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The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

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The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:19

The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart



The homeless man who called himself "Emmanuel" was clean and relatively well groomed when Lois Smart first met him on the streets of downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, in November 2001. Some of her children were with her, including fourteen-year-old Elizabeth and nine-year-old Mary Katherine. Polite and soft-spoken, Emmanuel was begging for change. He said his calling in life was to be a minister for the homeless.


Lois and her husband Ed Smart


Lois and her husband Ed often hired homeless people to do odd jobs at their home in the Federal Heights section of Salt Lake City. She offered Emmanuel a half-day of work, raking leaves and doing roof repairs if he was interested. He accepted her offer and took the bus to the Smart home where he worked for about five hours. Ed Smart worked with him on the roof. In the course of conversation, Emmanuel said that his self-proclaimed mission was to travel from city to city, reaching out to the homeless. Ed paid him for his services, and that was the last the Smarts saw of him.

But if the Smarts had known more about Emmanuel, they might not have invited him to their home and introduced him to their six children. His real name was Brian David Mitchell, age 48, and he had only recently cleaned himself up to be more presentable for panhandling. Normally his hair and beard were long and shaggy, and he usually wore white robes that gave him the appearance of a Biblical prophet.

Brian David Mitchell

Brian David Mitchell had a troubled background. His father, Shirl Mitchell, a social worker, had some odd ideas about childrearing. He tried to teach his eight-year-old son about sex by showing the boy graphic pictures from a medical journal and leaving other sexual material around the house where Brian could find it. When Brian David Mitchell was twelve, his father drove him to an unfamiliar part of Salt Lake City and told him to find his way home by himself. By the age of 16, Brian had started acting out and was caught exposing himself to a child. He was sent to live with his grandmother, but it wasn't long before he got involved with drugs and alcohol and dropped out of school. He got married at age 19 and fathered two children, but the marriage did not last, and he fled to New Hampshire to keep his ex-wife from gaining custody of the kids.

By 1980 Mitchell had returned to Utah and dedicated himself to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He married a woman named Debbie and fathered two more children, but over time his religious beliefs became fanatical, and his fascination with Satan scared her. His exuberant portrayals of the devil in church services displeased the elders of his ward who asked him to restrain himself. Mitchell filed for divorce in 1984, accusing Debbie of being cruel to his children. A year later she accused him of abusing two of her children from a former marriage, a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl.



Wanda Barzee

On the same day that his divorce was granted, Brian David Mitchell married his third wife, Wanda Barzee, a divorcee six years older than him who had six children of her own. Mitchell's increasingly extreme religious practices alienated Barzee's children, and they eventually moved out of the house. He declared that he spoke to angels and said that he was a prophet of God guided by visions. His new wife treated him like a holy man and took to calling herself "God Adorneth." Together they wandered the streets of Salt Lake City, wearing white robes and panhandling for money. When they ran into people who knew them, Mitchell and Barzee treated them as strangers, holding out their hands and asking for handouts. In November 2001, around the same time that Lois Smart met "Emmanuel," the LDS Church excommunicated Mitchell and Barzee for "promoting bizarre teachings and lifestyle" that were not in accordance with church doctrine.

Excommunication did not deter Mitchell. He wrote his own gospel, "The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah" and declared that he was sent by God to return the Mormon Church to its fundamental values, including the practice of polygamy. In one of his writings he urged his wife to accept "seven times seven sisters" into their family.

Lois Smart might have thought twice on that November day when she invited Emmanuel to her home if she knew that his fervent desire was to have 49 more wives.




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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:19

Why Are You Taking Me?"



Mary Katherine Smart

Six months later, at about 2:00 A.M. on June 5, 2002, nine-year-old Mary Katherine Smart woke from a sound sleep and discovered that her sister, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, was not on her side of the queen-sized bed they shared. She saw that Elizabeth was out of bed and someone else was in the room—a man. Mary Katherine sensed that it wasn't her father or one of her brothers.



Elizabeth's bed, shared by Mary Katherine

As described in the book, In Plain Sight by the girls' uncle, Tom Smart, and Lee Benson, Elizabeth Smart, who was wearing red silk pajamas, was moving around the mostly dark room. She stubbed her toe on something, and Mary Katherine heard her say, "Ouch!"



In Plain Sight

The man told her in a whisper to be quiet and threatened to kill her and her family if she didn't obey. His voice was soft and seemed vaguely familiar to Mary Katherine.

Petrified, Mary Katherine pretended to be asleep, but through half-closed lids she saw the man's hands and the dark hair that covered the backs of them. He wore a light-colored cap and a light-colored jacket and didn't seem to be much taller than Elizabeth. Mary Katherine thought he was holding a gun.



Elizabeth Smart

"Why are you taking me?" Elizabeth Smart asked.

Mary Katherine wasn't sure, but she thought she heard the man say, "For ransom or hostage."

He told Elizabeth to get some shoes, and she briefly turned on a light to find a pair of white sneakers. Elizabeth then left the room with the man.

Mary Katherine waited until she thought it was safe, then crept out of bed and tiptoed to the doorway. She peered out into the hallway and saw Elizabeth and the man coming out of one of her brothers' bedrooms. Terrified that the man would come back and take her, she ran back to bed and shut her eyes. She stayed that way for almost two hours, too scared to move.

Shortly before 4:00 A.M., Mary Katherine threw a blanket around herself and summoned the courage to go to her parents' bedroom. She woke her father and told him that Elizabeth was gone.

Ed Smart's first thought was that Mary Katherine had had a nightmare. After all it had been a difficult week. The child's grandfather, Lois's father, had died the week before, and the funeral had been the previous day. Elizabeth and Mary Katherine had played their harps at the viewing at the funeral parlor. Ed Smart also knew that Elizabeth sometimes retreated to the living-room sofa whenever Mary Katherine kicked in her sleep. He got out of bed and looked for Elizabeth to put his youngest daughter's mind at ease. But as they went from room to room, Mary Katherine begged her father to listen to her. "You're not going to find her! A man came and took her! A man with a gun!"

Unable to find Elizabeth anywhere in the house, Ed Smart called 911. "My daughter's missing!" he told the dispatcher. "Oh my gosh! Please hurry!"

The police arrived at 4:13 A.M., and the search for Elizabeth Smart began.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:20

"Please Let Her Go"


The Smart's residence

The police were not the first to arrive at the Smarts' home on Kristianna Circle. In his frantic attempt to locate Elizabeth, Ed Smart had called several friends, neighbors and relatives, and many of them rushed over to do whatever they could. According to Held Captive by Maggie Haberman and Jeane MacIntosh, over a dozen cars were parked in front of the Smarts' house when the police arrived. These people only wanted to help, but they did not realize that their presence was contaminating a crime scene. The police were later faulted for waiting until 6:54 A.M. to seal off the house, almost three hours from the time that Ed Smart had called 911.


Held Captive

It was soon determined that the kidnapper had entered the house through a kitchen window. He had left a lawn chair under the window, which the Smarts had forgotten to lock. The intruder had cut through the window screen and climbed in over the counter, careful not to disturb anything.

Police bloodhounds attempted to pick up Elizabeth's scent, but the trail the dogs found apparently ended several feet from the house. With no evidence of an unfamiliar car in the area, the police concluded that Elizabeth and her captor had departed on foot. But if they had left the house shortly after 2:00 A.M., they had a considerable head start.

By 7:30 A.M. local television and radio stations broadcast emergency bulletins alerting the public that Elizabeth was missing. By nine o'clock, 100 police officers and volunteers were searching the area for Elizabeth and a man who fit Mary Katherine's description. State police helicopters widened the circle of the search.



Gordon B. Hinkley

Gordon B. Hinkley, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reached out to the Smart family and offered his help. Hinkley notified LDS churches in five states, distributing Elizabeth's photograph and urging church members to join in the search.

Bob Smither of the Laura Recovery Center was asked to lend his expertise. Smither and his wife had founded the center after their daughter Laura had been kidnapped and murdered in 1998. Smither, who was based in Texas, sent a volunteer to help organize the many volunteers who had congregated at the local Shriners Hospital. The Smithers had written a manual for the parents of kidnapping victims, showing them how to be most effective in such a crisis.



Missing poster of Elizabeth Smart

Tom Smart, Ed's oldest brother and a journalist for the Deseret Morning News, became the spokesman for the family. Thousands of missing posters were printed, featuring several photos of Elizabeth from different angles and with different expressions. The Utah Missing Persons Clearinghouse distributed 800 fliers to police departments and school districts in neighboring states. The police expanded the focus of their search beyond Utah into southeast Idaho and Oregon where there had been two recent child abductions.

The Smarts had recently put their million-dollar house on the market, and in the past few months they had done renovations and repairs to get the house ready for sale. The police compiled a list of contractors, repairmen, and real-estate brokers who had been at the house so they could be interviewed. They also checked the Smarts' home computers to see if a sexual predator might have approached Elizabeth in an online chatroom, but they found no evidence of any such contact, and the family reported that Elizabeth never used the Internet. The police offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who came forward with solid information that would lead to Elizabeth's rescue.



Edward Smart

On June 5 Ed Smart emerged from the house and faced a gang of reporters and television journalists who had camped out on the curb. Wrestling with his emotions and nearly overcome with grief, Ed stepped up to the microphones and spoke directly to his daughter. "Elizabeth, if you're out there, we're doing everything we possibly can to help you."

Fighting back tears, he then addressed the kidnapper: "Please let her go. Please!"

The next day Ed and Lois announced that private donors had put together a $250,000 reward for information that would bring back their daughter.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:20

The Green Saturn
Charlie Miller was among the dozens of people the police interviewed in connection with Elizabeth Smart's disappearance. Miller was the milkman in the Smarts' neighborhood, delivering fresh milk products to homes the old-fashioned way. He told police that on Monday, June 3, at around 7:00 A.M.—43 hours before Elizabeth's abduction—he had noticed a green car cruising slowly along Kristianna Circle. He drove past the car in his truck and noticed that the driver was wearing a white baseball cap. Miller didn't think anything of it until the green car turned around and started following him. Fearing that the stranger might be aiming to rob him, Miller wrote down the green car's license plate number and called the police.

The next Sunday a vigil for Elizabeth took place at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. The police patrolled the parking lot, checking license-plate numbers, hoping to come up with a lead, and one officer took note of a green Saturn sedan with license-plate number 266HJH. The number was not an exact match with the one Charlie Miller had written down, but it was close enough and the color matched, so the police decided to stake out the car. When the driver returned to the vehicle, two officers got out of their patrol car and approached the Saturn on foot, but the man quickly started his engine and sped off, losing the police.

Later that day a little boy playing in the high weeds along a road near his home found a set of abandoned license plates—266HJH. The boy brought the plates home, and his father notified the police. Fingerprints lifted from the plates matched a 26-year-old man named Bret Michael Edmunds who was wanted for assaulting a police officer.



Bret Michael Edmunds

Edmunds was six feet two inches tall. Mary Katherine Smart had said that the man who took her sister was much shorter. But Edmunds had done work for people in the Smarts' neighborhood, so he immediately became a person of interest. The police wanted to talk to him, but despite extensive efforts to find him, Edmunds could not be located.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:21

Top of the List
Bret Michael Edmunds was just one person on a long list of possible suspects the police had assembled. Another man, Richard Albert Ricci, soon shot to the top of that list. Ricci had done some painting and yard work for the Smarts in the spring of 2001. He was outgoing and talkative, and the family liked him. Ed Smart had even struck a deal with Ricci, agreeing to give the handyman his white 1990 Jeep Cherokee in exchange for additional work on his home. But as the police checked into the backgrounds of people who had worked at the Smarts' home, they discovered that Ricci was an ex-con who had stolen in the past to support a heroin habit. He had also abused prescription drugs and was an alcoholic. His modus was to sneak into the homes of people he worked for and steal items from the children's rooms, items that might be assumed to have been carelessly lost rather than stolen.



Richard Albert Ricci
The more the police dug into Ricci's past, the worse it got. Ricci, 48, had a rap sheet that started when he was 19. He was a four-time parole violator, and the most serious of his many crimes was the shooting of a Salt Lake policeman in 1983 while robbing a pharmacy. He was also stocky and closer in build to the man Mary Katherine had described. He had been working full-time at a local nursery, but the day of Elizabeth's abduction happened to be his day off. And a neighbor told the police that in course of conversation one day, Ricci had said without prompting that he would surely be "implicated" in the kidnapping because he had worked for the Smarts.

Ricci and his wife allowed the police to search his home without a warrant and declined to get legal representation. Buried in the tomato patch, investigators found perfume bottles, jewelry, and a wine glass containing seashells. Ed Smart identified these as items that had been missing from his home. A search of Ricci's in-laws' home produced a machete and a light-colored hat.



Elizabeth Smart

Ed Smart had a hard time accepting that a man he had trusted could have done anything to harm his daughter, but in time he came to believe that even if Ricci wasn't the actual culprit, he was somehow involved and knew more than he was saying.

On June 14 the police arrested Ricci on a parole violation charge. They didn't want him going anywhere.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:21

Stockholm Syndrome
At this point Brian David Mitchell, a.k.a. Emmanuel, was not high on the list of possible suspects, and if the police had tried to locate him, it would have been extremely difficult to find him because he was living in the wilderness of Dry Creek Canyon outside of Salt Lake City with his wife, Wanda Barzee, and the person he intended to take as his second wife, Elizabeth Smart.



Elizabeth Smart

On the night of the kidnapping, Mitchell had forced Elizabeth to hike four miles up into the canyon where he had previously constructed a concealed shelter for his new bride. He had dug a twenty-foot long trough and built a lean-to over it. Soon after their arrival at the campsite, he insisted that she take off her red pajamas so he could burn them. She was given white robes to wear, just like her captors. He tied a cable around her leg and tethered her to a tree so she wouldn't run off.

Mitchell, a self-anointed priest, planned to perform the marriage ceremony that would join him to Elizabeth. Barzee, his loyal follower, supported his desire to take Elizabeth as a wife. Though the LDS church had officially banned polygamy in 1890, Mitchell firmly believed that multiple marriage was God's will and that the church had been wrong to abandon the practice.



Elizabeth Smart

Mitchell and Barzee kept Elizabeth imprisoned at their makeshift compound in the canyon from June 5 until August 8 when Salt Lake City residents started seeing the familiar robed couple, who they sometimes referred to as "Joseph and Mary," with a similarly dressed young girl. Barzee and Elizabeth wore veils that covered the lower halves of their faces. The couple took Elizabeth to some of their old haunts, including fast-food restaurants that had inexpensive all-you-can-eat buffets. They typically ate voraciously, mostly salad. An employee at one restaurant later reported that he has seen Elizabeth leave the table by herself to refill her plate at the buffet and returned to finish her meal. Whether she feared for her life or had succumbed to what her father would later call "brainwashing," Elizabeth showed no outward signs that she was being held against her will.

The people who saw the unusual trio considered them eccentric but harmless characters. They were often spotted around town. Hikers and bicyclists ran into them in the canyon. No one ever considered the possibility that this girl in the dirty white robes could be the kidnapped teenager whose photograph was on posters all over the state. And they never considered the possibility that she was with this unconventional couple because she was suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, the psychological condition in which a victim comes to identify and sympathize with her oppressors, just as heiress Patty Hearst had when she was held captive in 1974.



Patty Hearst

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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:24

CRIMINAL MIND > SEXUAL ASSAULTThe Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart PrintEmail
shareSmaller | LargerBy Anthony Bruno
One Sick, One Dead


Salt Lake City police department

When a child is abducted, the police cannot rule out family members as possible suspects, so the Salt Lake City police asked the male members of the Smart family to submit to polygraph tests administered by the FBI. Tom Smart writes in his book, In Plain Sight, that his polygraph test took nearly eight hours, most of it grueling and gut-wrenching. Ed Smart described his polygraph experience as "four hours of hell." Ultimately the lie-detector tests did not single out a possible suspect within the family.

In the meantime the search for drifter Bret Michael Edmunds continued. Ten days after the manhunt began, the police located him in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he had checked himself into a hospital under an alias. A drug overdose had seriously damaged his liver, and he was in bad shape. He had given the hospital his mother's name and Utah phone number in case of an emergency. A hospital social worker called the number, and one of Edmunds's relatives notified the police of his whereabouts.

Federal marshals guarded Edmunds until investigators from Utah could get there. The marshals found Edmunds's green Saturn in the parking lot. The investigators tried to interview him as soon as they arrived, but he was barely conscious. The next day he was more coherent and able to answer questions, but it became clear from his answers that he knew nothing about the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. He gave the police permission to search his car, but there was no physical evidence to suggest that he had been involved in the crime. The police crossed him off their list of suspects.



Richard Ricci

Attention now turned to handyman Richard Ricci. On August 27, six and a half weeks after his arrest, Ricci was taken to Third District Court for a brief hearing on burglary charges. Ed and Lois Smart attended the hearing, desperate for some kind of sign from him that he knew where Elizabeth was, but Ricci avoided eye contact with them.

That evening in jail Ricci called a guard to his cell, complaining of a severe headache and shortness of breath. Within minutes he collapse and fell unconscious. He was rushed to University Hospital where he fell into a coma. Doctors determined that Ricci had suffered a brain hemorrhage, and the next morning surgeons operated to remove fluid on his brain. He lay unconscious, his doctors certain that he had sustained brain damage. His prognosis wasn't good, and his wife considered taking him off life support.



Richard Ricci

When the Smarts learned of Ricci's condition, they panicked. What if Ricci did know something about Elizabeth's kidnapping? That information would die with him if he were allowed to expire. They felt they couldn't afford to let Mrs. Ricci pull the plug on her husband. But ultimately Ricci's wife didn't have to make the fateful decision to end her husband's life. Three days after he collapsed in his cell, Richard Ricci died on his own.

The Smarts now felt that they had lost their best chance to learn what had happened to their daughter

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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:24

"I Think I Know Who It Is"
One night in October 2002, Mary Katherine Smart, who was now 10 years old, walked into her parents' bedroom and went over to her father. "I think I know who it is," she told him. "Emmanuel."

She explained that she had been flipping through the Guinness Book of World Records, and it suddenly came to her. The man she had seen in her bedroom, the man who took her sister Elizabeth, was the homeless man who had worked at their house for half a day nearly a year ago.

Ed Smart told the police what Mary Katherine told him, but their response was lukewarm. Emmanuel was already on the long list of people they wanted to interview, and they were a little skeptical of the ten-year-old's sudden recovered memory. The police still considered the late Richard Ricci their prime suspect and conducted their investigation under that theory. Besides, they had already searched their computerized files for anyone who used the alias "Emmanuel" and had come up empty. They didn't realize that Brian David Mitchell was indeed in their system, having been arrested for shoplifting in September. Unfortunately the arresting officer had entered his name as "Immanuel."



John Walsh

Impatient with the police's investigation and doubtful that Ricci was the true culprit, the Smarts decided to initiate their own efforts to find their daughter. They contacted John Walsh, the host of America's Most Wanted, who had just started a daytime talk show. America's Most Wanted had previously given some coverage to Elizabeth's kidnapping, and on December 14, Walsh broadcast a new segment on her, updating the public on the state of the investigation. More significantly Walsh appeared the talk show Larry King Live on December 23 to promote his own new talk show. King asked Walsh about the Smart case, and Walsh revealed Mary Katherine's memory of Emmanuel.



Elizabeth Smart

"Their young daughter has now said that she believed that Ricci wasn't the guy in there that night," Walsh told King on national television, "that it may have been another guy that did some work on the roof, an itinerant guy...." Walsh promised that America's Most Wanted would stay on the case.

Seven weeks later, on February 15, 2003, America's Most Wanted aired a new segment on Elizabeth's disappearance, and this time they showed composite sketches of "Emmanuel."



Composite sketch of 'Emmanuel'

Derrick Thompson happened to be watching the show from his home that night. His jaw dropped when he heard the description of Emmanuel and saw the sketches. He immediately called his brother, Mark, to tell him to turn on the TV. Derrick and Mark were Wanda Barzee's sons. Mitchell was their stepfather. They decided to go out and try to find Mitchell and their mother.

Mitchell's ex-wife Debbie also saw that episode of America's Most Wanted and strongly felt that "Emmanuel" was the man she had once been her husband. She called the police and told them all she knew about Mitchell, including her daughter's memories of being sexually abused by him. It was her opinion that if Mitchell was the kidnapper, he would not have killed Elizabeth.

New information was now flowing in via the television show. The Smarts felt that this was a positive development, but they needed the police to evaluate these leads. However, there was one critical piece of information no one knew at this point. On the day the show aired, Mitchell was already in police custody in California.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:25

"Peter" and "Augustine"
Mitchell, Barzee, and Elizabeth had left Utah sometime in the fall and relocated to Lakeside, California, 25 miles east of San Diego. Mitchell might have picked Lakeside because it had a large transient population and he figured he and his traveling companions would blend in there. But even here Mitchell managed to stand out, preaching loudly in the commercial district and making a nuisance of himself. Storeowners complained to the police who confronted Mitchell on several occasions, giving him warnings and forcing him to move on.

But preaching wasn't the only thing on Mitchell's mind. He wanted to take another wife and had set his sights on the twelve-year-old daughter of an LDS church official in a neighboring community. Mitchell tied back his long hair, put on jeans and a checked shirt, and went to Sunday services, pretending to be interested in learning more about the religion. Virl Kemp, the father of his target, invited Mitchell, who had introduced himself as "Peter," to his home for dinner, hoping to answer any of the man's questions about the church. During the meal, Kemp got the impression from Mitchell's questions that he knew a lot more about the LDS church than he was letting on. Mitchell's real purpose was to case out the house. Later that winter he tried to break in to kidnap Kemp's daughter just as he had kidnapped Elizabeth, but Kemp's house was burglar-proof, and Mitchell was forced to abandon his plan.

Several weeks later, on February 15, 2003, Mitchell broke into the pre-school at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church. A neighbor reported that she had seen a man in long johns climbing through a window at the preschool. When the police arrived, they found Mitchell asleep on a classroom floor. He told them his name was "Michael Jenson" and gave a false date of birth, but his fingerprints revealed his true identity. Unfortunately his computer records did not show that he had skipped out on a court date in Utah on the shoplifting charge in September because it was only a misdemeanor. The police held him over the Presidents Day weekend until a hearing could be scheduled.



Brian Mitchell

In the meantime Barzee became frantic when Mitchell did not return to their makeshift camp in the woods, one of several Mitchell had set up in the area. Barzee ran to another campsite where Mitchell had built an altar, which they called Golgotha after the hill where Jesus was crucified. She wept and prayed for hours, pleading with God for Mitchell's safe return. Elizabeth was left behind on her own, but she did not try to escape.

When Mitchell finally got his hearing, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of vandalism. The judge gave him three years of probation, a $250 fine, and a stern warning to stay away from any church that doesn't want him on their property. Mitchell, who insisted that his name was "Michael Jenson," promised to follow the judge's orders and said that the only reason he had broken into the preschool was because he had gotten drunk that night. Many people would later attest to the fact that Emmanuel had a taste for beer.


Two weeks later on March 1, America's Most Wanted broadcast an update on the Elizabeth Smart case with the photos of Mitchell provided by Barzee's sons. A viewer from Lakeside, California, called in and said a man fitting Mitchell's description had been in her area, traveling with two women wearing veils over their faces. The Salt Lake City Police Department sent an investigator to Lakeside to follow up on this lead.

That same week a librarian at the Lakeside branch of the San Diego County public library saw Mitchell, Barzee, and Elizabeth, dirty and disheveled, sitting at a library table. She recognized them because they had come in before, but this time they weren't wearing their robes. Elizabeth wore sunglasses and sat silently as Mitchell studied an atlas for nearly an hour.

On March 4, a man driving along the highway north of San Diego noticed three people in robes on the side of the road. It was pouring rain, and the driver stopped to ask if they wanted a ride. Mitchell accepted the man's offer and introduced himself as "Peter." He said his "daughter's" name was "Augustine." He told the driver that they were on their way to Las Vegas where he planned to preach God's message. The trio rode with the man for about 40 miles, then set off on foot.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:25

"If Thou Sayeth, I Sayeth"
Mitchell, Barzee, and Elizabeth were next spotted a week later on March 11 in North Las Vegas, begging for change in front of a Burger King. They were not wearing their robes and looked like average down-on-their-luck transients. Employees at the fast-food restaurant called the police, complaining that the trio was harassing customers, but by the time officers arrived, they were gone. The officers found them nearby and questioned them. Mitchell said his name was "Peter Marshall" and that Barzee was his wife, "Juliette." Elizabeth, he said, was his daughter, "Augustine." With no reason to detain them, the police told them to move on.

The next day the trio resurfaced in downtown Sandy, Utah, 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. Mitchell was wearing a green tee shirt and a brown hat. Barzee wore a scarf over her hair. Elizabeth wore a gray wig and large sunglasses.

Just before 1:00 P.M. Salt Lake City police received two separate 911 calls from women who thought they had spotted Mitchell in Sandy. Sitting in her car, watching the trio trudge down the street, Nancy Montoya, a fan of America's Most Wanted, was sure that she was looking at the man whose face she had seen several times on the show. At almost the same time, Anita Dickerson spotted Mitchell and recognized him from photos shown on local news programs. She got out of her car and walked close enough to him to get good look at his face, then immediately called 911.



Sandy Police Officer Karen Jones

Sandy Police Officer Karen Jones was the first on the scene. She stopped the trio and asked for some identification. Mitchell told her they were the "Marshall" family from Miami, Florida, and said they didn't need identification because they were messengers from God.

The next officer to arrive was Troy Rasmussen. As soon as he saw the girl in the gray wig, he was convinced that it was Elizabeth Smart. Rasmussen called for assistance, and the police separated Elizabeth from Mitchell and Barzee and questioned her alone. She said she was 18 and insisted that she was not Elizabeth Smart. They asked her questions about her parents' background, and she stumbled with her answers, then changed course and said they were her stepparents. She openly showed her annoyance with the officers and their persistent questions. When they asked why she was wearing a wig, she insisted that it was her real hair.



Elizabeth Smart

Salt Lake City investigators arrived, and they continued the questioning. At one point they showed her a missing-person poster with a photograph of herself. Her face was thinner in the photo, and her arms and shoulders weren't as developed. Hiking through the mountains, hauling a backpack had built up her muscles. She stared at the picture, tears brimming in her eyes.

The officers asked her again if she was Elizabeth Smart.

"If thou sayeth, I sayeth," she answered.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:26

"I'm Going To Be Here in the Morning"
Later that day Ed Smart was called to a Salt Lake police station. He thought he was being summoned to identify "Emmanuel," but when he walked into a holding room and saw Elizabeth sitting on a couch, he was stunned. An investigator asked if this was his daughter. "Yes!" he cried and ran to her, hugging her close. He looked into Elizabeth's face and asked if it was really her.

"Yes," she said, holding him tight.

Ed Smart wanted to bring his daughter home immediately, but the police detained her a while longer for further questioning, so they could start building their case against Mitchell and Barzee. Word spread quickly that Elizabeth had been found, and people celebrated in the streets.



Elizabeth with her mother and father

Elizabeth was reunited with her family that night, and seeing her mother and siblings brought her further out of the nightmare she'd been living. Her parents just assumed that she would want to sleep in their bedroom for a while until she adjusted, but to their surprise she said she wanted to sleep in her own bed with her sister Mary Katherine. Lois Smart writes in the book she wrote with her husband, Bringing Elizabeth Home, that Elizabeth told her, "Mom, don't worry. I'm just fine. I'm going to be safe. I'm going to be here in the morning."

Elizabeth's adjustment to her old life was quick. She had matured and changed physically in the time that she was gone, and when she tired to play her beloved harp, she found that she was very out of practice. But despite the traumatic events of the past nine months, she seemed to regain her place in the family with relative ease. Everyone was happy for her and her family, but one question lingered in the public's mind: What exactly did Mitchell do to her during her captivity?



David Smart

David Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, told reporters that a doctor had examined her and that she was not pregnant and never had been pregnant. But the family refused to answer any questions about sexual assault.



Salt Lake County Adult Detention Center

Mitchell and Barzee were arrested and held at the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Center. According to authors Haberman and MacIntosh, when Mitchell was asked for his current address, he said, "Heaven on earth" and gave "God" as his emergency contact. Though he had told various people over the past few months that Elizabeth was his daughter, his attorney, Larry Long, told a television reporter that Mitchell considered the girl his wife. His name for Elizabeth was Shear Jashub Isaiah, "Remnant who will return."



District Attorney David Yocom

On March 18, Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom announced that Mitchell and Barzee would be charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and aggravated sexual assault as well as attempted aggravated kidnapping for trying to snatch Elizabeth's cousin, Jessica Wright, from her home on July 24, 2002. According to the probable cause statement, Mitchell had "committed a rape, attempted rape, forcible sexual abuse or attempted forcible sexual abuse."

If and when Mitchell and Barzee are ever tried, the details of the alleged sexual assault will come to light and Elizabeth herself will most likely be called to testify. However, the court has ruled that neither Mitchell nor Barzee are mentally competent to stand trial. Mitchell has been ejected from several of his mental-competency hearings for singing the hymn, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand." His lawyers have said that he is unable to assist in his own defense and that he has become increasingly delusional since his arrest. Mitchell and Barzee might never be tried and the details of Elizabeth Smart's time under Mitchell's spell will remain a private matter, known only to Elizabeth, her captors, and her family.

Barzee has filed for divorce from Mitchell.


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:28

Woman pleads guilty in Elizabeth Smart kidnapping

One of two people charged in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart has pleaded guilty to federal charges.



The 64-year-old Barzee could face a life sentence for the kidnapping charge and up to 15 years for the other count. It's unclear whether she may get a reduced sentence in exchange for her plea.

Smart was 14 when she was taken at knifepoint from the bedroom of her Salt Lake City home, sparking a search that riveted the nation. Nine months later, in March 2003, Barzee and Brian David Mitchell were arrested they were spotted walking on a suburban street with Smart.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/national_world&id=7123430

Captor of Elizabeth Smart sentenced to 15 years

Wanda Barzee admitted her role in the 2002 kidapping in Utah and agreed to testify in federal court against her husband, Brian David Mitchell. She apologizes for the nine-month enslavement.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-elizabeth-smart18-2009nov18,0,6807810.story


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Re: The Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Post  milly on Mon 17 Oct - 23:29

....and seven years off for time already served.




(CNN) -- A woman who admitted her role in kidnapping Utah teen
Elizabeth Smart in 2002 was sentenced Friday to 15 years in federal
prison.

Wanda Eileen Barzee, 64, apologized to the Smart family during the
30-minute sentencing in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

"I know the gravity of my crimes and how severe they have been, and I'm
just so sorry, again, for all the pain and suffering I have caused upon
the Smart family," Barzee said, according to court transcripts.

As part of a plea deal between the defense and federal prosecutors,
Judge Dale Kimball gave Barzee credit for seven years that she already
has served, the U.S. attorney in Utah said.

After her release, at about age 70, Barzee will be on supervised release
for 60 months, federal prosecutors said.

Barzee pleaded guilty in November to federal charges of kidnapping and
unlawful transportation of a minor in Smart's kidnapping. In exchange
for her guilty plea, she agreed to cooperate in the state and federal
cases against her husband, Brian David Mitchell, federal prosecutors
said.

"The United States believes that a 15-year sentence reflects the
seriousness of this offense, promotes respect for the law and provides
just punishment, especially considering the defendant's past cooperation
and continued willingness to cooperate in this case in the future,"
U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said.

Smart's mother, Lois, addressed Barzee at the hearing, calling her acts
unconscionable and evil.

"Wanda Barzee, what you did to our family and to our girl Elizabeth was
wrong. It was wrong, and it was evil. You hurt our family in ways that
you will never know. We had sleepless nights. We had endless days," she
said.

But the family has not let bitterness overtake them, she said.

"Elizabeth is doing beautiful. She's brilliant. She's bright. She is
thriving, but not because you helped her in any way at all," Lois Smart
said. "I hope that you will be able to make peace with your maker."

Outside the courthouse, Smart's father, Ed, expressed mixed emotions
over the sentence.

"It is what it is. I'm grateful that she is going to be deemed a sex
offender, she's going to have to register," he told CNN affiliate KUTV.

When pressed by a reporter as to whether the sentence was appropriate,
Ed Smart sighed heavily.

"I think that Elizabeth felt that it wasn't strong enough, but to have
it come to an end, it's been so many years," he told KUTV.

Barzee and Mitchell were accused of abducting Smart, then 14, at
knifepoint from her bedroom in June 2002. She was found nine months
later, walking down a street in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy with
Barzee and Mitchell, a drifter and self-described prophet who calls
himself Emmanuel. He had done some handyman work at the Smarts' home.

The month after they kidnapped Smart, Barzee and Mitchell attempted to
break into the home of Smart's cousin but were unsuccessful, prosecutors
alleged. In state court in February, Barzee pleaded guilty but mentally
ill to one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping in the
attempted kidnapping of Smart's cousin. In exchange for her plea,
prosecutors dropped state charges against her in Smart's abduction,
Volmer said.

"Mr. Mitchell's attempt was thwarted when the minor child awakened,
which caused Mr. Mitchell to flee," the court documents said.

After her arrest in 2003, Barzee told authorities that she and Mitchell
went to the home to abduct the girl and planned to hold her, along with
Smart, in the couple's camp in the mountains, according to court
documents.

In a separate hearing in state court Friday afternoon, Barzee was
sentenced to one to 15 years to be served concurrently with her federal
sentence. Under Utah law, the state parole board decides how much time a
defendant actually serves, Utah state courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer
said.

Barzee's mother, Dora Corbett, attended the hearing, where Barzee made a
similar statement to the court, Volmer said. Ed Smart also addressed
the court.

Barzee had been housed at the Utah State Hospital while courts
determined her competency as well as Mitchell's. After years of being
declared incompetent, she recently was declared competent to stand
trial, according to the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. A state court had
ruled that she could be forcibly medicated, and that ruling led federal
prosecutors to proceed with bringing a case against the couple, the
Tribune said.

At a competency hearing for Mitchell in October, Smart, now 21,
testified that she had been held captive in Utah and California. Just
after her abduction, Mitchell took her to a wooded area behind her home
and performed a mock marriage ceremony with her, she said. During the
nine months of her captivity, Smart testified, no 24-hour period passed
without her being raped by Mitchell.

In March, Kimball ruled Mitchell competent to stand trial. His federal
trial is set to begin November 1. State court proceedings against him
were put on hold pending the outcome of the federal case."

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/21/utah.elizabeth.smart.kidnapper/index.html?hpt=T3

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