Brian Steven Smith. Photo: Twitter/@DjNewSouthAfric

SA man arrested for “brutal murder” in Alaska – his online activity is grim

Smith was arrested for the brutal murder of a woman in a hotel room.


Brian Steven Smith. Photo: Twitter/@DjNewSouthAfric

On 8 October 2019, Brian Steven Smith, 48, was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska in the United States, according to a statement by the Anchorage police department. The South African man was arrested after he was accused of brutally murdering a woman in Alaska.

How Alaskan man was arrested

Smith was born in the Eastern Cape and raised in Queenstown, South Africa. On 30 September 2019, someone discovered a SD card with horrific video and images of the murder of a woman named Kathleen Jo Henry, aged 30.

The card, which was found on the ground near a store, was labelled: “Homicide at midtown Marriott.” The Anchorage Daily News revealed that the memory card contained 39 images and 12 videos.

Smith on footage showing murder

The footage was taken from 4 to 6 September 2019 in a hotel room. According to the newspaper, the images show Henry naked while being brutally beaten and strangled.

A video, which allegedly identified Smith, showed him yelling at her, telling her to die, and laughing. Explicit footage also allegedly showed Smith stomping on her neck and choking her to death.

On 2 October 2019, her body was found near the Seward Highway south of Anchorage. Alaskan detectives were able to capture Smith because they recognised him from a separate ongoing investigation.

On 9 October 2019, the suspect was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder at the Anchorage Jail courtroom.

Alaskan resident’s view of crime

In recent months, the suspect answered hundreds of questions about his native South Africa. Using the Quora website, Smith delved into apartheid and Africa’s history.

Reports state that in August 2019, Smith responded to a question about whether all white people assumed that black people were criminals. His response was:

“White people don’t assume it, everyone assumes it when they look at police crime statistics. Wherever black people go in the world, there is an immediate rise in crime. It is a statistical fact that blacks are ± 600% more likely to violate the law.”

Brian Steven Smith

Smith described as a “meek” man

According to the Sunday Times, Smith’s family and friends described him as a meek man who was loved by all. His cousin, Jacques Engelbrecht, was shocked to hear he was arrested for murder.

He described Smith as a quiet and kind man. The suspect’s friend, Debbie Driessel, reportedly said he was a caring and meek man who was never quick to anger.

Driessel said:

“I spent so much time alone with him and I never felt threatened by him. I would phone him in a tizz about the computer and he was unflappable.”

Debbie Driessel

Smith’s Alaskan home

Smith lived with his wife and their cat in the Geneva Woods subdivision in Midtown Anchorage, according to friends of the couple. The suspect has no apparent criminal history in Alaska.

He is expected to appear in court on 21 October 2019.