Find a list of your saved stories here

Book on Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Cited in Lawsuit

Book on Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Cited in Lawsuit

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A book critical of police investigation of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart has been cited in a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department.

The book "In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation," by Elizabeth's uncle Tom Smart and Lee Benson, contended the department wrongfully focusing on prison parolee Richard Ricci to the exclusion of other leads.

Ricci was arrested for parole violation and died in custody Aug. 30, 2002, after a cerebral hemorrhage.

Ricci was cleared of the June 5, 2002, abduction when Elizabeth was found on March 12, 2003, with homeless street preacher Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee, who are charged in the kidnapping.

Ricci's widow, Angela Ricci, brought the wrongful death complaint. The state Corrections Department settled last year by paying her $150,000 but denied wrongdoing.

Last month, she sued the Salt Lake City Police Department in U.S. District Court, claiming investigators went after her husband to avoid allegations of incompetence and to satisfy the public's hunger for results.

She contends her husband died from stress, cruelty and grief.

In an addendum filed Monday, Ricci's attorney, D. Bruce Oliver, quoted from Smart's book, which was published in April.

The lawsuit keyed on police efforts to force Ricci to confess he had a role in the kidnapping.

According to the book, Ricci was isolated at the prison, denied hot water and hot food and police used a number of tricks to try and break him.

While Ricci was returned to prison for parole violation, he also was facing state charges that he burglarized the Smart home and another in the neighborhood and federal charges of bank robbery.

Ricci had worked odd jobs at the Smart house. He confessed to stealing jewelry and other items from the family, but denied having anything to do with the kidnapping.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast