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In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation by Tom Smart

Brain David Mitchell was the leader of a cult with a single follower: The book is intriguing for several reasons, most obviously, the search. During the nine-month hunt for fourteen-year-old Elizabeth, the Salt Lake City police, FBI, media, and Smart family were in constant conflict about how to proceed. Just as the title suggests, Elizabeth was in plain sight most of the months of her captivity, and at one time a detective even walked up to her in a SLC public library and questioned her.

Another aspect of the book is the complicated psyches of the Mitchells. Brian got direct messages from God that instructed him to take young plural wives, so in essence he was kidnapping and raping for the Lord. Wanda, an accomplished organist, had visions of her own, including some from angels, her deceased father, and Johann Sebastain Bach.

Jul 21, Jane rated it liked it Shelves: This book was written by a newspaper reporter and Elizabeth Smart's uncle who is a professional newspaper photographer. As a result the book doesn't read like a true crime novel but like a newspaper account that is trying to make sure all relevant actions and conversations are correctly and fully documented. The authors take special care to document all contact with the Salt Lake City Police Department and the FBI and in the end show that the professional law enforcement agency were very lacking This book was written by a newspaper reporter and Elizabeth Smart's uncle who is a professional newspaper photographer.

The authors take special care to document all contact with the Salt Lake City Police Department and the FBI and in the end show that the professional law enforcement agency were very lacking in most areas of the investigation. When Elizabeth is found 9 months after the kidnapping, it is because the family acted against the wishes of the local police.

Two extremely bizarre religious fanatics broken away from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, kidnap 14 year old Elizabeth to be their sister and wife. The book primarily tells the story to the family's and the community's reaction to the kidnapping and their struggle to find Elizabeth and doesn't reveal much about Elizabeth's ordeal.

I assume that this was done to protect Elizabeth's privacy and to encourage her healing rather than adding to her trauma. Perhaps in the future when Elizabeth is an adult she will share her memories and insights into her 9 month time as a religious captive. May 29, Stephanie rated it liked it. Yet another reason to despise Bill O'Reilly Of course, the PD didn't come off that much better, although some of them tried. What a strange story, one of those made-for-Nancy-Grace ones with the blond-in-danger.

Better ending than Jon Benet, for sure. Hopefully people learn from these things, like "oh we had an eyewitness, even though she is only 9 years ol Yet another reason to despise Bill O'Reilly And although she was right, another suspect who didn't really fit the description got into the spotlight of the PD's suspect focus and they never let up. Until the guy died, and even then people didn't listen to the eyewitness. Oct 07, Raina rated it it was ok. All I heard throughout this book was "I'm not crazy", "See, I was right", "We're affluent", "The police messed up", etc. The intensity and excessive nature of the finger pointing, defending himself and deflecting blame was so much that it almost took away from the real point of the story.

I feel the story could have been conveyed in an equally informative matter without all the bashing and negativity. A well written book will help the reader see your point, when you continually have to point i All I heard throughout this book was "I'm not crazy", "See, I was right", "We're affluent", "The police messed up", etc. A well written book will help the reader see your point, when you continually have to point it out or remind them it seems shady in my opinion, as though the offer has something to hide You can't force your version of events onto a reader as right I feel like the "4 hour rule" should have been amended to include this book and any other publications because the lack of class and taste is doing the family no favors.

I gave this book a 2 as there was some interesting information in it and at times was an easy read. But mainly it was painful and aggravating. I hope he gets some help. Very detailed account of the search for Elizabeth Smart, written by her uncle, a newspaper photographer with a lot of media connections. A remarkable amount of effort and resources went into the search, and the well-connected and tight-knit family did all it could to keep the story in the news.

Documents several near-misses in finding Elizabeth, as well as the fate of suspects that turned out not to be involved.

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I was bothered by the fact that it took the author about pages to acknowledge th Very detailed account of the search for Elizabeth Smart, written by her uncle, a newspaper photographer with a lot of media connections. I was bothered by the fact that it took the author about pages to acknowledge that most missing children and their families don't get this kind of assistance and attention, especially if they are not white, blonde, and demonstrably angelic and pure.

Jan 21, Rachel rated it really liked it. I love the Smart family. What amazing, inspirational people. This book was written by Tom Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, who is also a veteran photojournalist. If I didn't already have massive respect for the Smarts, this wonderfully written book would have done it.

In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation

I especially appreciated this very honest observation from Tom: However, I love the Smart family. However, kidnapping crosses all boundaries and all children deserve the same resources. Feb 22, Genoa Yox rated it did not like it. Mar 11, Candice rated it did not like it. You win some, you lose some. Oct 24, Jenifer rated it really liked it. In reading a book like this, one must remember that this story is a first person memoir with all the angst, pitfalls and subjectivism that such a memoir contains.

That being said, Tom Smart is a frank and likable narrator - a no-nonsense guy who fought for home, family and decency. He has let the reader into the inner sanctum of law enforcement, media and family with an honesty about "the good, the bad and the ugly". So many individuals were invested and committed to this case, one should be cau In reading a book like this, one must remember that this story is a first person memoir with all the angst, pitfalls and subjectivism that such a memoir contains.

Indeed I am sure that many lessons have been learned and procedures and policies updated to possibly avoid future pit-falls. Sometimes this book was so hard to read I had to put it down; other times, so gripping I couldn't put it down. It's interesting to compare and contrast the facts provided by Tom and the facts provided by Elizabeth in her own memoir.

For one example, the media and even Tom report that Elizabeth was called "Augustine" during her captivity and Wanda called Hepsibuh, but in Elizabeth's memoir, she refers to herself being called "Hepsibuh ". The two books together provide interesting insights into this bizarre case that, for reasons I won't articulate here, has me morbidly fascinated.

Jan 11, Lisa rated it liked it Shelves: This book fills in the information about the investigation into Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping that her book, My Story, doesn't describe. Tom Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, tells the story well from his first-person point of view. The only flaw in the book is Smart's tendency to go on too long, especially in the first third of the book, about his own experiences.

He's trying to justify acting a little crazy due to sleep deprivation, the desire to find out what happened to Elizabeth, and the whipsawing This book fills in the information about the investigation into Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping that her book, My Story, doesn't describe. He's trying to justify acting a little crazy due to sleep deprivation, the desire to find out what happened to Elizabeth, and the whipsawing the family took from the media and the police , but he could have told in a few paragraphs what he spent two or three chapters telling.

Smart does a good job of refraining from telling the details of Elizabeth's story--he leaves that to her--while keeping the reader updated on her whereabouts and the broad outlines of her experience. He also helps the reader feel the frustration and tragedy of the several near-misses that, had they been successful, would have rescued Elizabeth sooner, as well as the machinations of some of the media and the incompetence of some members of the Salt Lake City police department.

This book was well done, but it was sad because of the tragic situation involved. Jun 25, Daniel Stern rated it it was ok. The SLCPD belongs in a criminal category for the obstruction of justice, not following up on relative's calls identifying Mitchell…. Tom Smart's story shows "me" how IF "America's Most Wanted" hadn't done their story and put out the photos of Mitchell, That's how the 2 couples who recognized Mitchell were able to call the police and identify his whereabouts to end this ordeal!

Elizabeth's story would have probably had a sad end; like so many other abducted children - never returning home. This book gives step-by-step details of "the miracle" of her rescue. No other book spells it out so well with photos and the details of what went on behind the scenes in the nine-month search for Elizabeth Smart. This book is the culmination of all the books with a total concentration on the rescue efforts. New research is presented on the family background of disturbed street preacher Brian David Mitchell, who kidnapped Elizabeth as part of a bizarre polygamous plot.

Also examined is the critical role of the media, revealing the essential part played by John Walsh and others in facilitating Elizabeth's safe return, and the manipulative influence of Fox News and Bill O'Reilly. Going beyond a mere eyewitness account, the book includes information culled from interviews with more than people involved in the search and investigation, notes from family meetings, and memos from law enforcement officials.

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He lives in Park City, Utah. Tom Smart , Lee Benson. This riveting inside story of the intense search for the Salt Lake City teenager reveals never-before-told details of the largest investigation in Utah state history.


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The firsthand account of Tom Smart, Elizabeth's uncle and one-time suspect, reveals the details of the flawed police investigation, the media's manipulation of the family, and the eyewitness account of nine-year-old Mary Katherine Smart that went largely ignored by investigators. New research is presented on the family background of disturbed street preacher Brian David Mitchell, who kidnapped Elizabeth as part of a bizarre polygamous plot.

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