Psychology, Culture and Brian David Mitchell

Brian David Mitchell kidnapped 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her bedroom while she slept in June, 2002. Nine months later Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, were arrested and Smart was recovered. On Friday Mitchell was convicted in federal court on kidnapping and sex charges after the jury heard days of testimony from various experts, and a dramatic, heart-wrenching account from Smart herself about the ordeal.

The crime has many layers to interest psychologists of religion, with claims of mental illness, religious delusions in a highly religious culture interwoven with a horrible crime. Today I participated in KUER Radio's program on the cultural elements in the case. You can listen to the program on RadioWest. It was my first live interview, as you can probably tell. Still, I hope I added some light to the subject.

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