Skip to main content
Press Release

Minnesota Man Charged in Connection with “Ruby Slippers” Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Terry Martin for the theft of an object of cultural heritage from the care, custody, or control of a museum. Martin is charged with one count of theft of major artwork. The indictment was filed on May 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The Indictment alleges that in 2005, Martin stole an authentic pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, “The Wizard of Oz,” from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. At the time of theft, the slippers were insured for $1 million but current fair market appraisal value the slippers at $3.5 million.

The ruby slippers, which were recovered by the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department in July 2018, are one of the four remaining pairs and are widely viewed as among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history.

The charges announced today are the result of a federal investigation into the initial theft of the ruby slippers. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Minneapolis Division.  

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter was assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 515(a).

Because the case is ongoing, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota will have no additional comment at this time.

# # #


Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7458

Updated May 17, 2023