Murder in Alaska: how a South African man answered online questions about crime and black people

15 October 2019 - 06:17 By Unathi Nkanjeni
South African Brian Smith is accused of brutally beating a woman to death.
South African Brian Smith is accused of brutally beating a woman to death.
Image: Facebook

Brian Steven Smith, a South African man accused of murdering a woman in Alaska, said black people are "more likely to break the law than whites”. 

According to a Rapport news article, Smith was answering questions on the Quora website about South Africa, apartheid and the history of Africa.

Here is what you need to know:


The Eastern Cape-born man was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska, in the US on October 8 after he was accused of murdering a 30-year-old woman who has been identified as Kathleen Henry.

According to Anchorage Daily News, on September 30 someone discovered an SD card with videos and images related to the murder of Henry.

The card, which was labelled “Homicide at midtown Marriott”, contained 39 images and 12 videos.


Sunday Times reported that the images showed Henry naked while being brutally beaten and strangled.

A video, allegedly showed Smith yelling at her, telling her to die and laughing.

Other graphic footage  allegedly showed Smith stomping on her neck and choking her to death.

“Through the course of the investigation, detectives determined the crime took place in Anchorage during the first week of September.

“They identified Smith as the suspect and believe the human remains are of the adult female in the video.” 


TimesLIVE reported that Smith was arrested at the Ted Stevens International Airport and appeared in court on October 8.

The police investigation revealed Smith had booked a hotel room for two days and that the carpet in the hotel room where the murder allegedly took place matched that of the room into which he was booked.

Smith was placed in custody with his bail set at $500,000 (about R7.4-million), and he is expected to appear in court again on October 21.

Views on crime

Recently Smith answered hundreds of questions about his native SA.

Using Quora in August, according to Rapport, he replied to a question posted on the site: “Do white people assume all black people are thieves?”

Smith replied: "Everywhere in the world where blacks go there is an immediate increase in crime. It is a statistical fact that blacks are +- 600% more prone to breaking the law than whites.”