In 2005, Terry Jon Martin wanted what was described as "one last score" when he stole a pair of the famous ruby slippers featured in the film "The Wizard of Oz" — valued today at about $3.5 million — from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
On Monday, the 76-year-old, now housebound in hospice care and requiring constant oxygen therapy, was sentenced to time served and a year of probation, as well as an order to pay about $23,000 in restitution to the museum honoring the late actress who made the shoes famous.
Prosecutors wrote in a court filing that Martin's health "is simply too fragile" for prison.
Over the two decades since the theft, the high-profile heist has inspired a podcast, a documentary and several true crime sleuths to speculate on the mystery of the missing red shoes.
But according to his attorney, Martin didn't realize the cultural significance of the slippers, and originally thought the glass rubies were real.
Martin said he gave the slippers to an old mob associate, but the thief refused to identify anyone else involved in the theft.
The slippers were recovered by the FBI in 2018, but the Bureau's remained tight-lipped on how they were tracked down, and nobody else has ever been charged in the case.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com