Man, 76, indicted for stealing ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz

A 76-year-old man has been with indicted on charges of the theft of a pair of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from the set of Wizard of Oz, 18 years after they were stolen.

In 2005, an unknown individual climbed through a window of the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, broke the display case housing a pair of red ruby slippers worn by the late actress as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, clicked their heels three times and vanished, leaving a single red sequin behind.

Aside from that crime being camper than a row of tents, the perpetrator was never found or indicted – until nearly two decades later, when a 76-year-old man was indicted with charges of the crime on Wednesday (17 May).

An indictment of Minnesota local Terry Martin was announced by a grand jury with one count of theft of a major artwork, federal prosecutors announced. The shoes, which were valued at $1 million in 2005, are estimated to now be worth $3.5 million by prosecutors.

The shoes were recovered by an FBI sting operation in 2018, but no arrests were made at the time.

The ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland (Getty Images)

Terry Martin, who reportedly lives 12 miles south of the Museum, told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis: “I gotta go on trial. I don’t wanna talk to you.”

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Janie Heitz, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum, told the Associated Press that she and the museum’s staff were “a little bit speechless” that someone had been charged after so many years.

Heitz also said that she was surprised the suspect lived nearby but said no one who works at the Judy Garland museum knows or remembers him.

A summons for the Judy Garland shoes was issued for Martin on Wednesday. An initial court appearance was set for 1 June, and it will be via video.

Terry Van Horn, spokesman for the US Justice Department in North Dakota, said he could not provide any information beyond what was included in the one-paragraph-indictment.