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Press Release

Minnesota Man Pleaded Guilty to the Theft of the “Ruby Slippers” from the Classic 1939 Film “The Wizard of Oz”

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

Fargo – United States Attorney Mac Schneider announced that Terry Jon Martin, age 76, of Grand Rapids, MN, pleaded guilty before Chief Judge Patrick J. Schiltz, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, to one count of theft of major artwork, an object of cultural heritage from the care, custody, or control of a museum.

Investigation revealed 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 ensured 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.

Sentencing date for Terry Martin has not been scheduled, as a result, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota will have no additional comment or statements until sentencing has been completed. A press release announcing the sentencing is forthcoming.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grand Rapids, MN, Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Greenley, District of North Dakota.

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).

Previous News Release for this investigation can be seen at:



Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7458

Updated October 13, 2023