Man charged with stealing The Wizard of Oz ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland
A man has been charged with stealing a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz.
The FBI recovered the slippers in 2018 in a sting operation – 13 years after they were stolen.
A grand jury indicted Terry Martin on Tuesday with one count of theft of a major artwork, federal prosecutors in North Dakota announced on Wednesday.
The indictment alleges that in 2005, Martin stole an authentic pair of shoes that Garland’s character, Dorothy, wore in the 1939 film.
They were taken from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the late actress’s hometown.
The shoes are one of four remaining pairs of red slippers Garland wore in the movie.
They are famously associated with one of the iconic lines in the musical. When Garland’s character Dorothy clicks her heels and repeats the phrase, “There’s no place like home”, she is transported back to Kansas.
Federal prosecutors said in a news release that when the slippers were stolen they were insured for $1m (£800,000) but the current market value is about $3.5m (£2.8m).
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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 in 2018.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Martin is 76 and lives 12 miles south of the museum.
He told the newspaper: “I gotta go on trial. I don’t want to talk to you.”
Janie Heitz, executive director of the museum, said she and staff were “a little bit speechless” someone had been charged nearly two decades after the slippers were stolen.