Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour: A fairy-tale love story that transcended the horrors of abduction and rape

Since her abduction, Smart reclaimed her life and became an inspirational speaker and advocate for missing people and sexual assault victims


                            Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour: A fairy-tale love story that transcended the horrors of abduction and rape
Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour (Getty Images)

Almost 18 years back, Elizabeth Smart was in the news after she was abducted on June 5, 2002, for nine months. She later was in news again when she married Scotsman Matthew Gilmour in 2012. Now, FOX News has come up with a documentary titled 'Finding Elizabeth Smart with Nancy Grace’, depicting the story of the bizarre kidnapping. 

What happened with Elizabeth Smart?

Former victim of abduction Elizabeth Smart attends a National Missing Children's Day event at the Justice Department May 19, 2004, in Washington, DC, where she was presented with the 2004 National Courage Award (Getty Images)

Elizabeth was kidnapped at knifepoint at the age of 14 by Brian David Mitchell from her house in the Federal Heights neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah. She was captivated by Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee before she was discovered in Sandy, a place 29 km away from her house. It was reported that she was repeatedly raped during the course.

Smart was not only kidnapped and raped but she also became a part of a bizarre wedding tradition that was conducted on her by the kidnaper's wife, Wanda Barzee. Barzee ordered her to strip before the wedding procession. Remembering the incident during an interview with NBC, Smart recalled, "I was begging and crying and just so scared. I remember thinking, I know what comes after a wedding. And that cannot happen to me. That cannot happen." She described her hardships by adding, "I remember him (Brian David Mitchell) forcing me onto the ground, (and) fighting the whole way. And then when he was finished, he stood up, and I was left alone, feeling absolutely broken, absolutely shattered. I was broken beyond repair. I was going to be thrown away."

In a book written by her, she revealed, "Over the next nine months, Brian David Mitchell would rape me every day, sometimes multiple times a day, he would torture and brutalize me in ways that are impossible to imagine, starve and manipulate me, like I was an animal." After seven years, Smart testified against her captors while confronting Mitchell in court. He is now serving a life sentence, while Barzee is serving 15 years. 

When Smart met Matthew Gilmour

Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour attend the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 22, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

Since her abduction, Smart reclaimed her life and became an inspirational speaker and advocate for missing people and sexual assault victims. Later in 2009, seven years after the incident, she met Matthew Gilmour. The couple met in Paris on a Mormon mission trip where Gilmour made an impression because he didn't recognize Smart as the kidnapping victim. As their friendship grew stronger, love blossomed between the two. In January 2012, along with a sapphire engagement ring, Gilmour proposed to Smart on a hillside near home when he went to visit his family in Salt Lake City. In an interview with People, he revealed, "I just very simply said, ‘Elizabeth Ann Smart, will you marry me?' And then I wasn’t nervous."

When Smart tied the knot with Gilmour

Matthew Gilmour and Elizabeth Smart attend the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 22, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

In 2012, the couple got married in a ceremony on the north shore in Oahu in Hawaii. In an interview, she revealed, "Oahu is a very special place for me, very different than what I was used to," she told People at the time. "I guess you could say it was kind of refuge." With friends, family and some beautiful ukulele music, the couple said, "I do."

When they were 'blessed' with a family

Later, the couple expanded their family as they welcomed their three children together. In 2015, the couple welcomed their first child Chloe. Later in 2017, they were blessed with James and later in 2018, they welcomed their third child Olivia.

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