Crime & Courts

Human toe stolen from cocktail returned to Yukon bar, with letter of apology

Toe-riffic news, everyone.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police say the toe stolen from the Downtown Hotel Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City has been returned to its rightful owner, accompanied by a letter of apology.

"We're happy as clams about it," said "toe captain" Sue Taylor, who had to cut short a phone interview due to a line of customers waiting to drink the saloon's signature Sourtoe Cocktail.

The dehydrated human toe that disappeared over the weekend is used as a garnish in the famous drink. Its theft temporarily left the hotel with one usable digit.

Mounties in Dawson City — a town in the Yukon roughly 65 miles east of the Alaska-Canada border — quickly developed a suspect following the theft of the toe on Sunday morning and made efforts to contact him.

[Human toe served in Dawson City's famous Sourtoe Cocktail is stolen]

But on Tuesday, the alleged suspect reached out to the Mounties.


He told them he'd "placed the toe in the mail, addressed to the Downtown Hotel. The man then called the Downtown Hotel and provided the same message to staff, along with a verbal apology," according to a Yukon RCMP release.

The package arrived Thursday, and Cpl. Jeff Myke went to the saloon to ensure the package was safe to open, according to the Mounties.

"Located inside the package was an apology letter, as well as the stolen toe," the Mounties said. "At the time that the package was opened, the toe was believed to be in good condition."

Charges aren't expected, according to the Mounties.

Taylor said "toe master" Terry Lee, who takes care of the bar's donated human toes by preserving them in rock salt, placed the toe on the bar earlier Thursday with instructions not to use it in any drinks – yet. She said Lee needs to inspect the toe before it returns to use.

Jerzy Shedlock

Jerzy Shedlock is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2017.