One of the four pairs of ruby slippers used in the film The Wizard of Oz has returned home after being stolen 13 years ago.
The iconic sequin shoes were one of the originals worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic. They had been on display at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota — Judy’s hometown — when thieves broke through the glass of the back door of the museum and took the slippers, leaving virtually no clues behind.
The ruby slippers were insured for $1 million, but there are some things that money can’t heal. Museum cofounder Jon Miner told CNN that museum staff members were “literally crying” over the loss.
“They’re more than just a pair of shoes, the slippers. They’re an enduring symbol of the power of belief,” said Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson.
However, the story doesn’t end here. Although the ruby slippers have been returned, those responsible for their theft have not been brought to justice. According to the FBI, the thieves didn’t want the slippers — they wanted the museum owners to pay them to get the shoes back.
“It became apparent that those involved were in reality attempting to extort the owners of the slippers,” said Special Agent Christopher Dudley.
An individual contacted the company that insured the ruby slippers promising information on how they could be returned. One year later, they were recovered in a sting operation, but the FBI is being stingy with the details. All we know is that there have been no arrests and the investigation is still active and ongoing.
If you have information about who stole the ruby slippers, contact the authorities. Judy Garland would want you to.
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