The trial of accused kidnapper Brian David Mitchell begins Nov. 1 in Utah with the jury selection phase, according to Electronic Tech News. Mitchell made national news in 2002 when he allegedly kidnapped Elizabeth Smart and held her captive for nine months.
Smart, now 22 years old, will likely take the stand for the prosecution, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. 41 other witnesses will testify against Mitchell, including Smart’s younger sister and mother. Smart testified against Mitchell’s wife last year and was calm and composed as she answered questions from both sides of the case.
Many cases don’t end as happily as Elizabeth Smart’s. Many children are kidnapped and are never seen alive again.
As a parent myself, I regarded the Smart case with trepidation, fear, and hope in 2002. Because Smart had been missing for so long, my wife and I feared the worst: She would never be found again. My wife and I were already careful with our kids, but the Smart case made us take another look at how our children grow up.
My wife and I grew up in different circumstances from today’s kids. I would go out in a group of friends as early as fourth grade and there wouldn’t be a problem. I would walk to school alone or ride my bicycle to middle school on a regular basis.
Times have changed and my kids don’t have such freedoms anymore. It’s not because we don’t trust them; it’s due to the fact my wife and I don’t trust the rest of the world. When my kids were younger, we made sure the friends they were with had a parent along with them. If my wife or I could be present at a gathering, we made an effort to be there.
Now that our children are older, my wife and I don’t think we smother our kids but we certainly like to know where they are and when they plan on being home from outings. We most certainly do not let our children be alone outside at night, and they have their cell phones with them at all times.
We have told our children not to go to the restroom alone. Take a friend with you and never be alone because you never know which stranger might be crazy. Anyone our kids don’t know, unfortunately, could be someone who could hurt our children in ways that may not lead to kidnapping.
As extra precautions, their bedrooms are on the second floor. We have a security system for our ground floor entrances. We have barking dogs who can alert us to danger as well.
Smart’s Eight-Year Ordeal
After eight years, Elizabeth Smart can finally have some sort of closure. Her kidnapping lasted a horrifically long time, but the scars will be there for the rest of her life and will never truly go away. If anything were to happen to my children such as the terrible ordeal Smart endured, I would feel guilty for the rest of my life. I would always wonder what else I could have done to save my child from pain and suffering, let alone how much anger I would harbor toward the person who hurt my kids.
Elizabeth Smart’s case has taught my wife and I to always have our kids communicate with us to their whereabouts when they are out. We can’t protect them from everything, but we can prepare them for the worst in humanity.
ElectronicTechNews.com, “Elizabeth Smart News”.
McEntee, Peg, “For Elizabeth Smart, the final chapter begins”, SLTrib.com.