Judy Garland's Missing Ruby Slippers Have Been Found, Authorities Report

This is the pair of ruby slippers that were worn in the Wizard of Oz that were stolen in 2005. Forum News Service file

A pair of ruby slippers worth millions that were featured in the movie "The Wizard of Oz" and stolen from a Judy Garland museum 13 years ago have been recovered in Minneapolis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Tuesday.

The slippers were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005 when someone went through a window and smashed into the small display case. The FBI released few details about that investigation or where they were found in July.

A $1 million reward had been offered for their return.

The shoes are one of several pairs that were custom made for Garland in the film. One is housed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where they were removed from display in 2016 and a crowdfunding campaign was launched to cover the enormous cost - hundreds of thousands of dollars - to restore them.

"They're more than just a pair of shoes, the slippers, they're an enduring symbol of the power of belief".

It remains unclear what will happen with the slippers now that they have been found. Michael Shaw, who owned the slippers and had them on loan to the museum, previously accepted an $880,000 payout from the insurance company to compensate for the loss.

Thomas said the slippers then went unseen for 30 years until Shaw, acting as a middleman, bought them for someone who meant to sell them to the late actress Debbie Reynolds, but Shaw ended up keeping them and often loaned them for exhibits.




The FBI said the recovered slippers were sent to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., where conservators confirmed their authenticity after an extensive examination of the slippers' construction, materials and wear. Investigators estimated that the heist took only seconds.

"It was really one of the most thrilling moments of my life when they said, 'We've got them, '" Shaw said, holding back tears. "We believed that information would eventually surface and knew we were in this for the long haul", says Grand Rapids police sergeant Robert Stein.

"When we started this investigation", Myers said, "there were two goals".

"There's nothing bigger than the ruby slippers", said White in 2015.

"There are certainly people out there who have additional knowledge regarding both the theft and the individuals responsible for concealing the slippers all these years", he added.

The FBI has recovered about 14,850 stolen artifacts valued at more than $165 million since 2004. Second, the pair in the Smithsonian's collection is actually a mismatched pair of ruby slippers, with the left sized "5C" and the right sized "5BC". She sold them at auction in 1988 to a private collector for $165,000.

The hometown of actress Judy Garland was rocked when someone broke into a museum dedicated to the Wizard of Oz star and absconded with her ruby slippers.

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