Crime, Law and Justice

Feds charge man in Minnesota 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers theft

Law enforcement officials recovered the stolen ruby slippers.
One of four known surviving pairs of ruby slippers worn by actress Judy Garland in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," pictured here at a press conference in 2018. Charges have been filed against a man for stealing a pair of famous “Wizard of Oz” ruby slippers from a northern Minnesota museum almost two decades ago.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2018

Charges have been filed against a man for stealing a pair of famous “Wizard of Oz” ruby slippers from a northern Minnesota museum almost two decades ago.

Terry Martin was indicted Tuesday for stealing an object of cultural heritage from the care, custody or control of a museum.

The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleges that in 2005 Martin stole an authentic pair of ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 film, taking them in a smash-and-grab burglary at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.

At the time, the slippers were ensured for $1 million, although the FBI says the market value is now considered $3.5 million.

The slippers are one of four pairs remaining and are considered among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history.

They were recovered by the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department in July 2018. The FBI said at the time that an extortion plot led investigators to recover the slippers.

Wednesday’s statement came from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Dakota, which did not indicate a possible motive for the theft.

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