Elizabeth Smart’s horrific story began on the night of June 5, 2002 in an upscale neighborhood in Salt Lake City, when a bearded man cut the screen of her open bedroom window and dragged the 14-year-old girl into the night with a knife to her throat. For the next nine months, Elizabeth was held captive in the Utah mountains and raped multiple times a day (Source: FightTheNewDrug.org)
As always, you can find the complete video and transcript below. In it, Elizabeth talks about her abductor’s pornography addiction: “I can’t say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography all I know is that pornography made my living hell…worse.”
“This is Good Morning America…” “This is Nightline…” “You’re watching WISN-12…” “The abduction of Elizabeth Smart…” “The search for 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart has now gone nationwide…” “She was kidnapped from her bedroom in Salt Lake City…” “Police say the first 48 hours in a missing persons case are the most crucial…” “What happened to Elizabeth Smart?”
So when I was 14, I remember crawling into bed next to my younger sister and falling asleep the next thing I remember hearing was a man’s voice saying, “I have a knife at your neck… …don’t make a sound. Get up and come with me.”
I remember getting up and doing exactly as he said because I didn’t know if he’d been through my house already, I… …didn’t know if he’d killed the rest of my family. The one thing I did know though… was that my younger sister was still in bed next to me, alive. He led me up behind my house up into the mountains. I was brought into this campsite… It was very well stocked, very well hidden. And it was this man who kidnapped me and his wife was waiting for us there. The woman took me into the tent where she forced me to change the clothes I had on and then she got up and left.
And next thing I knew this man was in there telling me I was his wife, and then raping me. Then I remember he was kneeling above me and he had this piece of metal cable and he’s wrapping it around my ankle and then crushing these bolts into place so that I couldn’t escape. And that was the beginning of what turned into the longest nine months of my life.
So every time when I thought I hit rock bottom my captor would find something new to make it worse. And one of those times I had been forced to drink alcohol and I had thrown up and then I’d passed out face down and I woke up the next morning and my face and my hair we’re still all crusted to the ground, covered in vomit and I remember at that point just feeling like: How can you get any lower than this?
And it was just a few days later that my captor was really excited and really kind of amped up about something. He said, ‘Oh, I have something, and I’m going to show it to you… you have to look it, you have to look at it.’ And then I remember he pulled out this magazine full of hardcore pornography and I remember he would just sit and look at it and stare at it and he just talked about these women and then when he was done he would turn and look at me and be like: ‘Now we’re going to do this.”
It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did, which was a lot. Looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him. Having sex with his wife after looking at pornography, it wasn’t enough for him. And then it led into finally going out and kidnapping me. He just always wanted more. I can’t say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography all I know is that pornography made my living hell…worse.
“I’m hoping that we’re going to find her today.” “He is a question mark and we want to put a period on that question mark.” “We are here to officially announce that we have found Elizabeth Smart.”
Actually the following morning after I was rescued, my mom gave me a piece of advice that really changed my life forever. And she said to me: “Elizabeth, what these people have done to you is so terrible and you may never feel like restitution is made but the best punishment that you could ever give them is to be happy.” And that advice has helped make me who I am today.
I have gone on to become an advocate for abuse prevention, an advocate against pornography. I witnessed firsthand just how damaging it is. When I take a step back and look at my life as a whole, I have had a pretty incredible, wonderful life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m happy now and I couldn’t imagine my life any different from how it is now.