Stolen ruby slippers from 'The Wizard of Oz' recovered in Federal Bureau of Investigation sting

FBI Grand Rapids Police to Reveal Details in Discovery of Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers

FBI Grand Rapids Police to Reveal Details in Discovery of Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers

The shoes were snatched in the dead of night in 2005 from a shattered glass case at the Judy Garland Museum in the late actress's birthplace of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. An individual came to the company that insured the slippers, saying he had information about the shoes and how they could be returned. An alarm had been tripped but no signal was sent to police dispatch, museum co-founder John Kelsch said in the documentary.

The slippers are one of four pairs of ruby red slippers worn by Garland in the movie that are known to exist. The investigator assigned to the case was fearful that the thief might destroy the slippers if he believed the police were on his trail. The missing pair were originally owned by collector Michael Shaw, who got them for $2,000 in 1970.

When it became apparent to the Grand Rapids police "that those involved were in reality attempting to extort the owners of the slippers", authorities requested the FBI's assistance, explained special agent Christopher Dudley, who led the investigation from the FBI's Minneapolis division, during a Tuesday press conference.

Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Jill Sanborn, the lead investigator on the case, said that the agency had uncovered an extortion attempt targeting the Markel Corporation, which owns the museum, and was seeking the public's help to identify the original thieves.

Grand Rapids police chief Scott Johnson said his officers never gave up on the effort to recover the treasures. Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg jointly acquired one of them for display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

"The slippers are a major attraction for our museum".

They were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005. "Of course, the owner was dumbfounded".

Law enforcement offered a $250,000 reward early in the case, and a fan in Arizona offered another $1 million in 2015.




Incidentally, in the L Frank Baum book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy has silver shoes rather than ruby slippers.

"Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times".

Dorothy does as she's told, chants "There's no place like home", and wakes up in her home in Kansas.

Myers said he would handle any prosecution.

Journalist based in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose work has appeared in The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, and more.

"Recovering a cultural item of this importance is significant".

The FBI has recovered about 14,850 stolen artifacts valued at more than $165 million since 2004.

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