FBI recovers stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ slippers

Department of Justice

The FBI has recovered a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” after the shoes were stolen in a 2005 burglary, the agency announced Tuesday.

The slippers, known as the “traveling pair,” which had been seen by thousands of fans across the country, were stolen in a 2005 heist of the the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn., and recovered in a July sting operation, according to a statement from the FBI.

{mosads}Their authenticity was verified by experts at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, who confirmed their status as Garland’s original prop used during the filming of the hit 1939 film.

FBI special agent Jill Sanborn, the lead investigator on the case, said that the agency had uncovered an extortion attempt targeting the Markel Corporation, which owns the museum, and was seeking the public’s help to identify the original thieves.

“Dorothy’s slippers are a treasured piece of Americana, and we are hoping members of the public can help us better fill in the details that will finish the script of this mystery so we can hold accountable all those who were behind the scheme,” Sanborn said.

Grand Rapids police chief Scott Johnson celebrated the news in his own statement accompanying the press release, riffing off a famous line from the end of Dorothy’s adventure in Oz.

“We were confident this day would eventually come, and we are grateful to the FBI and all those who worked to bring this piece of cinematic treasure out of the shadows and into the light. After all, ‘There’s no place like home,’ ” Johnson said.

Tags Dorothy Extortion FBI Grand Rapids Judy Garland Minnesota Wizard of Oz
See all Hill.TV See all Video