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The Liquor Store Receipt

This is a copy of the liquor store receipt that Maggie (via the NH State Police) released at this past year’s Crime Con in May. Most of the information is redacted, but there are a few inferences that can be drawn.

The Bottle Deposit and Can/Bottle Redemption:

The Massachusetts Bottle Bill requires a $0.05 deposit on canned and bottled carbonated alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages sold in the state. The $0.60 deposit was likely for a 12-pack of [now extinct] Skyy Blue.

In MA, you can redeem the $0.05 deposit by returning cans and bottles to a “redemption center.” You can see in the ad below that Liquors 44 was (and still is) a redemption center. Maura redeemed a total of $3.95, which means she returned 79 cans and bottles. I find this relevant for a few reasons.

First - and this is just my opinion - but spending the time and energy to return 79 cans and bottles for a whopping $3.95 suggests to me that she probably did not leave Amherst with thousands of dollars in her pocket. Rather, it seems to indicate she was pinching every penny and thinking about the long-term.

Second, some have pointed out the length of time (approximately 26 minutes) between when Maura left the ATM (at 3:16 PM) and when the liquor store receipt is timestamped (3:43 PM). Even though the ATM and liquor store are very close, there is no way to get from one to the other without getting back on Route 9 and driving. When you consider that she almost certainly drove from the ATM to Liquors 44, then spent time returning the 79 bottles (one by one), then shopped for her items before finally checking out at the register at 3:43 PM -- I do not believe 26 minutes seems like an excessive amount of time.

Why is the Fourth Line Redacted?

There are appears to be four redacted “lines” on the receipt. Generally I think the presumption would be that three of those lines are items of alcohol and the fourth must either be tax or a subtotal line. However in Massachusetts, there is no sales tax on alcohol. Typically it does not even appear on a receipt. That leaves the fourth line redaction being the subtotal. But why redact the subtotal and not the total (when one can easily be deduced from the rest of the data on the receipt)? There may be alternative explanations I haven't considered, and it probably isn't relevant anyway. But I thought that last redaction was a bit of a peculiar decision on the part of the State Police.

Note: I went to Liquor’s 44 when I was up in Amherst a few months ago, but they had completely overhauled their accounting system several years prior and had no itemized receipt transactions they could give me to compare.

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