A convicted prostitute who pilfered a memory card during a date was shocked to uncover distressing footage depicting a woman being violently assaulted and strangled. This stolen card has now become a pivotal piece of evidence in a double-murder trial.
The thief, whose identity remains undisclosed, took the SD card from the center console of her date’s truck while in Alaska. A week later, after making the grim discovery of its contents, she handed it over to the police.
The labeled content on the SD card was chillingly titled “Homicide at Midtown Marriott.” It contained a collection of nearly 40 photos and a dozen videos capturing the brutal assault on Kathleen Henry, 30, in 2019.
The disturbing videos further revealed the assailant stomping on the victim’s throat, accompanied by chilling words, “You need to f–king die, bitch.” Following the beating and strangulation, the assailant transported the victim out of the Anchorage hotel, concealed under a blanket on a luggage cart.
Jury selection is set to commence on Monday for the trial of Brian Steven Smith, who stands accused of the heinous murders of two women, with one of the crimes being recorded on video. The allegations involve the killing of Kathleen J. Henry, 30, in September 2019, and 52-year-old Veronica Abouchuk in 2017 or 2018—both victims are Alaska Natives. The stolen memory card is a critical piece of evidence in the ongoing trial, illuminating the brutality of the crimes committed.
Law enforcement officials assert that Smith, aged 52, became a suspect in these brutal homicides after a woman, who had been on a “date” with him, stole the digital memory card from his vehicle. In one of the videos discovered on the memory card, a voice declares, “In my movies, everybody always dies,” raising concerns about potential serial killings. The alleged killer himself mentions that “people need to know when they are being serial killed.”
After the police received the card, detectives initiated an investigation. It was revealed that the memory card contained 39 images and 12 videos. The graphic content depicted a woman lying naked on a floor next to a bed, her left eye bruised and swollen shut, with visible red ligature marks on her neck.
The complaint against Smith outlines the details in one of the videos that show the perpetrator slapping and strangling the female with his right hand around her neck while she moaned and struggled to breathe. Investigators viewing the video noted an English-sounding accent, leading them to recall a prior case involving a male named Brian Smith with a similar accent.
Further examination revealed that Smith, an immigrant from South Africa, had stayed at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott from September 2 to September 4, 2019. Henry’s remains were discovered near an Anchorage highway on October 2.
The initial images depicting Henry’s lifeless body bore timestamps around 1 a.m. on September 4, capturing the period when Smith was still present at the hotel. The concluding images, dated early on September 6, exhibited Henry’s body situated in the back of a black Ford Ranger pickup truck resembling the one owned by Smith, as per the court documents.
Furthermore, Smith’s phone records were traced to the vicinity where Henry’s remains were ultimately discovered. This additional evidence strengthens the connection between Smith and the location of the victim’s body.
Upon Smith’s arrest, he reportedly confessed to the murder of Abouchuk. District Attorney Brittany Dunlop stated during a recent hearing that Smith voluntarily shared details about Abouchuk’s murder, saying, “I’m going to make you famous.” Abouchuk’s remains were found near an old Eklutna Power Plant, according to Alaska News Source.
Despite the evidence and confessions, Smith has pleaded not guilty. Attempts to reach his attorney for comment were unsuccessful. The trial is expected to shed light on the gruesome details surrounding these horrifying crimes.