Stolen Wizard of Oz ruby slippers recovered after 13-year search

Yolanda Curtis
September 5, 2018

As you can seen in the video report above (or the full NYT breakdown here), these key props from The Wizard of Oz were stolen form the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, back on August 28, 2005.

Authorities have recovered a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Yahoo Entertainment can confirm, 13 years after they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota. Examination of the recovered shoes showed that their construction, materials, and wear are consistent with the pair in the museum's collection, which were donated to the museum by an anonymous donor in 1979.

The case remains under investigation, and that charges could come later, said U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Chris Myers. As they unveiled the recovered slippers at a news conference Tuesday, they asked anyone with information about the theft to contact them.

Despite the slippers' evident value and desirability, several pairs sat for years unnoticed in storage on the MGM lot.

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A $1 million reward was eventually offered, generating dozens of leads, but none of them led to the stolen items.

Federal Bureau of Investigation detectives announced on Tuesday they had found the shoes and details of their discovery are due to be revealed.

The FBI said no one has yet been arrested or charged in the case, but they have "multiple suspects" and continue to investigate.

The hometown of actress Judy Garland was rocked when someone broke into a museum dedicated to the Wizard of Oz star and absconded with her ruby slippers. 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.

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The pair is one of four in existence.

The stolen ruby slippers were featured in July on the Discovery Channel show "Expedition Unknown", in which host Josh Gates visited the museum during the winter and conducted his own underwater search for the slippers with quips about northern Minnesota's weather. One is housed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where they were removed from display in 2016 and a crowdfunding campaign was launched to cover the enormous cost - hundreds of thousands of dollars - to restore them.

"There's nothing bigger than the ruby slippers", said White in 2015.

The shoes are famously connected to the line, "There's no place like home". But, as CNN recounts, rumors have circulated among fans and collectors since then about the whereabouts of the highly desirable shoes, valued at between $2 million and $3 million.

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