Interviews With Patricia Hearst; Friends, Members of Smart Family

Larry King Live, CNN, Mar. 13, 2003
Aired March 13, 2003 – 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Elizabeth Smart’s miraculous return and her ordeal. We’ll speak with members of the Smart family and they’ll tell us how Elizabeth’s doing and what she’s had to say about what she went through.

Plus, the Smart’s family’s bishop, Bishop David Hamblin of the Mormon Church. He prayed with the Smarts and counseled them through nine months of agony.

But first: exclusive. Patricia Hearst, the most famous kidnap victim of our time, will give us an idea of what captivity may have been like for Elizabeth.


On February 4, 1974 — 74 Patricia Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment, a student at the University of California at Berkeley, imprisoned in the closet, sexually assaulted, eventually involved in the SLA robbery of a bank in San Francisco. You know the story.

Patricia Hearst joins us tonight with a unique personal perspective on Elizabeth’s kidnapping. First, what do you think it must be like for her right now?

PATRICIA HEARST, KIDNAP VICTIM: Right now, I’d say she is very confused. And even though she’s back with her family, which is far and away the best thing for her, because that — the closeness of her family and being back with them is what’s going on bring her, you know, back to being truly herself.

It’s going to take a while. I think that she still believes that her kidnappers have some kind of control over her and it’s going to take at least, at least a couple of weeks being away from them and back safely with her family before she realizes that they have no more powers, that she’s truly safe.

And I know for me, the moment when — it was a longer time, but the moment when I really, really felt the ultimate relief was when I saw them in a courtroom, and that was when I knew for sure that they could never, ever hurt me again.

KING: All right. But was there a time, since you associated and participating with them in events where this Stockholm Syndrome sets in, where you believe your captors?

HEARST: Well, you know, she was taken out of her bedroom, you know, at knife point, terrorized, tortured — and there’s no question in my mind that she was tortured. She’s a little, you know, 14-year- old baby and you have someone who took her, robbed her of the identity that she was in the process of developing. You know, that’s a very, very rough age for a child. You know, 14, 15, 16.

She’s got to now kind of start over and she’s also come home, you know, into a family where the dynamic that they had before her kidnapping has changed dramatically. She’s come into a family now that has spent nine months totally focused toward getting her back to them. In that nine months she’s been, you know, certainly mentally abused and certainly physically abused. You know, he had her hiding her places, dressing — you know, dressing her the way he wanted her. You know, telling her, I’m sure, you know — I’m going to kill you. You’re not safe. I’ll kill your family And he certainly knew the house, the family where everybody was, who they were. She’s got to work back into that family dynamic again and it all has to try to form a new normalcy.

KING: The question, Patricia, most people ask — it been asked of you a hundred times, but it’s more relevant today than it was a couple months ago, when your case dimmed and this case is now in front of us. Why didn’t she run away?

HEARST: I’m sorry?

KING: She — why didn’t she run away?

HEARS: Oh, I thought — sorry. I thought you said she ran away from home.

KING: No, why didn’t she run away. She was found on the street, walking down the street. Run up to a cop.

HEARST: Yes, you can’t do that. It’s impossible.

KING: Why?

HEARST: Because you have been so abused and so robbed of your free will and so frightened that you believe — you come to a point where you believe any lie your abductor has told you. You don’t feel safe. You think that either you will be killed if you reach out to get help. You believe that your family will be killed. You’re not even thinking about trying to get help anymore. You’ve in a way, given up. You have absorbed this new, you know, identity that they’ve given you. You’re just surviving. You’re not even doing that, really. You’re just living while everything else is going on around you.

KING: All right. Now, there are even — there were even pictures taken of them apparently fairly recently. The two suspects and her at a party somewhere.

HEARST: What kind of party was that?

KING: I know. Think of it. Now, you — because she must have mingled with people. They weren’t just the three of them together. They were with other people. He was in jail for six days. How do you explain that?

HEARST: Well, the party, I would say, his friends and I know the SLA had people around them. And why would you reach out to people clearly that were his friends, people he trusted to take you in there.

KING: So you think other people knew…

HEARST: It’s not even an issue.

KING: Other people knew that he had taken her. Other people — friends of his would have known that Ms. Smart is his victim?

HEARST: No. I think that other people would — I think she believes that if she had told these other people that he had kidnapped her that they would have told him that.


HEARST: And frankly, I even believed that. I would — I would be very frightened to just tell, you know, clearly what were his friends a thing like that.

KING: All right. How do you explain…

HEARST: These are not the people you would reach out to and I don’t know about the six days. For all I know, he had left her locked in the trunk of a car while he was in jail.

The best case scenario is that she wasn’t locked in a box and tucked under a bed or stuffed into a basement, but that she was left with, you know, his wife. We don’t know what she was going through in those six days. She could have been buried in somebody’s backyard.

KING: Should Elizabeth get an attorney?

HEARST: Yes. Absolutely. She needs an attorney.

KING: Why?

HEARST: She needs an attorney for several reasons.

On is — and the most important reason at this point, is to keep the investigators in line, because they are, at this point, only interested in prosecuting the people who kidnapped her, which very admirable it is, however, there needs to be a limit on who has access to this child. She’s very, vulnerable. Everybody is going to be — you know, want to be able to say, Oh, I went in and I interviewed her and they’re not going to be careful and cautious. If they administer psychological or psychiatric examination or physical examinations, I would be very concerned that there is no privilege between, you know, this child and those doctors and in fact, at the time of trial, it’s possible that — that the defense could then say, Well, you know, the prosecution’s given these tests. We want our doctors to give her these tests, too. And then she’s subjected to, you know, potentially an abuse as bad or worse than the abuse that she received while she was at the hands of her kidnapper.

Also, I think it’s a good idea just in terms of the press. The press is getting — well, you know, it’s all about the sex isn’t it? They’re out of control.

KING: All about the sex. You mean they’re implying that she was sexually harmed?

HEARST: Yes. I think it’s more than implying. I think…

KING: Should she tell everything that happened to her?

HEARST: I can say if it were my daughter, there simply be no sexual abuse. That would be it. And that…

KING: But she might have to testify to that at a trial, though, right?

HEARST: She needs a lawyer, and I guess if they want to subpoena her and force her, you know, maybe they could. I think there’s no reason why we have to know about something like this. This is a little 15-year-old girl. She’s going to grow up. She’s going to be, you know, 25, 45, 65. She doesn’t need to have this.

I mean, I have visions of the day of her wedding, you know — Remember, Elizabeth Smart she was the one that — it’s just totally unreasonable.

KING: In other words, it has no relation to the kidnapping. She can testify to being kidnapped and being held. She doesn’t have to say anything else. Is that your point?

HEARST: Well, I think life in prison is life in prison. And also, I think we should keep in mind there will probably be two trials, one state, one federal. She’s going to be beginning a very long, horrible ordeal. She really does need counsel to help her get through this, because as loving and, you know, truly lovely as her parents seem to be, they’re thinking everything good is going to happen from here on out and it’s potentially could be very, very bad for this little girl, and they need a lawyer who can get in between investigators and the daughter and lay rules.

KING: Well stated. Let me get a break. We’ll be back with more of Patricia Hearst. We will take phone calls for Patricia Hearst.

Later, members of the family as well as the family’s bishop. You’re watching LARRY KING LIVE. We’ll be right back.


E. SMART: I could not believe it. I absolutely could not believe it. I saw her sitting there on the sofa. She was sitting there with her arms folded. I just went up and I just grabbed her and held her and was crying and crying and crying and I said, Is it really you? And she said, Yes.

And I just — not many words were said, but a lot of emotion was felt. And I just can’t thank enough those people who were willing to come forward with tips and otherwise to help us and I thank you so much.




CAPT. RICK DINSE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE: There’s no question that at the time of the abduction she was in fear and was fearful for a period of time. The other part of the question is the whether she had compassion for them. Again, she was psychologically affected by this abduction and by this imprisonment. And to say that she could be — walk around in a free area where she could have walked away is to say that she was affect by them psychologically.


KING: Patricia Hearst, what advice would you give to the family?

HEARST: You know, I think they’re doing everything they can. They’re being gentle and wonderful and they’re not forcing her to do things that she shouldn’t be doing like just bringing her out in front of the media. And I know that they want to take her picture and see her with the family, but it’s really inappropriate at this time to do that. She’s in an extremely fragile, mental condition at this point.

KING: She looks very good, though. We see pictures of her smiling with her family. She looks robust, in fact.

HEARST: She’s a beautiful girl. I mean, you know, that’s all fine. But they’ll know in terms of bringing her out.

And, you know, she shouldn’t be talking to the press, though. She should be with her family.

KING: Supposedly she had her arms crossed when she first saw her father. You read anything into that?

HEARST: Well yes. I heard that before the last break. And to me it’s very disturbing to me it’s to hear that she was sitting kind of hunched up in a ball all drawn in on herself. And I know that feeling very well. I spent a few weeks just curled up in a ball.

KING: What does it say to you?

HEARST: It say that everything is internalized. All of her feelings and all of her emotions are being held inside of her and she needs time to begin to open up again, and to feel like she’s free and able to be herself.


HEARST: It’s going to be a new self for her, too. She’s changed forever by this.

KING: She’ll always be the girl who, right?

HEARST: No. It’s not that. It’s because the experiences that she’s gone through have just changed her. And she’s just never going to be the same, trusting person.

KING: Right. She’s going to be suspicious of things, right?

HEARST: Yes. She’s going to be very suspicious and for very, very good reason.

KING: Will she ever feel totally safe?

HEARST: I would be extremely surprised if she ever went and, you know, saw a homeless man in the street and said, you know, oh, Mommy, you know, let’s do something to help him. She won’t be bringing someone home to work a roof.

KING: Are you overly protective of your children?

HEARST: I’m not sure what the bar is that we’re judging that by.

KING: Well in your own opinion.

HEARST: No, in my own opinion I think I am reasonably protective. I can’t force fears that I have on them. I can explain concerns that I have about certain things. And, of course, they know what happened to me so they understand if they think I’m maybe being a little over the top. But, you know, I try to not inflicts what happened to me on to them and project it so that they have to live through that.

KING: What about media exploitation? Somebody’s going to make a movie of this. Someone or police officer might want to sell it as a story right? I mean, you’ve got to expect this. Fact of life.

HEARST: Yes. How sad is that? Which is another good reason to limit access to her and another good reason for her to have her own representation with legal counsel.

Because I will bet right now at least two will sell this story of the interviewers. At least one will be a creative consultant on the made for TV movie and another at least one is going to be on one of these cable news networks where it will say “former investigator in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping” and — yes. They’re going to take advantage of the situation and exploit it.

KING: What will that do to her?

HEARST: She’ll be furious, I’m sure and frustrated and feel used and and — there’s really nothing you can do about that.

KING: We’ll take a break, come back and we’ll take your phone calls for Patricia Hearst.

Later we’ll meet family members as well as the family’s bishop from their own ward in Salt Lake. We’ll be right back.


E. SMART: Last night when we got her home we did a few things. Everyone was pleading with her to get on the harp, and she struggled through a couple of pieces. Says, well it’s been nine months! But it was absolutely wonderful to hear her play.

We spent some time together watching her favorite video which is “Trouble With Angels”. And it’s just — it’s unbelievable.



KING: By the way, Patricia Hearst was given a presidential pardon by Bill Clinton hours before he left office. And we go to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: First of all, I am so thrilled that that young girl is home. I, too, am a Later-Day Saint and it is an answer to prayer and it is a blessing.

My question for Ms. Hearst is were you deprogrammed when you finally got free, and if you were, do you think that would be of any benefit for Elizabeth Smart?

KING: Good question.

HEARST: By deprogrammed you mean did I have someone come in to convince me that — that these people…

KING: Yes.

HEARST: I think not that way. I had a psychologist who was incredibly good and it — it wasn’t a deprogramming per se because once I got away from these people I realized, you know — and with her help, too, but you realize on your own that you don’t have to the things that they’ve been telling you think. You don’t have to participate in the disciplining of your mind to not have thoughts that they disapprove of. You do really remarkable and frightening things to yourself when you’re under the control of people like this. And…

KING: She will need a good psychologist.

HEARST: She’ll need a really good psychologist who can also work with the family. Although it’s possible that the bishop could be just as helpful, you know? I don’t know. They’ll know how to deal with this. The family will be able to make these decisions.

KING: Memphis, Tennessee for Patricia Hearst. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi. I was just calling. Patricia Hearst, it’s just amazing to have you on the phone. I followed your class closely I graduated in 1975 from high school so I was intensely into your ordeal.

KING: What’s your question?

CALLER: I was wondering about her family’s strong faith in god. It amazed me from the beginning of this ordeal. And I wanted to ask you what do you think the repercussions will be for Elizabeth if her family does not seek psychiatric help for her?

HEARST: You know, that’s really hard to say because they’re a very close family. It depends. I think they ought to have definitely some kind of psychological help for her.

KING: What’s your read on…

HEARST: Someone chosen by the family and…

KING: What’s your read on how strong their faith and was is?

HEARST: Well, that obviously helped keep the family together. I have to say that to me getting Elizabeth back was not so much the power of prayer, which is what kept the family so strong and so united and so determined, but getting her back was more the power of “America’s Most Wanted” or something. They’re just putting out the picture of the man that their youngest daughter said he did it. And they believed her. They did everything they could.

KING: Yes.

HEARST: And following what they believed was the truth.

KING: Burlington, North Carolina. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Larry, I followed the case, too, of Miss Hearst when that happened to her. Weren’t you physically abused and if she was, will she ever get over it?

HEARST: I think it will be a lot — If she were abuse and, yes, I was and knowing now what I knew then, I just wouldn’t even tell anybody about it. The questioning was so brutal. It was horrific, and it just isn’t worth it, you know.

(CROSSTALK) KING: What’s the effect of physical abuse?

HEARST: You know, I think the mental abuse, I hate to say it, is more horrific than the physical abuse. Down the road, 20 years down the road she could suffer a trauma that could trigger another post- traumatic stress response to this kidnapping, and be thrown into a terrible depression that she would need serious psychiatric counseling for. And you know, you kind of never get over that. And you know, the physical is — you know, you weren’t saying hey, baby, come on. That was a lot easier to get over it than the mental and emotional abuse.

KING: St. Louis, hello. I’m sorry, I didn’t hit the button.

St. Louis, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Patty. I wanted to know if you think about what happened to you every day and how has it affected your family?

HEARST: I don’t think about it every day. I do think about it on a regular basis, though because there — you know — not always, but there can be something that will trigger a memory or, you know, certainly when a case like this happens and you know, when there’s a kidnapping, I think about it much more frequently.

KING: Smyrna, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Patricia. I was wondering if you could tell us a little more about your own healing process and how long it took for you to build a sense of normalcy and whether or not your spiritual beliefs contributed to your healing process.

HEARST: Well, I think the healing process really — the most important aspect of that was being with my family. That’s when the real healing took place. I was, you know, put in jail and imprisoned for many months after my kidnappers had abducted me. And they held me for 18 months and then I think I was another 14 months in prison before I was able to be home with my family.

And, you know, psychological help from a trained psychologist or psychiatrist is fine, but you really have to be with your family to get over that kind of trauma. Luckily, you know, Elizabeth is home with her family now. and this was a very, very close, loving, you know, wonderful family. They just, from what you see on the television, these are the perfect parents. I mean, I think she couldn’t have a better place, you know, to be home and healing in.

KING: We’ll take a break and be back with more moments with Patricia Hearst, some more phone calls and then we’ll meet members of the family and the Bishop David Hamlin, the family’s bishop. As we go to break, let’s go back through the years, and hear a conversation between Patty and her mother after the kidnapping.


HEARST: Mom? Dad? I’m, OK.

CATHERINE HEARST, PATTY HEARST’S MOTHER: We love you, Patty. And we’re all praying for you. I’m sorry I’m crying, but I’m happy you’re safe.




E. SMART: It’s real! It’s real! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am, what an absolute miracle and answer to prayers this has been. God lives. He is there. He answers prayers, and the prayers of the world have brought Elizabeth home.


KING: We’re back with Patricia Hearst. South El Monte, California, hello

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Patricia.


CALLER: I just want to say my thoughts and prayers go out with the Smart family. What a blessing they experienced.

But my question is for Patricia. Did you need any kind of psychological counseling and are you still in counseling as of today?

HEARST: No, I’m not in counseling as of today. I have had to have counseling since the event. You know, it was almost 30 years ago, and, yes, I did have it.

KING: Yes.. Chicago, hello.


Ms. Hearst, do you wish that the AMBER alert was in effect when you were abducted? And if so, are you going rally behind the Smart family to see that this gets passed. Because 1974 to 2003 — I mean, what has changed?

HEARST: Well, I mean, some state do have it. I do think there should be a national AMBER alert. I don’t like the idea that it’s just being dragged around and ignored because it’s got too much other fat attached to this bill. And yes, I do support it.

KING: Toronto, Canada, for Patricia Hearst, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.


CALLER: I know that a lot has been said about victims of crimes such as yours and Elizabeth’s becoming somewhat compassionate or at least understanding of their captors. Did it have a long lasting effect on you, Patty, and if so, did you think that it will influence about what Elizabeth will or won’t say about them in terms of the testimony at trial?

KING: Good question.

HEARST: Well, it only — they exert influence over you while they have power over you. Now that power extends for awhile after you’ve been rescued, but within a few weeks you realize they no longer have that power and no, it will not — excuse me — influence her testimony at trial. She’ll testify truthfully.

KING: Can you explain the power while it’s happening?

HEARST: Well, you’re so terrorized…

KING: Just by threats or what makes you…

HEARST: I’m sorry.

KING: In other words, are there times that she would begin to believe these people — we’ll ask the bishop about it in a couple of minutes — but these people were excommunicated from her church. Would you begin to think that she was led to have their same religious thoughts during this period? Would she join them in that?

HEARST: Well, I think that certainly while she was, you know, held by them she’s going to parrot whatever it was she told her to say. In terms of actually believing them, people who, you know, pick up these beliefs and truly absorb them are people who seek out these kinds of beliefs.

My kidnappers all got together. They lived in different parts of the country. They found each other because they had similar beliefs. So, you know, Elizabeth Smart was home in bed. She wasn’t looking for something other than her religion — but when somebody has a gun or a knife to your head, throat, whatever, you’re very willing to tell them what they want to hear, and you will tell them that as long as you have to to stay alive. But that doesn’t mean that you truly believe that.

I mean, I guess you believe it in a sense, you know, during the time that they have that physical and mental control over you. But once you’re away from that, you get your freedom back to think for yourself.

KING: Schenectady, New York, hello?

CALLER: Hi, yes.

Patricia, I was just wondering if, you know, it follows up with question that was just asked a couple of minutes ago about identifying with her captors. And does she have sympathy, especially with as spiritual and loving as she and her family are, does she have sympathy for her — for this man and this woman. And although maybe it won’t influence her when it comes to trial, is it… KING: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cut the call. But I think you got the gist of it. I hit that by mistake. I’m sorry.

HEARST: I think I know where she was going.

And, you know, many times people who have been held hostage say, Well, they were really nice to me and what they really mean is, you know, thank God they didn’t kill me.

This won’t last in terms of her having some kind of strange sympathy for them at trial. At this point, we don’t really know enough about who these people are or what they were doing. They certainly seemed like they had serious psychiatric problems of their own and that no one’s paid any attention to those for years. But that’s just kind of me looking at pictures and hearing reports, so — I think in a way, many of us could have some kind of sympathy for people that are — have deep psychiatric problems, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior and what they’ve done to this child.

KING: Bad Axe, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Patty.

I’m wondering how the media speculation affected your recovery and, you know, how, you know, you’re doing now and…

HEARST: Well, it’s been, really a long time. But it was very difficult for me because that long ago people looked at the kidnap victim, you know, hostage relationship, with the person who held them hostage and they truly didn’t understand what goes on to a person who is held hostage over a long period of time. And certainly my abductors had political motives that they were trying to achieve, so it was much harder for me because I was not really viewed as a victim for a very long time.

And in fact, there are aspects of my case that dragged on until just a few months ago. So when my abductors finally pled guilty to crimes that they’d committed, you know in this case, I — the interest of the media is kind of turning frighteningly salacious at this point and I don’t like to see this kind of thing turn into entertainment for the masses.

KING: San Antonio, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I wanted to know what your first few days of capture were like and would you remind us of how you were captured?

HEARST: Captured?

KING: They want to know — refresh them how you were taken.

HEARST: Well, I was at home in my apartment and, you know, I was — I had done homework and was watching television and I was yanked out of there in a hail of machine gunfire and hit in the face with a machine gun, dragged down a flight of stairs outside and thrown in the trunk of a car, blindfolded, gagged, questioned. They called it an interrogation, and it was weeks of sensory deprivation and, you know, other physical abuse and — and then indoctrination because they — they had political motive.

KING: To Parsons, Tennessee, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Ms. Hearst, it’s good to see you doing so well. I was wondering since you’re so adamant about the Smart family hiring an attorney, did your family have an attorney for you when you were arrested or released from your kidnappers?

HEARST: Well, I mean, yes, because I was placed under arrest.

Normally, a victim doesn’t get arrested, but we don’t even need to go there for this one. You have a 14-year-old girl who is the victim of a violent crime and, unfortunately, the men and women who are now, you know, charged with the task of prosecuting her kidnappers aren’t really going to be paying quite as much attention to this child and what her needs are as they perhaps should be and overzealous questioning of a girl who’s been through what she’s been through is not a good thing.

And there’s too many people having access to her. You’ll have people, you know, release this to the media that shouldn’t be released. You know, I’d be very careful. They could be wanting to videotape things. You know, Like I said, any examinations by physicians could spark a wave of, you know, defense motions to have those same exams done by their doctors. She needs protection.

KING: Yes. You’ve said it eloquently. Thank you so much for doing this, Patricia. We really appreciate it.

HEARST: Well, you know, Larry, I’m happy to be here. And I am so happy for the Smart family.

KING: Patricia Hearst.

And when we come back, three members of the family and the family bishop right after this. Don’t go away.


E. SMART: And I am asking, I’m calling upon all of the Congressmen. I am calling upon everyone out here in the United States to call your congressman. Tell them this legislation needs to come to the floor, stand alone. And that you want it and let them know and let them be accountable. Because they are accountable to us and they don’t have the right to work on their own issues.


KING: Joining us now from Salt Lake City is David Francom. He is Elizabeth’s uncle. In the middle is Julie Smart, Elizabeth’s aunt and Sierra Smart, Elizabeth’s 22-year-old cousin.

Also there in the studios are bishop David Hamblim. Bishop, for the ward of the Mormon Church which to which the family of the Smarts belongs, that he counseled and prayed with the Smarts throughout the abduction ordeal. We’ll talk to him in a moment.

David Francom, have you seen your niece?

DAVID FRANCOM, ELIZABETH’S UNCLE: I have. She looks wonderful.

KING: All three of you have seen her and been with her?


KING: Is she showing any after signs at all, Julie, of the ordeal she went through? Any trauma at all?

JULIE SMART, ELIZABETH’S AUNT: Not really that I can tell. She seems a little subdued, but she still has that great smile and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) her eyes. It was great to see her today and actually touch her. It’s just been a wonderful, wonderful day.

KING: Were people, Sierra, asking her questions about what happened or that was for later?

SIERRA SMART, ELIZABETH’S COUSIN: Asking what happened with…

KING: You know, while she was away, where she was, what happened.

S. SMART: Well, we’re not really talking to her about that right now at all. It’s just stuff like, oh, my gosh, we missed you so much and we love you. We don’t want to touch on anything. I mean that could have serious effects on everything. I mean, we don’t even want to touch on that and she’s, you know. And she’s just happy to see us all and we’re just happy to see her. We’re not even past that point yet.

KING: I understand.

David Francom, how does she look?

FRANCOM: She looks good. Nine months older. I think she’s put on a little weight. She’ll probably hate me for saying that.


FRANCOM: But, no, it’s just been nonstop smiles and hugs from yesterday to today.

KING: Bishop Hamblin, you counseled this family. They worship with you in the ward. What do you make of them? I guess all of America, the world is a little surprised at how they’ve handled this. What can you tell us about how they’ve dealt with this?

BISHOP DAVID HAMBLIN, SMART FAMILY BISHOP: Well, I think they’re people of extraordinary faith. I think they’re realistic people. They understand the world in which they live. They understand bad things can happen to good people. They have a very supportive family, involved family, very supportive community. They feed off of their family and the community and their faith and this is what helps them get through this kind of thing.

KING: Did they worship every Sunday with you throughout all this?

HAMBLIN: Yes they worshipped every Sunday. The children came and participated in the youth programs, the primary programs. And Ed is a counselor and the bishopric (ph) so he participated in the administration of the ward. Not quite at 100 percent, but enough that he had been able to help out greatly in spite of what he had and what was going through.

KING: Did they require personal counseling?

HAMBLIN: Yes, they did. They had counseling from psychologists and psychiatrists. And then they had counseling — I met with them several times, particularly Ed. And they met with other church leaders.

And they received — Ed would basically call from time to time and said I’m just having a really bad day. I need to talk. And he’d come and talk for an hour and then he’d want a blessing so that he could deal with this and move on.

And then when he got through, he’d stand up and give me a big hug and he’d say I feel better. I’m ready to go on. Try another day.

KING: The suspects, we are told, David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee were once Mormons and were ex-communicated. Can you explain what that is?

HAMBLIN: Well, it means that their membership in the church has been terminated. Their names had been removed from the official records of the church.

The first presidency put out a notice today, a couple of lines, I can read it if you’d like me to…

KING: Sure.

HAMBLIN: … but it just basically said — it says, “Neither Brian David Mitchell nor his wife Wanda Ileen Mitchell are members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or are affiliated with it in any way. Both are former church members who were ex- communicated for activity promoting bizarre teachings and lifestyle farfield (ph) from the principles and doctrines of the church.”

That came from the first presidency of the church.

KING: Simply put, they were ask to leave the church.

HAMBLIN: Yes. And they didn’t believe in the principles so there was no reason for them to still belong, either.

KING: We’ll take a break and come back with more with the family and the bishop.

As we go to break, here’s the 9-1-1 call that led to the recovery of Elizabeth Smart. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me if this where I call if I think I see that Emmanuel they’re looking for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is. Where do you think you’ve seen him at?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he is right here across from South Town Mall on State Street and he’s walking — he’s walking toward town. So he’s walking north. And he’s with two ladies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does he have a robe on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has, like, like a bit of something on. They’re carrying sleeping bags and bags. And he’s got a big, bushy beard, a mustache. The women have got something over their head. I’m trying to — they look like they’re definitely homeless people. Homeless, gray-haired one — I can’t tell. She got her head just, like, covered.



KING: Let’s get a quick call in.

Bossier City, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER: I was wondering if the family has made any statements such as when Elizabeth would be returning to normal activity, such as school and that sort of thing.

KING: David, what do you know? David Francom.

FRANCOM: Too soon to know. She’s been talking to return to school and wants to return back to her normal activities, but at this point, I don’t know if we have an idea of when that might happen.

KING: Do you worry, Julie, that is say, if she were to go to school next week she’d have nothing but camera crews following her around, and she’d be the subject of media intensity.

J. SMART: Yes. I think that’s a very real worry. We just want her to be able to function, and have some time to recover and recuperate and hopefully get on with the normal life at some point.

KING: Do you think, Sierra, she might take the advice of what Patricia Hearst,said, and get a lawyer and get psychological counseling, as well?

S. SMART: Well I — you know, we’re just taking it as we go and seeing what Elizabeth needs the most. But I assume we’ll have all kinds of the best treatment that what we assess she needs. We’ll have the best for her and I think that’s pretty logical that she will have that.

FRANCOM: I’m quite certain she will.

KING: Yes. Bishop, you know her quite well, do you not, bishop Hamblin?

HAMBLIN: I’ve been in this position for a year and a half. I know her. I’m close friends with her grand parents and I’ve known her and interviewed her a couple of times. So, I feel I know her fairly well.

KING: We’ve heard family members a lot.

How would you describe her?

HAMBLIN: Well, I think she’s a remarkable young woman. She’s engage individual levels. She’s a fantastic friend. There’s all sorts of stories about how she reaches out to other friends and includes those who failed her on the outside. She’s a wonderful musician. She’s engaged in church activities. She has faith. She’s an amazing woman. I just — I think she’ll be able to get through this. We don’t know how long it will take, but I have a lot of faith that she’ll be able to get through. And I hope that she’ll have a normal life.

KING: When do you plan to see her?

HAMBLIN: Soon. I talked to Ed a couple of times a day and I hope to see her in the next day or two.

KING: Now David…


KING: I’m sorry, go ahead, bishop.

HAMBLIN: I just say, we counsel with our youth. As the bishop I counsel with youth twice a year. They come in for an in depth interview. We talk about schooling and friends and the church. That’s how I know Elizabeth and know all of the youth in the ward.

KING: Julie, she’s not going to go back to school — back to church any time soon, is she, because she’ll be followed there too, won’t she?

J. SMART: I would think so, but I do not know what their plans are.

But — some day, yes.

KING: David Francom, what if anything, surprised you the most about Elizabeth Smart now?

FRANCOM: She seems more mature. So much more poised, really, around adults, around her peers. I mean, she’s always been poised. I don’t mean to say she’s different that way, but she was very open, very willing to hug and just be so excited to be around everybody.

KING: What surprised you, Sierra?

S. SMART: I think the same thing. I mean, the second I walked in the door there were all kinds of people in there. And I was kind of looking for her. And as soon as I saw her I just grabbed her and hugged her. But I guess I’m just surprised at not seeing her in nine months, obviously, she looks a lot older and she does act a lot older. And It’s a little bit different talking to her just because she’s older, and we’ve missed nine months of her life — I don’t know, we’re just so excited.

KING: You can’t that back.

Julie, what surprised you?

J. SMART: Well, we decided to have an impromptu birthday party and we started singing to her. And she was just so excited and we grabbed balloons and ran outside and she came with us and wasn’t afraid to be out with us. And we were cheering and dancing and we let the balloons go, and just celebrated and I was just so pleased to see her happy.

KING: Do you view this, bishop, as answered prayers?

HAMBLIN: Yes. I — that’s a very difficult question. I think the faith and prayer has had an influence here. I think the family was at this stage before she was found, willing to accept any outcome, because they have a higher faith that they believe there’s a god that’s in charge of this universe, this earth and they’re willing to leave things in his hands. Obviously, they’re just thrilled that these prayers were answered this way. But do we know of many people whose prayers are not answered this way and we feel sorry for them and we wish comfort for them.

KING: Thank you all very much, David Francom, Julie Smart, Sierra Smart, give Elizabeth our best from all of us here at CNN.

We all thank you.

KING: Bishop David Hamblin, the bishop for the ward, the Mormon church to which the Smart family belongs to. We thank you very much.

We’ll come back in a minute and tell you what’s coming up tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE,” don’t go away.


KING: Tomorrow night more on the miraculous recovery of Elizabeth Smart and a special visit with actor Don Johnson.

Mr. Johnson was stopped in Germany recently with an awful lot of money in his possession. He’ll tell us what that was all about tomorrow night.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday March 14, 2003.
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