Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oscar Pistorius Criticized

No one disputes that on Valentine's Day Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through the bathroom door four times in the head, chest and arms with a 9mm handgun.
He says he mistook her for an intruder.  He loved to shoot, and went to a shooting range when he couldn't sleep.  Did he really need a gun in the house? 
The more we hear about Oscar Pistorius, the more complicated the story gets, and the less sense it makes.  The lead investigator, Hilton Botha, was removed because he faces seven counts of murder himself, and his investigative work was allegedly sloppy.
Was Pistorius drunk or on drugs?  Was Steenkamp?  Was that substance found in his home steroids or an "herbal remedy" or some entirely different potion?
Oscar Pistorius' father Henke said: 'If anyone makes a statement, it will have to be Oscar. He's sad at the moment.'
His publicist, Peet van Zyl said: 'Oscar is a humble person and lovely guy - am sure what's happened was terrible mistake'.  But an ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, says he's a charmer, a ladies man, not who people think he is.  Impulsive, apparently accident prone, and loves to shoot.  After the shooting, a police spokeswoman revealed there had been "previous incidents" at the home, including "allegations of a domestic nature" but did not say what they had been. 
A South Africa  celebrity gossip magazine published what it said was Ms. Steenkamp’s last interview, a week before her death, in which she said the couple had not been discussing their relationship publicly in the media “because I don’t want to get it tainted. I don’t want anything coming in the way of his career. He’s such an amazing athlete.”  Tainted is a curious word to choose, suggesting that the relationship was already adulterated with ambivalence.  Ms. Steenkamp must have been aware that gossip magazines love to spice things up.  She could have chosen to refuse to be interviewed, or she could have said something friendly and indefinite about their relationship:  "He's wonderful to be with" would have done it.
Did something make Pistorius snap on Valentine's Day?  Had she refused him?  Could she even have said "I want a man with legs?"  I can imagine Pistorius snapping under those circumstances.  Could he have been drunk or high and imagined things?  Did she slip into the bathroom to prepare some secret Valentine's Day present and refuse to answer because she wanted to surprise him?
All of these imaginary scenarios are possible--or impossible.  The most frustrating aspect of the case remains that each new tidbit of news only further complicates our sense of motive.  I don't have much sense of that yet.  Do any of my readers?


  1. I think it's interesting that Pistorius, Pistol, and Pissed Off all start with "pis."

  2. Yes, he's a pistol isn't he? Alas, probably all too literally. Seen the latest on Piers Morgan?