Yes, one pair of Original Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz are firmly ensconced in the Smithsonian. You're right about that—so don't freak out! Turns out, there are actually four pairs of the iconic footwear coveted by fans and afficianados, but one pair, valued at $1-million, were stolen. Gay documentary filmmaker Theodore James is working on a new project, titled Who Stole the Ruby Slippers?, about the pair of Original Ruby Slippers that were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005.
James is the real deal: He produced the recent film Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia that premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival last April, HBO's Superheroes, and I.O.U.S.A., which was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award in 2009.
As he tell us:
"As you can tell from the photos (these were taken two days before the theft), the security on them wasn't that great—nothing like the security on the pair that's at the Smithsonian. These photos are courtesy of Fred Radtke (who shared them with me via Facebook). The case keeps growing colder and colder. It's a shame.
"Also, a pair of replicas were recently stolen from a Staten Island hotel. The police in New York just arrested three people in connection to that theft, but these original shoes are still missing."
His new project—an investigatory piece centered around the private investigators currently working the case—is completely independent, so he turned to Kickstarter to help finance the film. Could the film help get them returned? Perhaps. Could it be fascinating to understand why someone would steal the shoes once worn by Judy Garland? Absolutely. The campaign ends on April 3. Check it out and help fund James's project if you are as inspired as he is.