One of several pairs of ruby slippers that were made for the Wizard of Oz. See, Zelena is after Dorothy, who has the silver slippers she needs to get back to her baby. Answered 2012-03-18 12:54:40. It fed into a small monitor at the front desk where the staff could keep an eye on things during the day, but after hours the camera was turned off. In the 1960s, Warner, and others like him, made money finding and selling costumes and props. “I explained to him that the Grand Rapids police never offered a reward. It also didn’t record, so there was no opportunity to scrutinize visitors from the weeks leading up to the theft. A fifth pair of ruby slippers only worn by Garland in test shots known as “the Arabian slippers” also is known to still exist. Maddalena sold these in 2012 to a group of Hollywood investors including Leonardo DiCaprio, and they will go on display this year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opens its museum in Los Angeles. Toto escapes and leads the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion to the castle. But now they had been found. It’s a little disappointing that, well, people aren’t going to do much speculating here anymore.”, It was quite a journey while it lasted. Why else would he refuse to let the staff put the shoes in a safe at night? It doesn’t mean it’s a failure. Today, we know the whereabouts of five. Garland was put on a regimen of speed followed by chemically induced sleep. She said that in 2007 she had watched as one of the local men long accused of stealing the slippers had tossed them into the Buckeye Pit. Mattson set about organizing the papers into a white three-ring binder with a color-coded Post-it system. The story eventually explains that when she clicked her heels, she accidentally lost the Ruby Slippers on the way back to Kansas. By Ryan Lintelman, October 20, 2016. The anonymous bidders at the MGM auction — now known to be three businessmen from Southern California — were chagrined when a woman from Tennessee named Roberta Bauman came forward shortly thereafter to say that she, too, had a pair of ruby slippers. A few months after the theft, Kelsch wrote to Shaw with an update on the investigation and added, “It’s water under the bridge now, but I do wish you had allowed me to secure the slippers in an on-site bank safe each evening.”. Mattson let Gates and Maddalena see the photos of the shoes sent by the Middle Man, without divulging their origin. He dug the sequin out of the back of the department safe and went through all the old interview transcripts and rumors one by one. The producer went to a garage in Brentwood and saw slippers he believed were authentic, but when haggling over the exorbitant price went awry, the producer got angry and went to the police instead. “People make pilgrimages to this museum and to Washington, D.C., just to see the slippers, so they’re gutted if they aren’t here,” Lintelman explains. Toto escapes and leads the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion to the castle. “Yeah, man, we do. This also gave the shoes the power to encourage the murder of the wearer by someone who wanted them badly enough. Wallace opened the box, and the first thing she thought was, “It’s them.” She was surprised at how well they had held up. Will Biden ease the sky-high tension between the U.S. and China? She faces the responsibility of having been gifted with the Ruby Slippers! Here it is!”. He said he’d reached out to the insurance company and got nothing. In 2009, Bennett retired and Andy Morgan inherited the case with help, at times, from Bob Stein. The witch said that she would not be able to remove the slippers from Dorothy as long as she was alive, her attempt to do so caused sparks to come from the shoes. Her father was amazed. The edges of the bows are white and there are a lot of bare spots around the toes. That was always an outside party. Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli is an honorary member of the museum’s board. And picture this—shortly after the auction was over, with news of its then-unheard-of $15,000 bid circulating the news wire, a woman from Tennessee stepped forward. “Our goal was to get the shoes back,” Mattson says. Some kids whispered that the slippers were already gone, burned in a bonfire at a legendary party in the months after the burglary. “Now which way do we go?” Dorothy had asked Toto when the Yellow Brick Road forked in different directions, but unlike in Oz, there was no Scarecrow to lend directions. Such as: Where had the shoes been all these years, and who had been caught with them during the FBI sting? She sends her winged monkeys to attack them; they capture Dorothy and Toto. “I have looked into a lot of crazy things that have ended up producing criminal cases.” When someone steals “a piece of American history,” as Morgan calls the ruby slippers, “even rumors were thoroughly chased down.”. Rubenstein says it wouldn’t surprise him to learn that one or more were connected to the slippers theft that occurred 27 years later. Or, Mattson wondered, was he talking to the man in possession of the shoes all along? A pair of Dorothy's iconic ruby-red slippers from 'The Wizard of Oz' has gone up for auction by Moments in Time for $6 million. Several years before being contacted by the FBI, conservators had realized with alarm that their ruby slippers were fading in color. Mattson said that yes, the case was open but he wasn’t sure about a reward. Over the years, they have become one of the most iconic parts of the film and of American culture. In 2002, he helped recover three of the missing Rockwells from an art collector in Brazil. In addition to the seven, it’s also presumed that pairs were made for Garland’s body double, plus there’s the Arabian test pair that had been owned by Debbie Reynolds. Friedberg was counseled that it could be considered a felony to aid in the return of the Rockwell paintings. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson is a writer in Baltimore. It seemed incredible that two of the biggest thefts of Americana — the Rockwell and ruby slippers burglaries — had both taken place in Minnesota. The Middle Man said he’d called the Judy Garland Museum and they had blown him off. The FBI had recovered them in a sting operation in Minneapolis. If you haven’t seen this film, you should. “All she had to say was, ‘They’re gone,’ ” Kelsch recalls, “and I knew exactly what she meant.”, At 1:44 p.m., Gene Bennett of the Grand Rapids Police Department sent out an alert across the region, asking law enforcement to watch for shoes that are “dark ruby red in color ... and valued at $1 million.”. Twelve years and not a viable lead. “You’re sure you saw the shoes out here?”. Dorothy's ruby red slippers, stolen 13 years ago, have been found The iconic slippers are one of several worn by Judy Garland in the "Wizard of Oz." The Lyon sisters had vanished 40 years earlier. “Then he told me he was in, 100 percent.” (The FBI declined to comment for this story because the case is ongoing. Soon, I was pulled into the mystery, too. The ruby slippers at a news conference in 2018. “This is an ongoing investigation, so we will not talk about the facts,” he told the reporters. He sent her a photo of what they’d found. Mattson got a call from one of the FBI agents. As he pored over the material, something about the case hooked him, something that wouldn’t let him go. (Many of the costumes are also darker than they appear on screen, owing to the Technicolor process.) People wanted to talk about the shoes. The shoes haven’t been seen since and were reportedly locked in a bank safe. Over the course of several calls, Mattson got the Middle Man to admit that he’d been promised a percentage of any reward money that might come from the slippers’ return. The conservation team had conducted several studies, including one to count the number of photographs taken of the slippers on nine days during the busy summer months. He even sources vintage sequins from France. They lived in a quaint white clapboard house, and legend has it that it was there, at age 2, that Frances Gumm (she took the name Judy Garland in 1934) stood on the stair landing and sang “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” straight through. "The investigator assigned to the case was fearful that the thief might destroy the slippers if he believed the police were on his trail. In August 2017, Mattson asked the Middle Man for proof-of-life photos of the slippers. A viable market for Hollywood memorabilia “had yet to emerge,” wrote Rhys Thomas in his book “The Ruby Slippers of Oz: Thirty Years Later,” “and it wasn’t a concept about which Kerkorian cared.”, The financier sold the contents of MGM for $1.5 million to an auctioneer named David Weisz, and a young costumer named Kent Warner was one of the people who helped sort the vast ephemera for an auction in 1970. A sign directs visitors to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. “I think he was, like most people, just curious about what had happened.”. This is the beginning phase of the metamorphosis that Dorothy will surely envelop. There are innumerable copies of Dorothy’s famous shoes — from kids’ Halloween costumes to adult pairs — but globally, about five or six people are able to hand-make copies so exact that they command thousands of dollars and can easily be mistaken for the real shoes. The museum displays items from the actress’s career, including “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia. (Photo by dbkng via Wikimedia / CC by 2.0). The meeting with the lawyer — who was still unaware that he was dealing with law enforcement — was set for 11 a.m. About 100 agents were involved, Mattson estimates. He also alleges that the museum lied to him. “Yip” Harburg, hit upon this contrast in “Over the Rainbow.” His lyrics were “built around his reaction to the ‘grayness’ of Kansas,” according to Fricke, because he “felt the only color in Dorothy’s life would have been a rainbow.”, “The Wizard of Oz” endures, Fricke says, despite the fact that “it doesn’t have car chases or guns or sexual allusion. Lakes and rivers are two options — the Mississippi River wends through downtown Grand Rapids — but the ideal location to hide incriminating evidence is an abandoned mine pit. Around this time, another complication arose. On the rare occasions that the slippers have been taken off display at the National Museum of American History, there are angry and desperate calls. The Return of Dorothy’s Iconic Ruby Slippers, Now Newly Preserved for the Ages The unprecedented conservation of the Wizard of Oz shoes involved more than 200 hours, and a call from the FBI. Stein added that officers investigated tips over the years, but many led to reproductions of the slippers, not the real thing. 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