Thursday, December 12 2013, 12:00 PM MST
Web Exclusive: Why Elizabeth Didn't Run
SHAUNA LAKE: It seems like you kind of get mad sometimes when people say why didn't you just run? As if it's the easiest thing in the world when you're 14 years old and being held by crazy people to just run. I mean can you kind of take us into your mindset in that point of time was it too scary; was it Stockholm syndrome like people say? What was in your heart?
ELIZABETH SMART: I think not being in the situation ourselves and just seeing the story or hearing a story that just seems like the logical thing to do. I mean you think well why wouldn't you run but being in that situation is completely different than just watching it or sitting on the sidelinescompletely different. There were times I did try to escape and it was at great person cost and they were not successful. Eventually I came to a point where I knew that I couldn't just blatantly try anymore because I would not survive if I did that. I had to wait for a time when the opportunity was perfect I had to somehow manipulate a situation to appear as if I had nothing to do with it to him but somehow put myself in a situation to be rescued. They were hard choices to make but I don't regret making any of them. In those moments when people were like you were so close why couldn't you run, why couldn't you say something, why couldn't you do something? I was 14 I wasn't a grown up I had never been prepared for anything like this. At school if you're on fire, stop, drop and roll, if there is an earthquake crawl under your desk. I mean were prepared for those things but nobody had ever prepared me what you should do if you're lying in your bed and someone breaks into your home and kidnaps you at knife point. Nobody told me what to do. I mean now yes I know that 80% of children who fight back get away. But I didn't know that then. I was so threatened with my life with my familys life that if I ran away that they'd be killed. I would be killed and they would make such a perfect target because well Id already been kidnapped and everybody thought that was so terrible that they would never expect that something else could happen to them. I could never live with that thought and Id seen them be so successful at hiding me a way of keeping me covered, keeping me from my family and from my home.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)