To the outrage and shock of many, the Utah woman currently jailed for the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart could be eligible for parole later this year.
CrimeFeed reported that Wanda Barzee, now 72, was sentenced to 15 years in jail on that conviction. While she’s scheduled to be released in 2024, an upcoming parole hearing means that the septuagenarian could be a free woman sometime this year.
According to Deseret News, Barzee was moved to Utah State Prison in 2016 after she was credited with time served and her federal sentence was terminated. Barzee’s husband, Brian David Mitchell, is serving a life sentence at an Arizona federal prison.
Barzee was sentenced for her role in the kidnapping Smart, then 13, and received an a concurrent sentence for the attempted kidnapping of Smart’s then-15-year-old cousin. Barzee had stripped Smart and tied her to a tree—where Mitchell repeatedly raped her.
“What you did to our family and our girl Elizabeth was wrong. It was wrong, and it was evil,” Elizabeth’s mother, Lois Smart, told Barzee in court in 2016. “You hurt our family in ways you’ll never know.”
Alarmingly, Barzee reportedly revealed just last year that God had ordered Smart’s abduction. Speaking to Radar Online, claimed that she was forced by the “celestial kingdom” to kidnap Smart or “be destroyed.”
“For behold, Elizabeth Smart, David and I … are the Pioneers whereby celestial marriage has been restored to the earth in the establishment of the celestial kingdom of God,” she told the tabloid from Utah State Prison.
Radar Online learned this year that Barzee allegedly dispatched some religious followers to the home of a mother of two daughters. The mother claimed she had reached out to Barzee to ask her why she abducted Smart.
“For Elizabeth Smart to have fallen,” Barzee reportedly wrote in response. “I’m in need of a handmaid to take her place.”
After the mother cut off contact, she alleges she was met by some of Barzee’s apostles.
“We put padlocks on both of our doors and keep the windows locked at all times!” the mother said.
“It scares me. And they’ve come back to my house several times!”
[Featured Image: Wanda Barzee/Salt Lake County Prison]