Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers finally recovered

Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers finally recovered

Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers finally recovered

A years-long search for Dorothy's ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz is over.

The slippers, known as the "traveling pair", were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, during a "smash-and-grab" robbery during the overnight hours of August 27-27, 2005 that took less than a minute and left behind only a single sequin.

Police recovered the red slippers earlier this summer in Minneapolis; they are now in possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FBI agent Christopher Dudley, who led the investigation, said in the release that "when it became apparent that those involved were in reality attempting to extort the owners of the slippers", Grand Rapids police requested FBI assistance.

Several pairs of ruby slippers were made for the 1939 MGM film, and at least four, including the stolen pair, are known to exist.

Three other pairs that Garland wore in the movie are held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Smithsonian and a private collector.


It remains unclear what will happen with the slippers now that they have been found. Michael Shaw, who owned the slippers and had them on loan to the museum, previously accepted an $880,000 payout from the insurance company to compensate for the loss. Shaw rejected the museum's offer to store them in a vault each night because he didn't want people handling the delicate shoes by moving them daily, he said in the documentary. The problem is that there are a great many reproductions out there and people believed that these were the stolen slippers. After all, 'There's no place like home, ' " Johnson said. Investigators estimated that the heist took only seconds.

Following the recovery of the slippers, they were taken to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. where conservators examined them to ensure they were the missing pair, which had been worn by Garland during filming. An alarm had been triggered, but a signal was reportedly not sent to police.

"When we started this investigation", Myers said, "there were two goals".

The FBI said a man approached the insurer in a year ago and said he could help get them back. Law enforcement offered an initial $250,000 reward, and a fan in Arizona offered another $1 million in 2015.

But the theft of the ruby slippers has remained an open police case for 13 years. Another pair had previously been given to a contest victor in 1940; those were sold them to a private collector in 1988. Costume worker Kent Warner was told to find the stash of slippers used in The Wizard of Oz and select the nicest pair to be auctioned off.

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