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Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

October 14, 2023 | by b1og.net

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Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

In a recent case that has captivated the public’s attention, a US man has pleaded guilty to stealing the iconic ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland’s character, Dorothy, in the beloved film “The Wizard of Oz.” The theft occurred in 2005, but it wasn’t until 13 years later that the slippers were recovered in a sting operation by the FBI. The culprit, Terry Jon Martin, believed the slippers were adorned with real rubies until he discovered they were made of glass. Now facing his own mortality, Martin’s lawyer has revealed his client’s declining health. These stolen slippers, one of only four pairs remaining from the 1939 film, have a current market value of approximately $3.5 million. As the sentencing date looms, Martin is free but could face eight to ten years behind bars.

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Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

Background of the theft

The ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland’s character Dorothy in the iconic film “The Wizard of Oz” are considered to be one of the most famous movie props of all time. These slippers were on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in 2005 when they were stolen. These particular slippers are especially significant as they are one of only four authentic pairs that remain from the original 1939 film.

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Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

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Man believes stolen slippers are made of real gems

The man, Terry Jon Martin, who pleaded guilty to the theft, believed that the stolen slippers were made of real gems. He had obtained them after breaking into the museum using a sledgehammer and stealing the slippers from their display pedestal. It was only later, after a jewelry fence informed him that the rubies were actually made of glass, that he realized he had stolen a replica and not genuine gemstones. This revelation left Martin disinterested in the slippers.

Discovery of the theft and recovery of the slippers

The theft of the ruby slippers occurred in 2005 but it took 13 years for the crime to be publicly linked to Terry Jon Martin. In an unexpected turn of events, a man approached the insurer of the stolen slippers and claimed that he could help recover them. This led to an FBI sting operation to retrieve the stolen slippers. The FBI’s involvement in the case highlights the significance of the theft and the cultural value placed on these iconic shoes.

Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

Current market value of the slippers

The current market value of the stolen ruby slippers is estimated to be around $3.5 million. The insurance value of the slippers at the time of the theft was $1 million. The increase in market value over time reflects the enduring popularity and cultural significance of “The Wizard of Oz” as well as the rarity of these authentic pairs of slippers.

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Defendant’s health and cooperation

Terry Jon Martin’s attorney revealed that his client is now in poor health and “facing his own mortality.” This could potentially impact the sentencing and any punishment handed down by the court. However, it was also stated that Martin has been cooperative throughout the legal process, which may be taken into consideration during sentencing.

Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

Defendant’s previous conviction

Terry Jon Martin has a previous conviction from 1988 for receiving stolen goods. This prior criminal history may be considered by the court when determining his sentence for the theft of the ruby slippers. It is important to note that the previous conviction was unrelated to the theft of the slippers.

Sentencing guidelines and potential sentence

Federal sentencing guidelines recommend a sentence of eight to ten years behind bars for the crime committed by Terry Jon Martin. However, the actual sentence handed down by the court will depend on various factors, including the nature of the crime, the defendant’s level of cooperation, and any mitigating circumstances presented during the proceedings.

Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

Defendant’s appearance in court

Terry Jon Martin appeared in court in a wheelchair, wearing a paper mask, and carrying an oxygen tank. His physical condition and health were noticeable during the court appearance. It remains to be seen how the defendant’s health and physical condition will be taken into consideration during the sentencing process.

Media coverage of the theft

The theft of the ruby slippers from the Judy Garland Museum garnered significant media coverage at the time and has continued to capture public attention. The cultural significance of the slippers and the iconic nature of “The Wizard of Oz” contributed to the media’s interest in the story. The recovery of the stolen slippers in a dramatic FBI sting operation also made headlines, further fueling public curiosity.

Man pleads guilty to stealing iconic Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

Related news stories

There have been other news stories related to the theft of the ruby slippers, further highlighting their enduring appeal and cultural significance. These stories may include discussions on the impact of the theft on the museum, the history of the slippers, and the ongoing fascination with “The Wizard of Oz” in popular culture. The media’s coverage of these related news stories keeps the public informed about developments in the case and maintains interest in the story.

In conclusion, the theft of the ruby slippers from the Judy Garland Museum remains a significant event in the history of film memorabilia. The fame and cultural value of these iconic shoes, coupled with the defendant’s belief that they were made of real gems, propelled the theft into the national spotlight. The recovery of the slippers in a sting operation highlights the determination of law enforcement to protect and preserve items of cultural significance. The sentencing of Terry Jon Martin will ultimately determine the consequences he will face for his actions. Meanwhile, media coverage of the theft continues to captivate audiences and emphasize the enduring impact of “The Wizard of Oz” on popular culture.

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