Elizabeth Smart on journey from shame to fighting for change

19 September, 2018, 19:27 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Wanda Barzee 72 pleaded guilty to kidnapping and other charges in the Elizabeth Smart case in 2003 and was sentenced to concurrent 15-year sentences in federal and state courts

During his trial, Smart told the jury that Mitchell treated her "like an animal", and forced her to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Any violations to the conditions of her release will result in Barzee being returned to the federal prison system, possibly for the duration of her five-year supervision.

Wanda Barzee, 72, walked out of the Utah State Prison sometime Wednesday morning, according to prison officials.

"So do I believe she's unsafe?"

Elizabeth Smart said the impending release of Wanda Barzee should concern the public because the convicted kidnapper is "still a big threat" and possibly holds onto beliefs that led her to help with her kidnapping more than 16 years ago.

As we reported, despite the Utah parole board deeming Barzee unfit for release. there's nothing it can do to keep her off the streets because state law requires her release by the time her sentence is complete.

Mitchell is now serving a life sentence in federal prison. "And I just knew that she... she wasn't there to help me, that she wasn't there to protect me", she told CBS.

Barzee's husband, Brian David Mitchell, grabbed Smart out of her bedroom in Salt Lake City when she was 14.

"I don't know. And perhaps that's what worries me, because I know just how bad she can be", she said.

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Smart, now 30 and a married mother, blasted the move as "incomprehensible," saying she believes Barzee is still a danger to society.

Part of Barzee's parole condition states she can not have any contact with Smart or any of Smart's family members. But his wife and the co-captor of Smart, Wanda Barzee, is set to be released from federal prison Wednesday.

"So, do I believe she is unsafe?" I have faith in him. Last week, Smart said she has heard Barzee still carries around Mitchell's manuscript, 'The Book of Immanuel David Isaiah, ' in which Mitchell claimed he had received revelations from God to kidnap Smart and six other young girls to all become his wives. So, I mean, she - there were no secrets. She pleaded guilty and mentally ill in state court to the 2002 attempted kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart's cousin and was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

"May we all remain vigilant in watching over our families, friends, and community from anyone who would seek to hurt or take advantage", she wrote.

When asked if she had been relieved - right after she was kidnapped, still in her pajamas - to arrive at the camp Mitchell had made in the foothills and find that there was a woman there, Smart said no.

Barzee has been behind bars since the couple were arrested in 2003, spending time in a county jail and at the Utah State Hospital before pleading guilty to federal charges in late 2009 and state charges in 2010. "Therefore Ms. Barzee's state sentence ends on September 19, 2018".

She said the manuscript also contains other 'disturbing and risky ideas, ' though it is not clear how she knows she had it.

Since Barzee's release was announced, Elizabeth Smart has voiced concern that her captor has not been rehabilitated and is still unsafe.



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