Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison in Utah

Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison in Utah

One of Elizabeth Smart's kidnappers, Wanda Barzee, was released Wednesday from the Utah State Prison after spending more than 15 years locked up for her crimes, the Department of Corrections announced just after 8 a.m.

Earlier this week, Smart, who is now 30, said that she believes Barzee is a danger to the public.

But Barzee's lawyer said the 72-year-old woman has done her time and deserves a chance to prove that she's ready to return to society.

Part of Wanda Barzee's plea deal was a requirement that she write an apology, Smart said in an interview aired Wednesday on "CBS This Morning". Mitchell is serving a life sentence.

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Federal agents have found a place for Barzee to live when she starts her five-year supervised release, said Eric Anderson, deputy chief US probation officer for Utah. "I believe that she is a danger and a threat to any vulnerable person in our community". "And, I mean, she just was the kind of woman that - she was just evil and twisted", Elizabeth said, before remembering how during her capture, Briand David and Wanda forced a 14-year-old Elizabeth to drink enough alcohol to make her pass out. However, she was supposed to serve both the federal and state sentences simultaneously.

In someone else's shoes, she said, "I might naively have thought, 'Well, what was she wearing?"

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. "And I just knew that she - she wasn't there to help me, that she wasn't there to protect me". He declined to say whether she will be in a private home or a facility but that she "will not be homeless". "And, I was raped every day after that, multiple times a day". She did not disclose where Barzee was going.

Part of Barzee's parole condition states she can not have any contact with Smart or any of Smart's family members.

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She'll have a federal agent assigned to her, and have to keep that agent informed of where she is living and working, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. A passerby spotted her nine months later when she was walking down the street with her two captors, a homeless street preacher and his wife, and called the police.

Additionally, Barzee will have to register as a sex offender. Mace said she's unaware of any family members who would give Barzee a place to live.

They were unsuccessful. Mitchell, who believed in polygamy, might have been attempting to build a collection of wives, authorities said.

Smart was from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah by Mitchell who knew her because he had been hired by her family to do handiwork at their home. Sure enough, it was Barzee, Mitchell and Smart.

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Barzee and Mitchell were both arrested. She uses her experiences to help others, especially through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which aims to stop the victimization of children and offer hope to survivors.

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