Talk:Elizabeth Smart kidnapping/Archive 1

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Lou Dobbs/public distraction

The Lou Dobbs/public distraction hypothesis is a bit of a stretch. Ortolan88 06:00 Mar 14, 2003 (UTC)

Agreed. Out it goes. sNowwis

Why just the rich kids

Without question, I am extremely happy for Elizabeth and her successful return from her ordeal. All that aside, I seriously question why out of the 100,000s of child abductions each year in the U.S., the stories that makes national media involves attractive girls from affluent neighborhoods. To be blunt, how many fat or acne-riddled or freckle-faced abducted girls make the national media? Moreover, how many abducted boys make the national media? Why a Wiki article about Elizabeth Smart and not about the 10,000s of others of recovered abductions each year? Kingturtle 20:24 Mar 15, 2003 (UTC)

I think a general article about the phenomenon of missing children would be a very valuable addition to Wikipedia. Are you up to it, Kingturtle? Danny
I have many things on my Wiki-plate. It is easy for me to ask the questions (listed above). To answer them will take a great deal of study. I wouldn't be able to start such an article until the summer or the fall. Kingturtle 20:58 Mar 15, 2003 (UTC)
I don't know if this is addressed in a thread below, but Smart's father is affluent and used his resources to push this case into the public eye. The media would've covered it (a bit) anyway, but not to as great a deal as they did had he not spent so much money raising awareness of his missing daughter. —Frecklefoot 20:09, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Her uncle also works in the media.

Elizabeth Smart? Attractive? Okay, whatever.

Hellz yeah. I'd hit it. 09:34, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I too. 21:12, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Missing white woman syndrome see the indicated article which addresses all the points indicated. Somebody rose to the challange.--TGC55 16:43, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Writer?

My, she seems awefully young to be a Canadian writer. Tannin

Future Changes

I hope this article on Elizabeth Smart can grow along with the case. Future headings of significance to criminologists could include: The Investigation, Pre-Trial Activities, The Trial, The Sentencing, Prison Life, Parole, Impact on the Community, Missing Children.

These topics get less and less coverage these days because the networks are interested in being first -- and only first -- with the movie of the week based on a particular case. To win the race against the other networks, they'll do a deal based on the earliest feasible version of the story. In other words, the Elizabeth Smart story will end with her recovery (and most likely center around the parents' ordeal) and will cover the rest with a couple paragraphs of text added to the end credits just before broadcast. Check out the Reuter's article, TV Networks Racing to Get Smart to see what I mean. SNowwis

I predict that the Smart family will be so slow to respond to any of the 100 or so proposals they've received that the networks will run with whatever they can find in the public domain. As soon as a writer can show there's a story possible with just PD material, talks with the Smarts will cease, cameras will roll in a few weeks at one studio, the other networks will lose interest in the Elizabeth Smart story, and there will be no further incentive to cover the case. This is where Wikipedia can come in, tracking the case from its community roots to its long-term impact on the community. SNowwis

More Improvements

Pre-trial activities would be a next logical topic in this article. Since her return the overall theme seems to still be the conflict between silence and the need to know. Here are the most recent developments I am tracking:

  • Charges have been filed with details from the police of abduction and sexual assault.
  • Who gets the reward money?
  • Parents criticize police efforts. Investigation slated.
  • Prosecution insists on uncovering more details of sexual assault.
  • Parents urge prosecutors to drop sexual assault charges.
  • Will the tv version be based on public domain information?

Any other themes come to mind? SNowwis

What about the propensity of the Smart family, living in a lavish home, willing to pay below-minimum-wages to day laborers off the street instead of licensed contractors? -- Zoe

Zoe that is a bad topic because it is based upon a false assumption. The Smarts did NOT pay below minimum wages. Nor did they pay them INSTEAD of Licensed Contractors, but ALONG WITH Licensed Contractors. It was, in essence, charity. A hand-out. But in keeping with Mormon beliefs... it was not given for nothing... work was exchanged. 05:50, 15 April 2006 (UTC) Overdubbed

And has Mitchell been formally charged with attempting to kidnap Elizabeth's cousin? -- Zoe
Yes, Mitchell and Barzee were both charged with attempted aggravated kidnapping of the cousin.
As to working with street types, check out this snippet from an AP story today:
"Members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, which has 34 chapters in 13 states, packed several benches in 3rd District Court to watch Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee speak to the court via videoconference."
"Their interest was personal: During the nine months the teenager was missing, they rode their Harley-Davidsons over hundreds of Utah mountain and desert trails looking for her."
"J.P. Lilly, an instructor at Brigham Young University's graduate school of social work, started the group in 1995 as a way to further his work with traumatized children."
Maybe letting street people work in your home is a form of charity combined with personal challenge -- creating an opportunity for values clarification. From what I've read about them, the Smarts come across as very demanding. The moment they brought her home, the parents made Elizabeth play the harp for the whole extended family there. Then after she stumbled through her performance, her dad went on national television to mimic her saying, "Well, it's been... nine... months!" SNowwis
  • In the original radio broacast when she was found, the Sandy police chief was answering questions. You couldn't hear the question, but his response was, "No, we will not be looking into that, this is a kidnapping investigation."
  • After the initial "reunuion", if I remember correctly, she did not ride home with her father. He went home, and several hours later she was brought to him.
  • Dick Norris (Channel 5 anchor, owned by LDS church) referred to the "Smart compound". The term "compound" is used in Utah for polygamists group homes. After the first reference, the term was never used again.


I think the photo of Elizabeth should be removed. She did not ask to be a celebrity. Let her go back into privacy and live her life away from media blitzes. Kingturtle 04:04 Mar 20, 2003 (UTC)

I just saw the movie "A Cry in the Dark" with Meryl Streep and am humbled by something someone said in it: "I don't think people realize how important innocence is to innocent people."
So I'm wrestling with your concern and suggest replacing the family photo of Elizabeth with something more indirect, such as a shot of the poster she signed for the park celebration, or her parents holding a Reward flyer. SNowwis
I'd like to point out that at, Elizabeth's uncle, Tom Smart, has posted numerous new photos of Elizabeth and her family, and he also submitted these pictures to, a stock photo company. So I'm not sure if the exclusion of her picture in her Wikipedia article is going to protect her from celebrity. SNowwis
ugh, it saddens me that her uncle would do such a thing. it is my humble opinion that she should be given her anonymity back. in fact, the more i think about it, i'm enraged. her family should be protecting her from the post-kidnapping media blitzes, rather than participating in them. Kingturtle 22:43 Mar 20, 2003 (UTC)
Well, the parents did urge the police to drop the sexual assault charges to protect their daughter from questioning along those lines, but at the same time they've criticized the police for their failure to follow up on new leads. So the police are pressing on. I tell you, this theme of silence vs. need-to-know is something that fuels many of our big stories these days. It's only natural in this case that if millions of American families were emotionally engaged in the search for ES, those people will not want to be sent packing with so many unanswered questions involving such bizarre circumstances. There was strong suspicion that ES was a runaway, leading to more suspicion that the family invented the abduction story in order to mobilize a national search party. Perhaps you should map out the proper rules of engagement in alerting the public about missing teenagers in order to manage the public's expectations. SNowwis

On a different note, that picture doesn't look to me as though she was almost 15 when it was taken. If I'm right, then since the issue is kidnapping and possible sexual assault, isn't her age an influencing factor on the reactions of a reader? As such, should the picture be changed, or perhaps subtitled "Elizabeth Smart, however many years before the incident"? Onebyone 01:40, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Reconciliation attempt

Here's an idea for reconciliation (I'm making an attempt at the "timeless" element here):

Hephaestos 05:17 Apr 1, 2003 (UTC)

  • No offense to Elizabeth Smart (2000s media sensation), but unless she goes onto a career of notoriety, she will become a historic footnote as a 2003 media sensation. Does anyone today remember Aimee Semple McPherson? Kingturtle 06:07 Apr 1, 2003 (UTC)
    • Apparently you and I do. *grin* But I daresay Aimee will be better known an additional sixty years from now than this Elizabeth will. And that's not much. Hephaestos 06:12 Apr 1, 2003 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and parted these articles out as above, although I'm still not sure about the title; any suggestions appreciated. (I thought of "Elizabeth Ann Smart" but that's not really what she's known by; I thought of "Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim)" but was hesitant to label her as a "victim." - Hephaestos 22:14 Apr 7, 2003 (UTC)

I'm not sure that "media sensation" is more respectful than "kidnap victim". How about "Kidnapped child" or "abducted child"? -- Someone else 22:19 Apr 7, 2003 (UTC)
Only problem with those is that they imply present tense; she's been found all right. - Hephaestos
I don't know why they should imply that, any more than Elizabeth Smart (writer) would imply she's still writing. -- Someone else 22:31 Apr 7, 2003 (UTC)

Why are you hesitant to label her a kidnap victim? She WAS a victim, and that's what made her famous. She is not famous for being famous, or famous being a 'media sensation'... her status as 'media sensation' is a RESULT, not the REASON for her notoriety. -- Marteau

Why did this get made this title? This is awful! What's wrong with just the original name? -- Zoe

This article name is unacceptable. Please, in the future, discuss the matter in TALK before making such a rash move. I am changing it back until it is discussed within this forum. Kingturtle 03:47 Apr 8, 2003 (UTC) oops. Zoe beat me too it. Hey Zoe, can you move the TALK section over to the new name? Kingturtle 03:48 Apr 8, 2003 (UTC)

Kingturtle, I discussed this (if anyone would care to scroll up and look) almost a week ago, and received no objection to such a move, indeed hardly any feedback whatsoever. If you'd like to move the article to a better title, feel free (although it might be a good idea to use the move command this time rather than a cut and paste hack job as Zoe did earlier). - Hephaestos

God, time flies. I even was part of that discussion. How embarassing. At least I opposed that particular title then, as I do now. My apologies for my absent-mindedness. Kingturtle 04:01 Apr 8, 2003 (UTC)
My apologies too, for apparently mis-reading you input back then. I only just now noticed the 2003 part. - Hephaestos 04:07 Apr 8, 2003 (UTC)
re "kidnap victim" - it could be argued that we don't know for sure whether she was a victim or not - she may have made an informed decision to hang out with a couple of homeless guys - the two are still only "alleged" abductors, after all. Perhaps "(missing person)" would be more neutral? Martin 19:43 May 14, 2003 (UTC)
LOL! OH MY GOD, I just passed my Mt. Dew through my nose!!! (rolling on the floor... in pain from the laughter) Priceless! You, Sir, are a comedic genius! Thank you, Martin! (resumes giggling)... this was the best part: "she may have made an informed decision to hang out with a couple of homeless guys" OH, YOU ARE THE NEXT CARSON! Have you ever tried stand-up?

Move to Elizabeth Ann Smart

I think we should move this article to "Elizabeth Ann Smart", since the middle name will distinguish her from the author. WhisperToMe 03:55, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)

She is not known by the name "Elizabeth Ann Smart" though. The articles already distinguish between the two via the disambiguation page. - Hephaestos 05:41, 15 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Yes, but I think that she should be distinguished through the middle name. If the author turns out to have the same middle name, than "kidnap victim" would be a good idea, in my opinion. WhisperToMe 00:09, 16 Sep 2003 (UTC)

"Middle names should be avoided unless they are the most common form of a name (as in, say, John Wilkes Booth). " – from Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(common_names). - Hephaestos 19:36, 19 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Where's she from?

The article says she's from Salt Lake City but lives in Sandy. Which is it? RickK 00:32, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Sandy is a suburb of SLC. —Frecklefoot 20:09, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

She's from Federal Heights a suburb of Salt Lake City. She was found by police in Sandy.

Moved page

I moved the page because I thought it was tacky to have someone living (NTM young )be attached to a crime in the article title. Call me silly... 戴&#30505sv 01:17, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Title Change?

What's with the title? What's wrong with Elizabeth_Smart_(kidnap_victim)? --Jiang 05:14, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Apparently it isn't PC. - Hephaestos 05:16, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Why not just leave this as Elizabeth Smart, and have the writer as Elizabeth Smart (writer)? I don't think as many people would be looking for the writer. Adam Bishop 05:21, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Why shouldn't they be looking for the writer? Is the kidnap victim more important for some reason? - Hephaestos 05:22, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Probably not...but more newsworthy, and more likely to be searched for at the moment. Adam Bishop 05:27, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I have no problem with what was the status quo a couple of days ago, and probably fit the search engines just fine. Apparently someone had willies over describing the currently newsworthy one as a "kidnap victim" and that's fine with me too. But as far as searchability on Google etc. I really could care less, and will soon probably move all this back to where it was before the USA "news" agencies decided to do stories on it. - Hephaestos 05:33, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

OK, now let me see if I've got this straight. Can't use Smart's middle name to disambiguate this page because a rule say it should be 'avoided'. But making the title laugable by tacking on 'media sensation' is presumably preferrable to the dreaded middle name because there is no rule against it. People crack me up sometimes ;^) Marteau

Elizabeth Smart (2000s media sensation) is absolutely the worst possible alternative. If we can't use the middle name, let's please go back to kidnap victim! RickK 03:16, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Here's an idea. Why not just let the "kidnap victim" page be "Elizabeth Smart" and the "author" page be "Elizabeth Smart (author)". Put text at the top of the "kidnap victim" page saying that there is an author by the same name. Kind of like an indirect disambiguation. Most people (certainly most Wikipedians ;) who look up "Elizabeth Smart" would want the "kidnap victim" page, but those few who come here looking for the author page will get the gist of the situation by a parenthetical explaination at the top of the 'main' page. Yeah yeah yeah, it's dissing an accomplished woman for a victim, and it's not optimal, but this seems to be a special circumstance. At least it would avoid the goofiness. Marteau 04:11, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This should be moved back to Elizabeth Ann Smart. The argument that she isn't known by her middle name is just plain silly. Eclecticology 19:11, 2003 Oct 29 (UTC)

She didn't set out to be a media sensation - besides, that's too vague. On the other hand, it's not entirely clear that she was kidnapped. Unless the two drifters she was found with, are convicted of kidnapping...

I think this is a time for using a middle name. If we have to, we can mention in the article that she "doesn't go by her middle name". (I'm Edmund Ward Poor III, but I go by Ed Poor because I like the sound of "Ed" better than "Edmund") --Uncle Ed 19:46, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Naming issues aside, it's entirely clear that she was kidnapped, whether or not anyone in particular is charged, tried or convicted of the crime. -- Someone else 19:52, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Oh, well, you're entirely right about that. I'm just trying to find an agreeable comprimise for the article title. --Uncle Ed 20:01, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"The argument that she isn't known by her middle name is just plain silly."

Why is it "silly," because you say it is? "Elizabeth Ann Smart" gives 64 hits on Google. One of course is ours; a good percentage of the rest are 18th and 19th century people by that name on people's genealogy websites.

If the article is named "Elizabeth Ann Smart" half the people looking for it aren't even going to know who the heck we're talking about. It's quite clear that nobody with the possible exception of the people who filled out her birth certificate ever called her that. The operative rule here is the most common form of the name used in English and it's a good rule; there's no reason to make exceptions on the basis of what appears to be squeamish waffling over the perceived "demeaning and sensationalistic" qualities of what is at its base a perfectly accurate and NPOV descriptor ("kidnap victim").

Or we could try what Marteau mentioned a bit back and have this be "Elizabeth Smart" with a disambig block at the top, at least until she becomes again less important than the author. But the page isn't staying here. - Hephaestos 21:56, 29 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I don't care what it is, as long as it isn't media sensation, but let's quit moving it back and forth. RickK 03:13, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Oh and by the way, none of this ridiculous nit-picking ever belonged on the mailing list. - Hephaestos 14:16, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Has anyone been able to access this website? Is it real? I tried it and some variants (, with no success. Can someone look into this?

BTW, per the discussion above, I think this article should be titled "Elizabeth Smart"—no one in the media mentions her middle name. —Frecklefoot 16:31, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

This comment is a good indicator of how much gets read on a talk page. :-) If you haven't the time to read the above then Elizabeth Smart will tell you. Eclecticology 19:31, 2003 Oct 30 (UTC)

I did read it, but perhaps I wasn't clear. Elizabeth Smart is a big media news item right now. It is likely that users will add wikilinks to her name not realizing there is another person by that name or what her middle name is. To avoid confusion, her name, Elizabeth Smart, should be used as the main article and the disam to Elizabeth Smart (author) can go at the top of the page. In the meantime, however, the disam page is the next-best solution. —Frecklefoot 19:58, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Writing Convention

In this article, sometimes she is referred to as Smart; sometimes she is referred to as Elizabeth. The wikipedia convention is that it should always be last name. Are there any reasons to refer to her by first name? Kingturtle 15:56, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I think because there are several people named "Smart" in the issue. Does Smart refer to her father, mother or her herself? You are right about Wiki convention, but I think the ambiguity of the term in this case is the reason for referring to her by her first name. But I notice she is often referred to by just her last name, especially near the beginning of the article. —Frecklefoot 17:45, 10 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Elizabeth Smart- 9 months of hell on earth

Personally, I really love Elizabeth Smart. Every night, I try to find information on her and I have a really bad feeling inside for her. I mean, the things she had to go through. She was tortured. The man who calls himself 'Emanuel' should be killed. His wife too. Why would a man of God kidnap a young girl at 14 at knife-point and then steal, and then rape? All I want to know is why. I cannot express the feelings I have for Elizabeth Smart. She is the luckiest girl in the world. Much Love to You Elizabeth.

Brianna Burns

The torture and rape will have to be proven in a court of law. That Emanuel was the original abductor will also have to be proven. I hope that Elizabeth is getting proper counseling, and lots of it. Kingturtle 04:09, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

more about article names

I realize this is not a fully accurate result, but I performed a Google-fight between the terms Elizabeth Smart kidnap and Elizabeth Smart poet....Elizabeth Smart, the poet, received nearly 4 times more hits than Elizabeth Smart, the kidnap victim. I propose we change Elizabeth Smart (author) to Elizabeth Smart. Kingturtle 23:08, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I definitely think this should be done at some point, but that point might be a couple of years from now. Regardless of how much info there actually is, I think it's safe to say that most current searches for "Elizabeth Smart" will be for the kidnap victim, at least as it stands now. The book and movie are still fresh in people's minds. - Hephaestos 23:12, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I moved the page back. The sensationalists really like their reference to their victim reference. Eclecticology 05:41, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)

I like this (Elizabeth Ann Smart) article title better. It is as NPOV as you can get, not awkard, and not any harder to search for than all the other parenthesis-ladden alternatives.
People seem to be having fun moving it. Dori | Talk 06:03, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
Daniel's protected it now anyway. For those that don't know, this was already discussed on the mailing list a couple of months ago. Angela. 06:05, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The person is known as 'Elizabeth Smart', not 'Elizabeth Ann Smart', so the latter simply will not do. The naming convention, as shown above, is to not use middle names, except for a person commonly known as such. Furthermore, precedent - George Clinton, Paul Simon - is to disambiguate with a parenthesised description of a person's significance. If someone absolutely has a fit that this entry has such an awful description as (kidnap victim), I suggest we follow the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules and append year of birth, not distort names into a form that is not the commonly used. Salsa Shark 06:13, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Get it straight! The convention does not say Do not use; it says Avoid using. I would have no problem following AACR.
It says "avoid using" instead of "do not use" because if it said "do not use" it would be advising against titles like George C. Scott and Henry David Thoreau, which are the most common terms in English. That is the heart of the matter, misunderstanding on this point is exactly what is currently causing German vs. Polish reversion wars, and if people here would simply follow the guidelines instead of constantly trying to make exceptions on the basis of their own point of view these sorts problems would more or less disappear. - Hephaestos 21:20, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Bullshit! I agree that there are literalists who would not use even those middle names. The provision suggests a common sense attitude rather than being a slave to the lowest common denominator in English. I won't even go into the German/Polish wars because it would be idiotic if I suggested that it had any relevance here. For the rest I would paraphrase you: if people here were more willing to make exceptions instead of constantly adhering to guidelines like slaves to impose their own point of view these sorts of problems would more or less disappear. Eclecticology 21:59, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)

I'll repeat again - the various George Clintons did not have middle names to disambiguate through other means. See also Patrick Kennedy. --Jiang | Talk 07:11, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Page name options

Please vote, first for method, then a specific choice. This is not a big deal. Comments below. Daniel Quinlan 06:18, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)

Any of the above except "Elizabeth Ann Smart" or "Elizabeth A. Smart" would satisfy the naming conventions, so I guess I'll abstain from voting, but will comment "media sensation" seems to me as more of a "why known", whereas "kidnap victim" seems more of a "how known." - Hephaestos 06:26, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
That's a distortion of the naming conventions guidelines, which merely suggest avoiding middle names; they do not blindly forbid middle names. If you had read that far you would also have seen advice against using offensive terms. Eclecticology 08:54, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)
I read the part that says to avoid terms that are "unreasonably offensive to large groups of people." As far as I can tell though, "kidnap victim" is just quixotically offensive to you and a couple of other Wikipedians (for some strange reason, frankly I don't see at all how this is "offensive," and wish you would explain it to me). - Hephaestos 18:14, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"...Ann..." is unacceptable. I don't much care what's in the parens, but if it's date of birth, it must be followed by a hyphen. (Date of death should not be added when she dies - the purpose is to be unambiguous, not to be a mini-biography.) Salsa Shark 06:32, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
"media sensation" and "kidnap victim" are totally disrespectful and unacceptable. This isn't a National Enquirer that panders to low-life sensationalism. Eclecticology 08:27, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)
(kidnap victim) is not sensationalism, it is a plain statement of fact. If you want respect, get a dog. Salsa Shark 08:31, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I do not attach so much interest in the substance of the article as to be concerned with finding out if she has dog
Prince Rogers Nelson must need fixing too then :) Dori | Talk 06:52, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
That's easy: Prince (artist) Daniel Quinlan 06:54, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
There isn't another P.R.N. who warrants an article at the moment, anyway, so it's not a problem. Salsa Shark 07:00, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
He's never known as Prince Rogers Nelson, but as Prince, primarily. I would vote moving the article to The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, because it's the most common, unambiguous name. Tuf-Kat 07:09, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)
Though he no longer signs his checks with that... For the curious, the Library of Congress' name authority file uses 'Prince', but with 400 fields (MARC's equivalent of redirects) for 'Nelson, Prince Rogers', 'Artist Formerly Known as Prince' (no 'the'), and 'TAFKAP'. Salsa Shark 07:15, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

As an addition to this, something should also be done about the Matthew Perrys, because the actor is never known using his middle name. Adam Bishop 07:16, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Neither was the Commodore (thus leading to the confusion with Galbraith mentioned in the article). - Hephaestos 07:21, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The designation of Smart as a "kidnap victim" is not neutral: it is disputed by, at least, Elizabeth Smart, Brian Mitchell, and Wanda Barzee. This article correctly refers to the incident as an alleged abduction: this should not be undermined by a title that incorrectly asserts a POV as fact. The current title thus violates our neutral point of view policy. Martin 18:56, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Point taken, and quite correct. Add "alleged" then. - Hephaestos 19:15, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it's legitimate to treat whether or not she was kidnapped as debatable.The "allegation" part is assigning blame for an obviously committed crime.--L.E./

I could accept that. Martin 19:51, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The "alleged kidnap victim" is only marginally more acceptable than "kidnap victim". What is offensive about it is that it puts a child into a mould that is not of her own choosing. It is disrespectful to her because it would leave her characterized in an encyclopedia by something she certainly would wish had never happened. The other Elizabeth Smart chose to be a writer; this Elizabeth Smart did not choose to be kidnapped.
I'm glad that Hephaestos agrees that there is more than one of us who finds the "kidnap victim" offensive. It's not as though there were no acceptable alternatives. Eclecticology 21:34, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)
Frankly I still don't see it. If I were kidnapped, and someone later called me a "kidnap victim" I wouldn't feel disrespected. It would be true! Wikimedia has an entire domain which, when it approaches a respectable level of completion, will list over three thousand... what? I don't know any more.
You're right though in that there are other alternatives, and if you and the large horde of other people who find "kidnap victim" offensive can agree on "Elizabeth Smart (1987-)" (which seems to be the most popular pick at this point anyway) then I can move on to moving articles back to where they belong according to the guidelines, and you can take your sensitivity campaign to Amadou Diallo. Deal? - Hephaestos 00:38, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Deal! I'm less concerned about Diallo; he's not around to be affected. I don't even know his middle name, nor am I going to put in the work to find out. His dates as a disambiguator wouldn't be a bad idea. :-) Eclecticology 04:10, 2003 Dec 12 (UTC)

Hmm, what's going on? From the article, I gather that this is a girl named Elizabeth Smart who is best known for being kidnapped. Or is it just allegedly kidnapped? I don't know. But is she well known for having been born in 1987? As far as I can make out from the article, not really. Even if she is best known for having been born in 1987, we have a well-established Wikipedia convention that favours "(born 1987)" over "(1987-)". -- Oliver P. 12:39, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's not used because she's famous for being born in 1987, but because it's a standard disambiguation format used by libraries. I would prefer "(1987- )" with the extra space after the hyphen, but that is not a major issue for me here. "(born 1987)" or even "(b. 1987)" are all acceptable, and answer what had been my main complaint about the previous title. Eclecticology 20:50, 2003 Dec 12 (UTC)
Ugg! I abstained from getting into this debate up to this point. I didn't have a strong opinion of (Media sensation) or (kidnap victim)--I thought one of those would win. But this latest renaming is absurd. She isn't known for being born in 1987! Even if most people agree that her birth year should be part of the title of the article, Wikipedia convention states that the birthdate of a person should be (born 1987) instead of the more morbid (1987-?). I still hold that the article should simply be "Elizabeth Smart" with a link to the disam page at the top, but that position was shot down a long time ago. Please give this article a more appropriate title! At least one that follows the Wiki-conventions. —Frecklefoot 15:45, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The format "(1987-?)" applies to people who are known to be dead but whose death year has not been determined. That last suggestion about having the article simply titled "Elizabeth Smart" doesn't work here. That's for use when one person with the name is overwhelmingly more famous than any others. Since the author is so obviously the more famous we would still need some identifying term for a flash-in-the-pan like the little girl. Eclecticology 20:50, 2003 Dec 12 (UTC)
Although I know it isn't, (1987-) looks like a typo. It also looks ugly. Are there other articles named with the same convention? I don't recall ever running across an article title ending in a dash.
By the way, acording to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies), there should be a space between the date and the dash. The title should really be Elizabeth Smart (1987 -). Kingturtle 16:14, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Not applicable. That's for dates within a biographical article, not for dates used as disambiguators. Eclecticology 20:50, 2003 Dec 12 (UTC)
It is applicable, though. we need to try to keep conventions consistant. Kingturtle 23:20, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There's some precedent for this sort of disambiguation, cf. William Bradford. This one looks odd probably because it's the only instance I know of where it's been used for someone who is still alive. The convention "(born 1987)" is correctly pointed out and I can change it to that later today if nobody screams too loudly.  :) Yes it would be nice to have a definitive disambiguator, but since as a group we're having a hard time coming up with a precise definition this should probably work, at least for now. In the mean time we can continue trying to think of a better one, after all we've been at it for the better part of a year now. - Hephaestos 16:49, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

(born 1987) is also fine by me. Martin
I'm also OK with that. Dori | Talk 23:36, Dec 12, 2003 (UTC)
By George, I think we've got it. Now we can move on to more important issues, like exactly how many angels CAN fit on the head of a pin? And if a tree falls in the forest, and no-one is there to hear it ;^) Marteau 18:50, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

This appears to be about the kidnapping rather than the person. Jamesday 17:49, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Yes, if the abduction did not occur, the article would not exist. Kingturtle 19:13, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

i suggest we remove the photo of elizabeth

Elizabeth is but 16 years old. As a matter of respect, I feel we should remove her picture from this article. I realize her family has placed Elizabeth's face into the media spotlight, but I feel we should still respect that she is a minor. Kingturtle 05:05, 25 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Then we might as well delete the entire article then. What's the difference? --Jiang 00:51, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with both of you - there is no need to remove the picture for some strange, excessive sense of protectionism. Nor, if we did, would there be a reason to tear the whole article down, as if the picture alone could replace the text.
Also I'm going to repoll the title issue, since the current one is silly, and I happened to be out when the above poll apparently took place. Better reasons may include efficiency, standardization, and problems with the voting process - the polls like these with excessive options should have had a runoff Choosing a separation between logical options. Now that Elizabeth Smart (1987-) has been chosen (no doubt we are supposed to amend the title when she dies) - the choice Im going to propose is between Elizabeth Ann Smart (logical, consistent) and the current one, and other. -SV(talk) 06:27, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I love this page. I re-read it now and again to remind myself why I quit the Wikipedia, and now only check to make sure nobody screws up pages about people I personally know or knew. Personally, I hope you all keep voting about this, and after your re-poll, somebody else polls again, and keeps instituting polls until they get the result they like. That would be great, and will be certain to keep me in stitches. Keep up the good work. Marteau
The condemnation of the modern Sisyphus: to be required to vote repeatedly on the same issue because just when you think the issue is solved it falls back into chaos. Eclecticology 00:47, 2004 Mar 23 (UTC)

This particular photo is a cultural artifact, not just any photo of Elizabeth Smart. It is the one that was published by the family and police in the days after her disappearance. This overrides the fact that it may not represent Elizabeth at the age of 15. It was the photo that engaged a nation. SNowwis

I think this whole thing is moot now. Look at the photo: does that look like a 17 year-old? The fact is Smart doesn't look like the girl depicted in the photo anymore. It is a cultural artifact and should be left in the article. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:36, Jul 6, 2004 (UTC)

No need to remove the photo. It was shown a gazillion times in national TV. --DuKot 19:22, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Photo is fine --- Overdubbed


Not that it is all that important, but what is the correct birthdate? It's bandied from 5 to 7 to, now, 3. Does anyone know what the actual date is? If it is in the article, at least it should be correct. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:46, Aug 20, 2004 (UTC)

Suspicious circumstances?

According to the Richard Ricci article, he died in jail from a brain hemmorage... that's hardly being "killed under suspicious circumstances". One or both articles need fixing. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 23:58, Sep 2, 2004 (UTC)

This has apparently now been fixed. Both articles agree on "brain hemmorage". --Dante Alighieri | Talk 22:15, May 4, 2005 (UTC)


There are so much stupidity in this event. First, 2 crazy people think they are "messenger of god", then, a girl who supposed to be "kidnapped" tried to help her captors. Nevertheless, both 3 of those people deserve no sympathy, even Elizabeth Smart because of their stupidity. I can't believe everybody feel sorry for that stupid girl and not that innocent man - Richard Ricci - who has been killed under suspicious circumstance while in custody for something he has never done. And the American government is also responsible for that "religious freedom", I believe people should be free to follow any of the well-established religion. But to allow people to invent their own religion, that is purely stupid because most people who invent their own religion either have mental problem and need help or trying to fool people to achieve their own goal (this goal is usually of financial, political or sexual nature).

User:, Thank-you for your well-thought out and professional remarks. I would like to comment on the religious aspects of your post (I won't even address the economic ramifications of capitalism, communism or other forms that would be affected by your "goal" statement). It is interesting to note that you believe we should all be Catholics, Jew,, Zorastrianist, Pagans or have a belief in Baal or some other Polytheistic belief, as they are the among the oldest "organized" religious groups. I am glad that we are allowed to divert our religious beliefs if we wanted to and to become Deists, Atheists, Agnostics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Branch Davidians or even followers of Brian David Mitchell according to our own beliefs. Most religions have had to be re-invented in order to survive - whether through revolution, evolution or revelation. I'd hardly say that Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Mohammmed, Joseph Smith, Jr., Báb or Confucius had mental problems. Rather I'd call them some of the greatest minds that have ever lived. New religions that survive are part of the brilliance of the founder. These men have opened the canon, opened the ability to live and think and to inspire others to live and to think in a way that is grander than what was before. On the other hand, closing the canon, closing the beliefs of others, closing the ability to choose what one agrees with and limiting the right to worship as one sees fit results in a lack of inspiration, a lack of learning, a lack of searching, a lack of growth and a lack of salvation. Look at the opression caused by the Ottoman Empire, the Catholic Church in teaching such things as Geocentric beliefs or the supriority of a particular race or gender or the destruction of historical items. This causes ignorance that results in people thinking that everyone should believe how they do. The argument is circular, as it produces more people who end up thinking, like you, that people should only worship "approved" religions, who then foster more of the self-perpetuating beliefs. -Visorstuff 00:46, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Visorstuff, probably I didn't make myself clear enough. What I meant when I said "well-established religion" is that if you want to invent your own religion then there should be some kind of government authority to approve some new religions and disapprove others. For example there is a Diego Maradona church in Argentina, however ridiculous it might seem to some people, it shouldn't be banned because it harm no one and it is a way to show respect to a great man. On the other hand, there are too many problems caused by people who use religion to achieve their own personal goal - the terrorists in Middle East, Shoko Asahara in Japan, Brian Mitchell,... It just like fascist parties which promote racial hatred should be banned doesn't mean we should disallowed registration of new political parties altogether. In short, I think there should be some control over new religion because of the nature of the word "religion" itself which according to the Religion article on Wikipedia - "sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system". I believe you could direct your son (daughter) to belief in good will always triumph over evil but still retain their freedom.

As to your comment on Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Mohammmed, Joseph Smith, Jr., Báb or Confucius, I agreed with you. However, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam all direct people toward doing good, moreover, it is also part of the culture of many countries.

I've removed this paragraph:
Perhaps most puzzling is the fact that the sketch released by the Smart family and based on Mary Katherine's recollections depicts a perpetrator with no facial hair, whereas photographs of Brian Mitchell both before and after June 5, 2002, show him with a full beard.
This is one of the most blindingly stupid things I've ever read on Wikipedia. What is remotely puzzling about a guy shaving his beard then growing it back again? At the time the Smarts first saw him, he was doing odd-jobs in the neighbourhood (fixing roofs etc.), so he got rid of his beard to make himself look more presentable. Then grew it back again.
Not too hard to grasp this.

Palefire 14:15, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

I interpreted this to mean "Cops beat him to death while asking him questions" - Alex Choi July 26th, 2005

Wording Choice

I changed the word "would" to "could" in the sentence "The screen being cut from the inside would indicate that Elizabeth and/or her sister were willing participants in Elizabeth Smart's disappearance" in the The Kidnapping section. While I believe the whole idea is ridiculous I suppose the way the screen was cut does leave open the possibilty that the arguement could be made. That said, however, saying the screen being cut from the inside WOULD indicate willing participation of either of the Smart's daughters assumes a fact that has not been proven. Only in the absence of any other explanation could such a conclusion be made, and there is no such absence.

-- 6 July 2005 04:16 (UTC)

There was a sound explanation in Bringing Elizabeth Home book about this incident. However, I forgot what it said! I'll look it up... Bayerischermann 09:16, 9 August 2005 (UTC) EDIT: First I need to find the book... Bayerischermann 04:57, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

This website was taken down a long, long time ago. Should it still be linked to in the article? Bayerischermann 09:19, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes, removed. Frecklefoot | Talk 14:07, August 10, 2005 (UTC)

A lot of teenagers have their own personal websites on the net, in the form of diaries, photo galleries, guestbooks, and a plethora of whatever they typically put up. Why didn't she take it over and use it for her own personal purposes, as described above? --Shultz 03:14, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Now that she's back with her family, I think she'd rather be forgotten. I think her family kinda wants all the attention to go away. I know if I was, well, sexually abused, I wouldn't want to stay in the public eye. I think they want the public to forget about the whole thing so she can try and live the semblence of a normal life. If she had her own personal website, it would just serve as a constant reminder of what happened to her. — Frecklefoot | Talk 03:24, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

You can see an archived version of the webpage,, via the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive: [[1]] Findbosco 11:15, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

1987 birth?

The way the article is structured currently it describes an event. How can an event have a birth? I'm removing the tags that refer to people rather than events, if that's ok with everyone. If the article is ever restructured to refer to Elizabeth Smart herself, please replace the tags. Cheers Jdcooper 10:21, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

This has been a headache for a lot of us for a long time. The article should be named Elizabeth Smart, but apparently there's some Canadian writer by that name too. So we tried Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim), but some users thought that was kind of cruel and POV (e.g. Elizabeth Smart (alleged kidnap victim) would be more NPOV). I have no idea when the article got moved to it's current location, but the article is about Elizabeth Smart and her kidnapping. Since it is about a person, it should have the tags, but should be moved to a more appropriate location too. Frecklefoot | Talk 16:04, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Yup, i read the whole argument above. i would have gone ahead and been bold (moved it), but for the argument. i don't understand how Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim) is cruel - is that not what she is famous for? and as for the POV, surely the point of an article name is to make the article easy to find. i would find the addition of "alleged" over-pedantic for an article title, since the reader could read the article to find out about the controversy. and plus, stating that the kidnap was alleged is just as POV, just in the other direction. Jdcooper 21:06, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

How about moving it to Elizabeth Smart (born 1987)? User:Zoe|(talk) 21:28, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

again, thats fine with me. anything that seems to refer to the person, rather than the event. Jdcooper 12:33, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Last sentence of Recovery section

The last sentence of the Recovery section reads:

Psychologists not associated with the case have speculated that Smart
likely would exhibit symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, where kidnap
victims eventually embrace the beliefs of their captors. Smart's father
immediately claimed that Elizabeth had been brainwashed, which was
supported by Barzee's estranged 27-year-old daughter, who added that
drugs  may also have been involved. Authorities indicated that no drugs
were found on the kidnapping suspects and there has been no evidence
that Mitchell or Barzee practiced any brainwashing techniques on others.
Furthermore, mind control theories are not part of accepted
psychological science, and the concept of brainwashing is not used by
most psychologists and social scientists.

There's a pretty strong implication here that the whole thing was a hoax and that Smart and maybe her dad were conspiritors from day one. Maybe that's so, but shouldn't that be stated explicity and sources sited?

  • "Psychologists not associated with the case...": Does this mean that psychologist who ARE associated with the case have opposed the Stockholm Syndrome suggestion? If so, citatations? Otherwise the sentence should be re-phrased?
  • "Smart's father immediately claimed that Elizabeth had been brainwashed..." (note use of immediately) -- "Authorities indicated that

...there has been no evidence [of this]" Ditto, allegations of drugs... but "no drugs were found". Is there some evidence that Smart's father was actually involved, causing him to make a (suspiciously rapid and thus perhaps pre-planned) brainwashing claim that was clearly baseless? Which authorities, and what their credentials. Just policemen, and if so what qualifications did they have to detect signs of brainwashing? Is there more here than meets the eye, or not?

  • "...mind control theories are not part of accepted psychological science, and the concept of brainwashing is not used by most psychologists and social scientists." Is this so? Is Stockholm Syndrome not generally accepted by psychology? I don't honestly know. What about Patty Hearst? I'm not saying this is wrong, I'm just surprized to see it, and oughtn't stuff that goes against popular perceptions (wrong as those often are, granted) be sourced?

Along with the part earlier about about the window screen, not to mention the party videos etc., the reader gets the impression that the whole thing was most likely a conspiracy. Surely some respected persons have stated this explicity? If so, can they not be cited? If not, is it encyclopedic to leave this impression? I think the reader is left with a half-allegation hanging in the air and not enough info or sources to decide for himself. Herostratus 13:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Under the Banner of Heaven

I'm new to this article, so I'm going to ask instead of being bold by just changing. I was wondering if there had been some attempt to mention Under the Banner of Heaven, which covers the Smart kidnapping extensively? —This unsigned comment was added by Alienus 01:33, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Page Re-Write

I just rewrote almost the whole article. Hope its better. I think it is. 05:57, 15 April 2006 (UTC)Overdubbed

Details on Ricci, Mitchell

Ricci was in prison (and therefore on parole) for the attempted murder of a police officer, which, as Attempted Aggravated Murder, was a First Degree Felony: five years to life. I think the inclusion of the details of the crime for which Ricci was on parole is a benifit. Just FYI, it was indeed a life sentence.

Also, Mitchell was a Second Counselor in a bishopric in a Salt Lake City ward, and a veil worker in the Salt Lake Temple. I think that counts as a "leadership position" and "privy to sensetive temple seremonies" without coming right out and saying it. The point is, Mitchell was not some tangential finge member of the Church--he was more than that. I'm trying to keep a NPOV here, so as I'm fairly new to this, let me know.--SLCFD876 21:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

So the sentence could have been 5 years to life. I thought that with attempt and priors under the sentencing guidelines, it would be 25 years, but no matter. Either way, if he was sentenced for life, we need that citation. I tried to find out what the sentence was and was not able to verify it.
Thank you. I looked at sentencing guidelines, but I thought the conditions would be 5 to 25. I conceed that you are probably right. I would hope so -- attempted murder of a cop should not be a light thing. He was in jail a long time and thats ok with me. However, I would like to have the life thing confirmed before it goes into the encyclopedia. I tried to confirm it before I deleted it. I worked hard to find some reference to it and I just could not. And that is the reason I deleted it. I would like to add it back if possible. I might not be a good enough researcher and perhaps (particularly if your screen name is related to a First Responder) you might have a personal source that you can go to. If so, then this source may be able to direct you to a way to support it here. Wikipedia requires that it must be verifiable though. That tends to mean published. I will not be a jerk about this; I do not mind if he was on a life parole and would be pleased to see it included in the article, but I would like to see some sort of verification! And thanks for your thoughtful and positive reply. --Overdubbed 03:48, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

As far as Mitchell being a leader, I would make the following comments:
  1. I do not think someone can be considered a "leader" in a Church unless they actually lead the church.
  2. A Counselor does not lead anyone.
  3. Even a Bishop might not be considered a leader. Its not like other Churches where there are paid clergy.
  4. I think that the term leader should be reserved for people who make policy or doctrine or define some sort of behavior for people. Not someone who acts like a volunteer organization chairman.
  5. Finally, this is the sort of thing, that if it were true, would need to be sourced.
  6. Being privy to sensitive temple ceremonies -- that is irrelevant to the article and, since most Mormons are "privy" to such things, it is not a particularly impressive contribution. It's a step above saying that he breathed air and drank water and watched TV shows. The only difference being that it is a Mormon thing. Sort of like saying, "When he was amish, he wore dark clothes and attended amish meetings". Basically, it is trivial, unencyclopedic information. Unless there is some evidence that this leadership or privy knowledgw particularly led to his deviance or was used in the support or commission of his crime. If so, that would need to be properly sourced.

It would not be inappropriate to mention, in his page and biography on wikipedia that he held whatever position (given good reference sources) in the LDS Church. That would be a minor part of his biography. But it needs sourced. --Overdubbed 20:03, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I see, Overdubbed. I agree with your assessment. Thank you for a well thought out response. Inasmuch as I'm kind of new to this, I'm still finding the right voice, tone. Also, just FYI. The attempt is what takes the crime to a 5 to life. The aggravated murder is a captial case, which means, of course, death penalty. So an attempt is one degree lower--5 to life. A minor detail. More important: thanks for a well thought out response.--SLCFD876 19:43, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Delisted from GA

Im sorry folks, but this article clearly fails NPOV, now look, I realize that the Elizabeth Smart thing was a big deal and that certainly it's not a bad thing to want most of the article to feel positive towared her parents and the search and whatnot, but it's just not neutral, and the whole article is messed up like this :/. Also, I think a case could be made that the references aren't enough to call the article "well-referenced". Homestarmy 02:22, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

How does it fail NPOV? Simply saying it does not make it so. Incidentally, any article that features living people must tend to avoid the negative. This is part of Wikipedia Policy. Other than that, what are the problems with the article related to NPOV? --Overdubbed 11:44, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
True that, but in this article's case, i'll make an exception; to study it and note every favorable sentence would mean copying the entire article mostly and examining each sentence -___-. I agree that it should avoid the negative, but with Wikipedia, articles aren't supposed to be either "Negative" or "positive", their supposed to be neutral. Can you honestly tell me that all the instances where the article talks about the "arduous ordeal" of Elizabeth's parents and whatnot are NPOV? Homestarmy 20:20, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
When you delist an article you are supposed to give ideas for improvement. I do not know that this article is particularly negative or positive. I have looked for the words "arduous ordeal", "arduous", and "ordeal" and none of them are found in the article, so I do not know why you put them in quotes. However, the article is about the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. The parents activities were important in the history of this event and they are included. However, they are not particularly a focus of the article. If it comes to ordeals that are arduous the article focuses mainly upon things that happened to Elizabeth and her reactions to those things. Since the phrase does not exist and the concept you describe cannot be found, it is impossible for me to say that any place the article talks about this non-existant thing is NPOV. But, it is also impossible for me to say that any place the article talks about this non-existant thing is POV. I simply am unable to identify the POV or NPOV position of a non-existant thing. However, if there were some discussion of the parents' arduous ordeal, I do not think that would be particularly out of line. Are you suggesting that having a child kidnapped is something that is not an arduous ordeal or that noting it as such (perhaps through quoting them) would be somehow contrary to Wikipedia Policy? Perhaps you can cite that policy!
Bascially, I believe your criticism is not well founded and I note that, contrary to the basic guidelines associated with delisting, you have not defined anything as specifically of concern except for one concept that does not exist in the article. I look forward to your more helpful response so that the article can be improved. --Overdubbed 03:36, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Although police had an eye-witness, Mary Katherine's report was not very helpful to investigators.How? Why? What is defined as "Helpful" and why should Wikipedia say it wasn't helpful when there are apparently no clear citations? ***her description was substantially flawed as described just previously -- did you miss it? *** Furthermore, there was almost no significant forensic evidence such as clear fingerprints or DNA samples to help identify the abductor, so the investigation was difficult.Difficult to whom? What makes an investigation either "difficult" or "easy", and who controls that designation? ***difficult to the investigators. Isn't it sort of obvious that a lack of information makes an investigation difficult? Is this like "who said that water leads to drowning"? Did you see the word "So" at the start of the sentence? It means that the reasons were just mentioned and this is the conclusion.*** Police questioned and interviewed hundreds of potential suspects including one individual, Bret Michael Edmunds, a 26-year-old drifter who was pursued across the country but ultimately was cleared of suspicion in the case after being located in a West Virginia hospital suffering from a drug overdose. One by one, the leads that were pursued often put at-large criminals back in prison, but they did not produce the desired result of finding Elizabeth.Desired result for whom? It should be clear of course to most that people might want to desire someone who is abducted to be returned, but what's the point in Wikipedia piling on the positive? Also, "One-by-one" is a tension-building phrase, drama is not neutral ***drama building is ok. The result was the one desired by the Police. They repeatedly said that was their goal. Do you really think that police statements saying "We want to recover Elizabeth" are so in doubt that they need cites? Do we really need a specific quote by a scientist in the article about water that says "Water is powerful wet stuff"? There is a point at which things become ridiculous you know. (By the way, the elements of this article can found in the sources cited in the references section). *** Ultimately, the Salt Lake City police signaled that their prime person of interest was Richard Ricci, being held in custody for unrelated reasons. Ricci, another handyman hired by the Smarts, was on parole for a 1983 attempted murder of police officer Mike Hill. He was charged with felony burglaries of homes in the area and similar in circumstances to the break-in at the Smarts. Ricci later died in jail from a brain hemorrhage a few weeks after he refused to provide a confession to Utah corrections officers. With his death, it seemed that all leads were exhausted.Seems to whom? More drama building. ***The police said that they had to go over the same leads again. Nothing wrong with dramatic tension you know. ***

Nevertheless, Ed and Lois Smart and their extended family persistently maintained a presence in the local and national media, fighting hard to keep Elizabeth's name in the press.Fighting hard? Who determines what fighting is hard and what fighting is, say, merely medicore? It's clearly a favorable-POV sentence ***Nothing wrong with favorable, particularly for living people. But if there is some source indicating that they were not fighting hard to recover their child, that should be presented. I do not have any such information though. ***They provided the media with home movies of her as both a teenager and as a child, and uploaded over twenty photos on a website which served as a resource center.

After many months of no positive news and a growing sense of inevitable disappointment, a breakthrough came in October 2002, when Mary Katherine suddenly had a flash of insight.I don't see how anybody could miss this. "Growing sense of inevitable disappointment" is more drama building, "flash of insight" is just increadibly obvious favoring as well ***Nothing wrong with "drama building" as you call it. As far as flash of insight, that is a reasonable term and describes exactly what happened to her. It means "a sudden perception" *** Cleaning her room, she came across a copy of a Guinness Book of World Records and saw a picture there that reminded her of the abduction. Suddenly, she remembered where she had heard that voice before. Getting up, she went to her parents' room and said, "Dad, I think I know who it might be." Reads more like a sentence from a short story than an encyclopedia article, it should cover the facts, not go into every single nitty gritty detail, especially when it seems to be going on with the drama-building theme***Nothing wrong with good writing and building dramatic tension is good writing. Details are not bad things and do not make an article bad unless they are non-noteable. The critical events leading to Elizabeth Smart's recovery are noteable. Mary Katherine's memory of this person, led to his identification and her recovery. The details of how she remembered are of interest to many people who followed the case because it seemed so improbable. It even seemed improbably to Ed and Lois Smart at the time, so certainly it would seem improbable to others. Thus this is a noteable detail. ***

She identified a man who had worked in the home for one day in November 2001 - "Emmanuel." Lois and some of the children had met him downtown as he was asking for spare change. He was clean, soft-spoken, well-groomed, Caucasian, 5’8" tall, had dark hair, and was "about 45 years old".This is another obvious one. He was "Clean"? "Soft-spoken"? "well-groomed"? Was this copied straight out of one of the books below or something? Just because it's in a book doens't make it NPOV *** No, it was not copied. But when it is in a book it comes from a verifiable source. That is a key for wikipedia. Do you have some source that details a different view of his appearance when the Smarts first met him? That should be presented if you have a verifiable source. ***He called himself "Emmanuel," but it seemed clear that this was not his real name, but had something to do with his self-proclaimed calling as a minister to the homeless.self-proclaimed is weasel-wording, he either was a minister or not, see Minister and compare to this guy. I suspect it's a no. And also, seemed clear to whom? How clear is clear? To a scientologist, this article would be very confusing without explanation. (What with that "Clear" status thing they've got and all) *** It does not matter if he was one or not. That was his claim at the time that they talked with him and he was the one who proclaimed it. That is "Self-Proclaimed". That is all the article says. It does NOT say that he WAS a minister or that he was NOT a Minister. Do you recognize how describing his claim is different from describing his reality? It is completely appropriate and within wikipedia guidelines to include a claim like that in this article. ***He took a bus to a stop close to their home and then walked to the house. He worked for five hours, helping on the roof and raking leaves.Not very important to the article *** That is a judgment call. It does not hurt the article. Certainly does not make it a bad article. There are many people who follow this case who have wondered what he did and how long he worked for Ed. This answers that question. ***While they worked together on Ed's roof, he told Ed that he was traveling to different cities preaching to homeless.

When this insight was reported to the police, they had doubts as to its reliability.What doubts? What standard of doubt is the article using? *** The doubts that the police had. ***Mary Katherine had barely heard the suspect's voice, for only a few minutes, in a whisper, several months previously, and after coming out of a sleep. Suddenly she remembered it was the voice of a man she had met for a few moments a year earlier. To the police, this was not the most trustworthy lead. "Suddenly"? This is all more drama-building *** Maybe it is drama building, but the event was "sudden". That is the correct English word for something that happens quickly. Drama building, as you call it is not a sign of a bad article. It can be a good thing.***

Tensions developed as the parents accused the police of not thoroughly following up on this lead. The family used the services of a sketch artist to draw "Emmanuel"'s face from memory. Tensions according to whom, and more drama-building *** Tensions according to Tom Smart in his book and according to the press reporting at the time. I think its better to simply abbreviate a multitude of concerns and conflicts into the phrase "tensions developed" in order to avoid going into details that are not very interesting.***In February, this drawing was released to the media, with the assistance of John Walsh, who revealed it in an appearance on Larry King Live and on his own series, America's Most Wanted. The drawing was recognized by Emmanuel's family and they reported his actual name - Brian David Mitchell - to the police along with contemporary photographs. This could of been condensed into one simple sentence by leaving out all the little things, but as it is, it's just more drama-building*** Among other reasons, it is better this way because it allows for more wikilinking to relevant topics -- something that writing a good article supports. John Walsh and Larry King Live were both highly visible parts of this story at the time, so I wanted to include them for linking. Furthermore, this is the point in the narrative where the abductor is identified by proper name and the latest photographs were helpful to his capture shortly thereafter. All of these reasonably important points are presented in a short space of words. I do not think it is evidence of a bad article, but rather the opposite. Incidentally, dramatic tension is ok.***

That's one section of the article alone. Most of the rest of it has similiar problems, as though it was copied straight out of a book. Not a Good Article. Homestarmy 06:28, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for specifics. However, I note that your complaints are not really related to NPOV as you have previously complained about, but rather to writing style - a different matter. Your concern about what you call "Drama Building" is misplaced. I think you are mistaking NPOV for No POV or "creating no feelings in the reader". That is not a correct view. I note that the very first thing that is listed in the Wikipedia guideline "What is a Good Article" is:
"1. It is well written. In this respect: (a) it has compelling prose...".

The word "compelling" means "To force, drive, or constrain" ... "To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway". Dramatic Tension (which is not really used to the degree you complain about) is a standard, recognized technique for writing compelling prose. Remember, the complaint should be about how it is not a Good Article. You cannot use a complaint about a writing technique that leads to compelling prose to say that it is not a Good Article. And there is no rule in wikipedia that articles must read like a dry scholarly article on mathematics. Furthermore, this is an article about an event or a series of events. That sort of narrative style is especially effective for relating events. Compelling Prose is a fair reason to call this a Good Article. Do you have any other objections aside from this style of writing? If not then we can take this one issue up in, perhaps a mediation cabal thing or RfC. If you have other objections, lets focus on those first. Then, later, lets take writing style to some sort of mediation or RfC, because I really disagree with your sense that a compelling, narrative style is bad writing.--Overdubbed 08:19, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I will ask other GA editors to chime in on this page's GA dispute entry so that a more clear consensus can be formed. It's just that, lately, we've been having a problem where alot of articles in the GA list were apparently never reviewed in the first place and were often very bad, (Such as, absolutly no references or soemthing), so I decided to go looking about it. I've always considered that dramatic-sounding writing isn't NPOV, because the WP:NPOV page even says that NPOV writing could be considered to be a "cold analysis" of the subject so to speak, but I could be wrong. Homestarmy 16:34, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Results on Req for Rev

Was recently delisted after months of being listed. Complaint was NPOV. This was not a very specific complaint - no instances or examples were given. I am requesting a review and comment so that it may be relisted if possible. --Overdubbed 11:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I would of cited some specific problems, except the entire article is basically one big problem. References are also rather sparse. Homestarmy 20:02, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I examined part of the article on the Elizabeth Smart talk page, if anyone wants to take a look. Homestarmy 16:42, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Remain delisted; renominate and put on hold: I have just taken a look at the page. The article has several problems:
  1. Apart from a few external links, there are no inline references. Especially where quotations are included, we need to document them a bit more formally. Not to do so would be considered plagiarism in some circles. It is also not quite in keeping with WP:OR, WP:CITE and WP:V.
  1. I agree that the language, in general, is not neutral. It makes value judgements and statements of facts without citing sources for them, and so has Wikipedia taking positions. For example, in the Abduction section, we state: "This backfired," "Mary Katherine pretended to be asleep," "The man threatened Elizabeth with a gun" and similar things. This, in part, is a language issue. Since this is an encyclpedia, we should be using summary style or news style. It's not that we should be including negative information, look to portray anyone badly, etc. It just we are a tertuary. We summarize or report the words of witnesses see Primary sources or the analysis of others. see Secondary sources. --CTSWyneken(talk) 18:26, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Question: Did these actions NOT backfire? Didn't Mary Katherine pretend to be asleep? Didn't she say "The man threatened Elizabeth with a gun"? How are these not factual statements? I think the problem of language is your personal opinion and not a wikipedia standard. --Overdubbed 16:53, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
  • After just reading the Abduction section, the article fails the criteria. Changes to make to that section :
  • First of all, all the items in the list should be footnoted.
  • POVness or needed cite :
    • Returning home, the family had evening prayers together and kissed each other good night.
    • By listening to the creaking floor as Elizabeth and the kidnapper walked, Mary Katherine thought she could tell where the kidnapper and Elizabeth were, so when it seemed safe she hopped out of bed to tell her parents, but froze in terror when she nearly ran into the abductor and Elizabeth as they seemed to be looking into her brothers' bedroom.
    • Although this caused some problems with crime scene contamination, it was never a major cause for problems in the investigation.
  • Using the technology of the Internet and the media, the search for Elizabeth Smart moved into high gear., what is high gear?
    Endorse delisting. Lincher 23:20, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

GA review

There are more unreferenced statements (especially in the section Details of captivity but I, in good faith, believe that the reference section covers for them. In that light I would grant the GA status altough it has to go back for another round of GA candidacy. Lincher 17:52, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I am going to do more work on it, but I wanted to see if your objections were handled. --Overdubbed 18:05, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
As I see the article now, the concerns have been handled and been taken care of. Lincher 23:42, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll drop by later to do a detailed examination of the article for you. This will take me out of the picture for reviewing the article, because it will make me something of a participant here.
Let me say that I appreciate the work that has been done here. None of my comments should be taken as personal or as suggesting that good work hasn't been done here. Please do not take them as such or feel you have to defend it. What is here may be fine in contexts other than an online encyclopedia. My comments are directed at trying to help you all bring the article to GA standards and wiki style, no more or less. --CTSWyneken(talk) 11:39, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I am not insulted or upset by your comments. I am not the sole author of the article. I have considered the article to be in need of work for a while, particularly with references. But I do not generally agree about the concepts of "tone" that are raised. I think that an NPOV perspective does not have to be dry and lacking in narrative tension, which I think exists to a degree in the article.
I am also not concerned about whether the article is a "Good Article". It is so easy for it to be delisted that it is a meaningless designation. However, I want to handle the objections as much as I can. I look forward to your specific inputs. --Overdubbed 12:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
GA needs some improvement, without a doubt. I don't know about meaningless, but it really is a small encouragement. I'd like it to come to mean "you can trust the info here." That we are close to. It is still very easy to get on and off the list. Standards are climbing a bit, but more formality would not hurt it.
On the critique side, you all are, of course, welcome ignore it. It's just the way I see things. I think I'm fairly typical of a regular GA reviewer and my advice just may be helpful in reaching that status and beyond. If none of that matters, all I really care about is accuracy.
My observation on tone is simply, in my opinion, that an encylopedia article is not a dramatic piece. It is meant to convey information, no more or less.
I agree that the mission is to convey information. I do not agree that this is subverted by dramatic prose.--Overdubbed 01:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
NPOV issue is a different matter. The policy is there to make it possible to write on controversial topics, which this is not. Still, if we are going to have a standard, we should try to meet it. I'll go through the article from start to finish and detail my reactions here. --CTSWyneken(talk) 13:31, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, for some people this can be a controversial topic. You may not be aware of this and that could color your review. --Overdubbed 01:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Detailed Discussion


The lead is well done, is in summary style and suitable for an artcle of this length. The only thing I would change is spell out "9" as nine, and that only because it looks kind of funny to me. --CTSWyneken(talk) 13:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)


Although not in perfect form (very few anywhere in the Wiki are, so no biggie), the article is now fairly well cited. I'd add the site and database record title to note one. --CTSWyneken(talk) 13:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I would like to get the cites first and then perfect them later . I will also be citing in the rest of the article. I think perhaps it has too many footnotes, but I will put them in first and delete overuse or redundancy later. --Overdubbed 01:43, 18 August 2006 (UTC)


Unnecessary Detail

"Returning home, the family had evening prayers together and kissed each other good night.[4] As the family got ready for bed, Ed made sure the doors were all locked, but he didn’t turn on the alarm. "If the children got up and moved (in the night), it would set the alarm off. And so we just, we’re not going to bother with it," Lois later explained.[5]"

and later gave these hints as to what happened:

  • A white man about the height of her brother Charles (5'8")[10] about 30 or 40 years old, wearing light colored clothes and a golf hat. [11] [12] (He was actually wearing black, did not have a golf hat and was 49).[13]
  • He had dark hair, also has dark hair on his arms and on the back of his hands.[14]
  • The man threatened Elizabeth with a gun[15] (it was actually a knife but Mary Katherine thought it was a gun).[16]
  • When Elizabeth said "ouch" after stubbing her toe on a chair the man said something that sounded like: "You better be quiet, and I won’t hurt you."[17]
  • She heard Elizabeth ask "Why are you doing this?" and though the answer was not clear Mary Katherine thought the answer might have been "for ransom".[18] [19]
  • The abductor was soft-spoken — even polite, calm and nicely dressed.[20]
  • Although the stranger spoke to Elizabeth quietly, Mary Katherine thought the kidnapper's voice seemed somehow familiar. But she couldn’t pinpoint where or when she had heard it.[21]
  • She never got a good look at his face.[22] This fact was kept a secret by the police during the investigation.

It is acceptable to keep this detail in a GA article, but would not be in an FA. (see WP:FA)--CTSWyneken(talk) 13:46, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe the detail is important. My insights into this are based upon constant interaction with a variety of people all over the internet who had opinions about this case, chiefly suspecting the parents but also suspecting others. This list of details was very important to these people and wikipedia says that the editor must consider the questions that a reader may have. So I do not agree that this is too much unnecessary detail. --Overdubbed 01:46, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

This part doesn't read well "Ed made sure the doors were all locked, but he didn’t turn on the alarm. "If the children got up and moved (in the night), it would set the alarm off. And so we just, we’re not going to bother with it," Lois later explained.She should of escaped,because she was not tied up and was close to her home. Comedian Dave Chapelle says she was dumb because she walked right out the door.But,she could though.Instead of making a movie about her life , slap her!"

It might just be me but I find the above paragraph difficult to fully understand, if anyone would like to clarify it with me then please do, or edit it so it reads better. (talk) 02:18, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

NPOV/OR Constructions

None in this section. Citations have resolved any present before. --CTSWyneken(talk) 13:54, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your helpful comments. --Overdubbed 01:47, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Article name and its appearance in categories

I came across this Elizabeth Smart page in a very odd and slightly disturbing manner. I was on the Category:Latter-day Saint musicians page, and was surprised to see Elizabeth Smart kidnapping listed there. My first thought upon seeing the listing was "what idiot had the poor taste to name their band something like that?" Thankfully, it's not the name of a band, but this really ought to be fixed. Elizabeth Smart is LDS, and is a musician, but she certainly doesn't go by the name "Elizabeth Smart kidnapping" as a LDS musician. She should either be removed from Category:Latter-day Saint musicians (she is by no means famous as a LDS musician, or as a musician at all), or this article needs yet another name change. To see Elizabeth Smart kidnapping listed alongside Warren Zevon and Mack Wilberg is just bizarre.

In fact, the title of this article becomes an issue with regards to all but one of categories it is included in. Any category that is comprised of a list of people such as Category:1987 births, Category:American children, Category:Kidnapped children, Category:Living people and Category:People from Salt Lake City should, I would think, only have the names of people included in them, not the name of an event. Obviously it wouldn't be too terribly shocking to see Elizabeth Smart kidnapping on the Category:Kidnapped children page, but it makes no sense for any of the other categories.

So I guess the issue here is: if this article is going to be referenced in both 'people' categories and 'event' categories, it needs a name that is appropriate for both. What was wrong with "Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim)?" Not PC or something like that? How about "Elizabeth Smart (kidnapping survivor)?" --JenR 15:30, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it would be better placed using just her name. Obviously, the kidnapping would be a large part of the article, but other information could be added about her musical talents, etc., in order to flesh out the article a little more. I'm sure she'd prefer to not have everything in an article about her focus on only the event that made her name well known. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:18, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm just going to pull it out of the category -- I happened on this page the same way. If/when she makes a career as a musician, a general-purpose article about her (with music focus) would be appropriate for the category. But as it stands, her being a music major now is incidental to the main topic of this article. VT hawkeyetalk to me 15:50, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
What about this article's appearance in the other categories? If you read the middle paragraph of my initial post on the subject above and look at the other categories this article is listed in, the title is still an issue. In fact, it seems to me that to be a biography of a living person, the title should refer to the person as a person, not as an event. If Elizabeth Smart was notable for some additional reason, then it would be appropriate to have a page for her as a person and a page for the kidnapping event. But I think we can easily say that isn't the case at this time. Does anyone have an objection to changing the title to "Elizabeth Smart (kidnapping survivor)?" It's accurate and I don't think it could be considered offensive or non- PC. JenR 05:19, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Yep. Smart is not (in late 2006) notable as a musician. The only thing encyclopedic about her is as the victim of a notorious kidnapping. Gwen Gale 18:49, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Successful use of the internet?

One of the most important impacts of this kidnapping was the family's successful use of the media including the Internet. Numerous volunteers searched throughout many areas, coordinating their actions through a centralized web based search center. The case also helped publicize the AMBER Alert system. Daily media attention brought about much sensationalism and pundit speculation. Night after night, talk shows such as CNN's Larry King Live featured numerous commentators with one opinion or another regarding the kidnapping.

Did the family actually successfully use the internet or the media? As far as I can tell from a quick look through the article especially the timeline, whatever the family may have done it didn't actually do much. What lead the the breakthroughs in the case were: 1) The sister remembering the voice/who it was 2) The sketch resulting from 1 appearing on America's Most Wanted. I guess the second could be called a successful use of the media, but it doesn't appear to have to do with the internet at all. The Daily Media attentions and AMBER alert also doesn't really appeared to have done anything much Nil Einne 13:58, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a joke, right?=

This entry in the timeline is either a joke or vandalism, right?

"15 Jan. 2007 -- Elizabeth Smart undergoes plastic surgery to become a man"

I'll strike it out unless somebody says otherwise... 22:30, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

  1. It is vandalism, as I can't seem to get to the right place to edit this... 22:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


Not to be rude but you can't get a sentence without a citation. It's very well cited, yes, but over cited. Three through six are the same, and some don't have links. Do one cite for that, at the very end. If they don't have links, write "according to..." It makes my head spin.-Babylon pride 18:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


There isn't much here (and there isn't much to write about) except the kidnapping and its aftermath. Similarly the article Brian David Mitchell is only about the kidnapping because that is all there is to write about that individual. I have moved this article from the name of Elizabeth Smart to the name "Elizabeth Smart kidnapping", which was already a redirect to it, and I think we should turn this into a merge and redirect. This will allow us to concentrate all writing about the event in one place instead of having different, probably unbalanced, treatments of the same event in different articles. --Tony Sidaway 15:39, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I have reversed the move and added a tag for more input. I think the move was not smart. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:12, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Sigh, now I have to revert all of those double redirects I fixed. :-( --Iamunknown 23:15, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Jeff, what the hell is wrong with you? The case is notable, the two people are notable for the cas,e but you insisit on presenting ti as a biography, to the extent of reverting a well-reasoned move. Why? What is the fucking point? The content is there, it's just that we don't pretend it's a biography, in line with the sources which also lead on the case. Are you ever going to get it—Preceding unsigned comment added by JzG (talkcontribs)
If "getting it" is simply marching along with this nonsense, then no. Nice move protection, Doc. Way to force your way again.--badlydrawnjeff talk 23:26, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) On the whole, I prefer Elizabeth Smart (abductee) on the grounds of categorization above. Also, the two articles are largely disjoint, surprisingly so, and would be very long if merged. Tony, can you explain the advantages either of the merger or the name change at more length? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:27, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Jeff this is an article about a kidnapping. You reverted a move without discussion, because you are now simply opposing every attempt to deal with biographical issues. I have protected this from further moves. If you think the move unwise, please give a full explanation of how Wikipedia is better served by having information about a kidnapping kept as a pseudo-biography.--Docg 23:30, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Because we can easily have an article on all three issues involved. We have enough source material to support them, and enough information to make an article. So we should have them. You've move protected to simply preserve your status quo, which is highly inappropriate. And you're also claiming, falsely, that I'm "opposing every attempt to deal with biographical issues." You will stop making such false accusations NOW. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:32, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
(ec) While I am not in favour of edit or move warring (esp. when I have to fix the double redirects), I would like to recommend you to Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle; that is what happened. Whether the BRD cycle is appropriate for BLPs has not been determined, but accusing Jeff of "reverting without discussion" is silly. --Iamunknown 23:32, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
The merge is explained above. This isn't a biographical article, it's an article about a crime, and it's basically a BLP issue. I'm redoing the details to describe the crime and removing any unnecessary personal details. --Tony Sidaway 23:33, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
No, it was and can still be a biographical article which touches upon one majoor point in her life. Not a BLP issue at all - it's sourced properly and is not negative in tone. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:37, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Jeff all the information is here, and there is a redirect from the previous title. So tell me what's the gain in putting it back?--Docg 23:40, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
It's not useful to the reader, it makes for difficult navigation, it eliminates the ability to expand as more information comes to light about involved parties, etc. It's a poor move all around. --badlydrawnjeff talk 23:42, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Why is it not useful to the reader? Why does it make for difficult navigation? If she becomes notable later in life for something other than the kidnapping, then a biography can be written. We organise the information we have, not the stuff that might come to light.--Docg 23:46, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
She's already beyond notable in ways you may not be aware of due to where you're at - I can understand if that's the case. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Regarded as an article about a kidnapping, this is much easier to handle. We don't have that rather small stub about the suspect sitting around on its own and perhaps being neglected. We can spot inconsistencies and share links. And of course the reader is saved the task of having to go to two places for the information. --Tony Sidaway 23:48, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Following the new principle that Wikipedia is not a news source, why should we have any article on this? The AfD was just closed as 'speedy keep'... The way, the truth, and the light 23:56, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. If the reader's looking for information on three different things, or any one of the three you've unceremoniously merged in here, they're screwed. We now have a worthless article where a number of good articles existed before. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Jeff, if this case is notable enough to deserve being on Wikipedia at all despite the intrusion on privacy, why isn't the Hornbeck case? And why is that case discussed under the name of the offender, where this one is supposed to be merged here? This is what was under debate at the now-closed AfD and I must confess I really don't understand how the new standard is applied. The way, the truth, and the light 00:04, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
First, there's no intruion on privacy. A friggin' made for TV movie was created regarding this case. And the Hornbeck article should be reinstated soon anyway, so... --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:05, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
It should be, but I don't think it will be as long as the current situation persists. The way, the truth, and the light 00:07, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. The way, the truth, and the light 00:07, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
    It's not a vote. Perhaps you could summarise the arguments against a merge. That it's a biography is obviously incorrect. That there were good articles before isn't true either. Why should we spread the information about the kidnapping about the place just because more than one person was involved? --Tony Sidaway 13:59, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
    Obviously I meant my own comments above. The way, the truth, and the light 19:18, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

She's not notable for anything other than the fact that she was kidnapped. Within reason, some of the details of the case belong to the public, because the public already have them. The details of who she is, her family, etc. do not belong to the public, and I'm not sure that Wikipedia should be increasing the display and circulation of such details. I support Tony's move, though I agree with Doc that we can have a biography of her if she becomes famous in later life for something other than the kidnapping. ElinorD (talk) 15:46, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Not notable other than for being a victim. An (one, not 3) article discussing the crime, and mentioning in passing the names of the associated people, is appropriate. But none of the participants deserve or need a full biography. One event does not a life story make. I support the actions of Tony and Doc in this matter, and deplore Jeff's apparent knee jerk reaction to revert even the most reasonable of changes. ElinorD has it just so. ++Lar: t/c 18:33, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Whoa whoa whoa. My knee-jerk reaction? This entire charade has been a knee-jerk reaction. It's still the incorrect title. We can have both. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:48, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Spelling of "kidnapped"

As far as I know, Americans spell "kidnapped" with one p. I know that the general practice is not to change what's already there, if both versions are correct; but I wonder would it be more appropriate to use American spelling in this case. Thoughts? ElinorD (talk) 16:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

"Kidnapped" is the correct spelling, even in the U.S. Scott182 17:21, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay, my mistake. I thought I had read that somewhere, and I was ready to believe anything about those strange people who spell "grey" with an "a" ;-) Thanks for clarifying. ElinorD (talk) 19:38, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


A lot of this is unsourced, and I don't remember a lot of those statements being made in the media. Additionally, do we really need a blow-by-blow account of the abduction (under the section "Abduction")? I don't think so; I'd rather prosify it. Comments? --Iamunknown 05:07, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Everything for which there is not a source should be immediately cut from this entry. For example, the entire long section on the "Details of captivity" should be cut. Most of the entry is a blatant violation of the right to privacy enshrined in WP:BLP. FNMF 15:07, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Agree completely, and offer my compliments to those who are willing to clean it up. ElinorD (talk) 15:12, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I have deleted the section on the details of captivity. It is not necessary, and I am not convinced these details are actually known publicly. There were no citations or references. I believe that this prurient attention to the purported details violated WP:BLP#Presumption_in_favor_of_privacy. It should not be put back unless reliable sources are included for every claim made, and it also should not be put back until a consensus of established editors conclude that it is correct to do so. At present, I do not believe that it is correct to include this section, referenced or not. FNMF 15:31, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Elizabeth Smart kidnappingElizabeth Smart (abductee) — A move that was made adn contested. I'm against it, Tony Sidaway is for it, etc. Updated, the article was simply moved back without discussion and then move protected, so... —badlydrawnjeff talk 23:14, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Vegaswikian 19:37, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.

See above - polls are evil too. Please if anyone opposes this move, then give reasons why Wikipedia is better off with a biography, instead of an article about the kidnapping.--Docg 19:52, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Because we can have both and sustain both. That's all that matters. This isn't an either/or proposition for once. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:54, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
What? There is notable information about her that is unrelated to her being a kidnap victim? Is there?--Docg 19:56, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:09, 4 June 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
See the extensive discussion above. --Tony Sidaway 19:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
If there are no further discussion on this, I'll close the proposal as failed and leave the page here. It does seem to be forming well as an article about the event, and this is also compatible with the Biographies of living persons policy injunction to cover the event, not the person. Unless there is an overwhelming reason why this article must be a biography of the person (which seems incredibly unlikely) then there is no reason to change. --Tony Sidaway 17:31, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's consensus for your move, Tony. I suggest you not close the proposal at all, since you're the one who made the move to begin with. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
It's definitely a good idea to leave it open if you want time to make a case for an exception to the BLP on this particular case. --Tony Sidaway 17:53, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
There's really no need for an exception, here, as there's no BLP issues prior to the move. --badlydrawnjeff talk 17:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me there is nothing much at stake between the two titles, but that one article is clearly sufficient. The article covers everything that needs covering under either title. If anything it could be abbreviated further. FNMF 17:59, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I draw Badlydrawnjeff's attention to this relevant clause of the BLP, in particular: "Where a person is mentioned by name in a Wikipedia article about a larger subject, but remains of essentially low profile themselves, we should generally avoid having an article on them. If reliable sources only cover the person in the context of a particular event, then a separate biography is unlikely to be warranted." So if there is a reason why we shouldn't follow general practice here, but should instead cast this article about the young girl herself, we'd need some justification for it. --Tony Sidaway 18:04, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
On reflection, an incident-based title is preferable. This will make it easier to incorporate future developments involving both victim and perpetrator, without necessitating undue biographical entries for each. FNMF 18:10, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

This is a tough one. Elsewhere, we have "Lindbergh kidnapping" - not "Charles Lindbergh, Jr.". On the other other hand, we also have "Kitty Genovese" - not "Kitty Genovese murder". However, since Elizabeth Smart has chosen to make high-profile public appearances, she is no longer covered by Articles about living people notable only for one event. [Her disappearance was one event. Her speaking on national television to promote a crime bill was a completely separate event.] So I say the article should be titled by her name rather than the incident. That said, let it be remembered that no one has been convicted of kidnapping her. Since Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are also covered by Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons, perhaps "Elizabeth Smart (alleged abductee)" would be best. Ribonucleic 22:16, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

"Elizabeth Smart (alleged abductee)" would definitely not be best. FNMF 00:21, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Having just come across this article after a brief search about an unrelated matter, I believe the article is best suited as it currently stands. It reads in an encyclopedic manner, and provides the information on what people are looking for: information about the kidnapping and what happened to Elizabeth Smart. The sections near the end about what she has done afterwards suffice to cover those seeking what happened to her afterwards. I see no problem with a separate biographical article on Smart if notability apart from this incident could be established. Her current talk show appearances and books do not significantly diverge from the events described in the current article. I see no need to move this article, nor to create a distinct biographical article at this time.

I did not !vote above, because it is unclear which move we are commenting on: the proposed move to Elizabeth Smart (abductee) or the current move to Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. I Oppose the former and Support the latter. The article should remain at Elizabeth Smart kidnapping-- Kesh 19:24, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Advocating for crime legislation on national television - and upbraiding a famously disliked media personality in the process - seems pretty notable to me. And while she obviously would not have been given the opportunity had she not been abducted, that doesn't change the fact that it's a completely separate event. Here's an analogy. Being a radio host is notable by itself - even if, as in the case of Curtis Sliwa, it only happened because of his involvement in a separate notable event. Ribonucleic 21:03, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. To use your example, there are thousands of radio hosts on the air. Should each and every one have a biographical article on Wikipedia? I would say no, unless there is something notable about them, either because of their radio show, or something they've done outside of it. Simply hosting a show does not make them notable, nor does being an activist who has been on television automatically qualify Elizabeth Smart as notable. -- Kesh 01:40, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it be moved. --Stemonitis 08:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


Im says the perps were charged with Sexual assault, but the article dosnt detail about it at all.-- 07:04, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

SO??!!-- 05:52, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that is a major problem with this piece. There is no discussion of how her abductors held her, nor why she did not make any attempt to escape. Did Smart succumb to Stockholm syndrome and come to think of herself as a "wife" of her abductor? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Title change

In view of current practice, I propose a title change to "Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart." to avoid the emphasis on the personal name DGG 22:38, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I also propose abbreviating the first section, on the actual kidnapping. It is the subsequent events which are notable. DGG (talk) 00:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Barzee's age

Why are we providing Emmanuel's age but not Barzee's? Could we have it? -- 10:35, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Invisible Girl

I think this thing below is really important info. I'd add myself, but my English sucks. From the radio show This American Life:

Act Three. Invisible Girl.

Scott Carrier and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the fourteen-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere in Salt Lake City, and thousands of volunteers searched for her, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood she was taken from, and they walked freely through the streets with her. But no one recognized her. Scott talks with his neighbors and with his son Milo (who attended grade school with Smart) about what was happening in their heads that they didn't recognize her, when she was there in plain sight. Scott is the author of Running After Antelope. His story received support from, which gets support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (12 minutes)

you can listen to the show here:

the show itself is a good reference, i'd guess. Any takers? Parababelico 04:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

oooops, i see it's in the links section. but i'd add to the article, it's creepy and profoundly revealing of human psyche....--Parababelico 04:55, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Richard Ricci

I wanted to start an article about Richard Ricci. The page that corresponds to him seems to be redirected to Elizabeth Smart's page (; any ideas on how to take care of this so Richard Ricci has a separate page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Here is a quick link. --> Edit ↜Just M E here , now 00:30, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
(Otherwise, go to Richard Ricci, you'll be redirected to this article, then scroll to the top of the page and click the link that leads you back to the Richard Ricci redirect page. --> ) ↜Just M E here , now 00:34, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I think Richard Ricci is the greatest victim in this case, and given how poorly torture and murder is documented in American prisons, I think he is quite noteworthy. Qwasty (talk) 19:12, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Nancy Grace interview

I believe one part of this section of the article is misleading, "... directing her questions to Senator Orrin Hatch for the remainder of the interview." If you read the entire transcript of the interview, Nancy Grace does not solely direct her questions to the Senator after Elizabeth stated she did not want to talk about her kidnapping; she does in fact ask Elizabeth and her parents more questions that they responded to. I think that this part should either be deleted or at least have the wording changed to not appear so biased. (talk) 03:43, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Since no one volunteered to do so I have went ahead and re-written this part of the page so it appears less biased. I also added the transcript of the show for a source. It was very evident that the previous section about this interview was extremely biased against Nancy Grace. I think this better suits the article by keeping it neutral. (talk) 20:57, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

New entry needed for Brian David Mitchell

I was searching for details on Mitchell but the wiki search redirects to this page. So before adding a bio on him I was hoping to pass it by you here and see if there is any support to start a new page on Brian David Mitchell. Wiki has pages on many criminals and although Mitchell is still going through the legal system, I feel that there is enough information out in the public arena to justify a basic outline on who he is, noting that he is 'accused' of these crimes off course. Also as the case goes to a public court later this year there is certain to be more people searching for information on the accused. And I personally feel its wrong to redirect a search for him to a page that is titled "Elizabeth Smart..." since she is the survivor of the crime and not the accused criminal.

Mitchell is a very peculiar criminal who will undoubtedly be studied more and more in the future (whatever the final outcome of the case) so I'd suggest that it is important for Wikipedia to have the basics about him and then expand that information as more becomes public. Wombat24 (talk) 06:13, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

July 24, 2002—Attempted kidnapping at Elizabeth's cousin's house.

I wanted to get more information about this, but the link referenced no longer works. ( It needs to be updated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:22, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


With Elizabeth Smart, as an adult, now choosing to be a political activist for the new sex-offender registry bill, does she not become notable beyond just her status as victim? She is not just some pawn or unaffiliated radical in this role: she is making appearances with the senior Senator from Utah and giving interviews on national TV. Should this article be renamed to her name rather than just focusing on the event? The page Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim) already exists as a redirect, so maybe we can just use that.-- (talk) 13:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree and plan to move the page accordingly. --Eustress (talk) 16:37, 20 May 2008 (UTC) She was a victum like no other and was found wondering arond on a death camp!
This note has been here for a long time and there was no response to my second, so I performed the move. --Eustress (talk) 21:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

The Elizabeth Smart (activist) page existed when I began searching today, and it was about this Elizabeth Smart, but the Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim) page redirected to this article. I rearranged things so the Elizabeth Smart (kidnap victim) page goes to Elizabeth Smart (activist) on the theory that we want redirects from bio articles to go to bio articles if the there is a bio article on the person. I especially think this needs to be a watch priority because there have been far too many cases of multiple bios on the same person, although most often are ones like Richard L. Bushman/Richard Lyman Bushman, with middle initial and middle name being seperate. That specific case I do not think we had the problem, but I have seen it. John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:00, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Page name

Shouldn't this be at Elizabeth Smart, with Elizabeth Smart (disambiguation) used to distinguish her from the British author? This seems more consistent with precedent elsewhere, since Elizabeth Smart is not commonly known by her full name with middle initial. --Saforrest (talk) 14:37, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I think we should leave Elizabeth Smart as a disambiguation page. There are probably other woman with this name who are notable, and on the extremely unlikely chance that there are not there quite probably will be soon. With common names unless someone is world-wide without question identified as the person with that name (Joseph Smith, Andrew Jackson, maybe John Adams) it is best to have the basic name be the disambiguation page because otherwise people will create lins that go to the article on the wrong person. Even if with the disambiguation page there is not a listing of the intended person, it will at least be earsier to point the person in the right way of making a new article.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:05, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Requested move back to Elizabeth Smart kidnapping

Starting discussion in a new section, as the previous discussion took place almost a year ago. This page needs to be moved back to Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. Despite the claim in the previous discussion, her victims' rights advocacy is not sufficiently notable independent of her kidnapping to warrant a bio article; WP:BLP1E instead calls for coverage at an article about the one notable event (her kidnapping). The issue is best illustrated by the severe undue weight problem in the bio at present; we have a biography article with 26K of material discussing the subject's victimization as a child, and just three lines on her life outside of that event. Despite limited public appearances and a bit of related activism, Elizabeth Smart is still basically a private figure, and needs to be respected as such. Baileypalblue (talk) 20:04, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Support per nom. A private figure with no notability beyond the kidnapping. — AjaxSmack 02:20, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Make the article about the event, but don't try to explain the article in the title. Keep it short and unambiguous. Thousands of people are notable only because of a single event, and it is not customary, and very unwieldy, to try to explain the event in the title. That is what the article is for. (talk) 15:37, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Perhaps you could expand on your comment/suggest an alternative title; since you say "make the article about the event" I take it you agree the article can't remain as a biography? I don't see how Elizabeth Smart kidnapping is any more unwieldy than, say, Lindbergh kidnapping, or the Steve Bartman incident article cited on WP:ONEVENT as an example of how this type of article should be named. I don't see how an article title on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping could be shorter or less ambiguous than Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, but alternative suggestions are welcome. Baileypalblue (talk) 17:32, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I have just seen too many arguments over what to call an article. The Steve Bartman article, for example, should it be called Steve Bartman interference, Steve Bartman foul ball, Steve Bartman loss? Why not just call it Steve Bartman? Make the article about the event, but don't try to describe the event in the title, which can easily get very unwieldy (think Baby Jessica). Just call it Elizabeth Smart. The current title is close enough, though. Who knows, someday there may be another Elizabeth Smart. (talk) 21:00, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
  • "I have just seen too many arguments over what to call an article." Then those arguments should be had. Their existence should not spur articles to be placed at an incorrect title. If this article is about an event, it should be named as such. If it is to be about a person, then that person should meet notability criteria (which she does not). — AjaxSmack 00:35, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Furthermore, naming the article Elizabeth Smart (with or without the middle initial) implies it is a biography, and a biographical article like this one creates an intolerable undue weight problem; this is precisely why WP:BLP1E exists. Poorly titled articles are bad in any case; this kind of mis-titling is particularly bad because it directly conflicts with BLP. The anon's suggestion that we simply title this article about an event by the name of its central figure is antithetical to Foundation policy, consensus and standard practice. Baileypalblue (talk) 03:22, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The point is that it becomes unnecessarily cumbersome to try to come up with an article title about the event that does not include the person's name. I see no expectation that if the article name consists of the person's name only it implies a complete biography of the person, when in fact it is only about one event, and I see no reason to tag it with (event) or something like that to indicate that the article is about the event instead of about the person. Article names should be short and not ambiguous. Elizabeth Smart is both. Sure, there is a one word description for kidnapping, but why add it at all? And when the event is more complicated, and there is no one word description? Just use the person's name in every case. Keep It Simple Seriously. (talk) 21:08, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
  • The title Elizabeth Smart is not at all ambiguous; its subject is the person Elizabeth Smart (therefore it is a biography article); use of that title for a different subject, such as an event involving Elizabeth Smart, would introduce ambiguity. You may not expect to see a biography of Elizabeth Smart at Elizabeth Smart, but readers will, and Wikipedia is optimized for readers, not editors. Again, your position is directly contrary to WP:BLP1E and standard practice; feel free to propose a change in policy, if you like, but that policy must be followed so long as it is in force. Baileypalblue (talk) 01:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Google has 179,000 hits for "Elizabeth Smart",[2] and only 4,250 for "Elizabeth Smart kidnapping".[3] Use the most common name, which is "Elizabeth Smart". (talk) 07:30, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
  • That's probably the worst use of ghits I've seen in a Wikipedia discussion. "American Revolutionary War" gets 396K ghits [4]; "George Washington" gets 21.4 million ghits [5]; by your reasoning American Revolutionary War should be renamed George Washington; name all articles about events according to their primary figures, it's just too cumbersome to title articles correctly. Baileypalblue (talk) 17:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Smart merits her own article for the same reasons John Hinckley, Jr. does. Her involvement is bigger than the one incident now, and the article on her abduction is just a detailed subarticle of her life. -- (talk) 02:20, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Briam David Mitchell might merit his own article for the same reasons as John Hinckley, Jr, but Miss Smart does not. This is especially true since in theory John Hinckley would be reirecte to Ronald Reagan assasiantion attempt, a cumbersome title I know, but he lived, and it being a seperate article from Ronald Reagan is probably justified by need to keep articles so they will load in a timely fashion on people's computers. The google hits argument would be a little better if "Elizabeth Smart abduction", "Elizabeth Smart kidnapped", "Elizabeth Smart found", "Elizabeth Smart case" "Elizabeth Smart missing" and such were also searched, but even then he would be ignoring the fact that there are multiple Elizabeth Smarts alive today (and presumably others who are dead).John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:39, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Avoid google counting and balance event/bio articles

I am not sure if the current set up with the Elizabeth Smart (activist) article is likely to survive since I have made it openly known that that article exists. However, the fact remains that the kidnapping is only identified with Elizabeth Smart, much of the facts involved in the case hardly relate to her at all. This is because there were multiple false leads folowed during the investigation, there was the Salt Lake Tribune/National Enquirer court battle about sources, journaists selling to others instead of giving to their employers, etc. Then there is the fact that over 8 years after Elizabeth was kidnapped and over 7 years after she was rescued her main kidnapper has not gone to trial and the main accomplice only very recently worked out a plea bargin. So whether or not we have an article on Elizabeth Smart, we also need one of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping becuase it is a large case that has already had multiple hearings and multiple levels before multiple judges.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:25, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I also noted a study of google hits for Elizabeth Smart versus Elizabeth Smart kidnapping done in an earlier discussion. Such a study ignores the fact that there are many other Elizabeth Smarts, Elizabeth is a very common first name, and although Smart is not Smith it is not Dzerczynsky either.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:25, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

The search was apparently comparing hits for "Elizabeth Smart" and "Elizabeth Smart kipnapping", this ignored hits for "Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped", "Elizabeth Smart abduction", "Elizabeth Smart rape", "Elizabeth Smart case", "Elizabeth Smart kipnappers", "Elizabeth Smart missing", "Elizabeth Smart found", "Smart's kidnappers charged", "Brian David Mitchell is a nut case", "Mitchell charged with abduction", "Mitchell found incompetent", "Mitchell found competent" and so on. It may not even pick up "Elizabeth Smart's kidnappers" or "kidnapped Elizabeth Smart" as in the sentance "The couple who kidnapped Elizabeht Smart are getting divorced."John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:44, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Richard Ricci - Murdered?

He died from a brain hemorrhage! Unless he had a stroke, the only other cause is severe head trauma. The timely nature of his death after he refused to admit that he kidnapped Elizabeth Smart demands more investigation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a place to place credible, accepted information, not to advance pet ideologies and conspiracy theories. If you think there is legitimacy to this theory, seek to get it published in a newspaper as an article, seek to alert the ACLU, Amnesty International or similar groups to it, demand the Utah Attorney General do an investigation or so on. However, such total conspiracy/ police brutality allegations with no back-up in fact have no place in wikipedia.John Pack Lambert (talk) 03:00, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

court hearings

The information regarding the court proceeding for Mitchell is wrong. He had several state court appearance but was found incompetent to stand trial and force medications was turned down. The last hearing where Smart testified early for was a federal case of kidnapping and transporting a child over state lines for sexual reasons. The standard for federal government insanity is more difficult for a defendent to prove than it is for the state of Utah. The state of Utah's case is still pending but they have allowed the federal government to step in and take charge of this case to ensure that Mitchell is locked away forever. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Awisner (talkcontribs) 01:09, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

The issue of Mitchell's insanity has never been brought up. The issue at both State and Federal levels was whether Mitchell was competent to assist his own defense. Thus the issue was related to his mental capacity at the time of the hearings. Insanity relates to mental capacity at the time the crime is committed. It is a complexed process, but we need to avoid conflating insanity and incompetence, because they have different standards, are different procedures and so on. Medicating someone does not effect their guilt because that relates to when they committed the crime, but it can make them competent to assist in their own defense.John Pack Lambert (talk) 01:53, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

True, and its important that the distinction is made. Today the defense has filed that they will seek a not guilty for reason of insanity but as yet the defense has not made a case for insanity this early in the trial. Wombat24 (talk) 04:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Categories needed for Brian David Mitchell

I really do not think Mitchell needs to have a seperate article, but I think he should be placed in categories such as Category:People excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and maybe his birth-year category. The redirect page has been restricted to only administrators dealing with it, so I had to suggest this. I think categorizing of redirects is a good thing, and it makes the push for bios of marginal people unneeded, since if we categorize the redirect people can find the articles of the event based on thinking of the categories of the main people involved.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:49, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, here is the diff for the one category mentioned above, contributed at alleged perpetrator BDM's blp.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 17:03, 19 November 2010 (UTC)


"self-proclaimed victim's rights advocate", "self-servingly asking", "victimization agenda"... These phrases express insinuations, not objective information. Sounds like bias to me, not even expressed in a particularly subtle way. (Remark: I'm neither American nor an English native speaker, and this is the very first time I hear of Nancy Grace. I have no opinion whatsoever in this matter.) Nivoabul (talk) 05:27, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I noticed that the article is making statements phrased as fact, when they are in reality claims made by Elizabeth herself and have not been verified via independent sources. Considering that the jury has not yet returned a verdict, the statements such as the multiple daily rapes are at this point still allegations, and should be phrased as such to avoid legal liability. Without a neutral source to verify the claims, and lacking a jury verdict, it is unfortunately a matter of hearsay. If they are phrased with the qualifier "As told by the victim" or "according to her testimony and interviews" or "he allegedly...", etc. this would fall in line with acceptable media practices regarding pending charges and allegations in a pending criminal case. Please note I'm not disputing the accuracy of her claims by any means, but it should be made clear these are unverified statements. (talk) 15:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

"Alma Mater"

This term only applies to schools that you are have attended in your past, not to a school you are currently attending.

If you wish to disagree, please show some references independent of wikipedia that show otherwise. (talk) 22:28, 22 January 2009 (UTC) says an alma mater is "a school, college, or university at which one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated"—the present perfect tense "has studied" indicating that it can signify anyone who has attended a school at all in the past (which would include current students). This definition also seems to suggest that there is some ambiguity in its use, which is probably what has led to this disagreement. An alma mater is merely one's "nourishing mother." Best regards --Eustress (talk) 23:40, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Current students are not attending the school in the past, they are attending it in the present. I also don't agree that "has studied" is a present perfect tense.

I am attempting to change this to list BYU as her current college, but the use of Alma Mater is incorrect in normal usage. (talk) 18:15, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The past is any time before the present. Wikipedia uses some terms in ways that are uncommon because of its own needs for regularization. However BYU does have a "student alumni association" which is open to students who have more than 40 credits, or something like that (I may be off on the number), so the notion that you can not only be an alumni without graduating but while still enrolled works. Your alma mater is where you are an alumni from. Anyway, presently Miss Smart is serving as a missionary in France, so she is not not presently a student, although I would not be surprised if she got a mission deferrement of her enrollment, which would mean she is a non-enrolled student. However she is not currently studying at BYU, so it is really hard to argue that saying "Miss Smart has studied at BYU" is a false statement.John Pack Lambert (talk) 02:11, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Time is measured in different increments and thus lengths; a single term lasts for multiple days so one should consider it to all be a single event for purposes of tense. It would not be correct to use the past tense to represent the current term until it has actually completed. One way to become a student-alumnus is to graduate and then later in life return for more education. But I always understood it as a group of Alumni who are active with the current students, a sort of bridge-building and social organization that helps out. And 40 credits usually would mean you have earned some sort of undergraduate degree, and thus would be an alumnus. So that doesn't present a good counterargument. . I'm not sure where I stand on the proper use of 'Alma Mater', or if it's even strictly defined. I do know, however, that it is most commonly used to refer to a school one attended in one's past. . But even if you 'jump the gun' and use it upon initial attendance, you will eventually be technically correct, so it's somewhat of a moot point to begin with. - NathanGroth —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Reason for abducting her?

What was their reason, in their minds, for abducting her? To make her their adopted daughter? Sex slave? What? -- (talk) 14:06, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I think if you read the article you'll know about as much as the rest of us about the answer to that question. Cresix (talk) 18:09, 11 December 2010 (UTC)