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Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

SA man found guilty of killing Alaskan women after footage of murder taken from phone

Brian Steven Smith was identified by his South African accent after he filmed himself killing one of the women.

A South African man, Brian Steven Smith, was found guilty for the murder of two Alaskan native women.

He was caught after police were given footage of one of the murders that was found on his cellphone.

The footage was copied to a memory card and handed in to police by a woman who had stolen it from his truck .

Smith later confessed to killing the other woman, whose body had been misidentified by police.

The former South African was found guilty of murdering Kathleen Henry in 2019 and Veronica Abouchuk in either 2018 or 2019. He was also found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault.

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He is expected to be handed a life sentence. Alaska does not have the death penalty.

Video of Henry’s murder

The video footage of Henry’s killing led to Smith confessing to the murder. The gruesome footage showed him beating and strangling Henry.

Although Smith’s face was not visible, he was identified by his South African accent.

The Independent reports that in the video, which was labelled ‘Murder at the Midtown Marriott’, Smith could be heard saying: “In my movies, everybody always dies.”

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Smith’s confession of killing Abouchuk

Smith confessed to shooting Abouchuk and dumping her body. He picked her up while his wife, Stephanie Bissland, was out of town.

He told police he shot her in the head after becoming upset that she would not take a shower. He said he was aggravated because she smelled.

Wife says she will not divorce him

Bissland met Smith online in 2013 and accepted his marriage proposal before meeting him in person. He moved from KwaZulu-Natal to Alaska after that and became a US citizen in 2019.

At his trial, she said she suspected his heavy drinking led to him committing the crimes, reported news agency AP.  

“He was very good for me, but he had another life, I guess,” she said.

Bissland also has no plans to divorce him. She said she will continue to write letters to him and visit him. “I said my vows,” she said.

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