Thief of Ruby Slippers Escapes Prison Time, Motives Revealed in Court Memo

Terry Martin, the notorious thief who stole Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers from a museum in 2005, has been spared prison time. At a recent sentencing hearing, the 76-year-old, currently in hospice care, was instead sentenced to one year of supervised release. The decision has sparked controversy and raised questions about the justice system’s handling of major art thefts.

Martin’s motivations for the audacious heist were finally revealed in a court memo submitted by his attorney, Dane DeKrey. According to the memo, Martin had initially declined the invitation to participate in the theft. However, the allure of a “final score” proved too tempting for the retired criminal, leading him to ultimately give in to the criminal relapse.

Using a hammer, Martin broke into the museum and shattered the glass surrounding the slippers. To his dismay, all that remained in the empty display case was a single red sequin. Unbeknownst to Martin, the slippers held immense cultural significance beyond their $1 million insured value. He believed the gemstones affixed to the slippers were real rubies and planned to sell them on the black market through a jewelry-fence.

However, Martin’s hopes were shattered when the fence informed him that the gems were merely glass. Frustrated and angry, he decided to cut his losses and handed off the stolen slippers to his associates. The shoes remained in his possession for only a few days before the FBI, in a 2018 sting operation, recovered them.

Despite the seriousness of Martin’s crime, Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz decided to forgo incarceration due to Martin’s deteriorating health and limited life expectancy. However, the judge emphasized the gravity of Martin’s actions, acknowledging that he intended to steal and destroy an irreplaceable part of American culture.

The stolen ruby slippers, now valued at $3.5 million, are considered among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history. Only four authentic pairs are believed to exist, with one held by a private collector and the other two in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The theft dealt a significant blow to the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota, where the stolen slippers were on loan from private collector Michael Shaw. The museum’s executive director, Janie Heitz, expressed the loss of credibility suffered by the institution.

As part of his sentence, Martin will be required to pay $23,500 in restitution to the museum, with monthly installments of $300. Despite the ongoing investigation, Martin has not disclosed the names of any other individuals involved in the heist.

Following the theft, Martin retreated to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, where he reunited with his children and embarked on a new romance. His attorney, Dane DeKrey, paints a picture of a remorseful man who deeply regrets his decision and is prepared to face the consequences. “He’s a dying man ready to meet his maker,” DeKrey stated in court papers.

While the decision to spare Martin prison time has sparked debate, it remains to be seen how this case will impact future art theft prosecutions and the preservation of cultural artifacts.


Author: CrimeDoor

4 Responses

  1. While it may be frustrating to see Terry Martin avoid prison time for such a notorious theft, it is important to consider alternative solutions to address this issue. One potential solution could be to establish a restorative justice program specifically tailored for cases involving cultural artifacts.

    Restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm caused by the offender and addressing the needs of the victim and the community. In this case, the program could involve Terry Martin actively participating in educational initiatives about the historical significance of the stolen ruby slippers. He

  2. This is absolutely outrageous! How can someone who committed such a heinous crime be spared prison time? Terry Martin not only stole a piece of history but also robbed future generations of the opportunity to see and appreciate Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers. These slippers hold immense cultural and sentimental value, and their theft was a blow to the entire nation.

    It is a slap in the face to all law-abiding citizens that Martin will not face the consequences of his actions behind bars. This sends a dangerous message

  3. Terry Martin’s escape from prison time is like a slippery cat who manages to elude capture, just like he eluded the consequences of his actions.

  4. While it may be frustrating to see Terry Martin avoid prison time for such a high-profile theft, it is important to consider alternative solutions to the problem of preventing future thefts of valuable artifacts. One potential solution could be to invest in advanced security systems that utilize cutting-edge technology.

    For instance, museums could implement facial recognition software that can identify potential thieves or individuals with criminal records. This technology could be integrated with existing security cameras to create a comprehensive surveillance system. Additionally, implementing sensors that detect any unauthorized movement

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