In my last article on Elizabeth Smart, I noted the fact that Elizabeth might very well be denying, or repressing, her true emotions. But I am not so sure about that.
What still intrigues me, is why Elizabeth Smart, who has never displayed a victim-like persona, and who took Nancy Grace down in an interview, did not allow several people, including a police detective, to rescue her?
Elizabeth Smart walked around downtown Salt Lake City, was confronted by a police detective in a public library, ate in restaurants, and went to parties with her abductors.
So the burning question in my heart remains: Why…………not even once………why didn’t she run away in public or cry out for help?”
If you are new to my Blog, please know that I fully understand about what has been termed “Stockholm Syndrome,” “traumatic bonding,” and being in fear over death threats. I experienced all of these as a child.
But something struck me the other day, I tried to tell! I was just a small child the first time that I tried to alert someone about what was happening in my home. The second time I was older, but I was still a young girl –only seven or eight. By that age, I had already suffered sexual abuse by my father and his repeated threats of death with a knife. By that time of my life, I was already conditioned -and for many years- to keep the family secrets, to keep my mouth shut, to obey my father (who was a police officer), and I even enjoyed some aspects of the abuse. Yet, Elizabeth Smart, at ages fourteen and fifteen, did not say a word in that library, in those restaurants, on the streets of Salt Lake, or at those parties.
As Scott Carrier writes in his article, The Ongoing Mysteries of the Elizabeth Smart Case, “The easy answer is that she was too traumatized and suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome.”
Yes, that is the easy answer. The difficult answer, the answer that most Americans are unwilling to believe, is that she originally ran away willingly with Mitchell and then got more than she bargained for.
According to Carrier, Ed Smart denies that Elizabeth had a form of Stockholm Syndrome.
Defenders of Elizabeth Smart say she was in terror or experienced trauma bonding, where the victim has compassion and loyalty for their captors. My father was a tall, physically strong man. He looked like a giant to me as a child. He was a police-officer. He carried a gun and a knife, and he wore a badge and uniform. My father was a tyrant with a violent temper, but I loved him, felt loyal to him, and lived in fear of him to the point of wetting my bed until I was nine. He held a knife to my throat more than once when I was a child. If this is not a form of trauma bonding, then I don’t know what is. Yet, as a little girl, I tried to tell. At ages fourteen and fifteen, Elizabeth did not.
Carrier writes, “Stockholm Syndrome seems like a good explanation for why Elizabeth didn’t cry out or run away, and perhaps Elizabeth’s father, Ed Smart, now denies this explanation because he is unwilling to accept that Elizabeth ever supported or sympathized with Mitchell, let alone that she believed he was the new prophet.”
When did she come to believe he was a new prophet? After she was kidnapped at knife point and raped that very night? I would say that kidnapping and rape would have been a clear indication that Elizabeth’s abductor was not a new prophet. So when exactly did she believe this? Did she think he was a prophet while he was raping her four times a day, or when she was tied to a tree? Or, did she believe this while she was in contact with him prior to the night she was “kidnapped?”
Carrier writes, “She said Mitchell threatened to kill her and her family if she ran away. But, really, there were many opportunities, in public, where all she had to do was take off the veil…”
Yes, there were. Thanks for being honest Mr. Carrier.
Carrier writes, “In late August, the threesome went to a party thrown by a gang of bohemians just down the hill from Elizabeth’s home.”………” The host of the party, a man named Bub, told me he was a little perplexed that this guy who was spouting religious doctrine was also pounding down a lot of beer. He said somebody pulled out some homemade absinthe and Mitchell tried to get Elizabeth to drink some, but she refused to swallow it.”
Sounds like she was still in her own mind enough to refuse the alcohol, but not enough to remove her veil at the party and ask for help? Numerous sources have reported that Elizabeth was forced to drink alcohol during her captivity. So she could not resist her captor’s insistence that she drink alcohol while at their campsites, but in front of party goers (who had cameras), she resisted without fear?
“A couple of young women at the party started talking to Elizabeth. The women could only see her eyes, but they thought she looked uncomfortable and asked her if she was okay, if she needed any help, but she wouldn’t talk to them. Mitchell then came up and pulled her, by the arm, into another room.”
Was her discomfort because she did no t want to go home yet?
According to testimony at the trial, a few days later, Mitchell, Barzee, and Elizabeth were all approached by a homicide detective in the downtown library. The detective had received a report that Elizabeth Smart was in disguise at the library. The detective confronted them and even asked Elizabeth to take off her veil.
At some point, Mitchell stepped in and got the detective to leave them all alone by telling him that Elizabeth was his daughter, and that it went against his religion for her to speak in public, or to show her face. Smart said the detective pressed on and asked Mitchell if “he could be a part of our religion for a day, just so he could see my face, just so he could go back (to the police station) and say, ‘no, it wasn’t Elizabeth Smart’.”
Elizabeth was in a public library, with many people around her that would have loved to help the missing teen! She was in front of a police detective, essentially asking if he could save her from her daily rapes, and from being held by two horrible monsters, and what does Elizabeth do? She shuns his help.
The reports state that the detective questioned Mitchell for a full fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes for Elizabeth Smart to remove her veil and say to the detective, “It’s me, it’s me. Get me away from these people!” But she didn’t.
At the end of her journey, when Elizabeth was spotted on the streets of Sandy Utah, one of the officers said he took her aside and she “blurted out, `I know who you think I am. You guys think I’m that Elizabeth Smart girl who ran away.”’ The Boston Globe reported that she did not disclose her true identity until her father arrived at the police station.
This website points out what I remember when Elizabeth was first found —that she was annoyed with the officer and asked what would happen to her captors. I do remember this being reported many times that year. This report seems to have slowly dissipated, along with many other things about the case that do not put Elizabeth (and thus, the Mormon Church) in a good light.
I have to wonder; if Elizabeth Smart had been a misfit teen, who came from a lower class neighborhood, with non-religious parents……..would the American public, and the U.S. media, have been so believing of her story?
Check out this photo of Elizabeth Smart at a party in Salt Lake City with Brian David Mitchell, notice how clean their robes are in the photo? I read they lived in an apartment or two during the time Elizabeth was away. This photo must have been taken during that time, because camping out in the wild isn’t going to provide clean white robes.
Where is the proof of rape four times a day? Where are the forensics on that one? Why didn’t Elizabeth get pregnant? Is Mitchell sterile? Is she? Why, if as her little sister said, Mitchell had hairy hands, were there no fingerprints on the cut screen, the window, or anywhere else in the house? Where are the rest of the forensics taken from the home that would show Mitchell had been the intruder? Did the Smarts call neighbors before they called police? Were there scars on her body from having been tethered to a tree for weeks? Why was Elizabeth so healthy looking when she was found?
Several websites post an Associated Press report that a witness said, “She didn’t seem like she was kidnapped. She acted like she was part of the family.” The link to the associated press article has disappeared.
There are some good points made by Steel Magnolia at these two links, but there are no references for the claims so I have no way of knowing if they are true or not.
References for my article:
The Ongoing Mysteries of the Elizabeth Smart Case by Scott Carrier
New Haven Register Detective Nearly Uncovered Elizabeth Smart, She Tells Jury