Ruby Slippers Thief Given No Prison Time for Stealing Prop from 'The Wizard of Oz'

Terry Jon Martin, the man accused of stealing a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, was sentenced to time served Monday, as he is terminally ill and unable to move from his wheelchair. The slippers, made with glass beads and sequins, were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005.

Prosecutors said Martin, 76, stole the slippers because he believed they were adorned with real jewels, which would make them worth more. They were insured for $1 million at the time. In 2018, the slippers were recovered by the FBI after a person tried to claim a reward for their return. It's still unclear how the FBI recovered the slippers, but Martin was not charged until 2020.

As part of a plea deal, Martin admitted to breaking into the museum, but said he was planning to remove the slippers' jewels and sell them. But an acquaintance, described as having connections to the mob, convinced Martin to steal the slippers for "one last score," as he was going through financial difficulties.

Despite the conviction, the slippers' owner, Michael Shaw, said he considers the case closed, but will never be satisfied with the resolution, as the slippers will never be returned to their original state. The slippers are one of four remaining pairs worn by Garland in the film.

Shaw was not the only victim in this case, as the museum itself, which is dedicated to Garland's memory, was also victimized. Despite the devastating theft, the museum remains open, with no plans to close anytime soon.

While no prison time will be served by Martin, he will be required to pay $23,500 to the museum, as well as $300 per month until the restitution is paid off.