Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart says she survived her nine-month ordeal and ultimately aided her own rescue by following her captors’ orders and manipulating them into bringing her closer to home.
"Things that I'd always told myself I'd never do, I would do them if it meant I would survive. If it meant that one day I would be able to go back home and be with my family again, I would do it," she said during an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Meredith Vieira.
In a Meredith Vieira Special that aired Friday, Smart and Vieira went to the scene where that campsite once stood.
In the interview, Smart recalls her first time at the site, where she was met by a strange woman in long linen robes ordering her to undress. It turned out to be Mitchell’s wife, Wanda Barzee. Mitchell then began performing some kind of marriage ceremony.
“I was begging and crying and just so scared,’’ Smart said. “I remember thinking, I know what comes after a wedding. And that cannot happen to me. That cannot happen.”