‘There’s no place like home’ for Dorothy’s ruby slippers — finally!

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“Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times and think to yourself, ‘There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.'”

— Glinda the Good Witch to Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”

A pair of ruby slippers finally made it home, authorities announced on Monday.

The slippers, featured in the 1939 film ,”The Wizard of Oz” and stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn., in 2005, were returned to the rightful owner, Michael Shaw.

The news comes days after a second man was charged in connection to the theft. Jerry Hal Saliterman, 76, of Crystal, had his first court appearance on Friday in federal court in St. Paul.

Earlier, the man who stole the slippers, Terry Jon Martin, 76, pleaded guilty in October and was sentenced in January.

The sparkly homecoming of the slippers were announced by Alvin M. Winston Sr., special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Division of the FBI, and Andy Morgan, chief of police for the Grand Rapids Police Department, in a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“We are incredibly honored to return the ruby slippers to their rightful owner,” Winston said. “Beyond the glittering allure of the
shoes lies a testament to the FBI’s unyielding commitment to preserving the everlasting legacy of cherished memorabilia. This piece of cinematic history has been returned to Mr. Shaw through the diligent efforts of our dedicated agents, professional staff, and invaluable partners.”

“Recognizing the catastrophic loss to both Mr. Shaw and the countless fans of this piece of American cinema history, the Grand Rapids Police Department is extremely pleased that the slippers have been returned to Mr. Shaw,” Morgan said via the news release. “The collaboration between all partnering agencies cannot be overlooked or minimized. The countless hours of dedicated investigative efforts by current GRPD staff, retired staff, our partners at the FBI and the many other assisting agencies made the return possible.”

Judy Garland, immortalized as Dorothy Gale in the classic movie, danced her way down the yellow brick road in several pairs of red slippers during the film’s production. Garland’s portrayal of Dorothy and her longing to find her way home has spoke to
audiences for generations, making the ruby slippers an enduring symbol of American film history.

These sequined shoes, known as the “traveling pair,” were one of the last remaining sets used in the 1939 film, and their disappearance in 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids left a void in both cinema history and the heart of a community proud to call itself Garland’s birthplace.

The return ceremony, held at the Judy Garland Museum, was a restoration of justice, authorities said, a healing of wounds inflicted on both Shaw and the museum itself.

“The Judy Garland Museum survived the impact of this violation and is grateful to be a part of the homecoming,” said John Kelsh, founding director of the Judy Garland Museum, in the statement. “We continue to serve visitors from around the world; expect a Ruby Slipper Crime exhibit in our future.”

During the ceremony, in Garland’s childhood home, the ruby slippers were placed on their original pedestal — reclaiming, authorities said, not just an artifact but rekindling the museum’s identity as a guardian of Garland’s legacy.

“When Shaw, accompanied by his niece, laid eyes on the slippers for the first time in nearly two decades, he likened the experience to a heartfelt reunion with a long-lost friend,” the news release stated.

He then had the opportunity to meet Special Agent Christopher Dudley and Chief Morgan, who dedicated countless hours to the case and ensured the safe return of the iconic slippers. Agent Dudley surprised Shaw by not only returning the ruby slippers but also presenting him with the single red sequin that was left at the scene of the crime almost twenty years ago.

“’It was incredibly rewarding and fitting to see Mr. Shaw reunited with the Ruby Slippers, at Judy Garland’s home, accompanied by his friends on the museum staff,” said Special Agent Dudley in the news release. “It is a privilege for the FBI and our Art Crime Team to work alongside law enforcement partners who truly value the importance of protecting our nation’s cultural heritage.”

Both the museum and Shaw expressed their deep gratitude to the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department for their commitment and tenacity.

“To some,” the statement read, “these slippers were not just shoes; they were the embodiment of magic, nostalgia, and the dreams of countless moviegoers who identified with Dorothy’s adventure down the yellow brick road.”

As the investigation is ongoing, the FBI had no further comment at this time.

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