Elizabeth Smart Says Kidnapper Still a 'Threat'

Wanda Barzee is set to be released Sept. 19
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2018 6:44 PM CDT
Elizabeth Smart Says Kidnapper Still a 'Threat'
Elizabeth Smart speaks during a press conference at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday.   (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News via AP)

"I know the depths of her depravity." That's what Elizabeth Smart had to say Thursday about her kidnapper, Wanda Barzee, who is set to be released from prison, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. During a press conference, Smart said Barzee is still a "danger and a threat to any vulnerable person in our community" and asked the 72-year-old's family to try to have her committed to a mental health facility, as "there does not seem like there is any viable legal recourse to this situation." Barzee will be released Sept. 19, according to KSL. "I was told she wouldn't be let out until 2024," Smart said, adding that learning of her former captor's impending release was a "very big shock."

Barzee and her husband, Brian David Mitchell, kidnapped Smart from her Salt Lake City home at knifepoint in 2002, when Smart was 14 years old. Smart later testified that Mitchell raped and threatened her continuously during her nine months of captivity. Of Barzee, Smart said Thursday that the woman "saw me as her slave. She called me her handmaiden. She, in her own right, abused me just as much as [Mitchell] did." (More Elizabeth Smart stories.)

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