The Elizabeth Smart case has received massive coverage – including three books – since her 2002 kidnapping.
Some 600 potential jurors were called yesterday, with only 220 remaining by the day's end.
Jury selection is expected to take several weeks. One difficulty in putting together a jury may be finding jurors who have not already been exposed to massive coverage of the case. In addition to months of heavy media concentration – from the moment of Smart's abduction from her bedroom in June 2002 up to her safe return home in June 2003 – there have been at least three books devoted to the topic.
For those looking for additional background to the trial, those three titles are:
1. "Held Captive: The Kidnapping and Rescue of Elizabeth Smart," by journalist Maggie Haberman and coauthor Jeane MacIntosh. Haberman, who covered the story as a reporter, traces Smart's story from her kidnapping to her restoration to her family, with a focus on the way the investigation was conducted during her absence.
2. "Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope," by Ed and Lois Smart with Laura Morton. Elizabeth's parents stress the importance of family and trust in God in their account of their daughter's abduction and eventual return home.
3. "In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation," by Tom Smart and Lee Benson. Smart is an uncle of Elizabeth's who came under suspicion during the investigation into her kidnapping. He and journalist Benson detail the many missed opportunities to locate Elizabeth and her captors, says Publishers Weekly, even as Smart "settles some scores" in this "interesting alternate perspective."
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.