Mobster reveals why he stole Wizard of Oz ruby slippers

In 2005, someone broke into the Judy Garland Museum, smashed a display case, and absconded with one of the original pairs of ruby slippers used in the Wizard of Oz (1925). A dozen years later, the FBI located the shoes when someone attempted to claim a reward for them. Still, it wasn't until October that former mobster Terry Jon Martin pleaded guilty for the smash-and-grab. And with his sentencing next week, his attorney revealed why Martin came out of criminal retirement for such a curious crime.

Apparently, one of Martin's former mob associates told him that the slippers must be adorned with real rubies to justify their $1 million insurance policy.

"At first, Terry declined the invitation to participate in the heist. But old habits die hard, and the thought of a 'final score' kept him up at night," defense attorney Dane DeKrey wrote. "After much contemplation, Terry had a criminal relapse and decided to participate in the theft."

From the AP:

DeKrey and prosecutors are recommending the judge sentence Martin to time served because he is physically incapable of presenting a threat to society. Martin is in hospice care with a life expectancy of less than six months. He needs oxygen at all times because of his chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and was in a wheelchair at his most recent court appearance. Even if he were sentenced to prison, his poor health might be grounds for a compassionate release…]

Martin's lawyer also said the judge should consider that Martin had not committed any other crimes in nearly a decade before stealing the slippers nor in the years since then. DeKrey said Martin didn't even try to claim a slice of the insurance reward money when some of his former associates tried to collect […]

The FBI said a man approached the insurer in 2017 and claimed he could help recover them but demanded more than the $200,000 reward being offered. The slippers were recovered during an FBI sting in Minneapolis. The FBI has never disclosed how it tracked down the slippers, which remain in the agency's custody.

Previously: "FBI charged man who allegedly stole Dorothy's ruby slippers"