I will stand by him: Wife of South African man convicted of Alaska murders

26 February 2024 - 09:42
By TimesLIVE
Convicted killer Brian Smith with his wife Stephanie Bissland.
Image: Brian Smith Facebook photo Convicted killer Brian Smith with his wife Stephanie Bissland.

An Eastern Cape man whose distinct accent led to his arrest after he recorded the torture and murder of one of his victims has been convicted of murdering two women in Alaska.

Brian Smith, 52, is due to be sentenced in July, and despite him bragging about wanting to be a serial killer, his American wife says she will not divorce him.

Smith, originally from Queenstown (Komani), moved to Alaska five years before his arrest for the murder of Kathleen J Henry, 30, and 52-year-old Veronica Abouchuk between 2018 and 2019.

He was arrested after a memory card containing photos and videos of Henry's murder was discovered and handed to police.

NBC news reported he was convicted on Thursday on 14 charges, including murder and multiple counts of sexual assault.

Smith’s wife, Stephanie Bissland of Anchorage, told the broadcaster, “He was very good for me, but he had another life, I guess”, adding his problems were likely worsened by heavy drinking.

Bissland said when he was first jailed, he was in a very dark place.

“He got better,” she said.

She plans to write to him and visit him when he is transferred to prison. Divorce is not on the cards.

“I said my vows,” she said.

Smith's childhood friends previously told the Sunday Times he was “a quiet and meek man” who worked as an IT technician.