Ruby slippers reunited with owner, and make it back to Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids

A reunion years in the making took place at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids last month.

The FBI returned the stolen ruby slippers to the rightful owner and colllector, Michael Shaw. There to witness it was the former director of the museum, John Kelsch. This was during a private ceremony.

Current director Janie Heitz, said, “John did not know this reunion was happening, so when he arrived at the museum he was in complete surprise to see his long-lost colleague, Mr. Shaw. They embraced with smiles and relief and were soon talking about old times.”

The slippers sat atop their original museum pedestal from 2005. That’s the year that Terry Jon Martin broke the glass and stole them. He’s been sentenced for the crime, but is not serving prison due to his poor health.

They were recovered in 2018, but finally returned to Shaw. He’s now put them in the care of Heritage Auctions, which plans on taking them on a world tour before their sale.

The museum hopes to find a way to buy them.

A second man now faces charges related to the theft. He is Jerry Saliterman, of Crystal.