with salaries for the best and brightest starting around $50-60k.

But since the victims in this crime are described as a “socialite” and her “longtime companion” I guess nothing should surprise me.

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