One of Elizabeth Smart‘s kidnappers was released from prison last month, and now many are wondering more about her family. Turns out, the now 72-year-old has six children, all of whom have spoken out against their mother — even calling her a “monster.”
“I think the media portrayed my mother as being a victim of Brian David Mitchell, and I think one of the reasons I wanted to come on this show is to kind of expose her for the monster she is,” Wanda’s daughter, Andrea, revealed on Oprah in 2010.
LouRee Gayler, the youngest of the bunch, was just 14 years old when she found out her mother served her pet rabbit for dinner.
“I asked what’s for dinner and she said chicken,” LouRee said on the show. She remembered her mother and her second husband, Brian, just picking at their meals, “but she had a smile on her face the whole time,” she said.
When LouRee went to feed her pet rabbit the next morning, she found the cage empty. “What happened to Peaches?” she asked her mother, to which she allegedly replied, “You had it for dinner last night.”
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In defense of victims and survivors I hope everyone realizes that speaking up, reporting, even admitting that they have been victims of sexual abuse takes an incredible amount of courage and vulnerability! If you are ever in the position where someone confides in you and shares most likely the worst moments of their life I would encourage you just to listen, support them, and be the kind of person that you could share your worst memories with. Because there is nothing worse than finding the courage to say something and not be believed, disregarded, and perhaps most of all questioned. There are very few cases of people lying about abuse so no matter the circumstances it is always better to understanding and kind. #survivors #victims #endingviolence #rape #endingrapeculture #rapeisneverok #changenow #listendontjudge
Wanda’s children either left home or were thrown out of the house by the time they were 13 or 14, they told Oprah. LouRee said she left after the rabbit dinner and claimed it was the “last straw” after years of abuse.
When asked what punishment they believed their mother deserved, Andrea said she should be put away for good. “I don’t think she should see the light of day again,” she said.
Unfortunately, Wanda was released from prison on Sept. 19 — years earlier than expected. At the time, Elizabeth released this statement to the public: “Without doubt the past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words, support, and concern. It has meant so much to me,” she wrote on Instagram.
“May we all remain vigilant in watching over our families, friends, and community from anyone who would seek to hurt or take advantage. I truly believe life is meant to be happy and beautiful, and no matter what happens that will remain my goal for me and for my family.”
Despite what Wanda’s kids have said about her, she issued a statement through her lawyer at the time saying she hopes to continue to repair relationships despite her “serious and unique circumstances.”