PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Dirk Olivier
 
Comments: 32
Article views: 1217
 
 
 

Reeva: How far was she behind the door?

01 April 2014, 07:18

There are two, in my view important, pieces of ballistic information that was not explored by the prosecution during the testimony of Capt. Chris Mangena. I will try to explain it below. 

I have always been interested in trying to solve problems when limited information is available. A few weeks before the Oscar Pistorius trial started, I decided to write a small computer code in C# to analyse the shot ballistics of this case. I have gathered some data from the internet mostly from pictures and plans of the bathroom, toilet door and cubicle, but also from sites to determine for instance Reeva’s height, etc. I also did measurements from my own (1.81m tall) in terms of arm lengths, head to shoulder height and so forth. From the preliminary data that I used it was clear that if Reeva was standing it was very unlikely that Oscar could have been on his prosthesis when he fired the shots, he has claimed. It was also clear that the first shot that hit her must have been in the hip if she was standing upright.

Well, that is now old news. But following the trial on the TV I gathered al lot of the accurate ballistic information presented in the case. These include the exact height of the bullet holes in the door, the height of the shot that hit Reeva in the hip and the height and position of the shot that missed and hit the back of the toilet cubicle wall. Also the positions and distance of the shots from the door handle. This made it possible for me to calculate the horizontal floor shooting angle. For instance the missed shot had two known variables and the horizontal angle could be estimated. The computer code allows you to vary all these important input parameters.

From the analyses using the more accurate input data it was possible to determine where Reeva was standing in the toilet cubicle when she was hit in the hip. The calculations confirmed the ballistics expert's main conclusions that the shot at height 104.3 cm (shot B) was the shot that hit Reeva in the hip and that it must have been the first shot.  Also, it is most likely that Oscar was indeed on his stumps.

However, two very important points were never followed up in court. The first was the position of the empty cartridge shells. The position of the shells support the fact that the first shot was fired from the bathroom entrance and hence the shell was found in the passage. This was also claimed by the defence.

The most likely explanation (this was put to the ballistic expert by the defence) was that that shell was discharged from the pistol and bounced off the right hand side passage wall and ended up on the left hand side of the passage. The next three shots must have been fired from inside the bathroom, because the shells were found inside the bathroom, probably bouncing off the basin. The conclusion is that after Oscar fired the first shot he probably walked closer to the toilet door and fired the last three shots. This would explain the testimony of Dr. Michelle Burger that there was a pause between the 1st and the 2nd shot (the last three shots were fired in quick succession according to this witness).

The second very important piece of information was that from the available data one can calculate how far Reeva was standing behind the door and also the horizontal floor angle (that was about 40 degrees) from where the first shot was fired. The shots were not fired at a 90 degree angle into the door, but at an angle. The calculations show that she must have been standing at least 83 cm from the front wall of the toilet cubicle. From photos the inner dimensions (width) of the toilet cubicle can be estimated at about 100cm. In other words she was basically with her back against the wall towards the far corner of the toilet cubicle. Anything closer would not correspond with the shot angle of 5-6 degrees measured by the ballistics expert (and which is confirmed by my calculations).  It would also support very strongly the conclusion of the ballistics expert in terms of the position where she fell after the first shot.

If any reader is interested I will publish the C# computer code and a data file for Reeva standing when the shots were fired on my webpage www.myvbsoft.com where you can download and run the program and perform your own analyses. You also e-mail me at info@myvbsoft.com.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
MSithole
I remember my atheist friend

I had a friend. He said he had now changed into an atheist. I asked him why he had become an atheist when there is overwhelming evidence in the systems of life which we cannot explain fully.  Read more...

41 comments 574 views
Submitted by
Buntu Gotywa
Bafana Bafana

I have to say Mr Mashaba is brave man judging by his first Bafana Bafana selection.  Read more...

1 comments 30 views
Submitted by
Tracy Scheepers
A Facebook Sabbatical

What would life be without a love hate relationship that we could not live with or without? Read more...

3 comments 30 views
Submitted by
Pierre Willemse
Rugby 4 Nations: ARG vs SA - 23 A...

The main reason given for the low scoring first game between the Springboks and Argentina was the inclement weather which made handling the ball very difficult. Read more...

0 comments 80 views
Submitted by
Gideon Joubert
Fixing the Firearms Control Act

The Firearms Control Act of 2000, which was forced upon the SAPS and South African gun owners, is clearly not working the way its architects intended it to.  Read more...

45 comments 1247 views
Submitted by
ChiefDavid
Does South Africa need military/s...

The role of the SANDF is always misunderstood by many people especially people who are not part of the Defence force. Read more...

10 comments 536 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.