Elizabeth Smart Recalls Abuse She Suffered As Kidnapper Is Set For Release

Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped her husband Brian David Mitchell kidnap and abuse Elizabeth Smart when she was 14 years old, is getting out of prison tomorrow. Just before her release for the 2002 crimes, Smart sat for an interview to recount some the abuse she suffered at Barzee's hands.

Smart, now 30 years old, made headlines when Mitchell stole her from her family's home in the middle of the night as a young teen. For the next nine months, her family and community searched tirelessly for her. Their prayers for her to be returned home safely were answered when a police officer recognized the young girl through the disguise that her kidnappers made her wear. She has since become a victim's advocate.

Smart recently got word that Barzee would be released from prison tomorrow. Utah officials announced that they miscalculated her sentence, so the 72-year-old will be free to go. She says that it's 'incomprehensible' that her abuser will be free because she believes Barzee is still a very dangerous woman.

Gayle King on 'CBS This Morning' interviewed Smart, and the victim's advocate revealed that Barzee was not an innocent bystander while she was being held captive as a young girl.

“She would encourage him to rape me. She would sit right next to me. Like, the side of her body would be touching me,” she revealed.

When King asked for clarification, Smart added, “While he was raping me. I mean, she was right there. So, I mean, she — there were no secrets. She knew what was going on."

She also recalls a time when Mitchell and Barzee forced her to drink alcohol. Not only had Smart never drank before, but it was forbidden by her family's Mormon faith. She woke up sick the next morning, and Barzee laughed at her.

“I’d never touched alcohol in my life — that I ended up throwing up and then passing out in it. And both of them just let me lie there all night. And when I woke up the next morning, I mean, my face and my hair were completely crusted to the ground. And they both laughed. She laughed. She laughed just as much as he did, if not more,” Smart said.

According to Smart, Barzee continues to carry around a book of revelations penned by her husband, who is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping. The book talks about how Mitchell is supposed to kidnap a number of young girls to make his wives, and how Barzee will be their respected leader.

Smart tells King, "I have been reassured multiple times that she will be kept a very close eye on. And as soon as she messes up, which I’ve been reassured that she will, she will be taken back to federal prison for the duration of the five years."

Smart says this turn of events helps her understand even better just how hard it is for many victims who never get justice. Many victims watch their perpetrator walk free, or get a slap on the wrists, and have to live with the fact that this person is out there somewhere in the world. She says she wouldn’t change her experiences because they have given her a voice and made her the person she is today.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: YouTube, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, UPI,

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