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Man convicted of murdering two Native Alaska women and filming it

Brian Steven Smith arrives in a courtroom after a break, on 6 February 2024, in Anchorage, Alaska (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Brian Steven Smith arrives in a courtroom after a break, on 6 February 2024, in Anchorage, Alaska (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A man who filmed himself torturing and killing a Native Alaska woman was convicted of murder for her death, as well as for killing another Native woman.

Brian Steven Smith, 52, was found guilty Thursday in the murders of Kathleen Jo Henry, 30, and Veronica Abouchuk, 52.

Smith, who is from South Africa, was arrested in 2019 after a sex worker stole his phone and found graphic videos on it of him beating and strangling Henry to death in an Anchorage hotel room. She copied the evidence onto a memory card and turned it over to police, the Associated Press reported.

After being taken into custody, he also admitted to killing Ms Abouchuk in 2018 or 2019.

Disturbing videos of Henry’s murder were shown only to the jury during the trial, but the audio — including the sounds of her gasping for breath as she died — was reportedly audible throughout the gallery.

Though Smith’s face was not visible in the videos, his prominent South African accent could be heard speaking about the killing as if for an audience.

“In my movies, everybody always dies,” he could be heard saying in the footage. “What are my followers going to think of me? People need to know when they are being serial-killed.”

Smith reportedly drove around with Henry’s body in the back of his pickup truck for two days before dumping the corpse on a road.

In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, Smith was also convicted on multiple charges of sexual assault and tampering with evidence.

Due to evidence that Henry’s murder involved “substantial physical torture,” Smith faces a mandatory 99-year prison sentence for her murder. He faces another 30 to 99 years for the death of Abouchuk.

He is set to be sentenced in July.