Wanda Barzee is known as one of two people responsible for abducting Elizabeth Smart back in 2002. For her role in the abductions he spent 15 years in jail and has now been released.
72-year-old Wanda Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell kidnapped Smart, now 30, from her bedroom. For nine months, Smart endured torture, including rape, at the hands of her captors.
In 2009, she pleaded guilty to kidnapping and also agreed to testify against Mitchell, who was convicted in December 2010 and is serving two life sentences.
Barzee was meant to be behind bars until 2024, however, according to reports the parole board ruled that the time she spent in federal prison, jail and the Utah State Hospital prior to her conviction counted towards her sentence.
Wanda Barzee is the mother of six children, of whom she has no real relationship. She and her first husband welcomed all six of them but eventually got divorced.
In 1984, Barzee and her first husband—the children’s father—finalized their divorce. A year later, she married Brian David Mitchell.
In 2010, four of Barzee’s six children, Andrea (pictured above), Derrick, Louree and Rhonda, appeared on television to recall the physical and emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of their mother and step-father Mitchell.
Rhonda McLeod, in emails with The Salt Lake Tribune, said her mother wrote all of her six children letters in 1993 disowning them. Her children have all described their mother as a ‘monster’ who brainwashed and abused them. According to her social media, Rhonda is an Accounts Receivable at Elwood Staffing Services. She is married to Mike McLeod.
During the show, son Derrick revealed he was never taught the difference between right and wrong. As a result he got into a lot of trouble with the law. Derrick Thompson, is the author of a book about his childhood entitled “Raised By Wolves.”
For daughter Louree, the final straw came when she was 14 years old. She recounted the time where her mother killed, cooked and fed the family her pet rabbit. She said she moved after the incident. Louree who goes as Louree Young, studied at Salt Lake Community College and works in business at Comcast.
Wanda’s other children also include, Scott and Mark Thompson. Scott is a Systems Engineer at TC-Helicon.
Not much is known about Wanda’s first husband.