Man charged with stealing “Wizard of Oz” ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland
A man was indicted on a charge of theft of major artwork nearly two decades after an original pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in film “The Wizard of Oz” were stolen.
The shoes, swiped from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapid, Minnesota in August 2005, were recovered in 2018. No arrests were made at the time, though the FBI said they had multiple suspects.
Terry Martin was indicted on Tuesday. Officials have not said what led investigators to finally file charges.
The ruby slippers Martin allegedly took are one of four remaining pairs in existence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota said. One of the other pairs is at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington while another was acquired in 2012 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
The pair of slippers that were stolen are currently in FBI custody, according to the Judy Garland Museum. They are owned by an insurance company.
“Until the court cases are done, nothing can be done with them,” the museum wrote on Facebook.
The ruby slippers were insured for $1 million at the time of the theft, federal prosecutors said. The latest fair market appraisal values the sparkling artifacts of film history at $3.5 million. The slippers are white pumps, according to the Smithsonian. They get their ruby color from red fabric, dark red sequins, and soles painted red to match.
The shoes were worn by Garland’s character Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film. Dorothy taps her heels together while wearing them and says “there’s no place like home,” in order to leave Oz and make her way back to Kansas.
While Dorothy was from Kansas, Garland herself was born in Grand Rapids, the city in which the shoes were stolen. At the time of the theft, the slippers were on loan to the museum as part of a special tour.
The slippers disappeared after a burglar broke a window in the museum’s back door to get inside, CBS News previously reported. No alarms sounded and no fingerprints were left behind.