In September 2017, Mattson got another interesting call, this time from a Minnesota-based lawyer. One of the things I learned while in Grand Rapids is that if you want to get rid of something quickly, you have thousands of bodies of water to choose from. Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" were recovered 13 years after they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The Slippers. Advertisements that year claimed the movie had used 9,200 actors, 30 sound stages on the MGM lot and 65 sets. We knew this day would eventually come and we are grateful to the FBI and all those that worked so hard to bring this piece of cinematic treasure out of the shadows and into the light. We looked at a small landing, large enough for a toddler to use as a stage. These days, it gets about 21,000 visitors annually, according to Kelsch, who became the executive director in 1994. That fall, Morgan got a promising lead from a woman in jail. The ruby slippers at a news conference in 2018. They had such high hopes for this one that Morgan flew to Chicago to assist in the delivery of the search warrant. This meant taking the shoes off display for an indefinite amount of time. When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest in Oz. Most of what he works on is drug-related. • The “original Arabian” pair-Another style of slippers, an ornate Arabian-style pair, was created for Dorothy. Dorothy believed her chance to return to Kansas left with the balloon, so her desire left with it. The numbering of the shoes offer another clue to the history of the ruby slippers. Friedberg was counseled that it could be considered a felony to aid in the return of the Rockwell paintings. “Hollywood became the narrative-making center for the entire world.”, From conception, “The Wizard of Oz” “was planned to feature the fantasy of Oz in color and the reality of Kansas in black and white,” Fricke wrote in “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History.” The drabness of real life vs. the sparkle of Oz was highlighted the moment Dorothy landed among the Munchkins. We believed that information would eventually surface and knew we were in this for the long haul." They were camera-phone images of prints. (Now that they have been recovered, however, Shaw says he has the right of first refusal to buy back the shoes from Markel and that he is in negotiations with the insurer.) Return to Oz 1985. It also didn’t record, so there was no opportunity to scrutinize visitors from the weeks leading up to the theft. After all, 'There's no place like home!". “I saw them three days ago,” she said, noting that they were in a “green shoe box.”. In addition, she is the main character in various adaptations, notably the classic 1939 film adaptation of the novel, The … “They didn’t even look like the ruby slippers,” he says. Wallace worked with a team of 12, including scientists at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, an off-site lab. “There’s just something mystical about them.”, John Kelsch, senior director of the Judy Garland Museum, was just out of the shower at home when his phone rang. He passed. Grand Rapids is the town where the actress was born. It wasn’t easy to make sense of the myriad theories I was hearing — the dizzying array of schemes and potential suspects. He called Stein and Morgan. He didn’t want staff handling the slippers because of their age and fragility. Mattson was told that the Middle Man was traveling to Europe; now he worried that the shoes might be going abroad. For years, Lilah Crowe, the executive director, felt she had to answer for the stolen shoes. Eight paintings by the artist hung alongside signed, limited-edition lithographs. “We were left with a lot of questions,” Hane says. Producers from the Travel Channel show “Expedition Unknown” reached out to Mattson. The man on the other end of the line got right to the point. Shaw had the other two. The prosecutor “was retired, and my understanding was that it was an avocation, the ruby slippers case,” Rubenstein told me. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP). So the bells and whistles were going off at the museum when the door was breached, but the signal was not sent.” Kelsch believes that the alarm wouldn’t have made “any difference at all because they were in and out in less than a minute.”. Biden administration says no. Friedberg told the board that the art might be destroyed, which is a common threat made in art crime extortion: Give me the money or the painting gets it. One of my favourite films of all-time is The Wizard of Oz. He said he’d reached out to the insurance company and got nothing. After Mattson’s call to Dudley, the FBI had taken charge of the ruby slippers case. Dorothy then puts the ruby slippers on Ozma's feet and asks her to wish her back to Kansas. The discovery created a problem. The change from silver to ruby slippers for Dorothy didn’t seem to fuss too many moviegoers either. “Can you show me where they’re at?” Mattson asked. “He had a very high-quality set of replica slippers that he had misrepresented as the ruby red slippers to impress people,” Morgan says. Across Grand Rapids, people watched the show — unaware that the ruby slippers had been recovered that very morning. The day I went to Washington to talk with Dawn Wallace, an objects conservator with the Smithsonian, I got turned around and wound up standing at the back entrance of a loading dock. “You know these have a Made in China stamp on them?” he said. Sure enough, they were gone.” Nothing else had been taken — there were other artifacts worth money inside the gallery — and this told Kelsch that the slippers had been targeted. Rubenstein says it wouldn’t surprise him to learn that one or more were connected to the slippers theft that occurred 27 years later. The yard was filled with outbuildings — sheds and handmade structures — as well as tents. Now my beauties. How a big crime in a small town produced a whodunit as gripping and colorful as “The Wizard of Oz” itself, “The ruby slippers are an absolute mystery,” says Sgt. “The Rockwells were a bonus.”. “All she had to say was, ‘They’re gone,’ and I knew exactly what she meant,” Kelsch recalls. You get photos of the cherubic little girl with the big brown eyes and the even bigger voice, the kid with her whole life ahead of her. It would be nearly impossible to fake the sequins, unless someone reverted to century-old chemical processing to make them. Multiple pairs. There is also Garland’s fraught history with the town. Bidding was fast and fierce, and when the gavel came down, the ruby slippers sold for $15,000, a price so high that it shocked the crowd. After Morgan got the photo, he showed it to Stein. In addition, Rubenstein told me that the FBI had asked him about Friedberg. 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