Wanda Ilene Barzee pleaded guilty to helping her husband kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002. This week, she’ll be released from prison, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole ruled.
Smart was just 14 when she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home in the late spring 16 years ago. Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee abducted Smart at knife-point in her house as her younger sister Mary Katherine witnessed the kidnapping but terrified, feigned sleep to avoid the same fate as her sister.
Mitchell, who claimed to be a preacher, was diagnosed a sociopath and a narcissist but neither of those diagnoses, straight out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was accepted; he was competent to stand trail and was sentenced to life in 2011. While in captivity, under guard by Mitchell and Barzee, Smart was chained and repeatedly raped. She was also on occasion with the couple in public but wasn’t recognized.
Smart was rescued nine months later.
Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for her role in the kidnapping of Smart. She has served her time and will be released from prison Sept. 19.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Barzee, Now 72, Walks Out of Utah State Prison a Free Woman. She Pleaded Guilty for Kidnapping & Attempted Kidnapping 2009 in Federal Court & in 2010 in State Court
Alleged Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper Wanda Barzee Appears In Court handcuffed April 22, 2003 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Barzee is charged with the alleged abduction of teenager Elizabeth Smart June 5, 2002.
The Utah Board of Pardons wrote that it has “…granted Ms. Barzee 2436 days of credit for time served (including jail and Utah State Hospital time from 03/18/2003 to 11/17/2009) of presentence incarceration” and caluclated that based on all the timeshe served in federal lock-ups, she’s maxed out her time.
“The Board of Pardons’s calculation of the expiration date of Ms. Barzee’s Utah state sentence is fifteen years from the date of sentencing with credit for time served …,” the board wrote, “thus, upon Ms. Barzee’s arrival at the Utah State Prison on 04/08/2016, she had 894 days remaining, which makes her expiration date 09/19/2018. Release at Expiration of Sentence on 09/19/2018.”
In other words, time served.
The Board did note that she owes the state “$1,690.29 restitution payable to Utah Commission of Criminal and Juvenile Justice for extradition costs …”
2. Barzee Met Mitchell & Married Him. She Already Had 6 Kids. They Later Called Her a ‘Monster’ Who Should ‘Never See the Light of Day’
Shackles bind the feet of Wanda Barzee at her hearing January 9, 2004 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Barzee and her husband, Brian Mitchell, are accused of kidnapping teenager Elizabeth Smart.
In 2010, just after Barzee pleaded guilty and was in a prison psychiatric facility, some of her children went on the Oprah Show. Barzee’s daughter LoeRee Gayler told the story of the time their mother, while married to Mitchell, …read more