“THE JOHN WALSH SHOW”: MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2003
(SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -March 16, 2003) -On Monday, March 17, THE JOHN WALSH SHOW goes on-location to Salt Lake City, Utah in its continuing coverage of Elizabeth Smart’s return. On the show, John Walsh speaks exclusively with Ed Smart’s parents Charles and Dorotha about their feelings about Elizabeth’s disappearance and joyous reunion with the family.
The show also features conversations with other family members as well as children and stepchildren of Brian David Mitchell along with his ex-wife Debbie. The Smarts thank Debbie Mitchell for her help in identifying her ex-husband, which played a major role in the safe return of Elizabeth. Additionally, Walsh speaks with the two Sandy, Utah police officers, Officer Karen Jones and Sgt. Victor Quizada, who apprehended Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.
Elizabeth’s grandparents, Dorotha and Charles Smart, speak to Walsh in depth about the emotional highs and lows during the search and eventual recovery of their granddaughter. Walsh asks how Elizabeth is doing now. “There was a beautiful glow and a happiness on her face from the minute we saw her,” says Dorotha. She continues, “It seemed so surreal it was a miracle…to hold her was just marvelous. On Friday night (3/14), Dorotha and Charles did not attend the vigil in town to welcome Elizabeth home, instead they spent the night babysitting Elizabeth. Charles says, “We put on a dinner for her, which included a roast and potatoes.” Charles says that Elizabeth said, ‘This is the first meal I’ve had like this since June 4.’
Walsh then turns the topic of conversation to Mary Katherine, Elizabeth’s younger sister, who told the family that the man who kidnapped Elizabeth was “Emmanuel,” the handyman. “She’s not really what you call out going…when she says something you better listen,” says Charles. Walsh adds that after he received the call from Ed about Mary Katherine’s revelation about “Emmanuel” he says, “In my opinion she’s the one who started the whole ball rolling and is the real hero behind the scenes.” Charles adds, “Even though that’s true, the most important thing is when she said who it was. The whole family believed her 100%.” Charles explains there was a big delay in investigating “Emmanuel” (Mitchell), “until finally John Walsh got a hold of the problem and he brought it before the public. In one day we had the answers to who he was and where he might be.” When asked how the family held together, Dorotha says, “It’s our faith and the incredible support from all over the world.” Walsh asks what it was like when they saw Elizabeth again. “It was just the most joyous moments in our lives,” says Charles. Dorotha adds, “It had been the greatest tragedy and it became the greatest joy.”
Walsh then sits down with what he refers to as “The Smart SWAT Team.” Tom Smart, Elizabeth’s uncle, explains he received a call from his brother Ed that he was going down to Sandy, Utah and was in shock because he did not know what to expect. Tom states, “Lois didn’t know anything. Why didn’t they call Lois or Edward and tell them their daughter was alive?” Walsh describes Elizabeth as a hero. “Survival mode is what kept her alive and didn’t let this psycho who lives on another planet kill her or say she’s too much of a risk.” He adds, “Getting justice is not as easy as people think.” Walsh also speaks with several other members of the Smart family including Elizabeth’s aunts Cynthia and Angela and Uncles Chris and Dave.
Joining the Smart family for the first time are Sandy Police Officer Karen Jones and Sgt. Victor Quizada, the first two officers to respond to the 911 calls that identified Brian David Mitchell through sketches they had seen on “Americas Most Wanted.” The Smarts publicly thank the officers for bringing Elizabeth home. They explain that they detained Mitchell, Barzee and Elizabeth and questioned them extensively. The officers realized the stories the Mitchells had given them were false and called their station, to have the flyers brought to them of Elizabeth and Brian David Mitchell. After they held the flyer of Elizabeth up, they became aware of whom they had. Officer Quizada questioned Elizabeth and says, “You could see in her eyes that she was not a normal 14 year-old girl. Teenagers have a spark in their eyes and she did not.”
This special edition of THE JOHN WALSH SHOW also includes footage of the vigil, which featured Ed Smart praising the media and singling out a teary-eyed John Walsh for his effort and steadfast determination throughout the past nine months.