Police say Aman stole a pair of ruby shoes that Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz from a museum. On Friday, he was supposed to change his plea to guilty in court.
One count of theft of a major work of art was brought against Terry Jon Martin, 76, in May.
People stole the shoes from the 1939 movie from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 2005. The FBI found them again in 2018.No one was caught until earlier this year, when Martin, who lives near Grand Rapids, was charged.
Martin’s lawyer, Dane DeKrey, said that his sick client has been helpful with the police.
In an interview before Friday’s meeting, Mr. DeKrey said, “I think Terry is facing his own mortality, and I think when people get to that point in their lives, they cut through the niceties and talk turkey.”
Even though Martin has a conviction from 1988 for receiving stolen goods, the one-page indictment didn’t say how detectives found him. He is currently free on his own recognizance.
A protective order prohibits the public disclosure of a lot of the government’s proof.
Garland wore several pairs of ruby slippers while shooting The Wizard of Oz, but now there are only four known to be real. The slippers had a $1 million insurance policy, but when they made the indictment, federal prosecutors said they were worth about $3.5 million on the market. The FBI said that in 2017, a man went up to the insurance company and said he could help them get their money back.
When the FBI’s art crime team did a fake operation in Minneapolis, they found the slippers. They stayed in the care of the bureau.
In about three months, Mr. DeKrey thinks that US District Judge Patrick Schiltz, who is the top federal judge in Minnesota, will set a date for the sentence.
He would not say what punishment the two sides want, but he did say that the federal sentencing guidelines have suggested 10 to 12 years in similar cases.
Schiltz agreed to hold the hearing in Duluth instead of making Martin drive to the Twin Cities, which Mr. DeKrey said made him happy.
He said, “My friend is sick.” “He needs breathing and will be in a wheelchair.”
Someone broke the display case through a window while Michael Shaw, a collector of Hollywood memorabilia, had the slippers on loan to the museum.
Garland wore three more pairs in the movie. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and a private owner all have them.
Over the years, many prizes have been given away in the hopes of solving the puzzle. A person from Arizona who didn’t want to be named gave $1 million in 2015.
The slippers were an important part of the 1939 classic show. Garland’s character, Dorothy, suddenly finds herself in the magical Land of Oz after a tornado hits her farm in Kansas. To get back home, she has to click her shoes three times and say “There’s no place like home.”
Some of the twelve different materials that go into making the slippers are silk thread, gelatin, plastic, glass, and wood pulp. The bows on the shoes have red glass beads in them, but most of the ruby color comes from the sequins.
Gale was born in 1922 as Frances Gumm. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was four years old, but she lived in Grand Rapids until then. In 1969, she died from taking too many barbiturates.
The museum about Judy Garland opened in 1975 in the house where she lived. It claims to have the biggest collection of Garland and Wizard of Oz memorabilia in the world.
Sign up now for an email from the Evening Standard. From daily news to views on Homes and property, as well as lifestyle, going out, deals, and more. Click here to get the best stories sent to your email.