More than a decade after it was stolen, the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department finally found the famous The Wizard of Oz ruby slippers.
The slippers garnered its iconic status after Judy Garland wore it in the movie when she portrayed Dorothy. It is known to be one of the last three remaining pairs that were used while shooting the film.
About The Case
The red footwear was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum located in Minnesota in August 2005 when a burglar broke in through a back door window.
The suspect got the shoes by destroying a Plexiglass case where it was stored. Notably, no fingerprints were left behind and the alarm did not go off. Only a red sequin remained. The slippers were insured for $1 million.
According to Brian Mattson, a detective from the Grand Rapids Police, they got intel about the stolen slippers last summer. Because the information suggested that the slippers were now outside the state, they teamed up with FBI.
The Associated Press said that a man went to an insurer last year and said that he could aid in recovering the slippers. Currently, the FBI still has not apprehended or charged anyone because they are still investigating multiple suspects.
North Dakota U.S. attorney Christopher Myers said that they are not done with the case and they still have tons of work to do.
During the time it was stolen, it was on loan to the Garland museum from Michael Shaw's Hollywood memorabilia collection. The remaining pairs of slippers that Garland wore in the iconic movie are with the Smithsonian and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
To verify the authenticity of the shoes, it was compared to the pair that was held by the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.
Myers added that the ruby slippers are considered as a cultural property that is important to the society. Furthermore, he said that it is a reflection of culture and values, and it holds the memories of people.
The slippers were finally shown to reporters at the FBI Minneapolis headquarters on Sept. 4 during a news conference.
"They're more than just a pair of shoes, the slippers. They're an enduring symbol of the power of belief," said Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson.
When the shoes were stolen, museum cofounder Jon Miner said that it was the most major thing that ever happened to the Judy Garland Museum. As the case deepened, some of the establishment's staff were even bombarded with rumors of it being an inside job.