Judy Garland's stolen ruby slippers recovered in Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation
- Author: Michelle Webb Sep 05, 2018,
Sep 05, 2018, 4:15
Federal Bureau of Investigation detectives announced on Tuesday they had found the shoes and details of their discovery are due to be revealed.
Grand Rapids police asked for the FBI's help and after a almost year-long investigation, the slippers were recovered in July during a sting operation in Minneapolis.
The slippers were actually one of four pairs made for the movie that are known to exist.
"We kicked ourselves in the butt for not putting them in the safe", Jon Miner, one of the museum's board members, told The Washington Post's Jessica Contrera in 2015. Now those iconic slippers have found their way home after going missing 13 years ago, nearly to the day.
Michael Shaw, the slippers' owner who loaned them to the museum, told the News Tribune in 2005 that the theft was "the worst nightmare for me".
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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.
But he said a new tip received earlier this summer appeared more credible than most. An alarm had been triggered, but a signal was reportedly not sent to police. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that a $1 million reward had been offered to anyone who ould recover the shoes.
"This is a significant milestone, so we wanted to share that today", Sanborn said, noting the typically tight-lipped agency was breaking with its standard procedure by publicizing an ongoing investigation.
"We believed that information would eventually surface and knew we were in this for the long haul", Stein said.
"It was really one of the most thrilling moments of my life when they said, 'We've got them, '" Shaw said, holding back tears.
But the theft of the ruby slippers has remained an open police case for 13 years.
That year, a wealthy fan of the movie volunteered to give $1 million to the person who could help find the missing slippers. In 1970, a costumer named Kent Warner found them and sold off several pairs of the slippers.
The Wizard of Oz was presented in both black and white, and colour - a first for the industry.