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$1 Million Reward for Ruby Slippers Stolen From Judy Garland Museum

Image: $1 Million Reward for Ruby Slippers Stolen From Judy Garland Museum
'The Wizard of Oz' Ruby Red Slippers worn by Judy Garland in 1939 are displayed at a viewing at the Plaza Athenee on December 5, 2011, in New York City. (Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Jul 2015 11:33 AM

A $1 million reward has been offered by an anonymous donor for the "Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers that were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota nearly 10 years ago.

The reward, which has been offered to honor the 10-year anniversary of the theft in August, requires the person to name the exact location of the slippers and to identify the thief or perpetrators, according to The Associated Press. Although the donor wishes to remain anonymous, John Kelsch, the museum’s executive director, said that the donor is based in Arizona and is a huge Garland fan and devotee of the 1939 film.

The slippers, which were snatched from the museum display in Garland’s hometown in 1995, were insured for $1 million at the time of the disappearance, although the shoes now could be worth $2 million or $3 million, according to the AP.

The stolen slippers represented one of just four pairs of shoes worn by Garland during the movie’s filming, according to The Washington Post. One of the other pairs currently resides in the Smithsonian Institution in D.C.

The theft occurred one night while the slippers, which were owned by collector Michael Shaw, were on display in the Judy Garland Museum. When the museum informed Shaw that it wished to put the shoes in a safe every night, Shaw refused, saying that he did not want anyone to touch them except himself, according to The Washington Post. The shoes were ultimately snatched from their podium in a Plexiglass case after a window 15 feet away was smashed with a baseball bat on Aug. 28, 2005.

“We kicked ourselves in the butt for not putting them in the safe,” said Jon Miner, one of the museum’s board members, according to The Post. “Of course, the owner was dumbfounded. And so were we.”

When the local police department turned to examine the museum’s security cameras, it discovered that the cameras had been turned off, according to The Post. Although some have suspected it was the mark of an inside job, others believe that a group of kids vandalized the museum and stole the slippers.

“If the slippers are sitting in a closet somewhere, somebody knows,” Miner said, according to The Post. “And not just the perpetrator. We’re hoping to smoke them out.”

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A $1 million reward has been offered by an anonymous donor for the "Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers that were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota nearly 10 years ago.
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2015-33-13
Monday, 13 Jul 2015 11:33 AM
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