Details Emerge of Girlfriend Murder Case Against ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius

South African prosecutors on Friday formally charged 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius with shooting and killing his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine's Day

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Oscar Pistorius attends a court hearing at the Pretoria magistrates court, South Africa, Feb. 15, 2013.

Updated: Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. EST

South African prosecutors on Friday formally charged “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius with shooting and killing his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day. At Pretoria Magistrates Court, prosecutors told chief magistrate Desmond Nair they would argue that Pistorius committed “premeditated murder” on Feb. 14 at his home in the South African capital. In the dock, Pistorius, dressed in a dark gray suit and blue shirt, cried silently, bent over and buried his head in his hands when he was formally charged with one count of murder. From behind, his father Henke, brother Carl and sister Aimee leaned forward to try to comfort him. Pistorius was, in the words of his defense lawyer, in an “extremely traumatized state of mind.” Nair postponed the defense’s application for bail until Tuesday. Pistorius will be held in police custody until then.

(PHOTOS: Oscar Pistorius On and Off the Track)

Police have said that Steenkamp was shot in the head and the hand. Local media reports suggested Friday that the police had been called to Pistorius’ home at the Silver Woods secure housing estate in Pretoria just past midnight after neighbors reported hearing a loud argument. They were then called back a second time two hours later, around 3:00 a.m., after the shooting. The Afrikaans newspaper Die Beeld reported Steenkamp had been shot four times through a bathroom door and had been hit in the hand, the pelvis, the chest and the head. On Thursday a police spokeswoman discounted initial media reports that Pistorius shot Steenkamp accidentally, thinking she was an intruder, and added that officers were investigating “previous allegations of a domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home.

(MORE: What to Know About Oscar Pistorius’ Girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp)

Pistorius’ family and his management released a statement Friday calling into question the charge that he murdered Steenkamp. Issued from London, the statement read, “The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms,” and noted that Pistorius “would like to send his deepest sympathies to the family of Reeva.”

The case has stunned South Africa and the wider world. Steenkamp, 29, was a rising star in South Africa as a strikingly beautiful magazine cover girl and reality-TV star. But it is the sudden and tragic turn in Pistorius’ story that has drawn bewilderment and disbelief. Pistorius, 26, was born with no fibula in either of his legs, and both were amputated below the knee before he was 1. Encouraged by a mother who refused to treat him as anything but equal, he used prosthetic limbs to excel at able-bodied sports during high school. Then, as he ran to recover from a rugby injury using carbon-fiber “blades” that mimicked the action of a cheetah, his father realized he was posting world-record Paralympian times.

Pistorius quickly established himself as a world-class Paralympian sprinter but, accustomed to competing in able-bodied sports, fought a long battle against those who claimed his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage to also take part in the Olympics. Last year, at the Games in London, he emerged as one of the stars, collecting two Paralympic gold medals and two silvers, breaking two world records and one Paralympic record. He also competed in an Olympic final and semi-final.

(MORE: Athletes Who Have Competed in Both the Olympics and Paralympics)

At the time, his sour and ungracious outburst after losing the T44 200m final to Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira, complaining that Oliveira’s blades gave him an unfair advantage because they were too long, raised some eyebrows in the athletics world. But it was not enough to dent the almost universal adulation Pistorius drew for his remarkable story of triumph over adversity and the manner in which he was single-handedly overturning the global image of disability. His picture graced billboards and magazine covers across the world. In South Africa, a country that was still living with the white-supremacist apartheid regime where futures were determined by the accident of birth, the story of a boy born disadvantaged who overcame all obstacles to conquer the very world from which his disadvantage should have barred him, made the impossible seem possible. Like few other figures since Nelson Mandela, Pistorius’ inspirational example was able to unite his divided country. Today, as a sobbing Pistorius began to face up to his stunning fall, South Africa — and much of the wider world — finds itself in need of a new hero.

PHOTOS: Oscar Pistorius’s Historic Race

49 comments
Wild4Life
Wild4Life

What i don't understand is how he could have shot her in the head, hand, chest and pelvis if he couldn't see her through the door. After the first shot she would have crumpled to the ground and he would have logically been shooting over her as she lay on the floor. This really doesn't add up at all. 

jvak55
jvak55

Gee, I wonder who I just shot behind the door?, could it be, Oh NOOOOO!!!, I shot my girlfriend, whahaaaaa

JohnDevlin
JohnDevlin

His defense should be he thought she was a replicant.

hughson_mbatha
hughson_mbatha

I am suprised it took so long for Oscar to melt down. I have been following his career and long concluded that the guy is an abuser (previous gf have all sad so) and a psycopath (like most super successful persons ).

Riaan26
Riaan26

It's Die BEELD newspaper, not BEELDT. Sure it's just a typing error.

JacoPitout
JacoPitout

You just had to say something about the "white supremist regime". Have you stopped for a moment to think that there are 48 people killed everyday in South Africa under what the world percieves to be a democracy. I have beef with you and all the people out there that think a white South African is supremist. I never had any part in apartheid. I did not choose it. Why do you then choose to label me? I have suffered several injustices as a result of this democracy. Wake up world. You do not have a clue about what is happening in South Africa.

JacoPitout
JacoPitout

You just had to say somthing abou the "white supremist regime". Have you stopped for a mement to think that there are 48 people killed everyday in South Africa under what the world percieves to be a democracy. I have beef with you and all the people out there that think a white South African is supremist. I never had any part in apartheid. I did not choose it. Why do you then choose to label me? I have suffered several injustices as a result of this democrcacy. Wake up world. You do not have a clue about what is happening in South Africa.

MikeGannome
MikeGannome

Hard to think of a scenario where this could be an accident. Reports are that police were called to his home 2 hours before the shooting, neighbors heard yelling before the shooting, and she was shot multiple times through a bathroom door. They wouldn't have already charged him with premeditated murder if they thought there was any chance of it being an accident.

ZweiStein
ZweiStein

Personally, I'm tired of reading about this guy's athletic career.  He is a murderer!  I don't give a rat's behind about his running.  Let's try some focus on the victim (may she RIP) and her family and friends (condolences.)  THEY are the tragedy in this affair - not him!

RichSnyder
RichSnyder

A lot of sports "heroes" can't hold that title when their personal life/all details come out.  This guy was a hothead who got a lot of breaks (the biggest when he almost got killed in a boating accident when likely drunk and he had no alcohol charge), but it finally caught up with him.   Shot her 4 times through the door...

guycmcd
guycmcd

another shack up love nest bites the dust...no hoopa, no schtupa...

KavinNaidoo
KavinNaidoo

I am a middle class South African, and I have had relatively no experience of crime in the areas that I have lived in. This nutjob is privileged and rich outside of his sporting accolades. The area he lives in, for the super rich, is not too far away from me. It is well protected, with no crime. It is patrolled 24/7 by armed security guards.  The excuse from this c*nt is f*cking paper thin, and one does not deserve to be part of the human race if one believes his story. This type of domestic incident where a woman is killed happens at least 2500 times per year in South Africa and it is at the hands of legal gun owners, unstable people like Pistorius. He shot this woman four times through a bathroom door, claiming he thought she was an intruder. Surely, she called out if he cried out a warning? Yes, the statistics are accurate regarding SA and its crime rate. The only way to bring it down is to bring back the death penalty. We also need to screen gun applicants psychologically to prevent this type of sh*t. In all these reports, very few give the victim a stage. She lost her life at the hands of a f*cking barbarian, and this nitwit is paraded across all newspapers as a hero in this incident. Your article smacks of a PR campaign for this loser. Who gives a sh*t about his accolades. Lets remember the victim here, and her family. I am just sorry he wont hang for this murder.

Skimaan
Skimaan

"The suspect shot through the bathroom's door" = the door was closed and/or locked.

1. "shot through the bathroom's door from outside": It's 1,000% murder. The shooter must know someone's in the bathroom when  it's closed or locked. His defense may be only that he was incapable of kicking down the door and the person inside refused to open.

3. "shot through the door from the inside": 400% Murder. Door was closed, four shots to ensure the kill of anything, anyone outside.


MiscAdverts
MiscAdverts

Many athletes take various performance enhancing drugs and quite a few have side effects like... making the user aggressive, short tempered, delusional, violent etc.  It is totally possible this is the case here.  Very sad. 

SteveRedmond
SteveRedmond

He and his lawyers don't vae a leg to stand on!

Ocsicnarf
Ocsicnarf

Horrible case. But it is not so extraordinary. The extraordinary were the suspected murderer (whose achivements are there despite this case) and the victim, a quite special, intelligent and beautiful woman. But unfortunately everyday there is domestic violence. And it is worse where firearms are easily available as in SA or the US.

Ichiban82
Ichiban82

He might be a murderer but at least he has a small carbon footprint.

greenhoodie
greenhoodie

It sounds like it could have been accidental if she was shot through the door.  She could have locked herself in the bathroom and he shot the door in a fit of rage, without intending to kill or even shoot her.    Another victim of the senseless use of a gun to try and solve an issue and gain power over another human being. 

EihpoSono
EihpoSono

“@TIME: Details emerge of gf murder case against Oscar Pistorius | http://t.co/g3f90tr9” Not a good year for inspirational athletes.

Mashudu_Madzhie
Mashudu_Madzhie

#HerNameWasReevaSteenkamp

I believe either way the truth will come out on what exactly happened at that house before and after Oscar Pistorius decided to pull a trigger to shoot through his bedroom bathroom door. Whether it was premeditated or mistaken identity, a beautiful life is gone; forever – in the hands of her loved one. And this is a world unfortunate phenomenon, and we (men) must unite to put a STOP. Every week, a woman is killed, with or without being premeditated, by her love one.

DonaldJFunk
DonaldJFunk

@EndDV Abusive partners come from all walks of life, including the rich and famous. My mother's abuser was a respected & influential doctor.

cosmic_cate
cosmic_cate

@TIME Doesn’t she even have a name? @EverydaySexism

wanimo9
wanimo9

@time @timeworld In need of a new hero? There are many heroes still living in South Africa...#Mandela among many others.

bsfw
bsfw

“@TIME: Details emerge of girlfriend murder case against Oscar Pistorius | http://t.co/e5Gnxjf7 (via @TIMEWorld)”아하 과연 진실은 어디에...

tribalgrl1
tribalgrl1

@TIME @TIMEWorld "Girlfriend" was named Reeva Steenkamp - how about focusing on the loss of her LIFE instead of his career?

kaytoned
kaytoned

@time @timeworld.4 shots to parts of d body?come on,that ain't an intruder but meditated shooting.after 1st shot by mistake u stop

buntysammy
buntysammy

@TIME @TIMEWorld Really sad and so confusing

dmbfan93933
dmbfan93933

@KavinNaidoo Good comment about the effects of misogyny in South Africa.  Too bad you had to the term c*nt to describe Pistorius.  

RichSnyder
RichSnyder

@KavinNaidoo I agree with what you say (esp bringing back the death penalty), but don't think screening would have stopped this guy from getting a gun.   

I was just reeling from the story about that 17-year old girl who was gang raped/mutilated while alive in SA (slit her stomach to crotch then removed her intestines then stuck a broken bottle inside.. after breaking her fingers and both her legs) - then read more about SA's rape problem, and that 25% of men admit to raping a girl/woman (and now 80 year old grandmother rapes is taking off??).   Something is wrong down there...

RichSnyder
RichSnyder

@Skimaan  The guy is nuts.  The cops were just there two hours ago for a DV issue, then his girlfriend goes IN the bathroom and he thinks it was an intruder???  Psychopaths think they are above the law, people will believe their lies, etc and this guy fits that profile.

RonSmith
RonSmith

@greenhoodie One shot through the door would support this argument four HITS through the door and an undisclosed number of shots makes this a deliberate dangerous act of rage emptying ones magazine through a door which a "loved one" is behind is not a harmless act NOR is it an act eligible for the "oops" defense.  He further destroyed any possible defense by lying and saying he was being nagged to madness by an intruder from behind the bathroom door.  MOST guys have dealt with the maddening mood swings of a woman from behind a bathroom door.  For those just learning about women the skinniest super-model types are worse - likely because of the lack of body fat to buffer the hormones when they surge every month - so enjoy your boney chicks, I'll stick to the easier to get along with women that can kick your boney chicks butts.

RichSnyder
RichSnyder

@Mashudu_Madzhie The cops say premeditated because of something that was observed when they were there earlier.   And it seems there were other DV calls to the house (not sure if the cops were refering only to the one that night, or other nights).   She should have gotten out of that house when she had the chance.  GOT TO wonder what set him off - besides (likely) her locking herself in the bathroom.

GregP
GregP

@kaytoned I read that he was shooting through a door, which would explain why he kept shooting since he couldn't see the "intruder", if there's any truth to that story.

KavinNaidoo
KavinNaidoo

@dmbfan93933 @KavinNaidoo Apologies dmbfan. I had gotten quite fed up by the time I had gotten to this article.

KavinNaidoo
KavinNaidoo

@RichSnyder @KavinNaidoo  I agree that something is wrong down here. This is not the South Africa I grew up in. I recall a safe country where we played on the streets until late in the evening with no fear of harm, we went to the store, alone and safe, as kids. It's not like that anymore for sure. It's a sick society that has evolved since the early nineties, and it gets worse by the day. 

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

@RonSmith @greenhoodie I've never heard of or experienced anyone nagging someone from inside the bathroom (with the other person outside and free to leave / get away from the nagging). My guess, assuming he is guilty, is that she ran to the bathroom to get away from him.

LatishaR.Gray
LatishaR.Gray

@RonSmith you are retarded. What does her weight have to do with anything?

LatishaR.Gray
LatishaR.Gray

@GregP I hope you don't believe the intruder story. Even if you thought it was an intruder...who shoots through a door several times without knowing the target? #lameexcuse

KavinNaidoo
KavinNaidoo

@RichSnyder @KavinNaidoo Thanks. These pockets of sickness will disappear as we continue to repeal our education system and have the proper campaigns reach affected areas. What is sorely needed is an overhaul of current government or a new one at the next election. Hoping for the latter.

RichSnyder
RichSnyder

@KavinNaidoo @RichSnyder Sorry to hear that but good to hear things were good at one time.  Is sad to hear there are such problems in beautiful countries - same with Afghanistan.