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For 13 years, one of the most famous pairs of shoes were missing, stolen from a museum that honored actress Judy Garland, but finally the FBI has cracked the case and announced that the ruby slippers Garland wore as she portrayed Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” have been found.
There was no security camera video of the heist and whomever stole the shoes left no fingerprints and few clues.
The Plexiglass box that held the shoes was smashed and nothing was left except for a single red sequin.
The FBI made the announcement Tuesday that the shoes were recovered, but did not say who was responsible for taking them, The Times reported.
The shoes were a focus of not only federal law enforcement, but also local police and private investigators. There was a $1 million reward for finding the location of the shoes. The reward expired after 10 years, ABC News reported.
They were on loan to the museum, owned by a collector in North Hollywood, California. Michael Shaw bought the shoes in 1970 for $2,000 from Kent Warner, a costumer who found them at an MGM movie lot, The Times reported.
Shaw also owned Dorothy’s dress, the hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West and a Munchkin outfit. The museum wasn’t the only time the shoes were lent out for display. Shaw would allow other museums display them for a fee of several thousand dollars, which would be donated to children’s charities.
The shoes were insured for $1 million, Newsweek reported in 2015.
An insurance company paid Shaw $800,000 and is the official owner of the shoes, The Times reported.
Garland wore several different pairs during the filming of the 1939 movie.
One pair is in the possession of the Smithsonian American History Museum and are on display there.