EXCLUSIVE: The wild story behind the heist of Dorothy’s iconic ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz is the subject of a new podcast series hosted by Seyward Darby and Ariel Ramchandani.
No Place Like Home is a limited run podcast docuseries that comes from Audacy-backed C13Originals.
Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the classic movie are among the most iconic and nostalgic objects in Hollywood movie history, a rare collector’s item worth millions. And in the summer of 2005, a pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in the small town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Garland’s hometown. They were missing for about thirteen years until one day they mysteriously reappeared in an FBI sting operation. Although the shoes were eventually recovered, there are more questions left than answers. The FBI still hasn’t announced who stole them, where they went, or the circumstances surrounding their return.
The eight-part series also explores the life of Judy Garland, and the larger cultural significance that one of the most famous props in movie history continues to have in Hollywood and the world-at-large, in a nostalgic twist circling this heist.
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Guests include the owner of the stolen shoes, Michael Shaw, and other Hollywood memorabilia collectors; former Director of the Judy Garland Museum John Kelsch; Judy Garland’s son Joe Luft; Judy Garland historians and biographers; FBI agents, including an art crime specialist; Ryan Lintelman, the entertainment curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and Dawn Wallace, the Smithsonian’s objects conservator; memorabilia experts including Joe Maddalena, who formerly ran Profiles in History, the world’s largest auctioneer of memorabilia; and residents of Grand Rapids, MN, including the woman who discovered the theft back in 2005.
The series, which will launch on June 15, was written and created by Darby, the editor-in-chief of The Atavist Magazine and author of Sisters in Hate: American Women on the Front Lines of White Nationalism, and Ramchandani a freelance journalist who has written for The Economist, The Guardian and Wired.
It is exec produced by Cadence13 Chief Content Officer Chris Corcoran, directed by Lloyd Lochridge, edited by Alistair Shurman, and produced by Paige Hymson.
“We have been following this story for three years, and we are thrilled that C13Originals is helping us shepherd it into the world,” said Darby and Ramchandani. “Like so many people, we grew up watching The Wizard of Oz, learning the songs, and dressing up as the characters. But working on the podcast, we realized just how deeply the movie, its themes, and its iconography are ingrained in America’s cultural DNA. We’re excited to take listeners on that journey with us.”
“The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland, and those ruby slippers mean so much to Hollywood, and to everyone who’s ever been touched by this iconic movie,” added Corcoran. “Combining this nostalgia with a classic real-life heist story is an adventure that’s so unique and special, and C13Originals can’t wait to share it with fans around the world.”
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