Elizabeth Smart will return to TV as the host of “Smart Justice,” six ripped-from-the-headlines, true-crime stories that will air on the Lifetime channel.
The hourlong specials will be “told through the eyes of America’s most renowned survivor, Elizabeth Smart,” according to Lifetime, as the Utah kidnapping survivor “actively helps place victims on their journey to healing.”
In 2002, then-14-year-old Smart was kidnapped from her Salt Lake home in the middle of the night by street preacher Brian David Mitchell and held captive for nine months. Mitchell was convicted of kidnapping and rape and sentenced to life in prison; his wife, Wanda Barzee, was sentenced to prison and released in 2018.
Smart has worked as a victim’s advocate. She participated in the production of a made-for-TV movie about her ordeal that aired on Lifetime in 2017. In 2019, she hosted Lifetime’s “Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case,” in which she interviewed her fellow kidnapping survivor.
Lifetime executives said they will announce the subjects of the six specials at a later date, adding that each installment will include “police video, crime scene materials, interrogation tapes and courtroom footage, as well as interviews with the actual victims, family members and others who will offer their firsthand recollections of the crimes.” And Lifetime promises that Smart will “elicit new information on each case, as she takes viewers through all the twists and turns of these horrific stories.”
The senior executive producer of “Smart Justice” is Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey (“Crimewatch Daily” — another show on which Smart appeared). Gregorisch-Dempsey was the news director at Salt Lake station KSTU — FOX 13 — in the early 1990s.