Prosecutors have charged a 76-year-old man, Terry Martin, for the theft of a pair of famous red slippers worn by Judy Garland’s character, Dorothy, in the famous 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.
The red slippers (one of only four pairs in existence) were considered artwork and exhibited at the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota before they were stolen by the thief, who broke in through the museum’s back door in 2005.
According to reports, the shoes were recovered during a sting operation by the FBI’s art crime team in 2018, but no arrests were made until further investigations could proceed.
On Tuesday earlier this week, prosecutors in Minnesota charged the 76-year-old man, Terry Martin, with the theft. When approached by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Terry said:
“I gotta go on trial. I don’t want to talk to you.”
The article also notes that Mr. Martin lives approximately 12 miles (19km) from the museum where the slippers were stolen.
The red slippers have always been an iconic element in the classic film The Wizard of Oz for transporting Dorothy back to Kansas when she clicked her heels together and said “there’s no place like home.”
According to an article published by the BCC, the slippers have been valued at $3.5m (R67 680 725,00) and were insured for $1m (R19 337 350,00) 18 years ago, when they were stolen.
Two other pairs of Dorothy’s slippers are currently in possession by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The stolen slippers will remain in possession of the FBI until the court cause is resolved by federal prosecutors in North Dakota and the FBI’s Minneapolis Division.
A Facebook post by the Judy Garland Museum reads:
“Until the court cases are done, nothing can be done with them.”
Feature Image: Getty