Elizabeth Smart Tells Court Kidnapper Tried to Snatch Her Cousin Too


Mitchell prepared to kidnap the daughter of a family he met at a Mormon church in San Diego, making sure that there was enough bedding for her to be able to have her own place to sleep, said Smart. Mitchell took the same green bag of kidnapping tools with him, she recalled.

When he returned without the girl, Smart said Mitchell told her, "That we were not prepared enough to receive another wife and that our faith needed to be stronger."

Mitchell also told her that a person snoring in the house had moved when he opened the door and he had been scared away.

At one point, Mitchell showed Smart a newspaper clipping with her parents photo and asked her if she was surprised they hadn't given up, according to Smart.

Elizabeth Smart Testifies About Face-to-Face Encounter with Police During Kidnapping

Smart's testimony also detailed how Mitchell one day decided that it was time for her to "sever all ties with the world."

"He said that I needed to destroy my pajamas and he said that I could choose how I destroy them and so I decided to burn them because he suggested I just cut them up. I didn't want to cut them up because I didn't have the heart to cut them up," said Smart.

Smart secretly saved a safety pin from her pajamas and a piece of her tennis shoe before eventually tossing them aside for fear of Mitchell finding them.

"I didn't want to let go of my family, of my life," said Smart.

Mitchell even insisted that she remove any remnants of toe nail polish, said Smart.

"He said that I couldn't have any sort of mark or sign that I was Elizabeth Smart," she said.

Smart was instructed to refer to her parents by their first names, not by "mom and dad," and that she also had to go by a different name. She chose the biblical name "Esther," Smart told the court, after resisting Mitchell's attempt to call her "Shear-Jashub," from the book of Isaiah.

Spending her first days in captivity tied with a metal cable to a tree, Mitchell eventually untethered Smart, according to the 23-year-old.

The cable, shown in the courtroom today, still appeared dirty from what Smart told the jurors was a result of "being around the tree."

"The next day he took the bolt cutters out and cut the cable off my ankle," she said. "He said even though you have this cable off your ankle now that doesn't change the fact that you will be killed if you try to escape."

After he cut the cable, sleeping arrangements changed so bodies were parallel to tent door. Smart was furthest away so she would have had to climb over Mitchell and Wanda Barzee if she had wanted to escape.

Mitchell would also insist that Smart be frequently naked, she testified. When she was allowed to get dressed, she often had to wear a sunglasses and a wig to avoid being forced to dye her hair.

"It's ugly, bad quality, grey, curly," Smart said of the wig.

The first time Smart was allowed to accompany Mitchell and Barzee to Salt Lake City, they went to a big "rave type party," Smart said.

"It was a place with black lights, loud music," she said. "There was a lot of drinking and drugs and just a lot of people that I didn't know."

Smart recalls Mitchell instructing her "not to talk to anyone," and threatening her with her life if she disobeyed.

Later, Mitchell would take Smart to the Salt Lake City library, telling her that he "needed to find a new city for a new wife."

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