Elizabeth Smart Biography- Elizabeth Smart is an American child protection activist and TV commentator, best known for her infamous kidnapping in 2002. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and his name hit the headlines at the age of 14. Brian David Mitchell kidnapped him from his home. It was later revealed that he was held captive for nine months at his home in Salt Lake City. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
During this, he was repeatedly raped and abused by Brian, while his wife Wanda helped him with his activities. Elizabeth was rescued by the ‘Utah Police’ in March 2003. Wanda and Brian were both found guilty, and Brian was sentenced to two life sentences in May 2011. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
Wanda was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her role in the kidnapping. Elizabeth thus became a public figure and made several TV appearances, giving interviews. She also became an activist, working against sexual abuse and helping the missing persons cause. The 2003 TV movie ‘The Elizabeth Smart Story’ portrayed the whole ordeal. She has since been the subject of several books and films. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
Childhood and Early Life
- Elizabeth Ann Smart was born on 3 November 1987 in Salt Lake City, Utah, US. was born in the house of Edward and Lois Smart. He belonged to a middle class religious family. Her family followed the faith of ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’. She was the second eldest child in the family and had five siblings, a sister and four brothers. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
- His father was a successful real estate businessman, and his mother was a homemaker. Elizabeth grew up like a normal teenager. She was shy, obedient and smart.
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- He had a keen interest in music and Veena was his favorite instrument. Growing up, she aspired to be a musician. She used to play the harp at local events and funerals. She also played at the ‘Annual Fall Concert’ in Salt Lake City. Making a name for a debutante veena player, he attended Bryant Middle School. She later joined ‘East High School’ located in Salt Lake City. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
- She was good academically and was also interested in athletics. She was also a distance runner, and participated in cross-country racing. She was all set to graduate high school and go on to college, but her dreams were shattered in 2002, when she was faced with an incident that changed her life forever.
- In the early hours of June 5, 2002, a middle-aged man, Brian Mitchell, broke into Elizabeth’s home, walked straight into her bedroom, where she was sleeping with her sister, and abducted her. His sister, Mary Katherine, was pretending to be asleep throughout the incident, as she feared for her life. However, he saw everything that happened that night. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
- When Brian left the bedroom and stood in the hall, Mary tried to wake her parents up quickly. However, she wanted to avoid being seen by Brian. So, she went back to her bed and lay down pretending to sleep. At 4 in the morning he finally woke up his parents and told them about the whole incident.
- Her parents didn’t believe her until they found a screen window that had been cut with a knife. After that they went straight to the local police station. Later, he also appeared on TV, pleading with the kidnappers to bring back their daughter. Large-scale search parties searched the local areas in search of him. Posters were pasted around Salt Lake City that she was “missing.” (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
- Elizabeth later said that she was taken to the woods outside Salt Lake City. He claimed that he was married to Brian in the presence of his wife, Wanda. After this, the young man repeatedly raped her. Brian told Elizabeth that he was an “angel” and that he would abduct and marry more virgins to fulfill his fate, which was to kill the Antichrist.
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- He was tied to a tree to escape. She was also forced to look at pornographic magazines. Brian also threatened to kill him if he resisted. He starved her for several days and fed her garbage. He was also made to drink and consume drugs. During all this Wanda supported her husband. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
- Brian and Wanda took Elizabeth to public places several times. However, his face was always hidden. Thus, despite his face being on posters across the city, no one could recognize him. He also visited several grocery stores and restaurants, where Elizabeth was threatened with silence.
- For the next few months, these three roamed between California and Utah. Elizabeth said that she was raped daily, sometimes several times a day. Subsequently, he also showed fake concerns towards her. He wanted her to accept her religious faith and accept him as her husband. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
- Elizabeth’s sister Mary suddenly remembered after several months that the kidnapper’s voice was the voice of a man who had come to work at their house some time ago. The man called himself Immanuel. The police investigated and established through photographs that Emmanuel was in fact Brian David Mitchell.
- On March 12, 2003, Brian was recognized by a passerby, as Brian’s face was on TV channels by then. The man called the police and Brian was arrested. By the same evening, Elizabeth returned to her family.
- The trial against Brian and Wanda began immediately and continued for years. Brian was said to be mentally disturbed. It took the court 8 years to convict Brian and his wife of kidnapping and rape. In May 2010, Wanda was sentenced to 15 years in prison for being an accomplice in the crime. In May 2011, Brian was sentenced to life imprisonment. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
After Her Release
- Soon after returning home safely, Elizabeth began to lead a normal life. In 2006, she appeared before the ‘United States Congress’ to support sexual predator legislation and the ‘Amber Alert’ system. She later moved to Washington, DC and released a book titled ‘You Are Not Alone’. (Elizabeth Smart Bio)
- In 2011, she founded the ‘Elizabeth Smart Foundation’, which works to educate children about sex crimes and the nature of sexual violence. The Foundation also supports the ‘Internet Crimes Against Children’ task force.
In July 2011, he was hired by ABC News as a commentator, where he reported on missing people.
- She has been honored with many honours, such as the ‘Diane von Furstenberg Award’ and the ‘Siena Medal’.
She has traveled across the country, giving speeches about her personal experience of sexual abuse and suggesting ways to deal with the problem. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
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- Many films like ‘The Elizabeth Smart Story’ and ‘I am Elizabeth Smart’ were made on her. He has also written his memoir titled ‘My Story’ in collaboration with Chris Stewart.
- In 2018, she published yet another book, ‘Where There Is Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up’.
Family and Personal Life
- Elizabeth Smart married Matthew Gilmour in 2012. They have three children together.
- In 2019, Elizabeth filed a sexual assault case against a fellow passenger. The man allegedly assaulted her on a flight to Utah. The case is being investigated by the ‘FBI’. (Elizabeth Smart Biography)
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