Torture video found in Alaska contains vital clue to killing
By MARK THIESSEN
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The suspect in a brutal torture killing in Alaska’s biggest city ended up leading police right to him, first by losing a digital memory card labeled “Homicide at midtown Marriott” that contained video of the dying woman.
Then came an even more innocuous blunder: He spoke on the tape in his distinctive, very un-Alaska accent.
Amid the footage, a clue: The killer spoke in an “English sounding accent.” Detectives recalled Brian Steven Smith, from another investigation, the details of which are undisclosed.
Smith moved from South Africa five years ago and became a naturalized U.S. citizen last month.
He’s pleaded not guilty to the first murder charge.
But police say he’s confessed to killing a second homeless Alaska Native woman. He’s set to be arraigned on those charges Monday.