South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius charged with murdering his girlfriend

All of us watching last year’s Summer Olympics fell in love with Oscar Pistorius, the South African athlete who became the first paralympian to compete in the Olympics (in track & field events). American viewers got to see a really wonderful interview with Pistorius, done at his South African home, and Oscar became an inspirational figure of determination and guts for so many of us. Plus, girls liked him because he’s really good-looking. Well, happy Valentine’s Day – Oscar allegedly shot his girlfriend multiple times in his home in South Africa just hours ago.

Oscar Pistorius – the “Blade Runner” who made history last year as the first Paralympian to compete in the able-bodied Olympics – was charged with murder Thursday after his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, was found shot dead inside his home in South Africa.

CNN reports that neighbors reported an incident at the house and a pistol was recovered at the scene, according to police. Early news reports said Steenkamp was planning a Valentine’s surprise for Pistorius, 26, but that it went horribly wrong.

Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes said, “There is no other suspect involved” and that there had been “previous incidents” at Pistorius’s home.

The suspect (who initially was not named, per South African law) was being cooperative and undergoing blood alcohol and forensic tests, said Beukes, adding that he requested to be brought to court immediately and that an application for bail would be refused.

A spokeswoman for Pistorius declined to comment, said CNN. The athlete’s father, Henke, told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that his son was “sad at the moment.”

Henke Pistorius added, “It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate. I don’t know the facts.”

[From People]

Some media outlets (like People) are going with the “wait and see” approach about this murder, I guess the theory being that South Africa is a dangerous place and maybe Oscar thought Reeva was an intruder and he accidentally shot her. But while CNN acknowledges that South Africa has a high crime rate and that it wouldn’t be crazy to think that he could have “accidentally” shot his girlfriend, thinking she was an intruder, CNN spoke to the police spokesperson Denise Beukes, and she throws some shade on that theory.

“We can confirm he was taken to a police station but can’t confirm if he is the suspect,” said police spokeswoman Denise Beukes. “You will find out in the afternoon.”

Beukes said the home did not appear to show signs of forced entry and that Pistorius and the victim were the only two people at the time of the shooting.

She also said there had “previous incidents” at the home.

“Allegations of a domestic nature,” Beukes said.

Police said Pistorius was cooperating with them. Several South African media outlets reported that the woman was mistaken for an intruder. Beukes said she was aware of the reports, but that they did not come from the police force.

A spokeswoman for Pistorius declined to comment. His father, Henke, told the South African Broadcasting Corporation said Pistorius was “sad at the moment.”

“I don’t know nothing. It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate,” the father said. “I don’t know the facts.”

Police were alerted to the shooting by neighbors and that residents “heard things earlier,” Buekes said.

A pistol was recovered at the scene, police said. South Africa has a high crime rate, and it’s not unusual for homeowners to keep weapons to protect themselves from intruders.

“This is a very quiet area and this is a secure estate,” Buekes said.

[From CNN]

So while people are bending over backwards to make excuses for how a beloved Olympian could have shot his girlfriend, the South African police spokesperson is basically saying that it’s looking more and more like a man with a history of domestic violence shot his girlfriend. Ugh. Oscar is due in court later today for what I assume is the reading of the formal murder charges against him.

PS… Happy V-Day. #OneBillionRising.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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154 Responses to “South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius charged with murdering his girlfriend”

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  1. truthful says:

    she was such a pretty lady. RIP

    • Jen says:

      What is it with these guys that kill their girlfriends? Is it..if I can’t have you, no one else will? It’s hard to date anymore. You never know what will happen to you.

    • Tiffany says:

      Someone needs to tweet this story to Rhianna, along with the story that Blade Runner was arrested for assaulting another girlfriend back in 2009.

      • Amelia says:

        I don’t say this in defence of Pistorius – I’m ****ing pissed off right now, my nephew is in tears, poor kid – but can we make sure that before we start speculating and pointing fingers we get our facts straight first?
        If I recall correctly, the incident in ’09 was when he ejected a girl from his house and there was an altercation at the door. I don’t know, I think a beam fell on her leg and they were both drunk apparently. The details are floating around somewhere on the web.
        Can I reiterate, I’m not defending Pistorius; but I don’t think it’s helpful talking about how sketchy it was that the gun was fired at close/long range or that X shots were fired or that he did a Chris Brown in 2009. It’s like one huge game of Chinese whispers.
        I’ve been reading so many conflicting stories today that I think we’d be better off waiting until we get an official report from the coroner before we start piecing this mess of a puzzle together.
        Whatever happened this morning, I hope there is justice for Reeva.

      • Little Darling says:

        @Amelia….my mom, who just got turned on to Celebitchy and Jezebel/Gawker by me, she thinks it’s super sketchy. Her exact words…Sketchy.

        I’m not sure about the details, I think it’s too soon to tell, but justice for Reeva is certainly due.

      • Tiffany says:

        He was arrested in 2009 for assault, that is a fact. I am not speculating about that.

        I don’t think that a person needs to be convicted of anything in order to remind others that repeated acts of violence can escalate into murder. Whether it applies specifically to this or not doesn’t really matter, IMO. Rhianna can use as many reminders as she can get. Considering this is national “V-Day” aka the movement to end violence against women, I think as a society, we need to stop pretending these patterns don’t exist. Many times there are patterns that, if noticed early, can be stopped in order to save a woman’s life.

      • MorticiansDoItDeader says:

        People who commit domestic violence should never be defended. That story about a beam falling on the girlfriend’s leg is, most likely, a cover up. Victims will report their abuse, then look for a way to help their abuser avoid prosecution because they promise they’ll change.

      • Dani V says:

        Yes and what people forget often, is that domestic abuse involves mental abuse also. This leaves the victim at an extreme disadvantage and vulnerable beyond what most people can comprehend unless you have lived through it. Sympathy to her family and friends. So sad.

  2. Aud says:

    This is quite suspicious. It’s not just one gunshot by accident but in other reports the detail is four gun shots. I find it hard to believe that 4 gunshots are accidental.

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    What? Oh sh*t. What could the girl possibly have done to make him shoot her before she had a chance to tell him it’s her? IF you want to believe it was an accident? Seriously. I don’t even know.

    • ValW says:

      Me neither. Like, it could be that he thought it was a robber because of the reason I posted below, but 4 times? At close range? Head and arm?

      I just can’t handle this right now. I’m a fan and I’m shocked and sad and Idk what to think! It’s like seeing him as an entirely different person now.

      • Jenna says:

        Oh… frack. I hate answering this, but it does need said. First off, so some understanding is there about where this is coming from? I come from a military and police family so while I have grown up around guns – I grew up around people who hated even the idea of toy guns. You learn how to be safe with one and you never ever treat it like a toy. That being said – while I have no clue whether or not this was intentional or not (frankly is sounding like an issue of domestic violence) but the idea of 4 shots being what kicks it over to hinky?

        Nope. If you are using a handgun and someone is coming at you – you empty the clip and keep a tight grouping on the shots. Sounds horrible I know – but the idea behind it is this. If you are in a situation where the only option is to fire – you sure as heck aren’t going to do so without trying to get your attacker DOWN and make sure they aren’t getting up. The idea of ‘winging’ someone or giving them a scare? Not really a good idea to piss off someone who is trying to kill you. It’s horrible, it’s upsetting, and as someone who has seen what it looks like when someone is shot and killed – it’s something that you carry forever. But when the time comes to pull the trigger, you are aiming to stop completely not slow the situation. There is also the matter that most folks aim for center mass because, well. If you aren’t on the range everyday – hitting a moving at you leg or arm? Not really doable. And merely ‘clipping’ someone, if they are breaking into your house? Has just made them MORE dangerous. There is something about the sight of their own blood that causes some kinds of crazy to lose their minds and no longer cause them to just want to hurt you and take your stuff… but instead make sure to give some serious payback BEFORE they kill you. Nothing anyone ever wants to think about and I am in need of a cookie, a mug of tea, and some time petting my cat because wow this makes me sick to think about – but it’s not really understood all that much and tends to cause folks some confusion. Hope this wasn’t too awful to read through.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Well, that was my point though. If THAT is the purpose of having a gun in the house, AND you’re living with someone, shouldn’t you be sure it’s not them you’re shooting? Was she crawling through the dark house? How in the world do you accidentally shoot your live-in girlfriend? That was my question. Although it seems like this wasn’t the case at all.

      • Lulu says:

        Jenna, thanks for the explanation, it was very educational.

    • Jenna says:

      Meep! Not sure if you’ll see this LittleMissNaughty, but that comment was for the followup to what you said (ValM) – because yup. You are completely right. The idea of trying to do some kind of weird ninja valentine skulking about the place in order to surprise someone with V-Day cupcakes in a house owned by someone obviously paranoid about security issues? Not gonna happen. The first time you sleep over at someone’s house who keeps a loaded ~machine gun~ by the bed… any ideas about ‘surprises’ tends to get nipped in the bud. (In my case, that would also sharply reduce my urge to be sleeping there… but I’m odd like that!) I have enough current & retired soldiers in my life that I know that, in dealing with someone with that mindset… you don’t EVER walk soft. Hades, I’d be wearing ankle bells to bed so getting up in the night for a run to the potty couldn’t be mistaken for anything else! (And yes, I actually HAVE had times in my life where it was just easier and less stressful for everyone involved to simply strap on a set of bells or gotten mini-bells braided through my hair. PTSD isn’t something you mess with and it’s non-threatening and as non-guilt inducing as you can be while taking precautions.) My comment was also caused by how, on so many sites, folks are focusing on the numbers of shots and thinking large numbers = murderous intent. Normally? Large numbers are far more proof of blind panic “godohgodohgodohgod”.

      This just looks like someone decided to go very much the wrong and dark path and murder someone who loved him. And dear God, I hope I’m misjudging him.

  4. KJ says:

    One of my old roommates works in SA and she emailed me about this last night. Apparently he shot her like 4 or 5 times. 3-4 in the head. At close range.

    Oscar was also a gun enthusiast and yea, there had been previous incidences at his home, nothing official but rumors that the police had been called. As well as some rumors of infidelity on both sides. He’s brandished a gun irresponsibly before and while home invasions are relatively common in SA, Silver Lakes where he lives is a golf resort in a gated community with 24 hour security. It would’ve been unlikely.

    This is all so bizarre and sad.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Yeah, this is what makes me believe that it wasn’t an accident. One gunshot, okay, maybe two at most…but multiple wounds at close range? Uhhhh yeah, that makes me doubt that it was anything but intentional.

      It’s a very sad story, at the end of the day.

    • Naye in VA says:

      Just one statement here. I know this didnt happen in the states, but if he had been given a background check before purchasing a gun, he probably would still have been sold the gun right? That’s all I’m saying.

      • dahlia says:

        background checks will not prevent every crime, no one has ever claimed that. it’s about putting in place preventative measures at relatively little expense to anyone. My husband owns a gun and is in law enforcement, and we’re both very supportive of the current gun control measures that have been introduced by the administration because they are reasonable and doable. Who can even make a reasonable argument AGAINST background checks?

      • Mia 4S says:

        I’m sorry Naye but that kind of thinking is ridiculous. Background checks won’t save everyone so we just shouldn’t have them? Seriously? I swear anti-gun control advocates and their defeatist attitude could doom America. We can’t stop all of the bad guys so we shouldn’t try to stop any of them? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over (or leaving things as they are) and expecting a different result. Pure BS and sad.

      • Cookingpan says:

        Getting a gun permit legally in SA is onerous..Law abiding citizens in SA – and contrary to sensationalist media, these citizens are in the majority – have to jump through hoops to get them. I cannot speak for the illegal activities of the minority who insist on committing violent crime in SA.

      • Tiffany says:

        He was arrested for assault in 2009. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been sold the gun with that on his record. I do believe charges were eventually dropped, though.

      • Naye in VA says:

        My statement wasn’t against background check. Im sorry if I was misunderstood. I think they are a good measure, I just don’t think they are nearly enough.

    • andrea says:

      For me, the close range shots to the head are the most suspicious. I don’t think there are that many civilians who would go for that kind of kill shot, and more than once, when they find themselves being burglarized. I don’t know, it’s not like I’ve seen any details about the actual circumstances, but that seems almost counter-instinctive to me.

    • Tazina says:

      You don’t normally shoot intruders at close range. He probably was extrememly jealous and thought she was cheating on him. “If I can’t have you, nobody else will mentality.” I hope he gets the maximum sentence for ending a beautiful life and not some reduced sentence because of who he is.

  5. Tig says:

    Keep seeing scrolls that this was a mistake, etc- wanna bet the policewoman spokesperson gets yanked off case real soon? Ugh

    • Laurabb says:

      That was an interesting article, and it was written on 2011. Telling.

    • ValW says:

      Why hadn’t I ever heard of any of this before??

      The only violent incident I know is from November 2012. He got into an altercation at a bar with a man who slept with his summer girlfriend (not Reeva. They have only been dating for a little bit) but another girl who cheated on him while he was in London for the Olympics.

      ((Btw, you’re going to hear a lot about this girl getting mixed up with Reeva because that was his most well known gf. The incidents of cheating on both ends are with this girl. As far as I know he had just started dating Reeva this year and only recently appeared together on a red carpet for the first time. So far we don’t know much about his relationship with Reeva, except that he liked to give her “thoughtful and impeccable gifts.” Like, that is all we know because the relationship is that new. So to have a motive so soon is bizarre.))

      So he threatned the guy and told him that if he ever came near her again he would break his legs. Nothing ever came from that because the other dude threatned him too. So the police dropped charges of threats on both sides.

      We saw a glimpse of this temper in London. He got angry at the paralympics thinking a fellow runner had unfair advantage because his prosthetics were not the same everyone was using. So he lashed out right there in the field! Cameras filming. He immediately apologized but I remember feeling very disappointed.

      • Sarah says:

        there was also that incident with the boating accident, where he smashed up his face, and may have been drinking while driving the boat into the pier? Saw an interesting article on his dating habits, sounds like he has often had more than one “girlfriend” at a time over the last few years.

      • Kate says:

        You hadn’t heard any of this before because it doesn’t fit the narrative the media/corporations want you to buy so they can sell you stuff. He was a wonderful story NBC et al could sell for their Olympics coverage. Just like Lance and Te’o and Joe Paterno and all the rest of it. Sorry to be so cynical, but how many times do we all have to be duped into buying the “too good to be true” story only to have it come crashing down? Guess what? When it is too good to be true, it really ISN’T true.

    • Meredith says:

      I thought it was telling/interesting that the police report referred to him having a blood alcohol test done after his arrest. That’s what made me think alcohol was a factor. Obviously this story about him makes me believe it even more.

    • Ange says:

      I work in Paralympic sport and yeah, let’s just say Oscar has had a pretty terrible reputation with those in the know for a long time. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find this wasn’t an accident. That poor woman.

  6. ValW says:

    I can’t believe this!! :( (((

    All I know is that Pretoria, like many places in SA, is a dangerous place and there’s home robberies that get nasty. Like, robbers don’t just rob you, they kill you and rape women. And it’s usually groups of robbers, not just one but a gang. You can’t really trust security because sometimes they’re in on it, so everybody keeps guns in their homes, which is always a recipe for disaster. I kind of know what it’s like to live in a place like that. You get paranoid.

    I’m shocked because Oscar does a lot of charity and works with kids. I follow his career and he’s my celebrity crush.

    Here’s a very revealing tweet from November 27 that I think police should consider:

    Prayers for him and the families of him and his victim. I’m shocked beyond words right now. I just cannot believe this. I’ll wait to hear all the info. It’s like the image you have just doesn’t fit with the one of a murderer and I’m having a tiny crisis right now.

    • Erinn says:

      However, if the reports are true, he had a history of domestic disturbances. And all the charity work and good looks in the world doesn’t make up for that. Not saying he killed the girlfriend on purpose, but he definitely doesn’t look like the good guy he wanted people to believe he was.

      • ValW says:

        Oh definitely not. I’m reading reports now of him being an a-hole! I AM CRUSHED! :(

        You never know with people, but especially with celebrities. They have an image to sell. We never, ever know the real person behind the achievements, the charity work, the good looks, the PR.

      • Erinn says:

        It’s a shame when things like this happen, especially when kids look up to him. It’d be nice if there were just less assholes in the world. But I guess their existence makes us appreciate the really good people more.

    • Erandyn says:

      You’re right on most counts, except for that “everybody keeps guns in their homes” part. I think I’ve met 2 people in my life who actually owned guns.

      • Erinn says:

        In South Africa?

        Jesus, I feel better keeping them in my home, and I’m only in Canada. My friend had her house almost broken into in broad daylight while she was there before. It’s a scary thought. My moms old Assistant Manager was from SA, and kept them. However, he was in the defense force, so it makes more sense.

      • Sarah says:

        I think there are some circles where lots of people have guns, but yeah, none of my friends have guns – that I know about

      • Just Jules says:

        @ Erinn, I’m from South Africa and I dont know any people who keep guns in their homes. Its a personal choice I guess. Some ppl do and lots dont.

        I couldnt believe it when I heard this story on the radio on the way to work this morning but as it sunk in, I rememebered some stories a while back about him being aggressive etc.. We still dont know the whole story but at the moment, I dont buy this home invasion accident gone wrong theory. It would appear a lot of people here in SA (and the rest of the world feel the same way)

        Just feel sick to my stomach that he has ruined her families lives and his own. Such a devastating situation, esp when you see her twitter and see the tweets she made 15, 13 hours before she died. Shows you just how short life is.

    • ValW says:

      Clearing up – I’m just stating the image I had of him prior to this. I don’t think a person doing charity absolves them from anything nor necessarily makes them good people. Especially with celebrities: charity is tied to good PR, not an indicative of how they are as people.

  7. Rhea says:

    What a tragedy. Terrible for all concerned. Until more information is released I would hold any judgement. RIP to the poor woman who lost her life.

    • Cazzee says:

      The only judgement I’m passing right now is on the South African police.

      They said there were multiple DV incidents at his had been…but they didn’t say anything about any arrests. Maybe if this guy had actually been held accountable for his previous crimes it would not have come to this.

      • Rhea says:

        To be honest, I’ve never heard about the domestic violence incident calls until now—along with this terrible news. Not saying I don’t believe it all because I do understand it very well that not all of the abusers comes with an obvious appearance.

        But as I was reading the story, I was thinking : “Why I’ve never heard any story about that until this terrible thing happening? Do they covered up about it—which means they covered more than once—because he’s famous? Or perhaps it’s a rumour only started by one and then get picked up by others??” So many questions. Hope the real truth comes out soon.

      • jess says:

        If there were other domestic violence incidents, she should have also left him before it got to this point. I feel like we do a lot of talking about how horrible these DV men are (and they ARE, don’t get me wrong) but not enough teaching young women to appreciate themselves and know they are worth more than that. I was raised to know my self worth, and as a result, I didn’t date douchebags, because I knew what signs to look for were. I knew I deserved to be treated well. We need to teach women that they are worth just as much as men, and don’t have to put up with any disrespect (verbal, physical, or sexual). Women need to be taught that they are strong, beautiful and capable of being more than a damsel in distress that needs to be saved and reliant on *whoever* “saves” her. The behavior needs to be stopped on the man’s side, yes, but just like you don’t flash a bunch of cash in gang infested neighborhoods, the behavior to walk away when being mistreated needs to be taught as well.

      • Meredith says:

        The police may have been called to the house by the neighbors and when they got there, neither Oscar or the girlfriend would say what happened or they denied anything happened. Unfortunately people who are victims of domestic violence are often too embarassed to tell the truth or they fear retaliation by their abuser.

      • c'est la vie says:

        @Jess – I would never blame the victim of abuse because the cycle of abuse is such a terrible thing and can be so hard to escape.

        Blame the abuser instead. That’s where the true responsibility lies.

        With the person who chose to abuse someone else in the first place. It’s sickening.

      • Addison says:

        It’s not just the police. I think having friends and family that call you out on your negative behavior helps a lot. Sure sometimes people cut out those in their lives that actually want to help.

        Whatever the case may be this is sad all around because these kinds of things shouldn’t happen.

  8. Amelia says:

    Genuinely woke-up more than a little bit heartbroken over this. By chance, my nephew and I bumped into some of the SA team during the Games last summer and Pistorius was among them. He was perfectly lovely and brilliant with my nephew who is now a huge athletics enthusiast.
    Christ, I really hope it was accidental, he’s such a hero of my nephew’s and seemed like such a calm, friendly bloke. But I suppose appearances can be decieving.
    RIP to Reeva, she seemed to be such a sweetheart.

    • ValW says:

      This is how I feel right now. I’m a big fan. I stalk him on instagram and Twitter frigging daily. When I saw the news last night at midnight I couldn’t sleep. I’m still in utter shock and I’m sad.

      This is what happens when you crush and admire celebrities. We don’t ever really know these people. We love what they do, the image they project. I saw him as sweet, he works with children with his condition. Inspiring. Smart. And very sexy. Never as a violent guy at all.

      I’ll wait for more info but if he has no alibi I will not stick up for him. And I’ll be very angry.

      • Amelia says:

        Haha, same here. One of the only reasons I really started to spend more time on twitter was his tweets and the way he inspired my nephew and I (I’ve had joint and hip problems for a while and one of the reasons I got back into sport was London 2012, Pistorius’ performance and the way he really championed his sport and made it clear he didn’t want to be held back just because he has no lower legs).
        I feel a bit sick, really. Firstly for poor Reeva and secondly because I feel like I was duped. I owe a lot of my physical progress to the training and sport I’ve been doing since the summer Games, and to think I may have been inspired by a domestic abuser sort of cheapens it all.
        Ha, I feel really selfish complaining about this when a family has lost a daughter. Here’s hoping more information will surface so everyone will have a clearer picture to look at.

      • ValW says:

        Ikr? I totally know what you mean, but these are legit feelings that we are having because like you said, we’re feeling dupped because he’s supposed to be the hero. I train too, so I completely understand where you’re coming from. Like, wait, my idol? Not my idol! Wtf!

        I’ll just wait ’til we find out more about this. Everyone loves a scandalous love story and this could go either way because all the allegations (that he’s violent, and that he’s also paranoid of robbers and is always prepared to shoot them) have been backed up strongly. So it could go either way.

        Still, he only started dating Reeva in January. Too soon to have such a motive to kill someone in cold blood, especially a lover. Like, why would you kill someone you just started dating? Not enough feelings involved yet unless it turns out that he’s also a psycho.

    • Lulu says:

      He sounds like he may be one of those people who has a very bad reaction to alcohol. Who is normally an easy going, lovable person, but watch-out when he drinks. It’s a Jekyl and Hyde sort of syndrome and one of the symptoms that a person is a true alcoholic (although not all alcoholics have this extreme kind of reaction).

  9. emmie_a says:

    I read that he sleeps with a bunch of weapons in his bedroom – a gun next to his bed, a rifle, a bat and a few other things… just in case. I would never sleep if I felt that unsafe! I’m suddenly thankful for my safe, boring suburban life.

  10. Meavie says:

    SA media is now reporting that Pistorius’ bail application will only be heard tomorrow and he’ll be spending the night in jail.

    He may have been seen as an inspiring athlete internationally, but I think the “domestic violence turned murder” theory is not far off.

  11. Gine says:

    Wow, that’s awful. And yeah, I did think he was totally cute. Now I feel gross.

  12. Nicolette says:

    Wow, I’m simply stunned to hear this.

  13. Mich says:

    I was stunned when I read this in my local South African paper this morning. But the more I have listened to international coverage (BBC etc) the angrier I have gotten. South Africa (and Africa as a whole) gets treated horribly in the international press. You would think I lived in Somalia.

    This story is so tragic but speculative caution is the best course until the details come out. The man slept with a machine gun in his bedroom. That is insane.

    • Amelia says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong (and I probably am) but I spent a couple of months in CT as part of an exchange programme and was told that it’s very hard to get a weapons licence, and weapons such as machine guns are illegal to own…?
      I didn’t spend much time there so I’m not particularly clued up on South African law, but perhaps you could maybe help give us an idea about how easy/hard it is to get those kind of weapons.
      I’m not trying to blindly defend his actions, it’s already been mentioned down thread that many domestic abusers can be very pleasant on the surface, but I doubt if it was a real, functioning machine gun he would be willing to show or talk about it.
      Although that unfortunately doesn’t take away from the fact that a beautiful young lady was shot and killed with a 9mm.

  14. Dhavynia says:

    Kaiser can you post a picture of her?
    This is just tragic, shot multiple times?
    You can’t admire people these days without being somewhat cynical. He was an inspiration to many and I guess they kept his dark side under the radar

  15. Diana says:

    Sad. And also kind of sad is the “omg this is a mistake, he loves children” stuff I’ve been seeing everywhere. I used to work with domestic abusers and, contrary to popular belief, they are not drooling, hideous monsters who also kick puppies and twirl their mustaches. A lot of them have socially acceptable “nice” qualities that either mask, or ride alongside, the domestic abuse issues.

    He can be courageous, do charity stuff and a symbol of athletic determination — AS WELL as a domestic abuser. I hope people realize that. RIP for his girlfriend.

    • gekkca says:

      This is true. I worked at a women’s shelter and a lot of times the women would tell me that everyone thinks their abusers were such nice guys. I guess some of them tend to compensate outside of their home lives. That’s why domestic violence is so complicated. These are not knuckle dragging cavemen. Some of them are, but sadly not all of them. That would make it easier to stomach. Abusers can be anyone. Even heroes. Sad story all around. He inspired so many.

    • ValW says:

      I’m a fan who has a sweet image of him and eventhough I’m having a crisis right now I would not defend him if it was confirmed that this was a lover’s quarrel. The whole domestic incidents is news to me and reason enough to be suspicious of him. Until I heard that I was all “Nooooo, what a horrible accident!” Right now I’m paying close attention.

      Either theory is so possible right now that people should just wait before defending him or judging him. Pretoria is dangerous and he’s always been paranoid about robbers. But now we know police had been called to his home before. IncidentS. More than one.

      • Rhea says:

        I am not his fan so I would say that I’m neutral. The story regarding domestic incidents is also a news to me—I’ve never heard about it until now along with this terrible news. And I do understand it very well that not all of the abusers comes with an obvious appearance.

        With that being said I would still wait for more information before giving any judgement.

      • Diana says:

        This is true. I’m not necessarily judging him yet — but the current evidence against him seems like it has some weight.

        It just bothers me that both in the media and real life, instead of supporting the victim, a lot of people pull out the “but he’s nice/I like him! So he can’t be a domestic abuser!” card. When really, the fact that someone is seemingly nice, likeable and/or a celebrity has nothing to do with the fact that they could also be abusive.

      • Ok says:

        This is a reply to Merideth above. For some reason there is no reply button by her post.

        Very interesting about the whining with abusers. I only knew of one that I absolutely was an abuser. And he was whiny and nothing was his fault

    • Merritt says:

      This. People have this idea that an abuser can be obviously picked out. They look like everyone else and blend in. They may even do charity work.

      And while it is early in the investigation, details that have leaked don’t sound like a accident. Reports are saying that there have been previous domestic situations at the home and that she was shot multiple times. Maybe the South African legal system is different. But for their to be a murder charge makes it seem like whatever evidence they have currently does not indicate mistaken identity.

    • Cecada says:

      Exactly. And the perception is not limited to wife beaters, either. There was a very nice lady on my street where I grew up that used to throw parties for her dogs and invite all the children… Turns out she was a child molester. I haven’t taken anybody at face value ever since. You never know what people are hiding…

  16. L says:

    South Africa has a crazy high crime rate. One of the highest rape rates in the world. So alot of people have guns in their home. And like someone else said, the security teams are often in on it-so there’s alot of people who have guns.

    I don’t know if he was surprised by the girlfriend. But the story is so eerily similar to Rudi Visagie’s (He accidentally killed his daughter thinking she was a car theif), that I have my doubts. Wait and see to this afternoon I guess….

    • Mich says:

      South Africa has a lower gun homicide rate than the United States. And while crime is high, the vast majority is located in the impoverished townships.

      I live in Cape Town, my son goes to one of the most elite schools in the country filled with families of immense to the point of obscene wealth. We can’t think of a single family in our circle that owns a gun. Yes, many live in gated communities and we all live with bars on our windows, electric fencing and alarm systems … but no guns.

      I know Jo’burg is a different story but even there no one I know owns a gun.

      Edit: I just had a look at 2011 global murder rates by city and Baltimore, St Louis and New Orleans ALL top Jo’burg.

      • L says:

        Did I say anything about gun homicides? The fact is the overall violent crime rate (robbery, rape, murder etc) in SA is one of the highest in the world. Just like the US and several other countries. One of the highest. Not the highest by any means. And because of that, alot of people own guns.

        That said, South Africa is beautiful and I’ve enjoyed all the time I’ve spent there, but saying violent crime is mostly only in the impoverished townships is incredibly naive.

      • ValW says:

        Mich how do you know for sure the people you know, including your neighbors, don’t own guns?

      • Mich says:

        @ Vavi Yes. I do know this. Personal security is obviously a subject people discuss but South Africa does not have the same gun culture as the US. As I said before, however, I live in Cape Town. It is a different story in Jo’burg.

        @ L
        It is a well established fact that the majority of violent crime occurs in the townships. Feel free to google it or check the travel warnings posted by the CIA and the British Foreign Office. I’ve lived here for almost 15 years and have been robbed all of three times – once by a gang of con artists at an ATM and twice by having my car broken into at night. I had far more problems in Washgington DC and also lived in Atlanta when violent car-jackings were common.

      • littlestar says:

        @Mich, you can’t possibly know they all don’t have guns. Just because they’ve said to you they don’t own guns, or just because they are “impossibly” wealthy, doesn’t mean that’s true. Seriously, if you owned a gun, are you going to go around telling people you own a gun? Obviously not. That’s dangerous and idiotic. I’m sure many of them own guns, they just don’t want people to know about it so they lie and say they don’t have guns.

        And saying some of your friends owns guns isn’t a slight against you or your country. I live in a city in Canada that is considered one of the murder capitals of Canada. And guess what? It’s definitely not a dangerous place at all. It’s like any other city, there are the safe neighbourhoods, and then there are the scary rundown areas that you don’t want to walk alone in at night.

      • Mich says:

        @ Littlestar

        I didn’t say “impossibly wealthy”. I said ‘immense to the point of obscene’ which is appropriate given that South Africa is a country with an unofficial employment rate of almost 50% and mind-boggling and worsening wealth disparities. Impoverished townships built to house 700 people house 27,000 and abut extremely wealthy areas. Because of the prevalence of poverty and desperation, we obviously talk about safety here a lot (primarily from burglaries) and plenty of measures are taken short of gun ownership.

        Many of my friends in the States own guns, which stands to reason given that in 2007 there were almost 89 firearms for every 100 citizens in the country. Here in South Africa, however, there are approximately 6 million firearms (or 12.7 for every 100 citizens) and a licensed owner rate of approximately 4 people per 100. Virtually every South African poster on this thread has echoed my experience that keeping a gun in the house is not common, particularly in urban areas. I know plenty of people with spearfishing and bow hunting equipment, but guns? Nope.

    • Sarah says:

      South Africa does have a crazy high crime rate – but as a South African, its creepy the way people talk about it internationally, like its all there is to the country. I’ve lived here my whole life, and never experienced a violent crime – mostly I think because I’m fairly well off and white, but still. Its not like living in the frikkin Thunderdome. And it gets tiring having to explain that all the time. Sorry, bit off topic.

    • candigirl says:

      My friend was staying in a house there for work with colleagues and they had a gun in the house for protection. She described exactly what you said, the high crime rate and the security and domestic staff being in on the crimes. It was weird because we are from New York City and both of us have lived in different areas of the states including San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and never had a problem. In New York City I’ve had strangers come up and tell me my purse was open or hand me back an umbrella or cash that I had dropped. lol

  17. Tapioca says:

    Well, there have been multiple sportsmen who’ve murdered wives or girlfriends, like the NFL’s Jovan Belcher (suspected he wasn’t the father of his daughter + alcohol) and Rae Carruth (hired a hitman because he didn’t want to pay child support to his unborn child) or Chris Benoit (good, old-fashioned ‘roid rage), but this feels way different and I’m hugely confused.

    Rich South Africans are hyper vigilant about security given the violent crime rate – my friend’s mum was mugged and then stabbed AFTER she’d handed her bag over – so I can almost believe the “accidental shooting” theory, but if he has form when it comes to domestic violence, who the hell knows?

    Sadness all around.

  18. Mel says:

    As a South African I just wanted to mention that our Police are always extra careful with the media. They like to ‘neither confirm or deny’ anything. There are some reports that he shot in self defense thinking it was a burglary but the Police won’t confirm this. They wouldn’t even confirm that Oscar was arrested until a couple of hours ago.

    On another note, although there is absolutely no excuse for poor handling of a gun, I would imagine that it would be more likely to suspect an intruder in your home in SA than in some other parts of the world as it is more likely that a noise in the night is an intruder (unfortunately).

    • Mich says:

      Hi from Rondebosch, Mel.

      The way this story is getting treated by the international press with South Africa getting pilloried first and then ‘hmmmm…wait…maybe this individual is actually to blame’ reminds me WAY to much of the Dewani case. It also reminds me of the absolutely RIDICULOUS way the UK press tried to scare the living hell out of people planning to come to the 2010 World Cup.

      Yes, we have crime. But when was the last time you read about mass murders occuring at elementary schools, movie theatres and shopping malls in our local headlines?

      • Mel says:

        Hi from Wynberg Mich.

        I absolutely agree with you. Yes, crime is a fact of life in SA but it is a fact of life everywhere! As with most things in life it is not the situation you are in but your attitude to the situation you are in. I know I live in a country with a high violent crime rate: does it make me more aware on a day-to-day basis? Yes. Does it become the only thing I think about? Absolutely not! I choose to rejoice in our melting pot of cultures, in all the friendly faces around me, at the sun and the beach and braais!

  19. Sam says:

    Ah, this sets off my lawyer-sense. If he’s already being charged, that probably means that the cops have some evidence that it wasn’t accidental. If there was still a big question as to whether he thought she was an intruder or something else, the general approach is to invetigate and try to gather evidence. If they’ve already charged him, it’s more likely that they have evidence and feel comfortable with their theory of the crime.

    I don’t think it’s time to make excuses for Pistorius now (but I’ll withold my own judgment until more facts can come out). If he is a domestic abuser, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t do something historic or impressive. but it does mean that he’s always going to be remembered as tainted.

  20. Ms Kay says:

    This is so F*cked up……………..!

  21. Memory30 says:

    I keep reading and hearing about this and I can not believe it. Either way accident or not I just can’t believe he’d do something like this but then again who knows. He’s going to jail regardless.

  22. T.C. says:

    That police spokeswoman is pointing to a case of multiple domestic violence incidences leading to murder. I don’t think it was an accident. No forced entry, living in a gated community with high security. Neighbors hearing lots of noise earlier in his house. He knew it was her.

  23. Anna says:

    I wouldn’t judge so quickly. I live in South Africa, in Johannesburg (about 45 minutes from Pretoria) and I was hijacked at gunpoint in my driveway in one of the best neighborhoods in SA about a year ago. The isn’t a single friend/relative of mine who has not been affected by crime in this country. It’s a dangerous place where fearing you will be attacked every time you leave your home (or even in your home) is NOT considered unusual or weird. As for the possibility that this was an accident, well food for thought is that a little over a year ago the identical inicident happened when a father accidentally shot and killed his DAUGHTER when she was leaving their garage early in the morning to go surprise her boyfriend on his birthday. I know it might sound insane and implausible to people who don’t live here, but those of us who see these crimes being committed every day, well, we do live in fear, and we are extremely paranoid.

    • Aud says:

      Anna no one is disputing that (crime levels and violence), but okay one shot or two mistaken shots. But four gunshots? How is that possible? And to hit her head too. That requires aiming doesn’t it? Surely it does.

      • Anna says:

        I’m not saying it wasn’t intentional. I have no clue what happened, and I’ve heard he has a temper on him so it could very well be an intentional incident. However, you do require at least half a year of training before you qualify for a firearm license. So it is very possible that he was simply a very good shot. And if he felt threatened he would have aimed to kill. So who knows. All I know is that I can understand if the guy was paranoid (that tweet someone posted seemed to confirm that). I was lead into the house where me and my husband were tied up. Thank god they never hurt us. And thank god my husband doesn’t own a gun. It could have ended very differently if he saw his wife with a gun to her head and reached for his own…

      • Sam says:

        Very easily. I’m a gun enthusiast, you could say, and it can be very easy to fire 4 times rapidly. If the gun had a lightweight trigger and he was gripping it tightly, the hand can pulse several times and get off several shots. Not unusual in the least.

        But there are reports that apparantly, the shots were done at pretty close range – which seems to contradict that he thought she was an intruder.

      • Mich says:

        OMG! Anna, that is truly horrible. Glad to hear you are ok! I’m sure that kind of trauma takes a lot of time to recover from. And I imagine that anyone who had gone through that would look at this story from the perspective you are.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Mich! It is traumatic and I couldn’t honestly say we are over it yet, even though it has been over a year. But crime is prominent in SA and it is something you have to learn to live with. You have to be more vigilant – lock your doors, look around you when you drive – but every country has its problems. I don’t want to pain this grim picture of SA, it is truly a magical country in many respects, but it has its difficulties. I have a baby now, so it also makes me view things differently. I just hope that the true details of the Oscar story come to light, and justice is served, whether it is a prison sentence or a clearing of his name. Either way, he has to live with that moment for the rest of his life. And I do believe that he is self aware enough to fully appreciate the gravity of that moment.

  24. RobN says:

    Was never sure why people thought so highly of him to begin with. His blades were an unfair advantage that never should have been allowed in the Olympics and I always thought he seemed a bit smug. There’s going to end up being a long history of drinking and violence in this case, it’s already been alluded to, and her family will be talking about how she was afraid of his temper. Just like virtually every other case where some athlete kills his girlfriend or wife.

  25. WOM says:

    “All of us watching last year’s Summer Olympics fell in love with Oscar Pistorius” — I realize you are using this as a literary device, but I need to say that the London 2012 coverage of Pistorius pissed me off. I’m a huge fan of track and field but this man’s fame has been less about his talent or charm, and more about Nike pushing him as an ad icon for their own ends.

  26. lylaooo says:

    i cant believe this..i thougth his girlfriends was another girl, because i saw a tv show and he was introducing another girl!!!! so this is shocking to me! and im a big fan of him…and saw many interviews and he was so kind…so humble!! im shock!! im refused to belive this!! is so sad!!

    • la chica says:

      He was never humble. He was arrogant and narcissistic. He argued over his entitlement to run against guys with feet. He won that battle. You don’t make sports history by being humble. It’s amazing how ppl saw what they wanted to see in this guy.

  27. Ana says:

    Wow! May she RIP!

    But that smile! I was neutral until I saw it, I am always suspicious of a man who smiles with one side higher, I talk from personal experience…

    • TG says:

      Oh wow Ana, you have good observations. I thought he was handsome and personable from watching him at the Olympics but now I see exactly what you are seeing. I am hoping that this was a tragic accident of misunderstanding but from what I am hearing about past incidents and his love of guns and his constant bragging about his gun skills makes me wonder now. I can’t believe I didn’t see that violentt person before. I also used to think Chris Brown looked so sweet with Rihana before he beat the living daylights out of her and then I reviewed the photos from the past and was shocked that I couldn’t see his smug face on there before.

      • Ana says:

        Thank you. I have to add that my exbf was a sociopath and that was the way he smiled in every pic, then while watching the news and such I started noticing many men suspicious or convicted of murder and/or with sociopathic or abusive tendencies tend to display similar ways of smiling. I am not saying is proof and it could even be a muscular problem, etc, etc, etc but once I see it I tend to pay more attention to the way the person behaves than I’d normally do. Take my words with a grain of salt since it comes from personal observations but it is something to ponder about…

      • candigirl says:

        OJ Simpson was very very charming and charismatic. He was a football legend and an acting star. He did many, many charity events, and many private charity events. Some of my relatives meet him and spent time with him. They all really liked and respected him, he was generous and kind in person. But he still committed domestic abuse with Nicole, a double homicide with Nicole and Ron Brown, domestic abuse of his next girl friend, and kidnapping and extortion at gunpoint with a man who had purchased some of his memorabilia.

      • Amanda says:

        This is disturbing and somehow makes me feel helpless.

  28. Bobbie says:

    I second the comments above. This is really sad. I want to just point out that this man was a hero to us in the community of the disabled. I knew he probably wasn’t perfect, but we admired him for demonstrating that a disability doesn’t have to limit or define you. For people who have to struggle everyday to do what other people do so easily, the image of him running was a big deal. This is a huge loss.

  29. hannah says:

    I live in a gated/ boomed off security area in one of the wealthiest suburbs in Pretoria (in the same side of the city as Oscar) and I’m nevertheless paranoid as hell about being burgled and raped in my own home. In spite of the outside alarms, inside alarms, outdoor and indoor security gates etc. it still happens. A few weeks ago men broke in through my roof and tried to enter my house through the ceiling. I was alone at home and I can’t describe the terror you experience when you’re alone and you hear those footsteps above your head. If I owned a gun I would have shot, no doubt. The point I’m trying to make is the following: Oscar lives in an extremely safe security complex. To enter the premises you need to have your fingerprint electronically scanned (I’m not kidding) and thereafter the guards at the front gates have to phone the person you want to visit and first get their permission before you’re allowed in. So basically, if you realise that there is someone in your home and you didn’t receive prior warning from security at front gate it’s reasonable to assume that the person is there without permission. If Oscar’s girlfriend was well acquainted with the guards and managed to persuade them to let her in without prior warning to Oscar, I can imagine him being scared shitless when he realised someone somehow got into his house. (Rumor is she sneaked into his house in the early hours of the morning to prepare a Valentine’s day surprise.) Also take into account, Oscar was probably in bed, without his prosthetic legs, in the dark with no light on, immobile and vulnerable. If you are in such a vulnerable position in a crime ravaged country, would you not shoot in the direction of the noise as well? Fact is, Oscar probably slept with the gun next to his bedside. The problem for homeowners in South Africa is that if you don’t shoot/react fast enough you could get killed,but if you shoot immediately or from behind a closed door/ in the dark or whatever there is the possibility of shooting an unarmed intruder. That’s not to say that I don’t have my doubts about his innocence. Fact is, he is extremely arrogant and I kind of think he has a god complex. I’ve also heard stories about his temper. The fact that the SAPD wants to oppose bail is also really suspicious and disturbing to me. Who knows. I truly hope the intruder theory turns out to be true.

  30. TG says:

    @Mich – You seem to think being robbed all of 3 times in 15 years is insignificant? That sounds like a lot fo times to me.

    • Mich says:

      When I lived in Washington DC I also had my car window broken at night and my stereo stolen. My friends had their cars stolen. In Alexandria,VA, someone came inside the house while we were in the kitchen and stole my purse. I clearly remember an extended period of being terrified walking home after finally finding a parking space in DC’s Adams Morgan because a serial rapist was on the loose in the area. In Atlanta, my friends were forced to assume an execution style position while they were being robbed at gunpoint. In my hometown of Chapel Hill, a sniper opened fire in the middle of town and killed two people. During my university days in the same town, I was followed by complete strangers twice. On one occassion, I noticed that I was being followed before I got out of my car and doubled back to the police station (and was followed the whole way). On the second occassion, I only prevented being attacked by surprising the man. I charged him first while screaming at the top of my lungs. He initially started to drive away but knowing no-one was around (it was a school break and the apartment complex was empty) he came back for me. Thankfully, I had already made it to my car and was on the way to the police station. Like the first guy, he followed me until he saw my destination.

      The United States has so many mass murders happening on a regular basis that it takes a tragedy like Sandy Hook to make a real dent in the national consciousness. Children in elementary schools across the land understand the term ‘lockdown’ and now face having to have armed gaurds on the premises.

      So, no, I don’t consider three minor incidents to be a big deal. Sure, my adopted home has a lot of crime and is struggling to overcome an ugly history. Millions of people who could leave, however, don’t because despite the problems it is a truly wonderful country filled with wonderful people.

      • Ok says:

        Mich — don’t take this the wrong way but from your posts on other articles, I guessed you were male, not female.

        Most of your posts (specifically the Brandi Glanville and Leann Rimes posts) are very……how do I say this without making my fellow females angry or offended……even tempered, and linear left-brained. So I automatically assumed male.

        That and I guess Mich to me looks like Mitch. I guess it is supposed to be Mich like Michelle. Duh on me.

      • Ok says:

        Oh and I forgot Mich — your post had a lot of harrowing stuff. Sorry to hear you have gone thru that much. I live in metro-Detroit. Nothing has ever happened to me. Touch wood

      • Mich says:

        That is so funny! All girl here :-)

        Having something stolen has never really bothered me but being followed was very, very scary. I’ve always found it interesting that both men made eye contact in a way that set alarm bells off long before I was fully aware of what was happening. They weren’t typical casual glances or ‘hey, hot young thing’ looks but something uncomfortably intense, like I was being sized up. I wish I could share this with all young girls everywhere – it is a sign you might have become a target.

        The first time it was pretty easy to suss what was going on because it was late at night. The second time, though, I didn’t see him until I had already gotten out of my car and was on my way to my friend’s apartment door with my key out (I was checking on her bird while she was away). I had seen him lurking in his car in the grocery store parking lot but when he followed me out he kept enough distance that it wasn’t obvious.

        I swear my heart stopped when he came creeping into the empty apartment complex parking lot and blocked my car while staring me down. Literally no one was around. I had a choice – try to make it inside before he got to me and pray he doesn’t try to break in or go on the offensive to try to scare him away. I’ll never forget screaming “Are you f’ing following me you GD SOB?!!” at the top of my lungs again and again while pointing at him aggressively trying to look deranged with anger. He was surprised and drove around the corner but immediately came back. I think he thought I would make a run for the house where I would have been trapped – not the police station.

        The problem with universities (or at least UNC) is that they purposely don’t warn co-eds when predators are on the loose. My left and right brain are in agreement that this is NOT okay!The town police were more forthcoming.

  31. Maria says:

    1. I’m from JHB and this story has rattled a lot of people.
    2. Security is tight and exactly how it is described ( fingerprint, phoning in etc). I do not blame him for shooting multiple times if he genuinely thought it was an intruder because if I was there, I would have done the same.
    3. I had the misfortune of meeting Oscar and whilst he seemed amenable, if you got under his skin he got angry. He seemed like an self entitled prick who thought he was so much better than everyone else. His humble schtick did not work on me.
    4. Unfortunately and I speak from experience, police can do little for domestic violence. The victims have to request the help. Police cannot force the person to press charges.

  32. Katia says:

    I actually know the attorneys who are assisting Oscar in bail application tomorrow. I’m in court tomorrow so I’m going to try check it out and see what happens. He shouldn’t make bail.

  33. LeeLoo says:

    It’s very sad. Another woman has been lost to domestic violence. I CAN see security being an issue but as we have heard so much in regards to his temper already, I find it very unlikely.

  34. candigirl says:

    If this was a result of Domestic Abuse/Violence, then this page,, is more relevant than ever. RIP Nicole and Ron.

  35. Chelsea's handler says:

    Witnesses have reported hearing yelling and screaming before any shots were fired and she was shot in the face and hands. He’s done.

  36. kibbles says:

    No one knows what really happened at this point although I have a suspicion that there is more to this story than an accidental shooting due to mistaken identity. Regardless of whether this tragic shooting was accidental or a case of domestic violence, I could never live in a place where the crime rate is so high that it is “normal” for anyone who isn’t dirt poor to own guns, have armed security guards, or live in a home that is gated and barred with electric fencing, etc. Of course, violence can happen anywhere, even in the safest of countries. However, you know there is vast economic inequality when people have to live in this manner. I grew up in America in a city that was also quite dangerous and I will never go back to that kind of life always watching my back because the murder rate is so high. There are still places in the world where people don’t have to consciously worry about being killed on a daily basis. It’s sad that there are people who feel the need to live like this and have a gun beside their bed every night.

  37. moi says:

    I hope he rots in jail, I refuse to believe this was an accident