“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home!”
Thirteen years ago, one of the most iconic costume pieces of film history was stolen from a museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the cinematic classic The Wizard of Oz had completely disappeared with no leads on a suspect to the crime. Almost, as if like magic, the slippers have finally found their way home.
According to CNN, back in 2005, the slippers were on display at the Judy Garland Museum for Grand Rapids’ annual Wizard of Oz festival. They were owned by memorabilia collector Michael Shaw who was loaning the paid of shoes (one of four worn by Garland in the film) to the museum at the time. Shaw was assured that the museum was secure and, rather than have the delicate pieces handled each night during the festival to be stored in a vault, he opted to leave them on display. According to the Grand Rapids police, the thief broke in through a back door to the museum, smashed the glass case protecting the slippers and made off with the memorabilia without leaving any fingerprints or defining evidence.
Years of investigating turned up nothing but dead ends and cold trails until the FBI received a tip which lead to a break in the case. The tip came in 2017 when an individual came forward with information which proved helpful in securing the slippers’ return. Special Agent Christopher Dudley led the investigation and said, “it became apparent that those involved were, in reality, attempting to extort the owners of the slippers.”
Almost one year later, after an undercover operation, the slippers were recovered, though there is still no evidence leading to a suspect int he theft.
One thing’s for sure, the slippers found their way home leading to a perfect, fairytale ending.
What do you think about The Wizard of Oz ruby slippers being recovered after 13 years? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).