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Stolen ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Ruby Slippers Found After 13 Years

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Somewhere over the rainbow, the pair of ruby sequined slippers from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz has been found after 13 years. It’s time for Dorothy to click her heels three times— because her slippers have finally returned home. But, the question remains: Who stole them in the first place?

One Of The Most Iconic Costumes

Judy Garland wore the iconic ruby sequined slippers in the 1939 classic. Much like Lucille Ball is associated with her famous black-and-white polka dot dress, Garland will always be associated with her slippers. They are an important artifact in film history, so when they were stolen 13 years ago from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, everyone was devastated.

Stolen From Her Childhood Home

Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 1922. Her parents were vaudevillians, so “a star was born” when Garland entered the world. While the family moved away when she was four years old, the Judy Garland Museum resides in her birthplace home in Grand Rapids. An annual “Wizard of Oz Festival” takes place at the museum, and it’s the primary museum for every Wizard of Oz fan.

They Didn’t Expect This To Happen

In 2005, one of three known pairs of Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers was stolen from the museum. At the time of the robbery, the slippers were on loan by private collector Michael Shaw. The only thing left behind was a single red sequin. After more than 10 years, authorities decided they would never find the slippers, until an anonymous tip last summer led to an investigation.

On The Search For Dorothy’s Slippers

Grand Rapids Police Detective Brian Mattson received the tip during the summer of 2017, which then led his department to team up with the FBI for a full investigation. Finally, in July 2018, the slippers were seized in an undercover operation in Minneapolis. But a big question still remains: Who stole the slippers in the first place?

There’s No Place Like Home

The FBI hasn’t arrested anyone yet, but there are multiple suspects. But if you ask officials at the Judy Garland Museum, they’re just happy to have the slippers back home— right where they belong.

“They’re more than just a pair of shoes, the slippers,” said Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson. “They’re an enduring symbol of the power of belief.”

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