Federal Bureau of Investigation recovers stolen 'Wizard of Oz' slippers

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

"There are certainly people out there who have additional knowledge regarding both the theft and the individuals responsible for concealing the slippers all these years", Special Agent Christopher Dudley says.

The slippers were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota-also Garland's hometown-almost exactly 13 years ago, between the night of August 27 to early morning 28.

The FBI said the slippers would likely now be worth several million dollars if put up for auction.

Though some suspects in these crimes have been identified, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that the case is still ongoing and the agency needs the public's help to identify others associated with the theft and extortion.

"We're not done. We have a lot of work to do", Christopher Myers, the USA attorney for North Dakota, said.

The case eluded local authorities for years.

Michael Shaw, the slippers' owner who loaned them to the museum, told the Duluth News Tribune in 2005 the theft was "the worst nightmare for me", and that he was "devastated" by the theft. Besides the stolen pair, the other three sets reside in the Smithsonian Institution, a Los Angeles museum and a private collection.

Along with the recovered pair of slippers, three other pairs exist, including a pair that now resides at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, which launched a Kickstarter with the goal of raising $300,000 to restore the slippers to their ruby color.

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In the famous 1939 film, the sequinned red slippers feature heavily.

It appears Dorothy's ruby slippers have retired from their clicking duties, because it took more than a decade to bring the stolen heels back home.

"Whoever has them, illicitly, has their hands full with them", journalist Rhys Thomas said in the 2016 documentary, "The Slippers".

The slippers are often said to among the most valued props in movie history. "They are a cultural icon".

"They're an enduring symbol of the power of belief", Johnson said.

Thomas said the slippers then went unseen for 30 years until Shaw, acting as a middleman, bought them for someone who meant to sell them to the late actress Debbie Reynolds, but Shaw ended up keeping them and often loaned them for exhibits.

A $1 million reward was eventually offered, generating dozens of leads, but none of them led to the stolen items.

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