Federal prosecutors say a grand jury has indicted a man for stealing a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in «The Wizard of Oz.» He FBI recovered the slippers in a sting operation in 2018.
A grand jury indicted Terry Martin Tuesday on one count of theft of a major work of art, North Dakota federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. The prosecution did not provide any further information about him.
The indictment alleges that in 2005, Martin stole an authentic pair of shoes that Garland’s character Dorothy wore in the 1939 MGM musical. Online records do not list an attorney for Martin.
They were taken from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the late actress’s hometown, and are one of four pairs of red slippers Garland wore during production, clicking her heels and repeating the classic line: «There’s no place like home.» .”
The slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum when someone climbed through a window and broke the display case, prosecutors said when they were recovered.
Federal prosecutors said in a news release that when the slippers were stolen, they were insured for $1 million, but the current market value is about $3.5 million.
Over the years, various attractive rewards have been offered in the hopes that the slippers will turn up, including an anonymous donor from Arizona who chipped in $1 million.
The shoes are made from around a dozen different materials, including wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin, plastic, and glass. Most of the ruby color comes from the sequins, but the laces on the shoes contain red glass beads.
The FBI said the slippers were recovered when a man told the shoes’ insurer in 2017 that he could help recover them. After a nearly year-long investigation, the slippers were seized in Minneapolis.
When they were stolen, the slippers were on loan from Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw. The other three pairs worn by Garland in the film were held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian, and a private collector.