St. Martin’s Press|October 7, 2013|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-250-04015-2
For the first time, then years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom, Elizabeth Smart reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime.
On June5, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Now for the first time, in her memoir MY STORY, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
When Elizabeth Smart was just fourteen-years-old she was taken at knife-point from her bed in the middle of the night by Brian David Mitchell.
Mitchell was an evil, religious fanatic, pedophile who thought he was a prophet and that he was doing God’s work. Even as a teenager he was convicted for pedophilia after exposing himself to a child. He attended Mormon churches just long enough to get the language down in order to fool people while preaching and conducting sermons. He made threats of violence to his own family and married his current wife, Wanda Barzee the same day his divorce from his second wife came through.
Wanda Barzee was as crazy, disturbed, manipulative, and depraved as Mitchell. She gave up all parental rights to her six children in order to marry Mitchell. Mitchell believed he had been chosen by God. Mitchell’s own mother was so frightened of him that she took out a restraining order against him. All Mitchell was interested in was pedophilia, drugs, alcohol, and pornography. He called himself the Prophet Immanuel David Isiah.
June 4, 2002 was the night Mitchell cut a screen in a window and gained access to the Smart’s home. In total darkness he fumbled his way up the stairs and found Elizabeth’s room. Upon awakening her, he held an eight-inch serrated edged knife up to her throat and told her: “Don’t make a sound. Get out of bed, or I’ll kill you and your family.” Elizabeth was frightened, her heart began to race and she fought the urge to scream for fear he would kill her family if he hadn’t already.
The words “I will kill your family” kept echoing in her ears and she had no doubt that he would carry through on his threat. Mitchell walked Elizabeth up the mountain behind her home in the pitch black night to a camp he had readied and where Wanda Barzee waited. From that first day, Elizabeth’s descent into hell began. She was raped every single day and subjected to perverted acts that we don’t even want to think about or imagine. She was chained around the ankle with the other end tethered to a tree. She could only move about twenty feet in any direction.
Although this was a terrifying and horrifying ordeal for someone her age to go through, Elizabeth had made up her mind that somehow she would survive. She was not going to allow Mitchell and Barzee to drag her down. Elizabeth had days where she cried and cried and cried as it was the only way she could relieve the immense pressure of the stress she was under, but with his usual controlling ways, Mitchell told her she wasn’t allowed to cry anymore. The one thing however, he could not take away from her was her conversations with God. She prayed regularly and knew and felt that God was with her every step of the way.
MY STORY, written ten years after her ordeal reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal and utterly horrifying crime.