Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers Finally Found After Being Stolen 13 Years Ago


“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

The magical ruby slippers from the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” have been found after being stolen 13 years ago. They are one of at least four pairs that were made for the classic film, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

Michael Shaw, the man who donated the slippers to the museum, told Forbes that this particular pair was used for close up shots, specifically the scene where Dorothy clicks her heels together.

In Aug. 2005, the slippers were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

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The thief entered the back of the museum through a window, broke the glass case surrounding the famous shoes and ran off.

No fingerprints were left at the scene of the crime. Gene Bennett, of the Grand Rapids Police Department, said that the entire robbery “probably only took a minute or two.”

The burglar alarm system was never triggered, which has been the subject of debate since the robbery.

The museum claims they asked the alarm company to disable the system during operational hours because visitors used the back door often. However, the alarm company claims they were asked to disable the alarms completely.

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Regardless of the cause of the alarm malfunction, the slippers were stolen and have been lost for the past 13 years.

Morgan White, director of the documentary “The Slippers,” told KSTP, “Whoever took them not only took a physical pair of shoes but they stole a lot of people’s memories.”

The iconic slippers, which were custom made for the film, were crafted using wood pulp, silk thread, gelatin, and both plastic and glass beads.

Before being stolen, they were insured for $1 million and may be worth even more now.

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In 2015, an anonymous donor from Arizona offered a $1 million reward for information on the whereabouts of the shoes, but the attempt to locate them was not fruitful.

Investigators had only two goals: to recover the priceless slippers and to find the person/people responsible for their theft. The first goal was finally met earlier this summer.

Officials held a press conference on Sept. 4, 2018, to announce the recovery of the slippers. Investigators received a tip earlier in the summer that seemed to hold more credibility than others in the past.

That tip lead the investigation over the rainbow and outside of the state of Minnesota, when the Grand Rapids Police Department reached out the FBI. Because the investigation is still active, they were not able to divulge many details.

They just hope anyone who knows any information comes forward to help them achieve their second goal. At the end of the press conference, the slippers were shown publicly for the first time in 13 years.

“They’re more than a pair of shoes,” police Chief Scott Johnson said. “They’re an enduring symbol of the power of belief.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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