Elizabeth Smart Tells Court Kidnapper Tried to Snatch Her Cousin Too

Smart testified today again at the trial of alleged abductor Brian Mitchell.

ByAlex Stone and Emily Friedman
November 08, 2010, 2:38 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Nov. 9, 2010— -- Elizabeth Smart described in court today a deranged life on the lam with a kidnapper who was an alcoholic, who loved porn, and would rape her in a tent he called the Altar of Emanuel.

During her nine month nightmare with accused kidnapper Brian David Mitchell, Smart says she was not only raped repeatedly but was fed garbage, forced to drink alcohol and do drugs, and when she got sick would be forced to sleep in her own vomit.

Smart also says that Mitchell was constantly on the lookout for other girls to kidnap and make his wives, even targeting Smart's cousin.

Smart, now 23, testified for a second day in the trial that she believes her own mention of her cousin Olivia Wright - whom she described as her "closest friend at the time" - spurred Mitchell's interest in the teen.

"I would just mostly talk about times we shared together because she was one of my closest friends at the time. He would act interesting and engaging, but I didn't think anything else about it at the time," said Smart. "Then he prepared to go down to Salt Lake and kidnap my cousin."

"I watched him pack the green bags that he had used to kidnap me," Smart told the courtroom, matter-of-factly. "I saw him pack into the green bags some change of clothing, different ropes. I saw him pack duct tape, I saw him pack a knife."

The knife believed to have been used by Mitchell was passed around members of the jury for inspection while Smart, who was just 14 at the time she was abducted, testified.

It's been eight years since Smart was snatched from her bed in Salt Lake City and forced to spend nine months on the run. After passersby reported spotting Smart in a Salt Lake City suburb, authorities arrested Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, charging them with Smart's kidnapping and sexual assault.

Now living in Paris while she works on a Latter Day Saints mission, Smart maintained her composure on the stand again today, appearing calm and collected, showing very little emotion while providing details of her nightmare, her strategy for survival, and a missed chance at being rescued.

Smart testified that Mitchell even dressed in the same clothes to go get her cousin as he had the night she was kidnapped.

"It was dark clothing. It was the same clothing he used to kidnap me," said Smart. "Stocking cap, gloves, dark shirt, sweats."

"He said that he was going to try the same way he kidnapped me and then he would take her back up into the canyon and hike over the mountains until they came to the canyon we were in," Smart.

Smart would later learn from Mitchell that his play went awry upon arriving at Wright's house. When trying to sneak into an open window, the blinds hit some objects on the ledge and he got scared.

"He came back and he said that we weren't ready to receive another wife yet," Smart said.

Mitchell failed at another kidnapping attempt when the trio moved to California, according to Smart, who remembers the bus ride from Utah as nearly 14 hours long.

Upon arrival, Mitchell set up a new camp near a lake that was also home to many homeless camps, according to Smart.

"He raped me within 24 hours of arriving in California," said Smart.

Mitchell also forced her to look at a pornography magazine, one of many he would bring into their camp.

"He said that he'd received a revelation, been instructed to look at pornography," said Smart. "He said that we all needed to look at it."

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."

"He received a revelation that seven different wives would come from seven different cities so he wanted to go to the library to look at maps," Smart said.

But it was at the library that a police approached the group, asking Smart to remove her veil so he could see her face. The officer had said he was looking for Elizabeth Smart.

"Barzee's hand was clenching my leg. I interpreted it t say, 'Don't say anything, don't move, don't do anything,'" said Smart.

"[Mitchell] said that [lifting the veil] was not allowed under our religion that only my husband could remove my veil under our religion," said Smart. "The [officer] asked if he could be a part of our religion for a day so he could remove my veil."

"The defendant was just very calm and very cooly said no only her husband would be able to do that," she said. The detective then left the library.

"I was mad at myself that I didn't say anything. I was mad at myself for not taking the chance but I just felt like it was so close," said Smart. "I felt terrible that the detective hadn't pushed harder and he had just walked away."

Later, when officers stopped and asked her if she was Elizabeth Smart, Smart testified that she lied because she feared for her life.

Elizabeth Smart Testimony Reveals Gruesome Details of Captivity

During Monday's testimony, Smart said that she had pleaded with Mitchell to try and prevent the rapes that occurred more than once a day while chained to a tree in Mitchell's forest hideout.

She was often tempted to scream out for help, especially when she heard rescue workers calling her name, she testified. Smart said Mitchell told her that if she yelled or screamed he would "duct tape my mouth shut and anyone who came in he said he would kill."

Finally her mindset changed where she decided to survive she should go along with their beliefs, said Smart. " [I told myself to] do everything he told me to do to live. I did that until the very end."

"I was crying a lot and I didn't realize what was happening at first," Smart said from the witness stand. "I begged him not to. I did everything I could to stop him. I pleaded with him not to touch me."

Smart said that she would lie on her stomach to try and make it harder for Mitchell to rape her, but that he did it anyway, despite her pleas.

"I felt like prostitutes had a better life than I did," said Smart. ""I told him I was just a little girl. A 14 year old girl against a grown man doesn't even out so much."

Mitchell would constantly remind her that her kidnapping was "the work of God."

"He said that I was very lucky and that I was being saved from the world," said Smart. "I had been called by God to be his wife."

Smart also recounted the details from the night she was kidnapped, telling the juror that she had taken the time to go around the house and close the windows before going to sleep.

"There was a window in our kitchen that I did not close because the smell of burned smoke still filled the air," said Smart.

The window had been left open to let out the smell of burned potatoes from her mother's cooking earlier that day. It was the very same window that Mitchell would allegedly climb through just hours later.

Describing how she woken up, Smart said, "There was a strange man's voice and I could feel something cold against my neck."

"I remember his saying I have a knife to your neck. Don't make a sound or I will kill you and your family. Get out of bed," said Smart. "I knew how deadly the situation was. I was scared. Extremely scared."

Ordering her to put on tennis shoes instead of slippers, Smart testified that Mitchell told her he was taking her "hostage for ransom."

"I was shocked. I felt I was having a nightmare. It was just incredible fear," she said.

As Mitchell was leading her down a path away from her home, he held the knife to her back, according to Smart. When a police car passed by about 10 feet away, Smart recalls Mitchell telling her, "If this is the work of God, let this police car pass."

Smart said Mitchell told her if she screamed out he would kill her. He pushed her into a bush and the police car passed by.

"I remember saying if he let me go right then we wouldn't press charges. He said he knew exactly what he was doing," said Smart.

"I remember praying and pleading to find a way to escape," she said.

Brian David Mitchell on Trial After Judge Ruled He Faked Mental Illness

Smart's mother Lois Smart took the stand ahead of her daughter and told the court how she hired Mitchell to do work around the house in 2001, knowing him only as "Immanuel."

"He looked like a clean-cut, well-kept man that was down on his luck, who just needed some help to get on with his life," she testified.

Later, she recalled being woken up by her younger daughter Mary Katherine, then 9, who slept in the same room as her older sister. Mary Katherine told her mother that Elizabeth had been taken.

"She said a man has taken Elizabeth with a gun and that we won't find her," Lois Smart testified.

After running into the kitchen, Lois Smart spotted a screen sliced open.

"My heart sank," she said, "and I yelled out to Ed, 'Call 911, she's gone.'"

The kidnapping of the girl made national headlines, the idea that a child could be ripped from her own bed playing on fears of parents across the country.

For years after Smart's rescue, the prosecution of Mitchell was delayed with his defense attorneys arguing that he was not mentally competent to stand trial. In March, a federal judge declared that Mitchell was faking mental illness and ordered him to stand trial.

Smart testified during Mitchell's October 2009 competency hearing that Mitchell forced her to walk three miles to a canyon where an impromptu marriage ceremony was performed between her and Mitchell. She told the court at the time that she was raped daily, and Mitchell prevented her from escaping by tying chains around her ankles. The chains were attached to nearby trees.

"There wasn't an actual 24-hour period he wasn't able to rape me," she said last year, going on to describe how Mitchell began to rotate between her and Barzee when Barzee became jealous of his attention.

"Wanda would get very upset with him," said Smart. "She'd say 'All you do is lust after her.'"

Mitchell became known for his outbursts and courtroom oddities during the hearing and was repeatedly removed from the courtroom after spontaneously bursting into song.

Barzee, a mother of six, pleaded guilty in November 2009 to federal kidnapping charges. Later sentenced to 15 years in prison, also asked the Smart family for forgiveness.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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