The case against Oscar

2013-02-17 18:32
Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AP)

Oscar Pistorius (Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - A bloodied cricket bat is the central piece of evidence in the unfolding murder investigation into Reeva Steenkamp’s death.

City Press can reveal that police are investigating different scenarios involving the bat – one of which is that her boyfriend, Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius, used it to viciously assault her.

The police are also investigating two more possibilities: that Steenkamp may have used the bat in self-defence, or that Pistorius used it to break down the toilet door behind which Steenkamp was hiding from him.

We can further reveal that police specifically requested that Pistorius’ blood be tested for drugs and steroids.

Steenkamp’s skull was “crushed” and police tests on the cricket bat and her body will reveal if the injuries were caused by blows to the back of her head.

“There was lots of blood on the bat. Forensic tests will show whose blood it was,” said a source with inside knowledge of the case.

City Press spoke to three sources close to the high-profile investigation, which has gripped the world’s imagination. They all ruled out the possibility that Pistorius could have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. The police found no evidence of forced entry.

Pistorius is being held at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria and will apply for bail on Tuesday. He has denied murdering Steenkamp.

Memorial service

On the same day, a memorial service will be held for the 29-year-old Steenkamp in Port Elizabeth.

The sources agreed that the state had a “rock-solid” case against the popular athlete.

Said a criminal lawyer with 30 years’ experience: “He could possibly get a 20-year sentence instead of life if he pleads guilty.”

If a court finds him guilty and sentences him to life imprisonment, he will only be able to apply for parole after 25 years, when he will be 51.

Based on in-depth interviews with our sources, City Press has pieced together Thursday morning’s fateful events that claimed the life of Steenkamp, a popular model and reality star who had been dating Pistorius since November last year.

Pistorius’ father received a call from his son just after 03:20 on Thursday, asking him to come to his house. When his family arrived, Oscar was carrying Steenkamp’s body down the stairs from his bedroom to the entrance hall. Her head and arms were “dangling”.

He allegedly told his sister, Aimee, that something terrible had happened and that he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar. The police questioned Aimee and took a sworn statement from her.

Steenkamp was still breathing and Pistorius tried to resuscitate her in the foyer. Paramedics and police arrived on the scene and, minutes later, she was declared dead.

Steenkamp was wearing her nightie at the time. When the police inspected Oscar’s bedroom, they found her overnight bag and iPad on the floor. A holster for a 9mm pistol was found on Oscar’s side of the bed.

The bedclothes were crumpled. “It was clear that both of them had slept in the bed,” said a police source.

One cartridge was found in the bedroom and the police suspect Oscar may have “chased” her and fired the first shot before Steenkamp could lock herself inside the toilet.

“The suspicion is that the first shot, in the bedroom, hit her in the hip. She then ran and locked herself in the toilet. She was doubled over because of the pain. He fired three more shots. She probably covered her head, which is why the bullet also went through her hand,” said a source.

'Roid rage'

Steenkamp was shot in the head, hip, arm and hand.

In anticipation of a possible argument that he experienced “roid rage” – extremely aggressive behaviour associated with taking large doses of steroids – the police insisted that the athlete’s blood be tested for any foreign substances.

On Friday, Oscar’s family and management released a statement in which they disputed the murder “in the strongest terms”.

“These are now live and active legal proceedings which must be allowed to take their course through the process of proper investigation by the police, evidence-gathering and through the local South African judicial system,” the statement read.

Oscar described Steenkamp’s death as a “terrible, terrible tragedy”.

Visit News24's Oscar Pistorius Special Report.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius

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