Elizabeth Ann Gilmour (née Smart; born November 3, 1987) is an American child safety activist and commentator for ABC News. She first gained national attention at the age of 14 when she was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City by Brian David Mitchell.
- Early Life
- Discovery and Rescue
- Personal Life
- Foundation, Book and TV Projects
Elizabeth Ann Smart was born into a devout Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints family on November 3, 1987, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The second of six children of a successful real estate developer and a homemaker, Smart was known as a kind, smart, shy and obedient child. Her greatest passion was the harp, which she began playing at the age of five and practiced for hours each day. By the time she reached middle school, Smart was sought out to perform as a harpist at local weddings and funerals, and she regularly participated in the annual fall concert at the Capitol rotunda in Salt Lake City. Smart was also a skilled equestrienne and distance runner who was training to compete in cross-country racing when she reached high school. She attended Bryant Intermediate School, where she was known as an intelligent and diligent student.
On June 4, 2002, Smart and her family attended an end-of-year awards ceremony at her school, where the 14-year-old won several awards for academics and physical fitness. Early the next morning, about an hour after midnight, Smart was awakened in the bedroom she shared with her younger sister Mary Katherine by the sound of footsteps and the feeling of cold metal against her cheek. A man whispered, "I have a knife to your neck. Don't make a sound. Get out of bed and come with me, or I will kill you and your family." The kidnapper, a man by the name of Brian David Mitchell, led Smart out of the house and marched her for hours through the forest to a camp where his wife, Wanda Barzee, was waiting. Mitchell believed he was a prophet named Immanuel, and after performing a bizarre wedding ceremony — he was also a polygamist — he declared Smart to be his wife and raped her. "I tried to fight him off me," she later testified. "A 14-year-old girl against a grown man doesn't even out so much."...
The night of Smart's kidnapping, her younger sister Mary Katherine had pretended to be asleep in the other bed while silently attempting to observe her sister's kidnapper in the dark. "I stayed in bed," she recalled. "I was scared. I couldn't do anything. I was just shocked, petrified. I didn't know what to do, knowing someone had come into my bedroom and taken my sister." After several months, it suddenly occurred to Mary Katherine that the kidnapper resembled a man who had once worked on their home as a handyman—a person who called himself Immanuel. Police discovered that Immanuel was a man named Brian David Mitchell, and in February 2003, the popular crime detective show America's Most Wantedaired his photograph in an episode. On March 12, 2003, a passerby recognized Mitchell walking with Smart, who was veiled and wearing a wig and sunglasses. Authorities arrested Mitchell and his wife and returned Smart to her family that evening. The prosecution against Brian David Mitchell str...
Remarkably, Smart managed to return to a relatively normal life shortly after rejoining her family. Only weeks after her return, she hiked with her family to the camp where Mitchell had taken her nine months before. "I felt great. I felt triumphant," she said of the experience. "I don't think it's worth spending time in the past," she added. "It's not something I think about. If I feel like I want to [retell my story to someone], I will. But I don't have to. I don't talk about it much, I really don't care to." Smart soon returned to the classroom and resumed her favorite activities. After graduating from high school in 2006, she enrolled at Brigham Young University to study music performance. Additionally, she became an activist on behalf of kidnapping survivors and child victims of violence and sexual abuse, recounting her inspirational story in interviews with Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey, and eventually becoming a noted public speaker. Smart also helped to author the United Sta...
Smart in 2011 launched the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which aims to empower children and provide resources and trauma support for victims and families. That year, she also was named a special correspondent for ABC News to report on missing persons and child abduction cases. In October 2013, Smart released a memoir entitled My Story, highlighting the horrific ordeals that she encountered while she was kidnapped. Although the story delves into the inhumane treatment that she received from her captors, Smart wrote the book as a form of closure. "I want people to know that I'm happy in my life right now," she said to the Associated Press. WatchI Am Elizabeth Smarton Lifetime Movie Club
elizabeth smart. abduction survivor. founder of elizabeth smart foundation. nyt best-selling author of "my story".
- Tim Ott
- June 5, 2002: Smart is kidnapped. Smart is jolted awake in the early-morning hours by a knife pressed to her throat and a voice ordering her out of bed.
- Oct 12, 2002: Mary Katherine remembers her sister's abductor. The recollection comes as Mary Katherine thumbs through a Guinness Book of World Records. Upon coming to a page of a muscular woman, she suddenly remembers the homeless handyman who helped fix the roof the previous year, his voice identical to the one that ordered her sister out of their room on that traumatic night in June.
- March 12, 2003: Smart is rescued and reunited with her family. Smart and her two captors are discovered walking the street in Sandy, Utah, a few miles from Salt Lake City.
- March 5, 2008: Mitchell and Barzee are indicted on federal charges. A federal grand jury indicts Mitchell and Barzee on charges of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines.
Feb 06, 2020 · (CNN) Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart is launching a self-defense initiative after she says she was assaulted on a flight to Utah last summer. "I had been asleep and all of a sudden I woke up...
Elizabeth Ann Smart was kidnapped at age fourteen on June 4, 2002, by Brian David Mitchell from her home in the Federal Heights neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. She was held captive by Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, and later, in San Diego County, California.
May 12, 2021 · Kidnap survivor Elizabeth Smart has opened up about her sex life with her husband after the horrific ordeal she suffered at the hands of a rapist when she was 14.
Sep 12, 2018 · Elizabeth Smart addresses the media after Brian David Mitchell is convicted in December 2010. Smart testified that Mitchell gave her drugs and alcohol, noting that she once became sick and he...
- Char Adams
Nov 30, 2020 · Elizabeth Smart revealed over the weekend that she "was embarrassed and ashamed" to tell her parents about her experience while being held in captivity and repeatedly raped after being kidnapped at...
- Louis Casiano
- related to: Elizabeth Smart