Stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ slippers found after 13 years

04 September, 2018, 23:21 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • FBI Grand Rapids Police to Reveal Details in Discovery of Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers

The FBI says it has recovered a pair of ruby slippers worn in The Wizard of Oz that were stolen from a Minnesota museum in 2005.

After the recovery in July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation transported the slippers to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., where conservators were able to conduct an in-depth examination and analysis, including evidence of wear and details unique to their use in the 1939 film. She sold them at auction in 1988 to a private collector for $165,000.

Authorities shed little light on what happened to them at a televised news conference Tuesday, announcing only that they had recovered the famous pair.

"Grand Rapids may be freezing, but this case is anything but cold", Gates concluded.

Grand Rapids police chief Scott Johnson said his officers never gave up on the effort to recover the treasures.

"The exact details of the investigation are not being released at this time as this remains an active investigation", Sergeant Robert Stein said.

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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. During the 40th Annual "Wizard of Oz" Festival, divers scoured the depths of the Tioga Mine Pit Lake but came up empty-handed.

They are the world's most recognizable shoes, but have somehow evaded detection for 13 years, since being stolen from a Minnesota museum. "We believed that information would eventually surface and knew we were in this for the long haul".

The stolen ruby slippers were featured in July on the Discovery Channel show "Expedition Unknown", in which host Josh Gates visited the museum during the winter and conducted his own underwater search for the slippers with quips about northern Minnesota's weather.

There was also buzz that the burglary was an inside job, although the museum dispelled the rumors. "After all, 'There's no place like home!".

A glass case containing the ruby slippers was broken and the slippers were removed, according to police. The slippers were insured for $1 million, but in 2015, John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum said they could be worth $2 million to $3 million.

In 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio led a group of donors in purchasing a pair to be displayed at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, set to open this year in Los Angeles.

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