Final Heist: Man Who Stole Judy Garland’s Ruby Red Slippers Spared Jail Time Due to Terminal Illness

Terry Jon Martin, a 76-year-old reformed thief, has been spared jail time after stealing one of the last remaining pairs of Judy Garland’s iconic Ruby Red Slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” The decision comes as Martin’s terminal illness leaves him with only a few months to live.

According to Martin’s defense attorney, Dane DeKrey, the scheme began with a misunderstanding about the slippers’ value. A former associate with ties to the mob misled Martin, claiming the slippers were adorned with real gems and worth a staggering $1 million. The allure of a final score proved too tempting for Martin, who had left his criminal past behind in the 1990s.

Under the cover of darkness, Martin broke into the museum housing the slippers, shattering the display case and making off with the prized movie prop. Astonishingly, the museum’s alarm failed to alert the local police, allowing Martin to escape undetected.

However, Martin’s hopes of a lucrative payday were shattered when he had the slippers appraised. Instead of priceless gems, they were adorned with glass beads and sequins. Unaware of their cultural significance, Martin disposed of the slippers within 48 hours.

Years later, in 2017, a source came forward with information that could lead to the slippers’ recovery. The FBI launched an extensive investigation, eventually building a case against Martin using phone records. Leveraging his wife’s immigration status, investigators obtained a search warrant for Martin’s house, leading to his confession and the return of the stolen slippers.

In October 2023, Martin pleaded guilty to theft of a major artwork. Chief US District Judge Patrick Schiltz acknowledged the severity of Martin’s crime, recognizing his intent to steal and destroy an irreplaceable part of American culture. However, considering Martin’s deteriorating health and the recommendations from both the defense and prosecution, Judge Schiltz agreed to issue a “time served” penalty.

During the court appearance, Martin, connected to an oxygen tank due to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, listened as Judge Schiltz remarked that if the case had been adjudicated in 2005, he would have sentenced Martin to 10 years in prison. Ultimately, Martin will not spend any time behind bars but will be required to pay a $23,500 restitution to the museum in monthly installments of $300.

As this captivating true crime story comes to a close, it serves as a reminder of the enduring allure of stolen treasures and the consequences that follow. The fate of Judy Garland’s Ruby Red Slippers has been restored, but the legacy of Terry Jon Martin’s final heist will forever be etched in the annals of American crime history.


Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. While it is certainly tragic that Terry Jon Martin is facing a terminal illness, it should not be used as an excuse to spare him from the consequences of his actions. Stealing an iconic piece of Hollywood history is a serious crime that should be punished accordingly, regardless of the perpetrator’s health condition. Granting him leniency sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the importance of preserving cultural artifacts. Moreover, it sends the message that individuals with terminal illnesses can commit crimes without facing appropriate punishment. Instead, the

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