News / Utah / 

Elizabeth Smart Upset by Uncle's New Book

Elizabeth Smart Upset by Uncle's New Book



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 Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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) -- Elizabeth Smart didn't even have to crack open her uncle's new book to become upset.

There, staring back at her on the front cover was a picture taken three years ago, when the 14-year-old was known by the name Augustine Marshall, the face mostly hidden under a veil.

Two years and a month after the abducted teenager was safely returned home, her father, Ed Smart, says his daughter's old wounds have been reopened with the Monday publication of "In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation," a book co-written by his brother, Tom Smart.

"She has read the book," Ed Smart told The Associated Press on Tuesday, adding both the words and the main cover photograph have caused her to relive the nine-month ordeal.

"She has been through enough," he said.

Ed and Lois Smart have written their own book, published in August 2004, about the ordeal.

Elizabeth was kidnapped from the bedroom she shared with a younger sister in June 2002. She allegedly was kept in the foothills near her family's upscale home on the edge of Salt Lake City for months as Brian David Mitchell's second wife, sometimes tethered to trees to prevent her from escaping.

After spending the winter in California, the teenager -- clad in a robe and veil -- was found nine months later in the Salt Lake suburb of Sandy, walking down State Street with Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Both Mitchell and Barzee are charged with aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping.

Barzee, 59, was ruled incompetent to stand trial but the state now seeks to have her forcibly medicated. A hearing on that issue has not been set. She is seeking a divorce from Mitchell, 51, who is in the middle of his second competency hearing, which will resume in May.

Ed Smart also worries that the book implies Elizabeth cooperated in the writing, such as the way it describes an alleged encounter between the girl and an officer sent to the downtown library on a tip she might be there.

"The detective walked directly to the robed man and women. When he asked them who they were, the man told him that they were Peter and Juliette Marshall, traveling with their daughter, Augustine, as servants of the Lord Jesus. ... the detective finally turned to the younger woman, and, while looking directly at her, asked, "Are you Elizabeth Smart?"

"No," Elizabeth replied. "I am Augustine Marshall."

Tom Smart denied his brother's claim, saying the book makes clear early on that Elizabeth was not consulted. The book was co-authored by Lee Benson, a columnist and Tom Smart's colleague at the Desert Morning News newspaper in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart admitted the book would be different "with Elizabeth's help, but she didn't want to relive that and I don't blame her," Tom Smart said of the book, which mostly focuses on the botched police investigation into the abduction.

He also says the book was not thrust on Ed and Lois Smart with Monday's publication, saying they got a copy of the manuscript weeks ago to edit, but they refused to read the book.

"I understand it is a traumatic experience, and in reading the book, I still cry though the last third of it," Tom Smart said. "I can understand Elizabeth wanting to put it behind her."

Ed Smart said the family was not endorsing the book "because we feel like Elizabeth has her own story she hasn't ever told anyone. We don't know that she ever will."

Tom Smart claimed he had no role in deciding what the publisher, Chicago Press Review, used for a cover photo. "I had the same reaction, it's powerful, I felt like I was kicked in the stomach."

However, "that was the same way Ed and Lois portrayed her in the TV movie they did," Tom Smart said, adding the image of a veiled Elizabeth Smart has been out there "thousands and thousands of times."

Despite the rift over the book, the brothers say it shouldn't cause any long-lasting hurt within the family. "It's been hard, but we love and appreciate all the family did," Ed Smart said. "I wrote this with every page in mind that someday, Elizabeth could read it," Tom Smart said. "I love my brother, Elizabeth and Lois. The rest of my family has felt strongly that this was a story that needed to be told." (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast