The Saga of the Stolen Ruby Slippers From Wizard of Oz Museum Has Lastly Ended


In a narrative that might rival any Hollywood crime thriller, the saga of the stolen ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland within the iconic 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” has reached its conclusion with the sentencing (or lack of it) of Terry Jon Martin.

The 76-year-old, dealing with terminal sickness, confessed to the theft in October. In keeping with his attorneys, Martin was motivated by guarantees of wealth and succumbed to the temptation offered by an previous affiliate inside a mob gang. The ruby slippers have been stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005, and little was recognized about their whereabouts for years. In 2015, a $1 million reward was provided for details about their whereabouts, but they remained lacking. The movie business has an extended historical past of stolen props. One of many prop gold weapons from 1975’s “The Man with the Golden Gun” Bond movie, value $136,000, was stolen from Elstree Studios. In one other Bond 1964 movie “Goldfinger”, one Aston Martin automobile disappeared, with studies suggesting sightings in Boston shortly thereafter.

Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, and Jack Haley, in costume as a part of The Wizard of Oz 1939. Photograph by Silver Display Assortment/Getty Pictures.

Now confined to hospice care with solely months to stay, Martin’s sentencing brings an finish to an 18-year saga. His admission to smashing a show case and aspiring to promote the stolen slippers for revenue reveals the depths of his desperation and the pull of his felony previous. Regardless of his involvement, Martin confessed that he had by no means  seen “The Wizard of Oz” movie.

As Chief U.S. District Decide Patrick Schiltz delivered the sentence, a mixture of justice and compassion permeated the courtroom. Martin, reliant on oxygen remedy, stood as a stark distinction to his felony previous. The restoration of the slippers by the FBI in a sting operation years later marked a pivotal second within the case, resulting in Martin’s arrest.

With the stolen slippers recovered, the Judy Garland Museum can click on their heels collectively and eventually transfer ahead, albeit with elevated safety.

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