I just saw her on Larry King live.
I watched this case very closely when it unfolded. I watched Elizabeth very closely tonight to confirm or deny what my impressions were at the time.Larry King is a media whore. John Walsh has become a professional entertainer/politician/hero, these two men are who they are.
The question in my mind was why Elizabeth was going to be on tv. The answer was forthcoming in that the sex offender registration legislation was on the table and they were basically campaigning that was the reason she was on there - her dad.
Her dad is a liar and a paranoid freak-nut, he also sees himself as powerless so he tries to weild as much power over people as possible. This legislation was one of his pet projects, even though the "perp" in his daughters case had no priors.... freaky.
But I didnt watch that squeaky little chipmunk, I watched his daughter, she had to have some idea of what she was in for. Larry, the ho that he is, went straight for the juice - what do you remember most about that night you were abducted? what did you think about during those nine months? with every question about the "abduction" itself, she hemmed and hawed and really didnt have any answers... you would think a girl who had gone through what she had gone through would have had much counseling by now and would have worked through the whole experience and know exactly what she thought of it. Nothing.When asked if she had forgiven her abductors, she said yes right away and then hwed and then recounted almost word for word a conversation with her mom sitting her down and explaining to her she could be bitter and blame them for her bad life or forgive them and move on and have a good life. A stark contrast to the way she viewed the actual experience. She did say she tried not to think about it. that was one of her pat answers when King probed for tintilating tales.
Which brings me to my original impressions and my current conclusions, they are one in the same.
This was a teenage girl from a freaky house and a very controlling dad and who was starting to go goth. ...she was rebelling and was a force to be reckoned with. the severity of her restriction led her to "show them". she ran away.
Now I dont know if she made a plan with this Mitchell guy or simply ran into him after she took off... her sister watched her run away... maybe someone did come and get her... maybe she made up the story with Elizabeth prior to leaving... who knows... but she ran away... and from the time she ran away to the time they reported it was some hours... they conveniently blamed the scared sister for the delay.
Ed Smart is not that smart, but I'll get to that... anybody in his position in the media in salt lake city, being as connected as he was, knew runaways got no attention whatsoever from the media or the police. none. zip. nada. in order to find his daughter, he would have to report her as abducted.
The rest of the story is easy to follow... as they needed, they shaped the story to be whatever they needed it to be... all of a sudden the sister remembers who it was that took her. these people were living in the woods behind their house in a tent! surely Elizabeth spoke to someone during that time, perhaps one of her siblings... thats how they knew who she was with... that is also how they knew that she was alive!!!
As long as this dragged on, no matter how sorry you felt for the family, with what we were told, it was a given that she was dead. or worse. but most likely dead or would be before she was found.People dont break into houses and steal little girls and let them live.... it just doesnt happen. But this family stated on numerous occasions that they KNEW she was alive... believe in whatever hokus pokus you want, I believe them. I believe they KNEW.
Then there was the attempt in another part of town to abduct - whoa, wait, it cant be - Elizabeths cousin using exactly the same MO but they were not sucessful. This news came at a time when the story about Elizabeth had been exhausted by all concerned and even the most hopeful had consigned themselves the the fact that this girl would be found as a skeleton somewhere in the coming years and identified using modern forensics.
NOT ED. . He knew his daughter was out there so he rekindled the case with a second abduction attempt. This was attributed to the fact that Elizabeth probably wanted company so Mitchell was going to get her cousin for her. Funny how Larry didnt stick his probiscis down that hole with her... that would be the most interesting question of the whole case - is the attempted break-in at her cousins house now solved?
Mitchell and Barzee were street people. They helped this girl out. They were different.
Elizabeth was on an adventure so she went along with it... whether she dreaded coming home and facing her dad or wanted to punish him by being gone for so long or just got lost in this different world, who knows.
But she couldnt have been so sheltered as to not know she could have gotton away from these people if she wanted and if she was that sheltered, then that would explain a little girl taking off into the night... most girls her age at that time already knew the dangers out there, or at least their potential. So, she was either being spiteful or was overprotected or both. Looking at Ed, she was both.
Ed Smart is dumb. He is a liar... and tonight, he made his daughter the hottest ticket in provo next fall. for the sake of his ego and to perpetuate the lie so he never gets caught and to feel powerful, even over his daughter(she did not want to be there), he paraded her out to help pass this bill... they got word it passed just as they were going to air, so it was too late to back out... wouldnt want to disappoint his new friend Larry.
Ed is an idiot. Elizabeth is a cute girl who continues to be victimized by her family, her church and her society. I hope for her sake that Mr Ed hasnt set in motion a self fulfilling prophecy regarding his worse fears.
And Mitchell and Barzee... just more meat for the criminal unjustice system which is as interested in the truth as a fish is in dry land.
I will leave you with this reminder - when Elizabeth was first approached on the day of her "rescue", she answered the person who recognized her and approached her with, "you think i'm that girl that ran away."