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Press Release

Minnesota Man Sentenced for 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 Chief Judge Patrick J. Schiltz, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, sentenced Terry Jon Martin, age 76, of Grand Rapids, MN, to time served, one year supervised release and $23,500 Restitution to the Judy Garland Children’s Museum for 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.  The ruby slippers, which were recovered by the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department in July 2018, are widely viewed as among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history. 

“It took brains, heart, and courage to bring this case to a successful conclusion, and those are qualities our FBI partners have in spades,” Schneider said. “This result is the product of determined efforts by FBI investigators. They secured the safe return of an iconic piece of Americana and, working together with our career prosecutors, provided a measure of justice in this case.”  

“The FBI, in collaboration with our law enforcement partners, worked diligently to bring this case to a resolution," said Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. of FBI Minneapolis. "Today's sentencing underscores our commitment to safeguarding iconic artifacts. The FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who seek to exploit and unlawfully acquire pieces of historical memorabilia."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Art Crime Team, and the Grand Rapids, MN, Police Department, with support from FBI Salt Lake City 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).

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota will have no additional comment or statements outside this press release.



Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7400

Updated January 29, 2024