Elizabeth Smart: 'Evil' Captor 'Encouraged Him to Rape Me'

On eve of Wanda Barzee's release, Smart says she sat next to her while she was being raped
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2018 8:23 AM CDT
Elizabeth Smart Fears Her 'Twisted' Captor's Release
This 2016 photo provided by the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office shows Wanda Barzee.   (Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

On Wednesday, Wanda Barzee is set to walk out of Utah State Prison a free woman—and on Tuesday, the person she helped hold captive for nine months is once more speaking out against her release. A surprise announcement earlier this month warned Elizabeth Smart, now 30, that her one-time captor, whose husband Brian David Mitchell kidnapped the 14-year-old Smart in 2002, would be released from prison much earlier than expected due to a numbers error, and Smart has since been making the case that the 72-year-old is still "a danger and a threat." Smart elaborated on her fears in a Tuesday interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, calling the situation a "roller coaster of emotion" that's left her worried about what Barzee will do when she gets out.

The reason she's concerned, she told King, is because Barzee is a "twisted" woman. Smart reveals that when Mitchell first abducted her, she was somewhat relieved to hear he had a wife, thinking a woman might shield her from harm. "But as soon as I saw her, I did not have that hope anymore," she said, noting that Barzee had "evil … that kind of radiated from her." She told King that Barzee would "encourage him to rape me. She would sit right next to me. Like, the side of her body would be touching me." "There were no secrets," Smart said. "She knew what was going on." Smart said she's been promised that a federal agent will keep tabs on Barzee, and that she'll end back up in prison "as soon as she messes up, which I've been reassured that she will." (Barzee's niece says she doesn't know of any family members willing to take her in.)

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