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Shelly Bowling
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The Oscar Pistorius case through the eyes of an armchair detective Part 4

24 November 2015, 07:28

As a counter to Oscar Pistorius's testimony Mr Nel theorised that the couple had been engaged in an argument that resulted in OP pursuing Reeva into the toilet purposely shooting through the door murdering her. Due to a lack of concrete evidence to prove this theory the State was forced to base their case an Circumstantial Evidence. Adding to the burden of proving its case with circumstantial evidence is working around the proven facts that cannot be disputed.

On its own, the testimony of ear witnesses hearing the continuous screams of a woman that lasted through the second set of bangs is very damaging to OP's case. Ms Burger stated that the last scream she heard was approximately 1 or 2 seconds after the last shot. She couldn't say exactly when it was, but it was immediately after the last shot and then faded off. Mr Johnson testified that the woman's last scream faded away moments after the last gunshot was fired However, the fact a portion of the official statement detailing Reeva’s wounds states that based on her head injury it would have been impossible for Reeva to have had any cognitive function after the last gunshot making it very difficult to explain how the witnesses could have heard Reeva screaming after the last gunshots.

The testimony of Defence ear witnesses complicates things for Mr Nel's case and cannot be ignored. If there is any chance the first set of bangs had been the gunshots as OP testified to, then the voice the Stipp's and Mr Johnson and Ms Burger testified to hearing could have only been OP. Immediate neighbors Mr and Mrs Nghlwetha and Mrs Rita Motshuane all testified to hearing the continuous loud cries of a man that morning. The testimony of these witnesses raise a puzzling question. If the voice was Reeva why would she sound like a man to these ear witnesses? Mrs van der Merwe testified that she and her husband heard someone crying loudly. She testified to asking her husband who it was and despite her thinking it was a woman her husband told her “ it was Oscar.” Mr Nel called out the Defence for not providing proof Oscar Pistorius sounds like a woman when he screams. Having the testimony of a State ear witness..What better proof is there?

Phone records to security prove both State and Defence ear witnesses made calls to security within moments of one another Dr Stipp phoned security at 31551. Mr Nghlwetha  phoned at 31613 but was unable to get through. He was able to get through on his second attempt at 31636. Mr Johnson phoned security at 316 but he had dialed the security number for the estate he had previously lived by mistake. What the time of these calls proves is that the crying and screaming they were hearing was between the first and second set of bangs. And confirms they were all hearing the same thing at the same time.

When asked, all the witnesses that testified to hearing a man crying confirmed they never heard a woman screaming. Making it very improbable that those living near by would never have heard Reeva's  screams if she had been screaming loud enough for neighbors living up to 177 meters away to hear. Ms Burger testified to never getting out of bed the entire time, yet testified to hearing the screaming loud and clear. She was even able to distinguish emotion from the voice. It seems highly improbable that she could more clearly discern the voice from inside her bedroom 177 meters away than immediate neighbors living on either side of OP. Raising a curious question. What if the ear witnesses living near by had testified to hearing the screams of a woman and the witnesses living up to 177 meters away claimed to have heard the cries of a man? It seems a likely argument would have then been the witnesses living close by would have had a better vantage point and would more accurately been able to determine if the voice was that of a woman or man. Therefore concluding the witnesses living farther away must have been mistaken. In turn making it difficult to understand why the testimony of witnesses living closer to OP is being down played in this case since phone records of calls to security prove they were all hearing the same thing at the same time. Making it highly probable the voice the ear witnesses were hearing that morning was coming from Oscar Pistorius and that the gunshots were the first set of bangs.

Overall Mr Nel's version leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For example, why was Reeva in the toilet continuously screaming? Mr Nel claims an angry OP pursued Reeva into the toilet which would explain the continuous screams heard by Dr and Mrs Stipp and Mr and Ms Johnson/Burger. And at the same time theorized that Reeva was in the toilet talking/arguing with OP which would explain why she was standing in front of the door facing it when shot. So did Reeva run into the toilet and scream at the top of her lungs out of fear for her life or was she in the toilet talking/arguing with OP? If Reeva had been in the toilet talking/argung with OP then why was she heard screaming continuously? And if Reeva had run screaming into the toilet with OP in pursuit why would she be standing in front of the door talking/arguing with him? Despite the fact no one testified to hearing Reeva talking/arguing Mr Nel seems to want it both ways. He has Reeva in the toilet continuously screaming at the top of her lungs out of fear for her life one minute and has her calmly standing in front of the door talking/arguing with OP the next. So which one is it?

In both the Bail Affidavit written a short time after the incident and according to the testimony of Oscar Pistoirus the gunshots occurred first and he used the cricket bat to break the panel out of the toilet door afterwards.. Mr Nel disputes this order and determined it was gunshots second. If the second set of bangs were the gunshots then what caused the first set of bangs? We know the Stipp's testified to hearing two sets of bangs that both sounded like gunshots. Something had to cause the first set of bangs. They can't just be ignored. The probability of Oscar Pistorius's version hinges on the sequence of events. It is vital to the case to establish the order in which he used the gun and the cricket bat on the toilet door.

If the gunshots were first then the voice heard by ear witness could not have been Reeva thus validating the version OP put forth. Obviously one set of bangs were the gunshots. We know forensics endorsed OP’s account that the shooting through the door came before the bat was used. This would account for two sets of bangs. Thus raising the level of probability on OP's version that the gunshots were first. No specific explanation for the source of the first set of bangs was ever provided by the Prosecution during the trial. It was suggested that perhaps some of the damage to the door from the bat had been done prior to the shots. The problem with putting the bat to the door as the first set of bangs is that it puts Reeva in the toilet early on. It has been suggested that Oscar was arguing with Reeva that night and banging on the toilet door with the cricket bat in an attempt to scare Reeva, partially damaging the door in the process. If he had been beating on the door to scare Reeva it would suggest that Reeva was in the toilet with the door at least shut. If Reeva was in any other room in the house besides the toilet there would be no reason for Oscar to be hitting the toilet door with the cricket bat let alone hard enough to damage the door to scare her. Per the State's theory Oscar was on his stumps at this time. If Reeva was not in the toilet but any other part of the house and Oscar was on his stumps and distracted with beating on the toilet door there would be no explanation as to why Reeva did not flee to the very room of which Oscar Pistorius had been hitting the door of.

Also, by placing Reeva in the toilet at the time of the first bangs in addition to being in the toilet when shot would make it extremely difficult for the witnesses to hear all the things they heard from such distance and clarity with Reeva in a closed toilet cubicle. Also making it very difficult to explain why Reeva would still be standing in front of the door facing it when shot if Oscar had previously been on the other side of it hitting it with the cricket bat. It seems she would have backed away from the door after the first hit in case he was able to break through the door and hit her with the bat or grab her. Also making it difficult to explain why Reeva did not make any kind of emergency call for help on her phone since she would have had time. Or why she would just be screaming rather than verbally screaming out to let anyone that could hear her know where she was and what was happening. It is unlikely Reeva would have taken a chance on neighbors hearing her screams exclusively and come to her rescue rather than phoning for help as well.

All the witnesses that testified to hearing the first set of bangs stated there was a period of silence between the first set of bangs and the start of the crying/screaming. This pause after the first set of bangs before the screaming/crying started is very tellling. If the first set of bangs were the cricket bat in all probability Reeva would have screamed immediately after the first bang on the door as it would have frightened her as she would not have been expecting it. It seems highly improbable she would have remained silent while OP was banging on the door with the cricket bat. Security Guard Peter Baba testified to the guard on bike duty reporting hearing rifle shots after 300am. He stated that shortly after that he received the 31551 call from Dr Stipp reporting shots fired. At this time the second set of bangs had not occurred yet. So this proves the guard heard the first set of bangs and they sounded like gunshots to him.

We know Reeva was in the toilet cubicle with the door closed when shot. The fact no one testified to the voice ever sounding muffled is impossible to explain. It is highly improbable that Reeva's voice would be so clearly heard especially up to 177 meters away despite being in the toilet cubicle with the door closed at least when shot.

The woman's continuous screams between the two sets of bangs the State's witnesses testified to hearing complicates things more. They testified to the screams getting more intense with time even blood curdling per Ms. Burger. According to Mr Nel's theory Reeva was in the toilet talking/arguing with Oscar at the time of the shooting and this explains why Reeva was standing in front of the door. However, this theory is in direct conflict with the testimony of ear witnesses. They testified to the screaming being continuous yet not one of them testified to the screams fading into talking/arguing at any time but more importantly not just prior to the second set of bangs. In fact they claimed the screaming continued straight through the second set of bangs. Which we know from the portion of the official record this would have been impossible.

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.


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