Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Must Have No Contact with Her After Prison Release


Wanda Barzee, convicted for helping Brian David Mitchell kidnap Elizabeth Smart in Salt Lake City in 2002, will be released from the Utah State Prison sometime Wednesday.

Smart, now 30 and a married mother, blasted the move as "incomprehensible," saying she believes Barzee is still a danger to society.

Her release followed a surprise announcement last week that Utah authorities had miscalculated the amount of time Barzee should spend behind bars.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole had set a January 2024 release date after Barzee failed to attend her own parole hearing in June, but her attorney questioned whether that included time she had served in a federal prison.

Mitchell is serving a life sentence in Arizona.

Barzee's sister, who did not want to give her name, said Barzee is unfit to leave prison.

But she also had pleaded guilty in state court to attempted kidnapping in connection to a plot to kidnap Smart's cousin in July 2002, about a month after Mitchell and Barzee kidnapped Smart. Smart said she forgave Barzee several years ago, but added that forgiveness does not mean "allowing her back into my life".

Regarding Barzee's release, she said, "It's been a rollercoaster".

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She was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment but was given credit for already spending seven of them in custody.

"But it was just a very brief, 'I'm sorry for what I've done, the end, ' kind of thing", Smart told CBS News. He declined to say whether she will be in a private home or a facility but that she "will not be homeless". Smart made that decision a long time ago, she said. She knew what was going on.

One of Barzee's nieces, Tina Mace, said her aunt's testimony against Mitchell seemed like a turning point but that her mental state appears to have changed in prison.

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. She'll be on probation for 60 months and she is not to have any direct or indirect contact with Smart. She also must submit to home inspections.

Additionally, Barzee will have to register as a sex offender.

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

According to conditions of release that Barzee agreed to in 2010, she must report to a probation officer each month and she can not leave the Salt Lake City area without permission. Smart was rescued - and Mitchell and Barzee arrested - after the three were spotted on a Sandy street in March 2003.

Barzee will be out of prison on Wednesday, something Smart is strongly against. 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.