CNN LARRY KING WEEKEND
Encore Presentation: Interviews With Patricia Hearst, Members of Mitchell Family
Aired March 16, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Elizabeth Smart is home, but is her ordeal over? Patricia Hearst says no. The most famous kidnapping victim of our time gives us a unique perspective on what it's like to be held captive, and what hardships could be in Elizabeth's future.
Then, disturbing insights into the minds of the alleged kidnappers. We'll hear from Brian David Mitchell's ex-wife, Debbie Mitchell, her daughter, Rebecca, and Debbie's children by Brian Mitchell, Sarah and Joy. All next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.
KING: On February 4, 1974 -- 74 Patricia Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment, a student at the University of California at Berkeley, imprisoned in the closet, sexually assaulted, eventually involved in the SLA robbery of a bank in San Francisco. You know the story.
Patricia Hearst joins us tonight with a unique personal perspective on Elizabeth's kidnapping. First, what do you think it must be like for her right now?
PATRICIA HEARST, KIDNAP VICTIM: Right now, I'd say she is very confused. And even though she's back with her family, which is far and away the best thing for her, because that -- the closeness of her family and being back with them is what's going on bring her, you know, back to being truly herself.
It's going to take a while. I think that she still believes that her kidnappers have some kind of control over her and it's going to take at least, at least a couple of weeks being away from them and back safely with her family before she realizes that they have no more powers, that she's truly safe.
And I know for me, the moment when -- it was a longer time, but the moment when I really, really felt the ultimate relief was when I saw them in a courtroom, and that was when I knew for sure that they could never, ever hurt me again.
KING: All right. But was there a time, since you associated and participating with them in events where this Stockholm Syndrome sets in, where you believe your captors?
HEARST: Well, you know, she was taken out of her bedroom, you know, at knife point, terrorized, tortured -- and there's no question in my mind that she was tortured. She's a little, you know, 14-year- old baby and you have someone who took her, robbed her of the identity that she was in the process of developing. You know, that's a very, very rough age for a child. You know, 14, 15, 16.
She's got to now kind of start over and she's also come home, you know, into a family where the dynamic that they had before her kidnapping has changed dramatically. She's come into a family now that has spent nine months totally focused toward getting her back to them. In that nine months she's been, you know, certainly mentally abused and certainly physically abused. You know, he had her hiding her places, dressing -- you know, dressing her the way he wanted her. You know, telling her, I'm sure, you know -- I'm going to kill you. You're not safe. I'll kill your family And he certainly knew the house, the family where everybody was, who they were. She's got to work back into that family dynamic again and it all has to try to form a new normalcy.
KING: The question, Patricia, most people ask -- it been asked of you a hundred times, but it's more relevant today than it was a couple months ago, when your case dimmed and this case is now in front of us. Why didn't she run away?
HEARST: I'm sorry?
KING: She -- why didn't she run away?
HEARS: Oh, I thought -- sorry. I thought you said she ran away from home.
KING: No, why didn't she run away. She was found on the street, walking down the street. Run up to a cop.
HEARST: Yes, you can't do that. It's impossible.
HEARST: Because you have been so abused and so robbed of your free will and so frightened that you believe -- you come to a point where you believe any lie your abductor has told you. You don't feel safe. You think that either you will be killed if you reach out to get help. You believe that your family will be killed. You're not even thinking about trying to get help anymore. You've in a way, given up. You have absorbed this new, you know, identity that they've given you. You're just surviving. You're not even doing that, really. You're just living while everything else is going on around you.
KING: All right. Now, there are even -- there were even pictures taken of them apparently fairly recently. The two suspects and her at a party somewhere.
HEARST: What kind of party was that?
KING: I know. Think of it. Now, you -- because she must have mingled with people. They weren't just the three of them together. They were with other people. He was in jail for six days. How do you explain that?
HEARST: Well, the party, I would say, his friends and I know the SLA had people around them. And why would you reach out to people clearly that were his friends, people he trusted to take you in there.
KING: So you think other people knew...
HEARST: It's not even an issue.
KING: Other people knew that he had taken her. Other people -- friends of his would have known that Ms. Smart is his victim?
HEARST: No. I think that other people would -- I think she believes that if she had told these other people that he had kidnapped her that they would have told him that.
HEARST: And frankly, I even believed that. I would -- I would be very frightened to just tell, you know, clearly what were his friends a thing like that.
KING: All right. How do you explain...
HEARST: These are not the people you would reach out to and I don't know about the six days. For all I know, he had left her locked in the trunk of a car while he was in jail.
The best case scenario is that she wasn't locked in a box and tucked under a bed or stuffed into a basement, but that she was left with, you know, his wife. We don't know what she was going through in those six days. She could have been buried in somebody's backyard.
KING: Should Elizabeth get an attorney?
HEARST: Yes. Absolutely. She needs an attorney.
HEARST: She needs an attorney for several reasons.
On is -- and the most important reason at this point, is to keep the investigators in line, because they are, at this point, only interested in prosecuting the people who kidnapped her, which very admirable it is, however, there needs to be a limit on who has access to this child.
She's very, vulnerable. Everybody is going to be -- you know, want to be able to say, Oh, I went in and I interviewed her and they're not going to be careful and cautious. If they administer psychological or psychiatric examination or physical examinations, I would be very concerned that there is no privilege between, you know, this child and those doctors and in fact, at the time of trial, it's possible that -- that the defense could then say, Well, you know, the prosecution's given these tests. We want our doctors to give her these tests, too. And then she's subjected to, you know, potentially an abuse as bad or worse than the abuse that she received while she was at the hands of her kidnapper.
Also, I think it's a good idea just in terms of the press. The press is getting -- well, you know, it's all about the sex isn't it? They're out of control.
KING: All about the sex. You mean they're implying that she was sexually harmed?
HEARST: Yes. I think it's more than implying. I think...
KING: Should she tell everything that happened to her?
HEARST: I can say if it were my daughter, there simply be no sexual abuse. That would be it. And that...
KING: But she might have to testify to that at a trial, though, right?
HEARST: She needs a lawyer, and I guess if they want to subpoena her and force her, you know, maybe they could. I think there's no reason why we have to know about something like this. This is a little 15-year-old girl. She's going to grow up. She's going to be, you know, 25, 45, 65. She doesn't need to have this.
I mean, I have visions of the day of her wedding, you know -- Remember, Elizabeth Smart she was the one that -- it's just totally unreasonable.
KING: In other words, it has no relation to the kidnapping. She can testify to being kidnapped and being held. She doesn't have to say anything else. Is that your point?
HEARST: Well, I think life in prison is life in prison. And also, I think we should keep in mind there will probably be two trials, one state, one federal. She's going to be beginning a very long, horrible ordeal. She really does need counsel to help her get through this, because as loving and, you know, truly lovely as her parents seem to be, they're thinking everything good is going to happen from here on out and it's potentially could be very, very bad for this little girl, and they need a lawyer who can get in between investigators and the daughter and lay rules.
KING: Well stated. Let me get a break. We'll be back with more of Patricia Hearst. We will take phone calls for Patricia Hearst.
Later, members of the family as well as the family's bishop. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. SMART: I could not believe it. I absolutely could not believe it. I saw her sitting there on the sofa. She was sitting there with her arms folded. I just went up and I just grabbed her and held her and was crying and crying and crying and I said, Is it really you? And she said, Yes. And I just -- not many words were said, but a lot of emotion was felt. And I just can't thank enough those people who were willing to come forward with tips and otherwise to help us and I thank you so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. RICK DINSE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE: There's no question that at the time of the abduction she was in fear and was fearful for a period of time. The other part of the question is the whether she had compassion for them. Again, she was psychologically affected by this abduction and by this imprisonment. And to say that she could be -- walk around in a free area where she could have walked away is to say that she was affect by them psychologically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Patricia Hearst, what advice would you give to the family?
HEARST: You know, I think they're doing everything they can. They're being gentle and wonderful and they're not forcing her to do things that she shouldn't be doing like just bringing her out in front of the media. And I know that they want to take her picture and see her with the family, but it's really inappropriate at this time to do that. She's in an extremely fragile, mental condition at this point.
KING: She looks very good, though. We see pictures of her smiling with her family. She looks robust, in fact.
HEARST: She's a beautiful girl. I mean, you know, that's all fine. But they'll know in terms of bringing her out.
And, you know, she shouldn't be talking to the press, though. She should be with her family.
KING: Supposedly she had her arms crossed when she first saw her father. You read anything into that?
HEARST: Well, yes. I heard that before the last break. And to me it's very disturbing to me it's to hear that she was sitting kind of hunched up in a ball all drawn in on herself. And I know that feeling very well. I spent a few weeks just curled up in a ball.
KING: What does it say to you?
HEARST: It say that everything is internalized. All of her feelings and all of her emotions are being held inside of her and she needs time to begin to open up again, and to feel like she's free and able to be herself.
HEARST: It's going to be a new self for her, too. She's changed forever by this.
KING: She'll always be the girl who, right?
HEARST: No. It's not that. It's because the experiences that she's gone through have just changed her. And she's just never going to be the same, trusting person.
KING: Right. She's going to be suspicious of things, right?
HEARST: Yes. She's going to be very suspicious and for very, very good reason.
KING: Will she ever feel totally safe?
HEARST: I would be extremely surprised if she ever went and, you know, saw a homeless man in the street and said, you know, oh, Mommy, you know, let's do something to help him. She won't be bringing someone home to work a roof.
KING: Are you overly protective of your children?
HEARST: I'm not sure what the bar is that we're judging that by.
KING: Well in your own opinion.
HEARST: No, in my own opinion I think I am reasonably protective. I can't force fears that I have on them. I can explain concerns that I have about certain things. And, of course, they know what happened to me so they understand if they think I'm maybe being a little over the top. But, you know, I try to not inflicts what happened to me on to them and project it so that they have to live through that.
KING: What about media exploitation? Somebody's going to make a movie of this. Someone or police officer might want to sell it as a story right? I mean, you've got to expect this. Fact of life.
HEARST: Yes. How sad is that? Which is another good reason to limit access to her and another good reason for her to have her own representation with legal counsel.
Because I will bet right now at least two will sell this story of the interviewers. At least one will be a creative consultant on the made for TV movie and another at least one is going to be on one of these cable news networks where it will say "former investigator in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping" and -- yes. They're going to take advantage of the situation and exploit it.
KING: What will that do to her?
HEARST: She'll be furious, I'm sure and frustrated and feel used and and -- there's really nothing you can do about that.
KING: We'll take a break, come back and we'll take your phone calls for Patricia Hearst.
Later we'll meet family members as well as the family's bishop from their own ward in Salt Lake. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMART: Last night when we got her home we did a few things. Everyone was pleading with her to get on the harp, and she struggled through a couple of pieces. Says, well it's been nine months! But it was absolutely wonderful to hear her play.
We spent some time together watching her favorite video which is "Trouble With Angels". And it's just -- it's unbelievable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: By the way, Patricia Hearst was given a presidential pardon by Bill Clinton hours before he left office. And we go to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: First of all, I am so thrilled that that young girl is home. I, too, am a Later-Day Saint and it is an answer to prayer and it is a blessing.
My question for Ms. Hearst is were you deprogrammed when you finally got free, and if you were, do you think that would be of any benefit for Elizabeth Smart?
KING: Good question.
HEARST: By deprogrammed you mean did I have someone come in to convince me that -- that these people...
HEARST: I think not that way. I had a psychologist who was incredibly good and it -- it wasn't a deprogramming per se because once I got away from these people I realized, you know -- and with her help, too, but you realize on your own that you don't have to the things that they've been telling you think. You don't have to participate in the disciplining of your mind to not have thoughts that they disapprove of. You do really remarkable and frightening things to yourself when you're under the control of people like this. And...
KING: She will need a good psychologist.
HEARST: She'll need a really good psychologist who can also work with the family. Although it's possible that the bishop could be just as helpful, you know? I don't know. They'll know how to deal with this. The family will be able to make these decisions.
KING: Memphis, Tennessee for Patricia Hearst. Hello. CALLER: Yes, hi. I was just calling. Patricia Hearst, it's just amazing to have you on the phone. I followed your class closely I graduated in 1975 from high school so I was intensely into your ordeal.
KING: What's your question?
CALLER: I was wondering about her family's strong faith in god. It amazed me from the beginning of this ordeal. And I wanted to ask you what do you think the repercussions will be for Elizabeth if her family does not seek psychiatric help for her?
HEARST: You know, that's really hard to say because they're a very close family. It depends. I think they ought to have definitely some kind of psychological help for her.
KING: What's your read on...
HEARST: Someone chosen by the family and...
KING: What's your read on how strong their faith and was is?
HEARST: Well, that obviously helped keep the family together. I have to say that to me getting Elizabeth back was not so much the power of prayer, which is what kept the family so strong and so united and so determined, but getting her back was more the power of "America's Most Wanted" or something. They're just putting out the picture of the man that their youngest daughter said he did it. And they believed her. They did everything they could.
HEARST: And following what they believed was the truth.
KING: Burlington, North Carolina. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Larry, I followed the case, too, of Miss Hearst when that happened to her. Weren't you physically abused and if she was, will she ever get over it?
HEARST: I think it will be a lot -- If she were abuse and, yes, I was and knowing now what I knew then, I just wouldn't even tell anybody about it. The questioning was so brutal. It was horrific, and it just isn't worth it, you know.
KING: What's the effect of physical abuse?
HEARST: You know, I think the mental abuse, I hate to say it, is more horrific than the physical abuse. Down the road, 20 years down the road she could suffer a trauma that could trigger another post- traumatic stress response to this kidnapping, and be thrown into a terrible depression that she would need serious psychiatric counseling for. And you know, you kind of never get over that. And you know, the physical is -- you know, you weren't saying hey, baby, come on. That was a lot easier to get over it than the mental and emotional abuse.
KING: St. Louis, hello. I'm sorry, I didn't hit the button.
St. Louis, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Patty. I wanted to know if you think about what happened to you every day and how has it affected your family?
HEARST: I don't think about it every day. I do think about it on a regular basis, though because there -- you know -- not always, but there can be something that will trigger a memory or, you know, certainly when a case like this happens and you know, when there's a kidnapping, I think about it much more frequently.
KING: Smyrna, Georgia, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Patricia. I was wondering if you could tell us a little more about your own healing process and how long it took for you to build a sense of normalcy and whether or not your spiritual beliefs contributed to your healing process.
HEARST: Well, I think the healing process really -- the most important aspect of that was being with my family. That's when the real healing took place. I was, you know, put in jail and imprisoned for many months after my kidnappers had abducted me. And they held me for 18 months and then I think I was another 14 months in prison before I was able to be home with my family.
And, you know, psychological help from a trained psychologist or psychiatrist is fine, but you really have to be with your family to get over that kind of trauma. Luckily, you know, Elizabeth is home with her family now. and this was a very, very close, loving, you know, wonderful family. They just, from what you see on the television, these are the perfect parents. I mean, I think she couldn't have a better place, you know, to be home and healing in.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more moments with Patricia Hearst, some more phone calls and then we'll meet members of the family and the Bishop David Hamlin, the family's bishop. As we go to break, let's go back through the years, and hear a conversation between Patty and her mother after the kidnapping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEARST: Mom? Dad? I'm, OK.
CATHERINE HEARST, PATTY HEARST'S MOTHER: We love you, Patty. And we're all praying for you. I'm sorry I'm crying, but I'm happy you're safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) E. SMART: It's real! It's real! I can't begin to tell you how happy I am, what an absolute miracle and answer to prayers this has been. God lives. He is there. He answers prayers, and the prayers of the world have brought Elizabeth home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Patricia Hearst. South El Monte, California, hello
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Patricia.
CALLER: I just want to say my thoughts and prayers go out with the Smart family. What a blessing they experienced.
But my question is for Patricia. Did you need any kind of psychological counseling and are you still in counseling as of today?
HEARST: No, I'm not in counseling as of today. I have had to have counseling since the event. You know, it was almost 30 years ago, and, yes, I did have it.
KING: Yes. Chicago, hello.
Ms. Hearst, do you wish that the AMBER alert was in effect when you were abducted? And if so, are you going rally behind the Smart family to see that this gets passed. Because 1974 to 2003 -- I mean, what has changed?
HEARST: Well, I mean, some state do have it. I do think there should be a national AMBER alert. I don't like the idea that it's just being dragged around and ignored because it's got too much other fat attached to this bill. And yes, I do support it.
KING: Toronto, Canada, for Patricia Hearst, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry.
CALLER: I know that a lot has been said about victims of crimes such as yours and Elizabeth's becoming somewhat compassionate or at least understanding of their captors. Did it have a long lasting effect on you, Patty, and if so, did you think that it will influence about what Elizabeth will or won't say about them in terms of the testimony at trial?
KING: Good question.
HEARST: Well, it only -- they exert influence over you while they have power over you. Now that power extends for awhile after you've been rescued, but within a few weeks you realize they no longer have that power and no, it will not -- excuse me -- influence her testimony at trial. She'll testify truthfully.
KING: Can you explain the power while it's happening?
HEARST: Well, you're so terrorized...
KING: Just by threats or what makes you...
HEARST: I'm sorry.
KING: In other words, are there times that she would begin to believe these people -- we'll ask the bishop about it in a couple of minutes -- but these people were excommunicated from her church. Would you begin to think that she was led to have their same religious thoughts during this period? Would she join them in that?
HEARST: Well, I think that certainly while she was, you know, held by them she's going to parrot whatever it was she told her to say. In terms of actually believing them, people who, you know, pick up these beliefs and truly absorb them are people who seek out these kinds of beliefs.
My kidnappers all got together. They lived in different parts of the country. They found each other because they had similar beliefs. So, you know, Elizabeth Smart was home in bed. She wasn't looking for something other than her religion -- but when somebody has a gun or a knife to your head, throat, whatever, you're very willing to tell them what they want to hear, and you will tell them that as long as you have to to stay alive. But that doesn't mean that you truly believe that.
I mean, I guess you believe it in a sense, you know, during the time that they have that physical and mental control over you. But once you're away from that, you get your freedom back to think for yourself.
KING: Schenectady, New York, hello?
CALLER: Hi, yes.
Patricia, I was just wondering if, you know, it follows up with question that was just asked a couple of minutes ago about identifying with her captors. And does she have sympathy, especially with as spiritual and loving as she and her family are, does she have sympathy for her -- for this man and this woman. And although maybe it won't influence her when it comes to trial, is it...
KING: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut the call. But I think you got the gist of it. I hit that by mistake. I'm sorry.
HEARST: I think I know where she was going.
And, you know, many times people who have been held hostage say, Well, they were really nice to me and what they really mean is, you know, thank God they didn't kill me.
This won't last in terms of her having some kind of strange sympathy for them at trial. At this point, we don't really know enough about who these people are or what they were doing. They certainly seemed like they had serious psychiatric problems of their own and that no one's paid any attention to those for years. But that's just kind of me looking at pictures and hearing reports, so -- I think in a way, many of us could have some kind of sympathy for people that are -- have deep psychiatric problems, but that doesn't excuse the behavior and what they've done to this child.
KING: Bad Axe, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Patty.
I'm wondering how the media speculation affected your recovery and, you know, how, you know, you're doing now and...
HEARST: Well, it's been, really a long time. But it was very difficult for me because that long ago people looked at the kidnap victim, you know, hostage relationship, with the person who held them hostage and they truly didn't understand what goes on to a person who is held hostage over a long period of time. And certainly my abductors had political motives that they were trying to achieve, so it was much harder for me because I was not really viewed as a victim for a very long time.
And in fact, there are aspects of my case that dragged on until just a few months ago. So when my abductors finally pled guilty to crimes that they'd committed, you know in this case, I -- the interest of the media is kind of turning frighteningly salacious at this point and I don't like to see this kind of thing turn into entertainment for the masses.
KING: San Antonio, hello.
CALLER: Hello. I wanted to know what your first few days of capture were like and would you remind us of how you were captured?
KING: They want to know -- refresh them how you were taken.
HEARST: Well, I was at home in my apartment and, you know, I was -- I had done homework and was watching television and I was yanked out of there in a hail of machine gunfire and hit in the face with a machine gun, dragged down a flight of stairs outside and thrown in the trunk of a car, blindfolded, gagged, questioned. They called it an interrogation, and it was weeks of sensory deprivation and, you know, other physical abuse and -- and then indoctrination because they -- they had political motive.
KING: To Parsons, Tennessee, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Ms. Hearst, it's good to see you doing so well. I was wondering since you're so adamant about the Smart family hiring an attorney, did your family have an attorney for you when you were arrested or released from your kidnappers?
HEARST: Well, I mean, yes, because I was placed under arrest.
Normally, a victim doesn't get arrested, but we don't even need to go there for this one. You have a 14-year-old girl who is the victim of a violent crime and, unfortunately, the men and women who are now, you know, charged with the task of prosecuting her kidnappers aren't really going to be paying quite as much attention to this child and what her needs are as they perhaps should be and overzealous questioning of a girl who's been through what she's been through is not a good thing.
And there's too many people having access to her. You'll have people, you know, release this to the media that shouldn't be released. You know, I'd be very careful. They could be wanting to videotape things. You know, Like I said, any examinations by physicians could spark a wave of, you know, defense motions to have those same exams done by their doctors. She needs protection.
KING: Yes. You've said it eloquently. Thank you so much for doing this, Patricia. We really appreciate it.
HEARST: Well, you know, Larry, I'm happy to be here. And I am so happy for the Smart family.
KING: When we come back, some really strange stories about Elizabeth Smart's alleged kidnappers. Brian David Mitchell's stepsons join us right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMART: And I am asking, I am calling upon all of the congressmen, I am calling upon everyone out here in the United States to call your congressman, tell them, this legislation needs to come to the floor, stand alone, and that you want it, and let them know and let them be accountable, because they are accountable to us, and they don't have the right to work on their own issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We begin first in Salt Lake City with Debbie Mitchell and her daughter, Rebecca Woodbridge, and her other daughter, Sarah Mitchell and Joey Mitchell, who are the biological children of the suspect, Brian Mitchell.
Debbie, when did you first hook into the fact that your ex- husband may be the one involved with Elizabeth Smart?
DEBBIE MITCHELL, BRIAN MITCHELL'S EX-WIFE: Actually, when they said his name, and they suspected him, I knew that he would probably be the one that would had done that, more so than Richard Ricci.
KING: What made you think that he would do something like that?
D. MITCHELL: Because of the history of what he had in our marriage, and what he was doing with my children. And where they didn't came forward with information like that with Richard Ricci. No one ever came forward saying that he was that kind of person.
KING: Did you call the Smarts and tell them that?
D. MITCHELL: I did. The very next day.
KING: And what do they say?
D. MITCHELL: They were -- I think more excited to hear more, they wanted to hear the whole story. So I told them completely everything I knew about him and my family. And I contacted the police after that.
But I also told them I felt very strongly that she was still alive. I never believed that she was dead. And if Brian was in fact the person involved that with this, he would not have killed her.
KING: So you -- knowing him as well as you did, you did not believe he was capable of murder?
D. MITCHELL: No, I didn't believe that.
KING: What do you think was his reasoning?
D. MITCHELL: Knowing that he was at the house, and knowing that he was involved with that family, in just a small way, I just reflected back on what he did to my children, and that this was something that he was still continuing to do.
KING: Rebecca Woodbridge, you were his stepdaughter, correct?
REBECCA WOODBRIDGE, BRIAN MITCHELL'S FORMER STEPDAUGHTER: Yes.
KING: What did he do to you that made you think that he might be involved in this?
WOODBRIDGE: He had sexually molested me for the five years that my mom was married to him.
KING: Did you tell your mom?
WOODBRIDGE: Yes, I did. And we had told authorities. And charges were pressed. And they dropped the charges against him and let him go.
WOODBRIDGE: They didn't say why. I feel -- well, this is hard. They didn't think that one, we were telling the truth.
KING: Really? WOODBRIDGE: ... that we were lying about it. And the bishop didn't believe my mom when she had told him. And they wanted to just act like nothing had happened.
KING: This is the Mormon bishop?
WOODBRIDGE: Yes, from my mom's church. The bishop at that time. He's no longer there.
KING: Debbie, as soon as you found out, why didn't you separate and leave him right away?
D. MITCHELL: I didn't find out about it until we were separated.
KING: Oh, I see.
D. MITCHELL: This came out afterwards. And it was reported.
KING: Were you shocked?
D. MITCHELL: Oh, yes. I had no idea he was doing that. He was mean to me. He was physically very, very mean to me during the course of our marriage. He'd beaten me up and was cruel in other ways.
But I didn't think -- I had no idea that he was doing this. This was like 17, 18, 19 years ago. My mind doesn't even go in that way. I had no way of knowing that.
KING: How old were you, Rebecca, when you were sexually molested?
WOODBRIDGE: It started when I was around 8 until I was 12.
KING: Those scars never go away, do they?
WOODBRIDGE: Parts of them do. I have closure in my life with what has happened. I'm able to move on. Now it's brought back up again...
WOODBRIDGE: ... and it's because nobody did anything. And they basically shooed it aside and let him go. And because of that, this little girl got hurt. And now I have to relive my entire past again.
KING: When his name first broke, did you think that he might have abducted Elizabeth Smart?
WOODBRIDGE: No, I didn't.
KING: So unlike your mother, who did, you didn't?
WOODBRIDGE: No. Part of me was just, no, he didn't do this. And part of it was because I didn't want him back in my life. So I didn't want to believe that he could do something like that.
KING: Sarah Mitchell, this is your father we're talking about, right?
SARAH MITCHELL, BRIAN MITCHELL'S DAUGHTER: Yes.
KING: Your biological father?
S. MITCHELL: Yes.
KING: How do you feel about him?
S. MITCHELL: I really have no feelings towards him, just the situation. I think it's sad. And it hurts me that this has to still be going on after this many years.
KING: Did he keep in touch with you?
S. MITCHELL: No. In no way.
KING: He did not? Joey Mitchell, he is your natural, your biological father. How do you feel about this?
JOEY MITCHELL, BRIAN MITCHELL'S SON: I feel at peace, that he's been detained. That he's will receive what -- the help that he needs to continue on in his life, if that's what he needs. I feel he needs help.
KING: You think he needs psychiatric or psychological help?
J. MITCHELL: I do.
KING: Do you love him?
J. MITCHELL: No.
KING: Sarah, do you love him?
S. MITCHELL: No.
KING: Brian Mitchell appeared in court in San Diego, with a charge of a robbery in a church. We'll show you a part of that appearance. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN MITCHELL, ELIZABETH'S ACCUSED KIDNAPPER: My wife and my daughter are staying with some friends presently in Lakeside and I'll be there, too. We're staying with some friends and the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm a minister for the Lord.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you living, Mr. Jansen? Do you have a place to stay?
B. MITCHELL: With these friends, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Debbie, what do you make of him referring there obviously to Elizabeth as his daughter? I know this is hard for you, Debbie.
D. MITCHELL: I haven't heard his voice for a lot of years, so it's so painful. This is the cover-up. It's just another way of doing things he wants to do without people knowing who he is. He's so good at that.
KING: Debbie, what does he want to do? Is he a religious fanatic? Would you term him that? Was he desirous of converting these people? Was it a case of polygamy, what?
D. MITCHELL: He wasn't like that when I married him. So I never saw that side of him. I don't believe he's a religious fanatic. I believe that he's doing all this as a cover-up.
Who's going to go after someone that loves God? I mean, if he comes forth and says that he loves God and he's preaching, that's not going to let anybody think that he's a pedophile and child molester. No one's going to look at this. They're going to look at the, quote, "good things he does."
So it's just a cover-up for family and friends and anybody else involved in this.
KING: We'll be back with more of this group, and then more to come. Lots more to come tonight on LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be back with Rebecca and Debbie and Sarah and Joey right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. MITCHELL: That was the worst night and worst week of my whole life. I had, for the first time in 22 years I got drunk that night. And the whole night was just a nightmare. And it was -- and this week in jail has been like Jonah getting swallowed by the whale. It's turned me right around. And I know I need to do what the Lord wants me to do with my life, and I'm deeply sorry. And nothing like that is going to happen again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imposition of sentence is suspended for three years on the following terms and conditions: he's to violate no laws...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Debbie Mitchell, during the period of your marriage, wasn't Brian very religious? Didn't he attend church every Sunday?
D. MITCHELL: We did. But going to church every Sunday doesn't make him really religious. It's just normal for a Mormon family to go to church on Sunday if you're active.
KING: But did he live by the Mormon concepts of family togetherness and did he, you know, pray a lot and do all the things that believing Mormons do?
D. MITCHELL: He just did the normal things. But that was -- outside closed -- outside the doors of our home, that's what people perceived him to do, but not inside our home. It was just -- he was just really cruel and mean.
KING: Why did you stay?
D. MITCHELL: I was told I needed to or I...
KING: He threatened you?
D. MITCHELL: I was -- no, I had a -- I had -- someone in the church tell me that I needed to -- not in the church. I was just told by one of my leaders that I needed to stay. I needed to work it out, or I would have some problems.
KING: And this was someone who knew what you were going through?
D. MITCHELL: He did.
KING: Rebecca, were you surprised your mother stayed?
WOODBRIDGE: No. She didn't -- she didn't know what had happened until after they were separated.
KING: I know, but she was still being hit. She was still being certainly not treated well.
WOODBRIDGE: Yes, that -- we were being hit, too. And it was one of those situations where if we said anything, then we would be hurt. If we didn't say anything, we were just scared. We didn't know what to do.
KING: Sarah, was there a time that you loved your father a lot?
S. MITCHELL: I never got to know him to even try to love him. He wasn't around long enough, thank goodness.
KING: So you were never daddy's little girl?
S. MITCHELL: Not in the way most little girls should be, no. I wasn't ever.
KING: How do you feel about all this going on?
S. MITCHELL: I feel horrible that after this many years, it is still going on. I'm glad Elizabeth is home now, but to find that my biological father had anything to do with it is a horrible feeling, whether anything happened or not.
KING: Joey, how do you feel?
J. MITCHELL: I feel at peace. I feel that -- that the right thing will be done. I know that there's -- that there's a lot of -- it was a big price to pay, but I feel that what needs to be done will be done.
KING: You said you don't love your father. Would you want to visit him?
J. MITCHELL: No.
KING: Debbie, what do you make of the possibility that he may have been linked to a possible attempt to abduct a cousin of Elizabeth seven weeks after Elizabeth was taken? That story broke today.
D. MITCHELL: I just heard a bleep about that. That would not surprise me. That would -- that would, to me, would be more access to him to have another girl to pick up. I mean, he doesn't work in groups of one. No, he didn't in my family.
KING: How do you think he was able to keep her in a kind of prison for nine months while they also went public at times, walking down the street, going to a party? How was he able to do that?
D. MITCHELL: Not knowing how he did it, personally, I can only go by what he did to my children. He -- from a few of them that talked to me about this, he threatened them. That if he told anything -- this came out later in counseling after, of course, we were divorced.
But in hearing this, he threatened one of the children that if you told your mother, I will do this to your other sister. And so they were afraid to say anything because they didn't want their other sisters to go through what they were going through. And so a lot of mind games. A lot of horrible things that he did to them. He already had them afraid of them.
KING: Rebecca, does any part of you feel sorry for him?
WOODBRIDGE: Yes, I feel sorry for him, I feel bad for him, I pity him. I think he should have gotten help 18 years ago. And if he had, and people didn't decide to shove this under the carpet, this wouldn't have happened.
But by letting him out and -- that was telling him it was OK for him to go do this and continue to do this. And that's not right.
KING: Thank you all.
WOODBRIDGE: I feel sorry for him.
KING: Debbie Mitchell, Rebecca Woodridge, Sarah Mitchell and Joey Mitchell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMART: I am asking and I'm pleading with whoever has her, that I would do anything to have her back in her arms, and please realize how much she's missed. She's missed tremendously. LOIS SMART, MOTHER: She is a very strong, wonderful girl, and she'll make it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here to announce officially that we have found Elizabeth Smart, and that she is here and well, and healthy, in our station.
E. SMART: It's real! It's real! I can't begin to tell you how happy I am, what an absolute miracle and answer to prayers this has been. God lives, he's there, he answers prayers, and the prayers of the world have brought Elizabeth home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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