Daughter calls Barzee's plea deal, apology ‘an act'

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The daughter of Wanda Barzee is speaking publicly a day after Barzee struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors. She says Barzee could be getting off too easy for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart.

As part of the plea deal, Barzee will serve 15 years in prison, with credit for time served. She'll also testify against Brian David Mitchell if his case goes to trial.

Still, Barzee's daughter--who did not want to be identified--says Barzee is dangerous and needs to be in prison a lot longer than that.

"I'm thrilled that Elizabeth has done, and her family has done as well as they've done. I wish her continued success in all that she does," Barzee's daughter says.

It's taken more than seven years to get some resolution in the kidnapping case of Elizabeth Smart; and for Barzee's daughter, watching it unfold has been difficult.

"The term ‘mother,' I don't know if I can give her that title," she says.

Her daughter says, growing up, Barzee was emotionally abusive. She also says Barzee sexually abused at least one of her five siblings, although that was never reported to police.


"She was one that would brainwash us for two to three hours a day. She would lock up food," Barzee's daughter says.

At 13, the daughter left her parents and lived in a non-court-ordered foster home. Her last contact with Barzee was before the kidnapping. Then this summer, she got a letter from her mother.

"She said that she was sorry and that she asked for my forgiveness and would like for me to engage with her and at this point. I choose not to," Barzee's daughter says.

She says forgiveness isn't the issue; she wants people to know the Barzee she knew.

"My personal experiences and dealings with her is that she's a master manipulator. She's very calculating. She's very smart," the daughter says.

She doubts Barzee has changed, even after forced medication. She says Barzee's apology to Smart in court is an act to get a more lenient sentence. She also believes Barzee is just as dangerous as Brian David Mitchell.

"I think she's a monster," Barzee's daughter says. "I just feel like I have a responsibility to, as a mother, to protect children."

The U.S. Attorney's Office sent KSL News a statement in response to our interview with Barzee's daughter. The statement reads: "While we respect her opinion, 15 years is a significant prison sentence and it will be followed by a period of supervised release. Many factors were taken into consideration in deciding to enter the plea agreement. We stand by our decision."

A judge will sentence Barzee in May.

E-mail: syi@ksl.com

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Sandra Yi


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