GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- Credible information about the whereabouts of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" -- stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids almost a decade ago -- could now earn someone a million bucks.
An anonymous "Wizard of Oz" fan in Arizona is offering a $1 million reward for the slippers after an Itasca County dive team failed to find them last month in the Tioga Mine Pit, where they were rumored to have been sunk in a Tupperware container.
The slippers were stolen in August 2005 and museum director John Kelsch said officials hope someone will speak up, if the slippers haven't been destroyed, now that a donor is offering a reward.
"We're fortunate this person came forward," Kelsch said of the donor.
To receive the reward, the exact, current location of the ruby slippers must be given for the Grand Rapids Police Department to find them -- or the ruby slippers must be turned in to the police department. The ruby slippers must be in recognizable condition, Kelsch said. The $1 million reward also has the stipulation that the name or names of the thieves must also be revealed.
The theft of the ruby slippers remains an open police case, Kelsch said. The slippers were on loan to the Grand Rapids museum for 10 weeks at the time they were stolen. The missing pair are one of four known pairs of ruby slippers worn by Garland -- a Grand Rapids native -- in "The Wizard of Oz." One pair is in the Smithsonian Institution, another will be going into a new Los Angeles museum and the third pair is in a private collection, Kelsch said.
Although the dive team didn't find the slippers last month, they did find a duffel bag with a container in it and a rifle, all of which were turned over to Grand Rapids police. The dive garnered more publicity for the missing slippers and more leads have come in since last month, Kelsch said.