Stolen ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz found by FBI after 13 years

The Hollywood treasure was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 05 September 2018 16:36
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The sequin shoes were taken from the Judy Garland Museum back in 20005
The sequin shoes were taken from the Judy Garland Museum back in 20005

Judy Garland’s red ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz have been found by police, 13 years after being stolen.

The shoes, which were taken from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota’s Grand Rapids in 2005, were discovered during an FBI investigation.

Agents confirmed that the FBI’s lead came in summer 2017 after an unnamed person – allegedly attempting to extort the owners – approached the slippers’ insurance company about returning them. They were insured for $1m (£800,000).

Garland’s footwear had been loaned to the museum in 2005 by Michael Shaw, a movie memorabilia collector who rejected the offer of having them stored in a vault each night. He believed the museum’s general security staff would serve enough protection.

The slippers were taken that same year with museum co-founder Jon Miner telling a local radio station his staff “were literally crying” upon finding the smashed glass case which held them.

The slippers were even subject to a 2016 documentary

The location of the ruby red slippers has been the source of intrigue in Hollywood for 13 years. Following the robbery, police offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to their return while an anonymous offer of $1m was later made in the hope of finding the thief who took them.

A private detective was hired by the museum in 2013, however, it was the FBI who picked up the lead last summer.

Special Agent Christopher Dudley, leader of the FBI’s investigation in Minneapolis, confirmed that multiple suspects have been identified.

He added that the FBI is “still working to ensure that we have identified all parties involved in both the initial theft and the more recent extortion attempt for their return”.

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Garland is said to have had seven pairs of the slippers made for the 1939 classic. The location of each pair was the subject of a documentary titled The Slippers which was released in 2016.

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