Elizabeth Smart recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of the day she was freed after being kidnapped and sexually abused for nine months in inhumane conditions.
Now, in her shocking tell-all, Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up, Smart revealed that during her captivity at the age of 14, she contemplated suicide.
“I just wanted to die – to magically walk through a door and suddenly be in Heaven, away from this horrible nightmare I was living – but I couldn’t imagine how that might be done with the available resources,” Smart, now 30, wrote.
As Radar readers know, in June 2002, a man named Brian David Mitchell entered Smart’s bedroom in the middle of the night and kidnapped her at knifepoint. From her Utah home, Smart would live the next nine months under Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee’s control.
Smart was tied to an outdoor tent by metal cables and raped repeatedly for months.
In addition to being confined to an outdoor “camp” on a mountain above her Salt Lake City home, Smart’s captors also brought her to Southern California during the winter. There, Smart recalled crawling on her hands and knees up a mountainside.
“After the move had been made, I was no longer allowed to go out in public,” she confessed. “I was confined to a dirty riverbed where there were rodents and bugs.”
Smart revealed she struggled to stay alive.
“I was practically dying of starvation and thirst,” Smart wrote of the hot conditions she spent in the swamp. “The condition in which I was imprisoned made a stint in county lockup sound like a luxurious vacation.”
There was a time when Smart went without food and water for a whole week, she wrote.
“Water was very hard to come by and had to be used very sparingly,” Smart explained. “I wasn’t allowed to make the hike down to the nearby stream.”
Smart said the torture became “so dark and painful” that the effort of trying to live became “so overwhelming I started to consider what would happen next if I did kill myself.”
Smart was rescued in March 2003 after police officers recognized her outside of a grocery store. Today, Smart is a mother of two and happily married. The tell-all comes hits shelves March 27.
Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison, while Barzee is scheduled to be paroled later this year. Radar exclusively reported that Barzee is still trying to recruit women to molest while behind bars.
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