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Mystery still surrounds ruby slipper heist

GRAND RAPIDS, MN– They’re some of the most recognizable shoes in the world – Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz.

Judy Garland, who was born in Grand Rapids, wore several pairs while filming the iconic movie.

It was those shoes that sparked a mystery still waiting to be solved.

The Judy Garland Museum had an original pair on display in the summer of 2005. The were on a pedestal, inside a plexiglass case, until someone broke in and stole them.

All that was left was one ruby sequin on the floor.

“There were so many rumors and theories,” said John Kolsch, Senior Adviser at the museum. “Many people in town said it was an inside job.”

He said it felt terrible, having people believe he took the slippers.

For 13 years, they were just gone. Then, over Labor Day weekend 2018, a tip led the FBI to recover the slippers in Minneapolis.

The found the slippers, but not the people responsible for taking them.

“It was a heist. It was a high stakes mystery,” said Kolsch.

The museum now has two pairs of replica ruby slippers on display.

The originals are still in evidence.

The FBI says the investigation into who stole the shoes is still active. They haven’t made any arrests, but if you have any information you can call the Minneapolis field office at 763-569-8000.

Bonney Bowman

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