Thanksgiving, 2002, Brian Mitchell tells his
wife, Wanda Barzee, that he’d had a
revelation from God commanding him to
take 7 additional wives.
He began calling himself Immanuel David
He stopped shaving and cutting his hair,
and dressed like the Old Testament
June 15, 2002, kidnapped at
knifepoint from her Salt Lake
City home in the middle of the
night by Mitchell and Barzee.
Mary Katherine, 9-yr-old sister,
was awakened by the intruders
as they kidnapped the 15-yr-
For the next few months, the three lived in
the hills above and the ravines behind the
Could hear searchers shouting her name
She would be left, chained to a tree, by
Mitchell and Barzee
Later, moved into town, Mitchell forced Barzee
and Elizabeth to wear burka, hiding their faces.
July 24, 2002, Mitchell plans to kidnap
Broke into house; knocked picture frame
off wall, woke family, and ﬂed
October 2002, Mary Katherine told her
father, “I think I know who did it.”
Sketch made public
Mitchell’s sister called in with his name
Within weeks, a citizen called 911,
having seen Mitchell walking alongside
Police arrest him; he claims his name is
Elizabeth claims her name is “Augustine
Marshal” and that he was her father
Police notice wig and continue to
What motivated Mitchell?
Why did he decide that forcibly taking Elizabeth from her bed was ok?
Was he motivated by criminal intent?
Was he motivated by psychotic distorted thinking?
Was he motivated by fundamentalist religious ideation?
Why hadn’t the sister called out, or gone to her parents right away?
How had Mitchell gained psychological control of Elizabeth in the
succeeding weeks to allow her to go out in public?
Why didn’t Elizabeth run away?
Why had Mary Katherine wait months to tell her father about who she
saw that night?
How could Elizabeth have lied to police when directly questioned?
What is the best way to help Elizabeth after being reunited with her
Stockholm Syndrome symptoms:
• Emotional bonding with the captor/abuser
• Requiring the victim be isolated from the outside world
• Subjecting the victim to sexual assault, threats of harm to herself and
her family, demanding she conform to dress and culture different
from what she is used to?
• Seeking favor and approval from the perpetrator
• Depending on the perpetrator for security and purpose of existence
• Befriending and caring for the captor
• Resenting police and proper authorities for their rescue attempts
• Losing one's own identify in order to identify with the captor/abuser
• Seeing things from the perspective of the perpetrator
• Valuing every small gesture of kindness, such as letting them live
• Refusing to seek freedom even given the opportunity
Stockholm Syndrome as survival mechanism where
• a constant threat to survival
condition of hopelessness and helplessness
isolation and loss of support systems from outside
context of trauma and terror that shatters previously
held beliefs about the world
perception that survival depends on total surrender