Elizabeth Smart was only 14 years old when she was abducted by Wanda Barzee and her husband, Brian David Mitchell, and used as a sex slave. And this week, Wanda Barzee was released from prison five years earlier than expected.
“I know the depth of her depravity.”
Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped as a 14-year-old and sexually abused for nine months before being rescued, urged authorities not to release one of her captors, 72-year-old Wanda Barzee. https://t.co/1jRQwXEY1I
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 13, 2018
How the F is one Elizabeth Smart’s kidnappers getting out of prison?? Is our system THAT messed up? Yeah, put her back into the world so we can risk ruining another kids life. Great idea.
— Paige Craig (@_paigecraig) September 20, 2018
THIS AM: All eyes on Utah State Prison. At any time, #WandaBarzee (one of Elizabeth Smart’s co-kidnappers) could walk out a free woman. Side note: Brian David Mitchell is serving a life sentence. pic.twitter.com/ygKc5A0zWV
— Morgan Saxton (@KUTVMorgan) September 19, 2018
The first photo of Barzee as a free woman has since emerged, and it’s bizarre.
— FOX 13 News Utah (@fox13) September 20, 2018
The photo shows Barzee, 72, carrying a salad and a banana. According to Utah state officials, Barzee spent her first night of freedom “wailing religious scripture at the top of her lungs” in her hotel room in Salt Lake City.
Elizabeth Smart kidnapper Wanda Barzee is now a free woman after 15 years in prison, more than 5 years earlier than expected. Smart spoke out about the release of her kidnapper overnight. pic.twitter.com/f8CJCQaBjV
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 20, 2018
Barzee’s sentence was cut short five years on the condition that she will remain under federal supervision for five years. Smart has called her release “incomprehensible,” saying she believes Barzee remains a threat to herself and others.
People are very disturbed.
Wanda Barzee, who assited her husband in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and helped hold her captive for over 9 months is scheduled to be released from prison. I say no way! There are too many people locked up for way less than that who should be released first.
— derek schwartz (@derek_mafs) September 19, 2018
Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped kidnapped Elizabeth Smart and stood by as the teen was sexually assaulted, is released after 15 years in prison. Smart’s kidnapper is now placed on the state’s sex-offender registry. pic.twitter.com/SgWE6Mym4X
— Crime & Justice (@CrimeJusticeHLN) September 20, 2018
Elizabeth Smart still doesn't believe the apology she was given from her captor Wanda Barzee, who will be released today after 15 years behind bars. –– @CBSThisMorning https://t.co/KKX7Uyj6HG pic.twitter.com/B2ldyxhnc5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 19, 2018
Smart, now 30, said in a statement:
“I appreciate the support, love and concern that has already been expressed and will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee’s release as well as to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in the future.”
Barzee must now register as a sex offender in the state of Utah.