Brian Steven Smith is currently the talk of the town on social media due to his implication in the murders of two Alaskan women.
Who is Brian Steven Smith
Smith was born in the Eastern Cape and raised in Queenstown,
South Africa. He is a 48-year-old South African immigrant who has lived in
Alaska for five years.
Smith is married to a United States (US) citizen and officially
became a naturalised American citizen in September 2019. He and his wife and
their cat live in the Geneva Woods subdivision in Midtown Anchorage, according
to friends of the couple.
He has no apparent, previous criminal history in South
Africa or Alaska.
His public views on crime
In recent months, Smith answered hundreds of questions about
his native South Africa. Using the Quora website, he delved into apartheid and
According to reports, 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’s infamy for murdering an Alaskan woman
The South African immigrant came into the spotlight this month when he was arrested in Alaska, Anchorage on 8 October 2019.
He was arrested at the Ted Stevens International Airport after he was accused of brutally murdering a woman in Alaska.
Who is Smith’s first victim
The suspect was accused of killing Kathleen Jo Henry, 30. On
2 October 2019, her body was found near the Seward Highway south of Anchorage.
There isn’t much information about how she met Smith or her
What the suspect is accused of in the Henry case
On 30 September 2019, someone discovered a SD card with
horrific video and images of Henry’s murder. According to the police, Smith
brutally beat up and strangled his victim in a hotel room.
The SD 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.
The footage was taken from 4 to 6 September 2019 in a hotel
room. According to the newspaper, a video showed a man yelling at Henry,
telling her to die, and laughing.
Explicit footage also allegedly showed the man stomping on
the victim’s neck and choking her to death.
How Smith was identified by police
Alaska detectives were able to capture Smith because they recognised
him from a separate ongoing investigation. He also admitted under questioning
that he was the man in the footage.
Smith also revealed that he’d disposed of the victim’s body.
Who is the second Alaskan victim
On 2 October 2019, Veronica Abouchuk’s body was found in a
secluded area just south of the city. The last time her family saw her was on July
She was described in a missing-persons report as being homeless. Abouchuk was fatally shot in the head more than a year ago.
It isn’t yet clear how Smith found his second victim or how they’re linked.
Smith confessed to both murders
According to a bail memorandum filed by prosecutors on
Thursday, 17 October 2019, Smith confessed to the police about both murders.
Police revealed that Smith gave them the location for where
he’d disposed of Abouchuk’s remains. The location matched the wooded site north
of Anchorage where Alaska state troopers recovered her skull with a gunshot
wound in April 2019.
Suspect arraigned and indicted for murders
On 9 October 2019, Smith was arraigned on a charge of
first-degree murder at the Anchorage Jail courtroom for Henry’s death. On Thursday,
he was also indicted for another murder charge in Abouchuk’s case.
The suspect has been held on a $750,000 (more than R11
million) bail. Prosecutors are seeking to raise his bond to $2 million.
On Monday, 21 October 2019, the accused will face an
arraignment on the second indictment.
How Smith’s friends and family describe him
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
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.
“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.”
Suspect not characterised as a serial predator
Deputy District Attorney Brittany Dunlop declined to offer a
possible motive for the two murders. She also declined to characterise Smith as
a suspected serial predator.
Speaking to reporters, Dunlop said:
“We take every case and every victim as they come. These were two Alaska Native women, and I know that hits home here in Alaska, and we’re cognizant of that.”
Brittany Dunlop, Deputy District Attorney