Johannesburg - A South African accent and the chance discovery of a SD memory card led to the arrest of an Eastern Cape man who allegedly filmed himself killing a woman in an Alaskan hotel room.
Alaskan police were led to Brian Steven Smith, 48, after he was linked to a memory card discovered on the street that was labelled “homicide at midtown Marriott”.
An Anchorage resident apparently came across the memory card near a grocery store on September 30.
Curious about the unusual label she inserted the card into her computer and discovered a cache of images that appeared to show the killing of a woman.
She alerted the police. According to police, footage time stamped on September 4 show a naked woman being strangled.
At one stage Smith can allegedly be heard screaming “Just... die.”
Another video then shows the suspect carrying the body in a white sheet through the hotel parking lot to a pickup truck.
Detectives were able to finger Smith through his “unusual” South African accent that they could hear on the video. Police had interviewed him before in an unrelated investigation.
There were 39 images and 12 videos on the card, and some of the photographs showed a woman with long dark hair lying naked on the floor with a bruised left eye, bloodied lips and lacerations on her face.
Two days later police found a body matching the woman in the video dumped along a stretch of highway outside Anchorage.
Police have since identified the dead woman as Kathleen J Henry, 30.
Henry’s last post on Facebook was on August 29, six days before the video allegedly showing her killing was shot.
That post read: “I’m tough Alaska chick since 1997 until present. Keeping up with the kardashians can be mine for life. #killerandchiller.”
Some of her friends kept sending her messages asking her where she was in the weeks following her death.
Smith was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in court the following day.
His Facebook page states that he was born in Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape. He moved to Anchorage in 2014, where he got married to Stephanie Bissland, a former immigration agent.
In an interview with a local TV station, she said she didn’t believe Smith had done the crime and vowed to “stand by him”.
In a now deleted Facebook post from September 16, 2014, Smith allegedly referred to blacks as savages.
“Please keep sending money to the blacks in Africa so that they can buy soap to wash the blood off their hands. The black Africans are only this blatant about their racism towards whites because we have all these bleeding hearts (sic) whites who feel sorry for these savages.”
Anchorage detectives are trying to establish how Smith knew Henry and how she ended up in the hotel.