On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

heavy-rain-night
57°
Overcast
H 75° L 56°
  • heavy-rain-night
    57°
    Current Conditions
    Overcast. H 75° L 56°
  • clear-day
    67°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 75° L 56°
  • clear-night
    71°
    Evening
    Clear. H 75° L 56°
Listen
Pause
Error

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street
Close

‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street

‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Anchorage Daily News via AP
Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, Alaska, is shown Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, during his arraignment for murder. Smith was arrested after police linked him to an SD card, similar to the one pictured, containing footage of a woman's brutal killing.

‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street

An Alaska man has been charged with murder after police tracked him through an SD memory card -- which held photos and video of the crime -- that was found in the street, according to authorities.

Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, is charged with first-degree murder, according to court records. A criminal complaint was filed against him Monday.

According to Anchorage police officials, Smith, a South African native, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at the Ted Stevens International Airport, where he had just flown in.

>> Read more trending news 

Police officials said officers were called the afternoon of Sept. 30 to meet with a woman who handed them an SD memory card that she said she’d found on the street in the Fairview neighborhood. SD cards are used to store data downloaded from portable electronic devices, such as cameras, laptops and some cellphones.

The card was labeled “homicide at midtown Marriott,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the the Anchorage Daily News.

“The SD card contained several videos which appeared to show the assault and subsequent homicide of an adult female,” Anchorage police said in a news release. “Detectives with the homicide unit were notified and began an investigation.”

Two days later, investigators were called to milepost 108 of Seward Highway, where human remains had been found that morning near the Rainbow Trailhead, the release saidThe Daily News said the area is adjacent to Turnagain Arm, a narrow waterway at the north end of Cook Inlet in the Gulf of Alaska.

Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP
An Oct. 2, 2019, photo shows police at the scene where human remains were found along Seward Highway in Anchorage, Alaska. Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, was charged Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, with murder after being connected to the case.
Close

‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street

Photo Credit: Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP
An Oct. 2, 2019, photo shows police at the scene where human remains were found along Seward Highway in Anchorage, Alaska. Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, was charged Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, with murder after being connected to the case.

The newspaper reported at the time of the discovery that police had little information, including the identity of the victim or how long the remains had been there.

Authorities now believe the remains are those of the woman seen on the SD card.

In all, the card contained 12 videos and 39 still images depicting a brutal attack on an unidentified woman, the Daily News reported. The naked woman was lying on the floor of what appeared to be a hotel room as she was beaten.

Some footage shows the woman, described as having long dark hair and possibly being of Alaskan Native heritage, being strangled by a man who is screaming at her in what sounds like a foreign accent, the affidavit said. At one point, he stomps on the woman’s throat, the Daily News reported.

“Just die,” he shouted at the woman in one video, according to The Associated Press.

The affidavit said the woman fought for her life.

Some of the images, the first of which were time-stamped Sept. 4, show the woman wrapped in a white sheet and being moved through a parking lot to a truck, the Daily News reported. The final images, time-stamped Sept. 6, show the woman’s body face down in the bed of a pickup truck.

Google
A July 2011 Street View image shows the area in Anchorage, Alaska, where a passerby found, on the street, an SD card containing footage of a woman's brutal killing. Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, was charged Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, with murder.
Close

‘Just die’: Man charged with brutal killing depicted on SD card found in street

Photo Credit: Google
A July 2011 Street View image shows the area in Anchorage, Alaska, where a passerby found, on the street, an SD card containing footage of a woman's brutal killing. Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, was charged Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, with murder.

The AP reported that the affidavit indicates detectives reviewing the images recognized Smith, who has a South African accent, from his involvement in another ongoing investigation. They did not give details of the separate investigation or say if Smith is suspected of other crimes, the Daily News said.

Investigators found that Smith, who the Daily News reported lives in the Geneva Woods neighborhood of Anchorage, had a room registered in his name at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott the night the video was taken, the affidavit says.

The document states the carpeting in the room registered to Smith matches that seen in the footage of the woman’s killing, the AP said.

>> Related story: Alaska teen, 4 others accused of killing friend, recording it, after being 'catfished' by Indiana man

Smith’s truck matches the one seen in the images of the woman’s body being loaded for disposal and “pings” from his cellphone places him along Rainbow Valley Road, near the spot off Seward Highway where the unidentified remains were found Oct. 2, the Daily News reported.

KTUU in Anchorage reported that the cellphone records put Smith in that area within minutes of when the last photo on the SD card was created.

It is unclear how or why the SD card ended up on the street where it was found, less than 2 miles from the Marriott. The woman’s remains were found about 20 miles south of the hotel, along the edge of Chugach State Park.

Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim told the Daily News Wednesday that the State Medical Examiner’s Office was still working to identify the woman found alongside the road and determine her cause and manner of death.

“We still don’t know who she is and we don’t know much about her,” Thim said.

Little is known about her alleged killer, either. A Facebook profile that appears to belong to Smith indicates he is a native of Queenstown who moved to Anchorage in 2014, got engaged that same year and later married.

Photos on his profile show him and his wife, a former administrative officer at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Anchorage, visiting Washington, D.C., in 2014. More recent photos on the page of his wife, who is now a musician, appear to depict a loving relationship.

The Daily News reported that Smith’s wife is not implicated in the homicide.

Investigators and crime scene technicians spent Tuesday searching the couple’s home and hauling away Smith’s black pickup truck, neighbors told the newspaper.

Smith appeared Wednesday for his first appearance in court, where a judge set his bail at a $500,000 cash appearance bond and a $250,000 cash performance bond, the Daily News saidAccording to Avvo, an online marketplace for legal services, Alaska law requires an appearance bond, which guarantees a defendant’s appearance at all court dates, and a performance bond, which requires the person to also abide by court-ordered conditions of release.

It was not immediately clear what those conditions would be if Smith were released on bail. He claimed in court Wednesday that he had a total of about $2,000 in savings, the Daily News reported.

The judge appointed him a public defender.

Read More

News

  • Last year, after mounting pressure to address the impact of screen time on young users, Apple released a new feature that tracks how long users look at their phone each day. (Although, many teens have found loopholes to circumvent the monitoring system sometimes used by parents). >> Read more trending news  But, of course, it’s not just young people who are spending oodles of hours in front of a screen. Nearly 30% of adults in the United States say they are online “almost constantly,” according to a Pew Research Center poll. And another Pew study reported screen time was increasing among adults over 60. The potential drawbacks of too much screen time are well-documented: Studies have linked it to depressive symptoms for adolescents and overall sleep disruption. In addition, too much exposure to blue light — the wavelengths emitted from phones and computer screens — may also be causing accelerated aging, even if you’re not looking directly at it, a new study suggests.  The study, published Thursday in “Aging and Mechanisms of Disease,” found that blue light could be damaging to cells in the brain, as well as the eyes. The researchers looked at how fruit flies responded to 12 hours of exposure to blue LED light. In the study, the flies that were exposed to 12 hours of light, followed by 12 hours of darkness did not live as long as those kept away from the blue light all together. Exposure to blue light also affected the flies’ ability to conduct common behaviors, such as climbing walls. Some flies used in the experiment were eyeless and even those subjects had brain damage after being exposed to the light.  “It was very clear cut that although light without blue slightly shortened their lifespan, just blue light alone shortened their lifespan very dramatically,' researcher Jaga Giebultowicz said. Fruit flies are frequently used in similar studies because of their cellular makeup and development is similar to humans and other animals.  'And with the prevalent use of LED lighting and device displays, humans are subjected to increasing amounts of light in the blue spectrum since commonly used LEDs emit a high fraction of blue light,” Giebultowicz said.  In order to curb risk, the researchers suggest that people get plenty of exposure to natural light, which is important for maintaining the body’s natural circadian rhythm. 'As science looks for ways to help people be healthier as they live longer, designing a healthier spectrum of light might be a possibility, not just in terms of sleeping better but in terms of overall health,” researcher Eileen Chow said. In addition to getting outside for some Vitamin D, researchers also suggest people wear glasses with blue light protection when looking at screens and check the settings on devices to block blue light emissions. 
  • He was able to “Get Out,” and survived the “Black Panther” — and Okoye — so Daniel Kaluuya’s next project might leave some people scratching their heads. >> Read more trending news  Kaluuya is partnering with Mattel Films and Valparaiso Pictures on a live-action movie about Barney, the giant purple dinosaur who famously loved us from 1992 through 2009. “Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” Kaluuya said Friday in a statement announcing the movie. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.” According to Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner: “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to ‘Barney’ that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.” Kaluuya was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2017 performance in “Get Out.” In 2018, he played W’Kabi — friend of T’Challa and the love of Okoye — in Marvel’s Atlanta-filmed “Black Panther.” Social media had mixed reactions to the announcement, so many that Barney was a trending topic by Friday afternoon.
  • The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will face off in the 2019 World Series, starting with two games at Houston's Minute Maid Park before the teams head to Nationals Park in D.C. Want to follow all the action in the best-of-seven series? Here's what you need to know: >> Read more trending news  When and where are the games? Major League Baseball has released the following dates and start times for the Fall Classic: Game 1: Washington at Houston, 8:08 p.m. EDT Oct. 22 Game 2: Washington at Houston, 8:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 23 Game 3: Houston at Washington, 8:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 25 Game 4: Houston at Washington, 8:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 26 Game 5 (if needed): Houston at Washington, 8:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 27 Game 6 (if needed): Washington at Houston, 8:07 p.m. EDT Oct. 29 Game 7 (if needed): Washington at Houston, 8:08 p.m. EDT Oct. 30 What channel? Fox will televise the series. Fans also can tune in via ESPN Radio. What do I need to know about the teams? The Astros are no stranger to the playoffs, making appearances in four of the last five postseasons and winning the championship in 2017, according to ESPN. 'We're going back, to #TakeItBack!!' the team tweeted early Sunday.  Washington, meanwhile, is hoping to win the World Series for the first time in Expos/Nationals franchise history, despite appearing in five of the last eight postseasons, The Associated Press reported. The city hasn't had a team make it to the series since 1933, when the Washington Senators faced – and lost to – the New York Giants, according to MLB.com. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Bruce Springsteen made a boss move Saturday night, surprising a group of movie goers at an opening screening of his movie “Western Stars.” >> Read more trending news  Springsteen, a native of Freehold, delighted fans Saturday night at the screening at the AMC Loews Freehold Metroplex Cinema, the Asbury Park Press reported. “Thanks for coming out, thanks for supporting me all these years and enjoy ‘Western Stars,’” Springsteen told cheering fans, the Asbury Park Press reported. The film is a series of live concert performances by Springsteen of songs from his album “Western Stars.” The movie is set for wide release Oct. 25. 
  • After widespread backlash and concerns, President Donald Trump on Saturday said he will not be using his Miami golf resort as a host site for the 2020 G-7 Summit. >> Read more trending news  “We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately,” Trump said on social media. “Thank you.” The White House announced Thursday that the meeting would take place at Trump National Doral Miami, a golf resort owned by the president.
  • Ohio city leaders decided to solve a property dispute with a resident by cutting a building in half. >> Read more trending news  The city constructed a storage building for equipment, but part of the structure was on Brett Galloway’s property, WJW reported. Galloway has been working with city leaders since January but discussions ended without a deal. Instead, city leaders decided to cut the building in half and installed a chain-link fence. “It is pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever,” Galloway told WJW. “I don’t know who would think this is a good idea. I can’t use my property and they lost a building.” Officials plan to tear down the portion built on city land. They are unable to demolish the other section because Galloway would not let them on the property, WJW reported.