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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:35 PM

New Yorker: Love and Murder: The Oscar Pistorius Case

“Do they have evidence this was not a very good relationship?” Barry Roux, Oscar Pistorius’s defense lawyer, asked at a bail hearing this morning in Pretoria, according to press reports. “Then they should put it before the court that there was a serious problem in this relationship. But they cannot do that.” The relationship that he saw as unimpeachable was the one that ended with Reeva Steenkamp being shot dead by Pistorius at around 3 A.M. on February 14th. Roux had affidavits from friends who said that Steenkamp, a model, and Pistorius, who had raced in the Paralympics and Olympics on prosthetic blades, were excited about each other—that Pistorius, just a few months in, could imagine marrying her. He had Pistorius’s affidavit saying, among other things, that Steenkamp “had given me a present for Valentine’s Day,” and that they were in love, and happy. All the prosecution had, Roux seemed to say, was a bloody scene, a smashed-up bathroom door, and Steenkamp’s body, shot three times. And what was that?

In the courtroom, Pistorius wept at times—once so heavily that the presiding magistrate stopped the proceedings out of “my compassion as a human being.” His family was around him; Steenkamp’s was not there, because this was also the day of her funeral, a few hundred miles away. There were, though, protesters outside, carrying signs to remind onlookers of the larger problem of violence against women in South Africa. (Charlayne Hunter-Gault has more about that.) The hearing was not a full evidentiary one; it was only meant to establish that the prosecution had a basis for arguing that this was a case of premeditated murder—premeditation being a factor that would move the crime up on a scale, which, in South African law, is used to determine whether bail should be granted. The prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, pointed out that premeditation didn’t need to be a long-held plan; it could be contained in the time it took Pistorius to walk the eight yards or so from his bed—under which he kept his gun, and where Steenkamp had been earlier—to the bathroom, where she had gone. It was one of those large bathrooms with a small inner chamber. Steenkamp was shot again and again, through the locked interior door, in an area about three and a half by four and a half feet wide, next to the toilet. Nel said, “She could go nowhere. It must have been horrific.”

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2013/02/love-and-murder-the-oscar-pistorius-case.html


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Reply New Yorker: Love and Murder: The Oscar Pistorius Case (Original post)
cali Feb 2013 OP
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #1

Response to cali (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:00 PM

1. Poor woman. What a horrible way to die.

I am not buying his story for a minute. I hope they throw the book at him.

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