Elizabeth Smart describes rapes, sex abuse, imprisonment, threats

She went from feeling worthless to being determined to survive

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  • Peaches 245 Pembroke Pines, FL
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    What people fail to grasp is that this was about creating a legacy! Savageness.

  • lovespeaks Lehi, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    Truly Elizabeth Smart must be numbered among the greatest and most influential of people so far in the 21st Century. In times past Victor Frankel and others changed our lives and have given us courage but most of us will never know someone who suffered a concentration camp. A different abuse is the torture of our time. And, having treated abusers and the abused my heart goes out to Elisabeth and any who have suffered under the attacks of sexual predators.

    Many victims turn into abusers.

    I assume that Elisabeth suffers, but I think most of us look on in shock that she is able to function at all, and that smile, that genuineness, and most of all that strength...they say it all...WOW. AND, not those alone, but shes serving others as a missionary for Jesus Christ. Most people can barely handle that without any other life struggles.

    May we all take courage from Elisabeth Smart. I pray for her and all, especially other victims of abuse.

  • alishas Logan, UT
    Nov. 12, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    Elizabeth Smart is a hero. I can't imagine going through what she did and coming out of it so strong and beautiful. She is an amazing person and I wish her the best of luck throughout her life. Stay strong Elizabeth!

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 9, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    There is no way that Mr. Mitchell will get the death penalty. Current supreme court guidelines have essentially eliminated the death penalty for cases not involving murder.
    Even if that were not the case, the crimes that Mr. Mitchell committed did not have the death penalty attached to them in the jurisdictions in which he committed them when he committed them. Thus making him liable for such punishments would amount to imposing an ex post facto law.

    I know Mr. Mitchell is extremely evil, but none of his crimes would subject him to the death penalty.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 9, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    The news specifically warned that they were publishing the gory, gruesome details. They clearly acted so you would know before hand. That you chose to read anyway and then complain is just odd.

    A close reading of the testimony shows that it has gone a long way to establish that Mr. Mitchell was both sane and aware of what he was doing.

    This was a deliberate and planned action. He knew what he was doing was out of line with the law, and he had the whole attack planned.

  • DW Grantsville, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 1:20 p.m.

    I just can not believe the leading questions that Elizabeth was asked. What difference does it make what she was wearing, and other non relevant questions. The defendant is guilty of a crime which is clear to anyone. He should at the least, be found guilty of kidnapping and serve his just time in prison. Why do we always want to let the guilty go free?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 9, 2010 1:00 p.m.


    I hope you are right, but in other cases I have witnessed the process of testifying was not so beneficial to the victims.

    Telling their story meant reliving it. Despite being pure victims, they felt embarrassed by the press - and it was far less than what is present in this case.

    Perhaps it depends on the person. I don't know.

    Ms. Smart seems to have managed her life pretty well in the aftermath. I certainly hope that continues.

    Whatever else, I pray the best for her and for her family.

  • 8plex Alpine, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 12:20 p.m.

    oh-- and everyone needs to chill! It is great therapy for Elizabeth to testify and to let that testimony be read and heard by everyone. She wants to do this--- she has been waiting to let the whole world know about her abuse and the things he put her through.

  • 8plex Alpine, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    Elizabeth wants to prove that Mitchell was fully aware and responsible for his actions. This whole trial is about making him responsible and not allowing him to claim insanity! This is very important to the Smart family and in-particular to Elizabeth. She has wanted to testify to his foul deeds so that everyone may know what a devilish person he is. To write it all off to insanity is an insult to her and to her family. Why do you think he sings when he comes into court? He is wily and crafty but he was not insane when he did insane things to Elizabeth - He was calculated and purposeful about his plot and he is continuing to be calculating in the court room. Elizabeth wants Mitchell to face prison and not a mental hospital so lets give them their due. He is devilish, cruel and sadistic but he deserves to face his crimes as a criminal and not someone insane!

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Nov. 9, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Thank you Anti-Liar for your voice of reason, and explanation to those who cant see the greater good that comes from knowledge of the explicitness of exactly what Mitchell did.

    Thank you Ed & Lois Smart for raising your children in the culture of family prayer. Thank you for working diligently to ensure that 14-year-old Elizabeth was unfamiliar with booze and smoking and other evils, a major triumph in todays ugly world; but was familiar with modesty, even to the point of safety-pinning her pajama top.

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for your poise and strength in detailing to the world that we are not what happens to us, or what others perpetrate upon us; but instead we have the power to become exactly what we choose to be. Soooo proud of you!

  • RS Holladay, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    I am not generally in favor of the death penalty, except in this case.

  • beatrice Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 9, 2010 10:16 a.m.

    to JCMom: Court testimony usually DOES bring out
    the truth in a situation that the press has
    messed up with its conjectures and conclusions, etc.
    BUT it does not need to be printed word for word
    for the whole world. What if: no chance, but
    IF...there was a mistrial...there would be no
    unpolluted citizen out there who could serve on
    the next jury panel.
    I am quite sure that she has not given all these
    details to children to whom she has told her story.
    Yes, it was reported that she had a lot of sexual
    abuse...so what? WHY do you need the "documentation" of the details of where, when, how often and how??

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    jmstoker and CJJ-You don't understand that the court testimony actually shows that the Smart family did things correctly at the time of the abduction.

    There was so much misinformation about what Lois and Ed Smart did immediately after Elizabeth went missing, waiting to call 911 after family members, etc., that the testimony clears them of this wrong information.

    To document and publish the evil that was done to Ms. Smart does not "rape her all over again" or victimize her further. It empowers her and shows her incredible strength at being able to endure and survive.

    She herself has used her story to show abducted children that their kidnapping does not have to define them and that they can live a full and happy life afterward.

    The details are just that, details. It was reported at the time she was found that she had been sexually abused. To document and publish the truth is better than leaked information, rumor, and speculation.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 9:40 a.m.

    You know what I think about the people complaining about having to read the "details," I think you're selfish. Whether YOU want to bury your head in the sand or not, THIS GIRL DIDN'T HAVE THAT OPTION. SHE HAD TO ENDURE IT, as it was being perpetrated upon her, nine years ago. But YOU don't want to have to endure the unpleasantness of hearing about it.

    It is what it IS. It is what HAPPENED. It is what COULD happen. The truth being told about just HOW bad this charming, quaint little preacher really is, is part and parcel of JUSTICE.

    Good reporting, Desnews.

  • CJJ Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 9, 2010 8:36 a.m.

    I am stunned that in the state of Utah it is
    legally...let alone ethically or morally...
    correct to publish court testimony!!!!

    Desert News has "raped" her all over again
    by printing these details.

  • jmstoker Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 9, 2010 6:57 a.m.

    Deseret News: I know that the court transcript is public record; but I dont agree it is necessary to put this transcript in the newspaper. I feel chagrined about the publicity that the Smart family continues to battle--you have added to their victimization. This kind of detail isn't necessary for readers for many reasons. As for Mitchell, I will be thankful when justice is served and he is put away for Life.

  • #1 Jazz Fan Springville, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 6:41 a.m.

    Sister Smart,

    You're amazing for being able to go through all that you forced to endure.

    I hope that you have the happiest life, the happiest marriage and the happiest family possible.

    Thank you for the inspiring hope that you give us all.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 5:43 a.m.

    There is absolutely no reason for the D News to publish the graphic accounts of Ms. Smart's testimony. She deserves some element of privacy and I suspect publishing this may actually create a deterrent for other victims to report a sex crime for fear of having their privacy violated in such a public way. Yes, she has to give the details in court and it is a matter of public record, but it doesn't have to be brodcast into every home. Have we degenerated that far???

    This is sensationalism and tabloid journalism at its worst. And they wonder why they had to lay off 1/3 of their staff amid declining readership and revenues. HELLO!!!!

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    There's disconnection from reality as a result of clinical "insanity," yes. But there also is a type of disconnection which results from denial and self-deception. One is innocent; the other is evil. The thoroughgoing liar's lies eventually eclipse his knowledge of truth and smother his conscience. However, this hardly makes him innocent; it just makes him a good liar, a good rationalizer.

    The story of Korihor in Alma ch. 30 outlines this well.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 4:22 a.m.

    Mitchell's defense is lining the "actor" up for the insanity plea. Yes , he did it... WE ADMIT IT, now we are telling the truth... (we have no defense for it) and yes he is crazy... but he's not.
    Mitchell is sane enough to keep that beard to hide behind. There are enough documented accounts of Mitchell thinking things through.

  • billsview Stockton, CA
    Nov. 9, 2010 4:14 a.m.

    Thank you for the caution at the beginning of the article. I elected not to read any further.

    My heart goes out to the Smart Family. It is my hope that the trial will come to a rapid, albeit a fair, conclusion. so that the family can "get on with" their lives.

    God bless the Smart Family.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2010 12:58 a.m.

    I am really sorry what was happening to her for every reader to know this and I thought it should be confidential. Was this her idea to allow the medias to release all the details what she went through. I don't think so. This man deserve prison forever and throw away the key and stay away from him. HE KNEW EVERYTHING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

  • RosaMaria Laie, HI
    Nov. 9, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    This evil man KNEW what he was doing. He deserves the death penalty. No other place for this demonic evil predator. Please Deseret News, STOP posting every single thing that happened. Sister Smart does not deserve this again. I pray for you Sister Smart. I have a daughter two years younger than you and I would have died if she went trough the experience you went trough.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 9, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    Mitchell is an actor portraying mental illness. He knew what he doing! What he is-is:


    When convicted, we need to send him to school in Singapore and experience the art of caning. This prevents people like Mitchell from kidnapping women.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    Of course he is crazy! What "normal" person would do such things to another human being? But just because you are crazy doesn't mean you aren't criminally responsible for the crimes. I think they would have to prove he didn't know what he was doing was wrong. No way that is going to happen.

    And to those of you who are saying the trial testimony shouldn't be published, it is better to have a full and correct record published than to have certain things "leaked" and speculated upon. The sickening facts of the case are just that, but they don't define the victim. They define the perpetrator.

  • Not So Fast Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 10:20 p.m.

    I am a little shocked the "civil" Deseret News comments don't apply to a man on trial who hasn't been proven guilty.

    My heart hurts for the entire Smart family, top to bottom. It probably is very painful to have this come out in public which adds another level of hurt to all this.

  • Sandy Reader Sandy, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I think it is positively inappropriate for the DN to publish this blow by blow account. What benefit is there to society to have Elizabeth's ordeal recounted in this way? Please, show some judgement! What public good is served by this detailed testimony? May God Bless Elizabeth for her strength.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    There is no way Mitchell is insane. There is no way an insane person could carry out so many premeditated crimes over so many months without making a mistake.

    God bless you, Elizabeth Smart, and your strength and your family.

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 8:58 p.m.

    I will stand by, next to, in front of, behind and every which way necessary to allow this family to have peace and justice.

    The whole point of bringing this to light is to highlight the injustice, the sickness and the evil of it all.

    Elizabeth Smart is a hero.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Nov. 8, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    You know what makes me sick, is that I read all the details. You know what makes me more sick, is that Elizabeth's parents had to hear those details. I wept as I read the things she described. She is a strong woman to face this head on.

    I hate what the defense is doing, but that is what the justice system requires. But Mitchell is not mental, is is evil, and evil knows how to mimic things.

  • LuVePacifica RosePark, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2010 8:23 p.m.

    Terrible-Hes finally going to Trial good grief!

    Wasted time out of all these Years=He needs to be placed away.Get some mental Rehab Help!!

    100 percent on your side back to back
    (ElizaBeth Keep strong god bless you,many care)

  • 1LInLincoln Orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 8:00 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean

    I suppose the prosecution is just trying to cover all of the bases, which is fine by me. I don't mind if the Government has to pay a little extra in court costs because the trial goes long; I just want them to make sure Mitchell is locked up.

  • TexasMom Flower Mound, TX
    Nov. 8, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    Elizabeth had to endure this creep taking all sense of privacy and dignity from her during those awful months and now gets to have it taken away from her by newspapers that don't have enough sense to keep some details private for the sake of the victim. Of course, the court has to hear all the details but does the rest of the world??

    Good for Elizabeth for carrying herself in such a way that maintains her dignity and strength in the midst of it all!

  • bballjunkie Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 7:20 p.m.

    This was one of the hardest if not the hardest things that I have ever read. My heart and prayers go out to you Elizabeth and your great family. Your strength is something that I will always admire.

  • rainbow dust Twin Falls, ID
    Nov. 8, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    I feel so sorry for her and her family.
    Judge them not.
    May the Lord heal this family.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Nov. 8, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    What a travesty! I believe "very" strongly that the judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys should have to go to trial for all of the delays and the fleecing of our public coffers involving this case that has taken a ridiculously long, long time to bring to trial! 8 years? Give us all a break, whats going on here?

  • Billy Bob Provo, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    In my haste to write what I wanted to in my comment I noticed I made a critical error. I, of course, meant to say shame on the defense. The prosecution deserves no shame, of course. It is the defense that deserves the shame for forcing Elizabeth to relive that experience. Oops.

  • Samwise Provo, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    It is absolutly appaling that the prosecution forced Elizabeth to relive her experience, especially when they have no argument about what happened. I couldn't bare to read past the first page. It was awful. Shame on the prosecution.

  • Mr. Bean Chicago, Ill
    Nov. 8, 2010 5:35 p.m.

    @1LInLincoln 4:36 p.m.

    I take your point. I posted before reading the part of the testimony you cite.

    But, I can't see where concentrating on the pajama issue helps the prosecution show sanity. The insane can and do act rationally at times as needed to help them survive and accomplish their sick, dastardly deeds.

  • John Stewart Pill Vienna, VA
    Nov. 8, 2010 5:33 p.m.

    Incredible. I hope I never have to hear another word about this idiot. What terrible deeds.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 8, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    When is our judicial system going to leave her alone? She should'nt have to re-live this thing over and over again. This is a shame and mockery. What is wrong with these people?

  • dallasfreeways Austin, TX
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:56 p.m.

    @CWEB. Lock up the defense attorney? For what? For using the only defense possible? For zealously representing his client (which he is REQUIRED to do)?

  • In Arizona Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:49 p.m.

    To JustFine who wrote: Please, don't tell us all the horrific details. We don't need to know it all. Poor Elizabeth. What a horrific experience.

    I agree with you 100% but the horrific details will be told, we just don't need to read them.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    What happened to the time when kidnapping was punishable by death? There is no reason anyone who does such dispicable things to a child should not be put to death. Have we lost our backbone as a country? Must we continuously be governed on the national level by spineless whimps? We need leaders who will make certain that wicked men such as this will pay the ultimate penalty. Give me a break!

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    WHY it happened?

    Why did someone shoot JFK?

    Why did Manson commit all those murders?

    Why did Lincoln get shot?

    Why? Are you kidding me? Why?

    Lock up the defense attorney after you shoot this slime ball. And for his sister who defends him? Yes, he needed help long before these events happened, and for ripping on people in Utah?

    Deary, we'd do the same for you if it had happened to you...

    Why in deed.

  • 1LInLincoln Orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:36 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean

    I can see your frustration at the apparent irrelevant questioning from the prosecution. But you have to remember that Mitchell is raising an insanity defense, and to do so successfully he must prove that his insanity resulted from a disease or defect of the mind. It might be simple to you that Mitchell knew exactly what he was doing, but the U.S. District Court will need to see plenty of evidence that shows there was no defect.

    Don't forget that the prosecution came back to the pajamas later in the questioning. Consider the following:

    P: What happened when you reached the reached the top?
    Elizabeth: It was quite a bit lighter, and I remember him saying we needed to make it over the top of the ridge because the color of my pajamas were so pretty that he didn't want any of the others to see me.

    The prosecution is trying to provide as much evidence as possible that Mitchell knew what he was doing was wrong. Forcing Ms. Smart change right in the middle of an escape because of the color of her pajamas shows the rational thought process he went through.

  • Spitvalve Denton, TX
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    It's sad that the DN sees fit to publish the gory details of Elizabeth's deposition. It made me sick and I couldn't finish reading it.

    Just put Mitchell in a cell with a couple of large angry bikers and save the taxpayers a few hundred thousand.

  • thelogicalone West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    I don't know if I should be angry, throw up or cry. What horrific experiences for anyone, let alone a young girl; and her family also.

    ***Please don't share such graphic details; you know the defense will appeal any conviction and if there is a new trial, we don't need a tainted jury pool. That, and it's really more graphic and disgusting than most of us care to know.****

  • No name Provo, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    I don't buy it.My husband's aunt is Schizophrenic. She lives in a home by herself with notes plastered all over the windows and her car. we can't get her help because she hasn't threatened herself or someone else, which is sad because she is so paranoid of everything. IF Mitchell really does have mental issues, he obviously has threatened others. The mental institions then have the authority to make them take medication, whether they like it or not. Like I say, I don't buy his act, but good grief if he's nuts take him to a shrink so the Smart family can finially put this behind him. Muzzle him in the trial if you have to. It's not choir try outs. He knows that if he sings he doesn't have to stay. Elizabeth has had to put up with him from the time she was abducted until now. It's his turn to listen to Elizabeth.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Nov. 8, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    What a resourceful and brave young woman Elizabeth was, even as an innocent 14 year old. May God bless her and her whole family.

    She and Jaycee Dugard are great examples for young people of coping with unimaginable tribulations. Not that we'd wish such terrifying ordeals on anyone, but these young ladies are proof that we don't have to let evil people get the best of us.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:56 p.m.

    Haunting, Mitchell is pure evil. I hope he not only goes to federal prison but that he's released into the prison's general population so he can get what he deserves.

  • MOMORMON Poplar Bluff, MO
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    I'm sure she does, but I hope Elizabeth knows that she is as pure as she was at her birth. Individuals CAN take our agency--but they can't take our virtue. We must give that up ourselves, and Elizabeth did not. Praying for the best for both of the sisters. God be with you.

  • justfine Vernal, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    Please, don't tell us all the horrific details. We don't need to know it all. Poor Elizabeth. What a horrific experience.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    There were police dogs out right away. I have read previously where Elizabeth says she could hear them. Why were they not able to pick up her scent?

  • dallasfreeways Austin, TX
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    @azgal | 1:59 p.m. Nov. 8, 2010 - You said "IT DOESNT MATTER WHY! What matters is that he did it." It's not that simple. Suppose a severely retarded 22 year old man beats abd rapes a 15 year old girl and there's no question he did it. Obviously he can't be rehabilitated because he's retarded. What do we do? Just rap his knuckles and tell him to not do it again? Have him serve hard time? Put him in a mental institution for the rest of his life? I don't know, but I don't think we would punish him the same way we would punish a sane rapist. In case you think I'm defending Mitchell; I'm not. Mitchell's claiming insanity so he doesn't have to spend the rest of his life in prison. I don't think the jury will buy it. I don't think he's insane but I do think he's incredibly cunning and evil. In effect, the case is about how he will be "punished".

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:28 p.m.

    Re: Mr. Bean

    The prosecution is going at length to prove how Mitchell robbed Elizabeth of her innocence, that she considered herself to be modest and how the events that transpired would've been so traumatizing to such a teen. The prosecution will go as far as it can to show how heinous this crime was--as they should.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Nov. 8, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    If the defense is admitting the facts of the case and that Mitchell did everything he is accused of, why not just file a motion for summary judgment and be done with it? Who cares if he's insane? Of course he is. Look what he did. I'm sure the psychiatrists can visit him in prison. Lock him up. Otherwise, you're just giving notice to child rapists that as long as you claim you did it for religious purposes, you can just use the insanity defense and live in a nice, quiet mental hospital.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    It doesn't matter why he did. What matter is that he did it. And for a crime this heinous a 50 cent rifle round is certainly a fitting punishment for him.

  • Minnesota Mom Minnetonka, MN
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:57 p.m.

    The defense has "virtually no disagreement as to what happened" with Elizabeth Smart, but said the defense has a "general disagreement about why it happened."

    This is supposed to be a defense? You're kidding?

  • Mr. Bean Chicago, Ill
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    Part of the testimony...

    "P: What did you wear to bed that evening?

    Elizabeth: I wore a pair of red, silky pajamas... It had a bottom and a top, The top buttoned up... The pants were not drawstring, they were elastic at the tip...

    P: Did anyone in the home wear the same pajamas you wore?

    Elizabeth: Yes, my mother did.

    P: Were they the same style you wore?

    Elizabeth: Yes. They were.

    P: I would ask you to look at government exhibit 5. Can you tell me what those are?

    Elizabeth: These are my mother's same pair of red silk pajamas that I had.

    P: Anything special that you did to wear those pajamas?

    Elizabeth: Yes.

    P: Explain that to the jury using that pajama top,

    Elizabeth: At that age, I was very modest and very shy. I didn't feel comfortable with the collar so I took a safety pin and closed the top, like that.

    P: Was that a fashion statement?

    Elizabeth: No, not at all."

    What does it matter what she had on that night matter and whether her mother had a similar pair of pajamas? Just put the guy away.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    I really couldn't read more than a few lines of the testimony. Poor girl.

    As to Mr. Mitchell. May he never see another day outside of the most secure facility available.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:28 p.m.

    While it is absolutely relevant to the jury to hear this account, I honestly don't think it's ethical to make it public. Elizabeth is being raped again over and over by publishing her testimony where many sex offenders out there are surely enjoying this horrific tale. Please Deseret News, have more compassion.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    "There's no way he'll be released back into society. It's either permanent residence in a psych ward or in prison for a menace like him."

    I wouldn't be so sure of that. If he is granted insanity, there may be a possibility of release at some point, following a "recovery" prompted by years of good behavior, signs of improvement, and active participation in therapy. I can believe that this guy was religiously eccentric. He was mentally aware however that he was 1) committing a crime 2) holding Elizabeth against her will. He knew to enough to try and fool authorities by exploiting religious rights to hid Elizabeth's identity and face while in public. Furthermore, he has shown that he understands how to behave "normally" in society to hide his true nature. For this reason he should not be granted insanity, but life in prison without the possibility of parole. Anything but certain permanent incarceration is socially irresponsible.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    @trumpman23, that's just not going to happen. The defense admits that Mitchell did everything the prosecution says he did. There's no way he'll be released back into society. It's either permanent residence in a psych ward or in prison for a menace like him.

  • azgal Buckeye, AZ
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:59 p.m.

    IT DOESNT MATTER WHY! What matters is that he did it.

    It doesn't matter if you robber the burger joint because you were hungry & out of food stamps or because you just wanted to or because there were voices in your head that told you to do it, or because you prayed about it and felt right about doing it. You robbed, you pay the consequences.

    You kidnap & rape, you pay the consequences.

  • The Karate Kid Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    Many people in our own neighborhoods are just as dangerous to our children as Brian David Mitchell is. Many child predators who should be more than just behind bars are just a few houses away or less. Hopefully the tax dollars wasted and the fact this case has lasted about 8 years shows the whole nation what a joke and embarrassment our justice system has become. Hopefully death penalty will come into effect for all child predators and rapists and justice will be served. Our children are innocent and Elizabeth Smart was innocent and I hope she can be a beacon of light in bringing freedom to our children and I hope Mitchell,his disgusting attorneys,and currupt judges who delayed cases will help restore our Constitution and give death penalty to all child predators and punishment to those who stand up to child predators since they are also a threat. Mental illness should no longer be an excuse. Send these people to the next life and let God do the judging. Say halaluya!

  • baseballmamma Alpine, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    why it happened? because he is a rapist. you dont have to be mentally ill to be a rapist. he just was a rapist that wanted to keep his victim for a while. elizabeth is a courageous and inspiring young woman. her family is incredible. her father and mother have been viciously attacked in the media. they are wonderful parents. god bless.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    The only issue here is whether this loser gets to spend all the rest of his days in a (relatively comfortable) psych ward, or be in a federal prison where he can be kept in a CAGE!

  • trumpman23 Layton, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Why ask "Why?"? Because the more time the defense has on the clock, the more money they have in their pockets. Who cares that, if successful (a very long shot), they could put a nut case back on the streets to preach the everlasting word to our barely teenage girls. I have a hard time not rolling my eyes any time a read a defense justification.

  • Jeff R. Sheridan, WY
    Nov. 8, 2010 1:25 p.m.

    Get some girlie, put this low life of westurn society away for 25 to life so he cant do this to anyone else. Sorry for what you and your family went through and good luck on the rest of your mission. Serving a mission for god after this ordeal shows alot of strength and faith.

  • Commontater Lehi, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Good grief. Who cares why? The charge is at least kidnapping. Evidently the defense has no problem with the fact he did it. The jury just needs to say he is guilty. End of story. String him up and let's be on with life.

    We don't need to spend one more dime for his attorney's. For that matter to even sustain his life.

  • Loves SLC SLC, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    The Devil Made me do it defense was first used by Cain! It did not work then and should not work now. The fact that he made specific attempts to hide her identity, was smart enough to con the San Diego Police from holding him and many other actions indicate that he knew what he was doing was not legal or acceptable in a moral society. Every major felon might well argue that something in his background dulled his sense of appropriate behavior, but I think the standard is that the mental illness has to make the criminal totally incapable of controlling his illegal actions. In my detached analysis, this idiot has no such defense and should be put in GEN POP for 24 hours for starters.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:37 p.m.

    I never thought about how this has victimized poor little Mary Katherine. I can't imagine how scary that would be for anyone, but especially a child of 9. He has stolen the innocence of both of these girls.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    the transcript of this was interesting.
    knowing how i can wake up in a stupor wondering if i am seeing what i am actually seeing makes sense on how this sweet girl felt when her elizabeth was taken. i pray the smart family continues to receive all the emotional support they need. elizabeth is a pillar of strength. knowing she chose to server our Savior in France.
    lets pray the judicial system works in behalf of elizabeth and any other creeps that kidnap are caught, tried and sentenced to life in prison !

  • fallen_angel2009 Greeley, CO
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    I understand the need to know why and establish a motive for the crime. But, in this particular case, I don't think that it is a necessary element. Why is not as relevent as much as his accountability. If the defense is willing to stipulate that Mitchell is indeed guilty, why is the state wasting taxpayer money to try him. Sentence him and let Sis. Smart go back to her mission and her life.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2010 12:00 p.m.

    When the evidence is irrefutable the only option left open for the defense is to try the insanity ploy. I'm guessing Brian David Mitchell had a sneaking suspicion what he was doing was illegal.

    I wonder if his eyes were closed in prayer while he was cutting the window screen?

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    Why it happened ? Lets see because he is crazy, um he lives in a delusional world where he is the all powerful OZ, or maybe he is OZ ?

    To entertain such a motion is beyond the mark of rational thought. This individual needs to be found guilt of kidnapping then receive his psychiatric evaluation, sentenced to life either in a minimum security prison.

    There I just saved the state a ton of money and the Smart family prolonged grief and agony.

  • Mayfair Claremore, OK
    Nov. 8, 2010 11:28 a.m.

    "ferret out carefully not only what happened but why it happened."

    I believe most people feel that for whatever reason it happened, there is only one outcome:

    continued separation from society in a facility equipped to manage him and to prevent his exposure to others who could be harmed in any manner by him.

  • justacoolchic Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    I think Elizabeth is an amazing young woman. I admire her. Clearly she has strength, courage and faith to be where she is today. I sincerely wish her and her family all the very best.

  • Just Me SLC, UT
    Nov. 8, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    Go look at the picture of Mitchell being escorted out of the building by a US marshall.

    Is it me, or does the marshall look just like the "Angel of Death" from the old Touched by an Angel" series.

    Too ironic and perfect for this case.