Man Charged With Theft Of “The Wizard of Oz” Ruby Slippers

A man has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of stealing a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Ruby Shoes Revocered, Arrests Finally Made

The shoes were stolen in 2005 and recovered by a 2018 FBI sting operation, with no arrests.

A grand jury indicted Terry Martin with one count of theft of a major artwork, federal prosecutors in North Dakota announced.

Garland wore several pairs of ruby slippers during the production of the 1939 musical, but only four authentic pairs remain. When they were stolen, the slippers were insured for $1 million; however, federal prosecutors said the current market value is about $3.5 million in a news release.

The slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in the late actor’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, when someone climbed through a window and broke the display case, prosecutors said when they were recovered.

Over the years, several enticing rewards were offered in hopes the slippers would turn up, including an anonymous donor from Arizona who put up $1 million.

The road to the missing slippers began when a man told the shoes’ insurer in 2017 he could help get them back. After a nearly year-long investigation, the FBI nabbed the shoes in Minneapolis in July 2018.

In May, a summons was issued for Martin and a court appearance was set for 1 June via video.

The shoes are famously associated with one of the iconic lines in The Wizard of Oz, as Garland’s character, Dorothy, clicks her heels and repeats the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”

They were made from about a dozen different materials, including wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin, plastic and glass. Most of the ruby color comes from sequins, but the bows contain red glass beads.

The three other pairs Garland wore in the movie were held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian, and a private collector.

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