An Eyewitness News investigation has revealed that Oscar Pistorius was talking to his ex-girlfriend (Jenna Edkins a.k.a. BabyShoes) minutes before he arrived home to Reeva Steenkamp, on the eve of the Valentine’s Day shooting.
Eyewitness News has learnt that police suspected Oscar Pistorius’s brother Carl of deleting data off the athlete’s phone in the days after Reeva Steenkamp’s shooting.
And then of course….
The spin doctors have to step in and provide their statement to all of this. The Pistorius clan, and the loyal Pistorians, really need to crawl back in to their holes and stop insulting our intelligence.
Titanium Hulk = Carl Pistorius
122 Replies to “BabyShoes and Titanium Hulk”
4 RELIABLE witnesses came to court to testify they heard screams, shouting and arguing and a females voice.
I know in my heart of hearts there was an argument that night, and I always suspected it was a partner on either side of them that it was about.
Nel was 100% correct when he put to OP that RS and her had and argument and she fled down the passage in fear of her life.
How are you so sure of that??
Do you honestly believe that 4 people who dont know each other or the accused came to court to say that they heard arguing screaming and a clear distinction between a male and female voice for no possible gain to themselves?
I dont buy that for a second, and Masipa interpretation of the timeline does not make it correct, also I think it would be unlikely that at 3am that you would be able to nail down a timeline between 4 seperate people to the last second, because thats the only difference, seconds.
With that in mind, why else would they have been awake and arguing at that time, certainly not over what tv channel to watch.
He loved RS so much but was seeing the ex on the side, looked for free mobile porn and behaved in such a manner that she was scared of him.
It sounds like she was just a trophy for him, a good looking blonde to show off.
Started reading a book by OP’s aunt, Miski Pistorius about serial killers (she has written a number of books in the subject.)
She was a serial killer profiler and commander of the SAPS Phsyc unit.
Does this bloody family get anymore strange, you wouldnt see this out of a Hollywood studio!!!!!
So what if he was talking to an ex? Reeva had met an Ex the day prior!! This would not be relevant to any of the charges!! people just love to create HYPE and circumstances that are irrelevant to the case.
It’s not irrelevant when OP’s phone was stolen from the scene and most likely altered. I agree that the mere act of communicating with an ex is not proof of anything… What I’m most concerned about is that phone and the fact that evidence was tampered with. You have to ask, why?
Removing the phone from the scene of a murder and connecting his computer to it is the very definition of tampering with evidence
This is outrageous conduct which makes him an accessory after the fact.
Its difficult to take you seriously when
Whoops – that comment was aimed at Rita
It doesn’t matter that he spoke to an ex, but it does matter that his brother saw fit to destroy evidence, or do you see no problem with that?
Unfortunately there is no evidence to substantiate that his brother ‘tampered’ with OP’s cell phone, if there was, you can rest assured that Nel would have brought it up…
Rita there is evidence to substantiate it, but like all evidence it is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The fact is they discovered the evidence which might have lead to a serious investigation almost a year after the incident. Because the phone had been locked. It’s hard to prove facts about digital tampering at that degree of time remove but it doesn’t mean the hallmarks are completely absent.
Why does everyone keep on using Nel as the reference point for what is relevant. He’s just a guy – a prosecutor.
P.S. Above, i meant “like all ‘circumstantial’ evidence in this case” it is not beyond a reasonable doubt. As in, everything here can be debated, nothing is 100% settled. It’s all just pieces in a puzzle.
Maybe they could not advance the argument since they had not kept a proper record of who handled these phones during the past year? Opening the door to accusations of tampering to incriminate Oscar.
It’s probably the lack of records which would cause the biggest problems here – although in this case, there may be nothing in that, if they can’t shift the doubt, then it’s going to backfire the minute they would try to make formal arguments about it in court!
this is a very serious matter.If OP were innocent no messages would have been deleted.They should be forced to tell what they know.Then OP has the absolute gall to accuse police of tampering with the crime scene.
Not sure whether this is really anything knew … we know from OP’s own testimony and Judge Masipa’s judgement that he was a dreadful witness being evasive, not being truthful (some certain lies), having 100% certainty when questions are raised that he has rehearsed, then having 100% memory failure when unexpected questions are posed (followed by crying and vomiting). He can’t even say what he was thinking when he fired the shots – he has two versions.
He even had the gall in suggesting reasons why Reeva might hide away quietly in the toilet (he tells the story of her hiding away as a child) (if he knew this then why did he still shoot? No warning shot because it might ricochet and hit him) and the gall of reading out Reeva’s Valentine card – one certainly got the impression he would do and say anything to try to get himself off the hook.
I may be wrong and I am happy to be proved wrong but Judge Masipa did say he was an appalling witness.
Anyway, I have changed my mind about all these books – if it can shed light on some of these loose ends then it will be better for Reeva’s family. Reeva’s mother sat through the entire court room trial in the hope of finding out what happened to her daughter … and after all what happened she still feels she hasn’t a clue what really happened and has the sense that OP has been as slippery as an oiled up eel skating on ice.
The following is a cheap shot but then OP did himself take four cheap shots.
We have Oscar’s Brother erasing (allegedly?) all OP’s phone records and we have Oscar’s Sister playing Reeva in their video reconstruction to decide on what OP should say under oath.
Two Brothers Pondering on Justice:
I don’t doubt Mandy and Barry`s commitment and coverage of this case; it`s been one of the better ones, but if this is the best example of the “inside story” covered in their book, then it falls well short for me.
If they found this evidence and presented it to the prosecution, but Nel didn’t use it, then at best it`s interesting but ultimately worthless.
I think if people stop looking at OP like he is deranged and psychotic, and give him the benefit of doubt where common sense prevails, then the true picture of the murder will come through. For example, a lot of people were reading WAY too much into the porn on his ipad, but didn’t stop to consider that Reeva may of know about it and didn’t mind. Basically, their sexual preferences cant be questioned/proved and lead nowhere.
We are certainly not getting the full story over the Kaylami incident either. Is that in the book? Mark Bachelor was in court for one reason only, he was paid by Van deBurgh to intimidate OP, so clearly there is still unresolved issues there.
For me, the biggest story outside of the obvious is, FRANK.
“I didn’t hear anything, I didn’t see anything, I`m saying nothing”
That was his only statement, yet he was IN the damn house. You wanna sell a nook, get that skinny!
I don’t think he was deranged or psychotic
Many men engage in domestic violence who are apparently normal, caring, successful guys. Usually they have basic anger management problems.
It just shows why women should not live in homes where men have guns.
You or your children are the most likely victims.
I dont know of any evidence that FRANK was in that house during the incident…so let us move away about that too.
That`s a little naive, Rita. Where else could he possibly be at 3am?
For example, if he was just out with friends and was coincidentally returning home at the same time the Standers arrived, then why didn’t he just say that??
His brief statement clearly implies that he doesn’t want to get involved, not that he has nothing to offer.
But guys, there is no proof anything sinister was on the phone. Why did the sister take it? We can ponder and suggest all we want but then isnt this the same phone that went to Apple, and the whatsapps and phone records retrieved and used in court. What else were they supposed to find? Are we now on our own wild goose chase because we dont like the family? Should there ever be evidence of the phone tampering let trust Nel will be there shouting ‘foul’.
Unfortunately I don’t trust Nel to get to the bottom of the mystery because his case is only as good as the police department’s ability to keep intact their “chains of evidence”, and it appears things were not logged properly, right from the word go. We then have to factor in possibility of police corruption and tampering which buries the truth more deeply. In addition to that, missed leads, and also investigations that were not carried out.
For example, Oscar claimed he could not remember passcode to what turned out to be his personal mobile phone, slowing the police down for a very long time. But there’s a back up secret question. Could he not remember that? Or he could ring Apple, give them all his security details, and they would reset it for him. Why did no one insist he do this? They could at least ask. If he doesn’t cooperate, then it’s a black mark against him right. If he does, then they have access to phone much quicker. They just accepted it was locked too easily in my opinion.
There’s lots of “own goals” like this, littered across every corner of this case…
Feel sorry for coppers like Van Staden and Mangena that did a really good job … but when their superiors has lost control of a crime scene, or allowed the door to be trampled over … big shame for those guys that worked hard.
Also they unlocked Reeva’s phone easily, on that very morning, so they must have known something was up when the simple hacks failed on Oscar’s. Why not send it to Apple straight away? They faffed about for too long. And another thing: They had Whatsapp communications from Reeva’s phone at some point. So they knew Oscar’s mobile number? That’s all you need for Whatsapps.
It might have been possible to subpoena data from Whatsapp company and get at the very least a list of times and contact numbers for any missing messages, in the expectation they may have been wiped – and could provide vital clue to motive, or state of relationship. Similarly for texts (usually held by phone company servers for about 6 months).
I’m sure they could have put together a data release request to a magistrate to get approval for that – since the phone itself was suspiciously locked – as it was a homicide case.
Instead, they prevaricated, and when finally it was cracked in February 2014, there was no time to analyze Oscar’s contact lists, mobile companies would have deleted anything older than 6 months [missing message contents], and it was far too late to examine Carl’s computer (though maybe should have had a go).
Whatsapp is unusual. It’s actually quite tough to delete all your whatsapp histories, due to the database structure the application uses. It stores a record on you GPS coordinates for whenever you send or receive a message for example, forever. You have to really WANT to get rid of it. So if all that stuff was gone, it wasn’t a routine wipe, it needed a process to be carefully followed to get rid.
It’s possible Oscar wanted stuff deleted which was embarrassing but irrelevant to the murder trial of course. Knowing it was going to receive international coverage who would ever want all corners to their private lives exposed (guilty or not!)?
But we won’t ever know exactly what happened now but i should have thought the mere fact the personal mobile went off site and had to be requested, then was mysteriously “locked” would be worth a line of questioning in court anyway – even WITHOUT deletions. I don’t think all the decisions were strategically correct.
They didn’t get OPs phone for 12 days
Mr Fossil over at Websleuths has now proved OPs version was a total fabrication.
He was awake at 1.45am – see the 3G data connection – but CP deleted the WhatsApp messages at that time.
@James. The phone connection at 1:48 has been common knowledge for a long time, and my understanding is that it is not definitely excluded that it could be an App update cycle kicking in autonomously during the night. But I agree most probably it reflects the phone is picked up and goes off sleep mode at that time.
Suppose that is the case. Where on earth did you get “deleted Whatsapp messages” at the same time from? No such Whatsapp data relating to precise times of unseen messages exists.
Nope – you have this wrong
An App or server can initiate a packet transfer if the phone is connected to the network. This is what we saw with Reeva’s phone which was pretty much continuously connected to the tower for over 12 hrs
OP turned off his data connection for periods of 90-120m
The connection at 1.45am is him turning on his data connection and connecting to the 3G tower.
An app cannot turn on your data connection and connect by itself.
@James. You sound very certain. Is this your own research or something from Mr. Fossil? I know nothing of Mr. Fossil in order to decide whether his information is fully reliable. I also haven’t done any research into Oscar’s make and model of phone to determine the possibilities. Completely ruling out autonomous activity on a digital device seems unsound. But, I could be wrong…
The phone can only make autonomous connections where it is connected to the tower – like Reeva’s was.
Mollers comment was about Reeva’s phone, and he said you need to check the phone to see what the activity at 1.45am was
But unfortunately CP deleted the relevant activity from the phone.
Also – the evidential standard for facts in the case is not “Completely ruling out”.
This is yet another piece of circumstantial evidence which proves OP was awake and manufactured his version,
@James. So why the hell didn’t Nel mention the 1:48 connection in his closing argument? He had evidence Reeva was awake after midnight, from the gastric contents. This would have provided evidence Oscar was awake, in the vicinity of time that the argument began. It’s so obvious a piece of the puzzle that I can’t see why it was left out. People have been discussing this 1:48 signal for months.
Yet it is only now that phone “deletions” have been admitted that it becomes a “proof”? Why wasn’t it always a proof – available to the state regardless on who deleted what.
If it is a data transfer, it could be accessing a website, or simply logging in to an app which needs to gather data, so nothing is necessarily deleted. I don’t understand how you’re so sure something was deleted at that time.
And I’m still puzzled why this connection was not listed as evidence of him being awake. Huge blunder? Or other explanations for activity apart from Oscar using phone?
‘Mollers comment was about Reeva’s phone, and he said you need to check the phone to see what the activity at 1.45am was
But unfortunately CP deleted the relevant activity from the phone.’
Nothing was deleted from Reeva’s phone.
It was Oscar’s personal mobile that went off site. Reeva’s phone + Oscar’s business phone stayed in the bathroom.
But that is the whole point.
We now know that OPs messages were deleted AND a high level password was applied that prevented the police accessing the device for 1 year!
There was horsetrading even for the phone to be admitted as evidence – and thanks to the breach in the chain of custody the evidential value of the phone itself was compromised.
So Nel could not argue around the phone because the defence tampered with evidence in a murder trial.
CP should have been charged as an accessory after the fact.
As for how data connections work – look at the logs.
OPs phone was not even connected to the network for up to 90-120 mins at a time.
The only way that can happen is if:
1. The phone is turned off
2. The phone is in airplane mode
3. there is no coverage.
Someone activated the data connection.
Apps cannot create their own data transfer when the phone is not connected to the network.
This trial is a joke and the police have revealed themselves to be incompetent.
No wonder Nel was not arguing about certain key matters in Court.
‘OPs phone was not even connected to the network for up to 90-120 mins at a time.
The only way that can happen is if:
1. The phone is turned off
2. The phone is in airplane mode
3. there is no coverage.
Someone activated the data connection.’
Yeah this is the part I’m not certain about. You can install APPs onto mobiles which perform specific functions, placing the phone either into Wi-Fi mode or 3G connection, switching between the two, for power saving, or to enhance efficiency of data retrieval for all the various programs that need to synch themselves to networks to gather your texts, whatsapps, LINE messages, emails, newsfeeds, …. it might even toggle in the event a picture was received from 3G to the cheaper Wi-Fi option.
Something like that might be run to gather messages at specific points during the night.
Here’s why I’m suspicious., Take a look at the 3 times it occurred on the evening 13th/morning 14th when Oscar was supposedly asleep:
22:30 3G Silverlakes connection for 5:07
23:15 3G Silverlakes connection for 5:02
01:48 3G Silverlakes connection for 5:09
Notice anything unusual? Anything which might be a bit “robotic” about these connections?? 😉 I dunno. Need more research can’t take it all from just one source.
I wish we had the full report by Moller! It might provide another explanation for the phenomenon. Wolmerans report just released was a major improvement on his oral evidence in court. This is always a risk when peering into the goldfish bowl of the court case without having people’s complete reports?
The matter of the deletions and the password complexity plus synching to Carl’s device is much more interesting IMO, albeit frustrating, because just like all the computers in Oscar’s property, the police did not confiscate, leaving us none the wiser about what occurred.
@James. Aha! Clearly the “control” is the patterns of connections all the other nights that week. If it is always the same thing, 5:01-5:10 range, around 4-5 times per night, every night, then it clearly is not due to a human. And the state + defence has that data. They merely printed out a 24 hour cycle around the shots. If they saw the same pattern every other night it would be discarded as irrelevant, even if they don’t know the exact cause. It could be as simple as that…
It all depends on the Operating System and how much crap is installed – could be immediately settled anyway by looking at other nights in the same week. Same pattern = automatic routine. No such pattern any other night = OP was handling his phone and at best for his case, his sleep was fitful and he neglected to mention this … at worst he was up and about.
His words of the 15th of APRIL in testimony about being in the toilet a couple of minutes after the “incident” (shots fired) is good enough for me to state OP is guilty of PREMEDITATED MURDER.
All his crap story about a noise and a burglar is destroyed by that bit of his testimony. OP will not sue as he knows he cannot win and fears the greater exposure a civil case would bring.
Vile families produce vile offspring and “god” got chucked under a bus as soon as OP lied on oath.
ps OP and co, Its my view that OP’s life expectancy will be very much reduced if he is NOT jailed.
Justice will come about one way or another in this case even if the state fails to deal with it.
the 3G tower data proves his story is fabricated.
He got away with murder because his brother was able to delete the chat messages
Hey David. Hope all is well. I’d like to get in touch. When you have a moment, please email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
OP and Reeva went to bed and slept around 9 – 10 pm according to Oscar Pistorius. Oscar tells Reeva to bring the fans in before she goes to sleep or something.
OP wakes up around 3 am. Reeva is awake and says “What’s wrong, baba? Can’t you sleep?” And he replied, “not tonight”, he then gets out of bed to bring the fans in.
Have I made any mistakes with this?
If not why would Reeva say “What’s wrong, baba? Can’t you sleep?”
given that OP had been asleep from lets say 9.30 pm to 3 am: that’s five and half hours sleep – so you wouldn’t say “can’t you sleep?” – you would say “what woke you” and you wouldn’t reply “not tonight”.
That whole bit of OP waking up hearing Reeva then going in to collect the fans … I think we can discard as being not credible.
Why would she still be awake without the lights on, why would she say “What’s wrong, baba? Can’t you sleep?” as if she were awake reading and then watching him as he woke and them commenting in a fully cognizant manner. Why wouldn’t Oscar say why didn’t you bring the fans in – I asked you to bring the fans in. Why didn’t Reeva say – don’t bring the fans I left them there for a reason. Why didn’t Oscar say – look I don’t have any legs – you’re closest to the fans, right next to you can you please bring them in love. why wouldn’t Reeva say Happy Valentines Day (their first valentines day together), why didn’t Oscar say Happy Valentines Day. Why didn’t Oscar turn around when Reeva said “What’s wrong, baba? Can’t you sleep?” and give her a kiss and say happy valentines day ……. No this is NOT what happened it is not credible and is entirely consistent with the rest of his testimony … like when he talks about handling the gun in the restaurant or when he was shot at on the motorway.
He might have mistaken Reeva for an intruder but not in the way he describes in his testimony.
Then when he hears the window slam open in the bathroom – yet he was very particular about his calmness in telling Reeva to call the police – it wasn’t a whisper but more audible than a whisper – that bit there lacks any startle – it is very controlled and measured. Oscar was very certain in his recollection of that part. That bit there is a person in control of his emotions and actions …
Good analysis. The panel summarized such concerns thus:
“There are things that don’t make sense”
but did not feel Nel had done enough to convince them Oscar’s version was in fact mainly false.
A lot of the best arguments against his version are lines of reasoning people came up with online. Interesting question, if it had been argued completely differently and much more persuasively, and if the state had not introduced any wrong evidence, would it have a different outcome?
Would the sum of arguments, just like yours, but 100s of them, for inauthenticity have tipped the balance back towards the state?
DJ: I always felt there were serious issues with Oscar’s Testimony and thought it was an open and shut case. Then I read the Defence’s Head of Argument and the way they fitted a time line to the phone record – that made a lot of sense. Gunshot’s first then bat. That fitted with the evidence, shots through the door then the top panel being battered down. That was the key in throwing the State’s main arguments out of the window.
If there had have been a long row and serious fight prior to the shooting, Reeva would have had plenty of time to make a call – she had lots of close friends. She still didn’t make a call when she was in the toilet suggesting she was either not aware she was going to be shot herself or it happened quickly (she was confused as to what was going on).
If she locked herself in the bedroom first, then again, she would have plenty of opportunity to make a call. If OP had broken down the bedroom door down, or fired at the bedroom door then there would have been splinters etc – as you pointed out.
With the shots being first and the bat being second that placed question marks on the female screaming. Then it seemed the defences suggestion that it was OP crying and screaming rather than Reeva had to be carefully considered. The defence did put up a good ARGUMENT that it was NOT Reeva screaming and that the four witnesses COULD have mistaken Oscar’s cries and screems for the woman’s screams they testified to. Given the shots first and bat second this seemed to HAVE to be the case. The Defence were also good at showing that the four witnesses to a woman screaming were inconsistent with SIX other witnesses (especially vd Merves husband etc).
So the defence did a good job in presenting an argument for shots first, bat second and NO Reeva screaming – at LEAST in terms of the timeline presented.
Then when we go back to Mrs VD Merve hearing a woman talking heatedly around 1:58 am and the security round at 2.20 am not hearing anything: that bit seemed weak and more or less the States WHOLE case fell apart – at LEAST the BULK of the case.
It also made the State appear a little untrustworthy with the evidence – them ignoring when the bat came – before or after the gunshot – it made them seem evasive themselves. Their lack of acknowledgement and inability to engage with that made them seem weak. Their inability to acknowledge that other witnesses didn’t hear a woman’s scream, their inability to acknowledge that the husband of Mrs VD Merve corrected her with the scream – again made the state look weak.
The State accepting the phone record and the times the calls were made, the State not directly addressing the gunshot first, and bat second suggestion made them seem weak. It seemed like a hidden acknowledgement that the State were indeed knowledgeable of their own ruse in ignoring whether the bat came first or second because they KNEW the evidence pointed to bat second. For whatever reason they did this (and they definitely must have discussed this internally at length and intelligently and we are obviously missing the full story behind their reasoning) it made them look like a bunch of amateurs, a bunch of chancers.
The State responding to this after the defence made their closing statement … that there should be consequences for OP in killing Reeva … although I agree with this and it was a good point, IT WAS DREADFULLY WEAK in the context of addressing the defences argument – almost a welcome for Judge Masipa to accept the defences arguments Hook, Line … but not sinker (sinker was entirely Judge Masipa’s decision).
Overall, I think the state presentation of the case has to be looked at more closely. I suspect they realised conflicts between the timeline and the female screams only later in the case and decided NOT to change tack. BUT they SHOULD have changed tack. Whatever their reasoning, I suspect Nel could write a few books on the matter. … Presumably NEL represents the State and so cannot say any harsh words as regards Policing issues … There was a newspaper cartoon early on with OP racing a Police Officer to a Guilty line – which suggested OP was guilty but the Police were incompetent and possibly crooked … and they had the race neck and neck.
Whatever the weakness of the States case, there is no doubting NEL as a top prosecutor. Oscar was revealed to be a dreadful witness and some of the things Oscar said were actually the best evidence in incriminating him … strong suggestion that that his “waking up … up to the shooting” scenario is not the truth or at least it has been “reconstructed and manipulated” to put the most favourable light on his actions. There is a lot of evidence for a “reconstructed and manipulated” version of events from OP but I am not going to list them here. There are parts of his testimony that are well thought out and likely discussed and rehearsed (those for which OP memory was 100% clear and he was 100% certain) then there are ADJACENT parts of his testimony where he is uncertain, his memory is 0% clear, he can’t remember anything etc etc. Nel called it adapting.
Oscar accepts, as he must, that he killed Reeva, but that it was an ACCIDENT as he MISTOOK her for an intruder.
My questions go as follows.
a) Did Oscar knowingly intend to kill the person behind the door (I would say yes is the most likely answer – based on the evidence AND Oscar’s own testimony)
b) Did Oscar knowingly intend to kill Reeva (Don’t know, maybe, difficult to say, seems unlikely – but ultimately cannot be proven from what was presented and discussed in court).
Personally I think “Dolus Eventualis of the Person Behind the Door” would have been the fairest Judgement + a Judge’s comment that Oscar Pistorius was NOT AN ENTIRELY CREDIBLE witness – basically he is hiding something – as Judge Greenland has said – he hasn’t taken the court into his confidence.
@Jason. Yep, agree entirely with your analysis. Including that the state became evasive during the course of the trial. Nel was at pains to express the possibility of Oscar screaming as early as his cross-examination, and downplayed the evidence in his own heads of argument. So Nel figured it out & elected to stop digging. It would have taken a hell of a speech to concede the point yet still argue well.
It was not the Defense Heads that caused a lightbulb moment. Standard methods of case analysis could have led to the same conclusion before the trial started. I knew something was up before the state case ended. But it has been almost impossible to explain it to people because they had already latched on to the emotional imagery.
Personal hunch as to why this happened: Look no further than the police chain of command. After the fiasco with Hilton Botha’s loss of control of the crime scene, and amateurish performance in the witness box at the bail hearing, SAPS was keen to get on top of the situation. So they appointed someone very, very senior to run this case: Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo
And I imagine it is Lt. Gen Moonoo who has had the final say on the shape of the prosecution case, whether to contest screams in particular, and either him, or someone else quite senior, must surely have ignored people that might have queried whether the case made sense. Someone dug their heels in because Vermeulen’s analysis of the door, added to the Nhlengethwas, would have been enough to cast doubt on the screams. Then the more the case is analysed, the less the screams can ever make sense. Someone stubborn was ignoring this. And most probably that person is the guy in overall command.
One can never really tell what is going on in these chains of command as they lack transparency. For example, here is a story which sheds a little light (or darkness) onto SAPS:
The reality of a crook being able to fool police into thinking he is a detective, in order to wipe out rival gangs, and then forming links to senior officials and ministers, then, being caught, and apparently killing himself in a police custody cell (in Pretoria). A police source says he was killed for knowing too much. Lt Gen Moonoo says there is no need for an investigation. Make your own minds up.
Police force that are accustomed to getting their own way by “unorthodox” methods will often not expect to have to justify their methods or reasoning in detail to others. In such a climate, no wonder it becomes necessary to pay off judges in order to avoid being stitched up when the apparatus of the state is not behaving reasonably.
Having said all of that, there was equally still a ROBUST case for it being what it appeared to be – a domestic situation of some kind, involving flight, locking, and then rapidly, bullets. After all, there was only Oscar and Reeva in the main property. The third visitor known as the “intruder” was a phantom in Oscar’s mind. This is the only place in the world it is said to have existed. And only Oscar can offer any support as to whether such a phantom being was in his mind or not. He had to tender evidence to demonstrate his authenticity. Did he convince you that intricate sequence of events from his fans to his “dawning realisation” was real life? He didn’t convince me…
Same circumstances but different police force and it is anyone’s guess what the outcome would have been. I’m giving the intruder no higher odds in a random trial than 20%. Mostly these “phantom menace” defences are rejected, though only after a hard fought battle. 😉
@Jason. Having so many witnesses called proved to be a real distraction from the key feature of this case: Oscar’s story.
There are easily created scenarios accessible to all of us which involve guns, perceptions of intruders, people dying, and no actual evidence to gainsay it except for the fact we fail to sound convincing….
Suppose the same thing happened in a remote forest hut.
All the forensics is admitted.
One asserts a “panic”.
The other person is dead.
So yes, in actual fact the testimony of the accused person about their state of mind and the sum of the inconsistencies & other issues has to be a major factor on whether they would be found guilty or not.
Otherwise there’s no way to test this defence in the general case.
But that’s not the only thing: The state bringing it’s allegations should have a good narrative to replace the rejected story. From your remark it seems “unlikely” it was intentional I conclude they definitely did not supply that!
It would be necessary for the state to build up a convincing profile of the suspect, in terms of the psychological propensity to go to the “extreme” of killing, and these motivations can be operating on all kinds of more or less concrete or rational levels… misunderstanding the motivations of a suspect would be a way to lose ground on the “murder narrative”.
They went for “rage” which is a bit vague. Rage about what? Why? Why shoot to kill?? People’s motives usually more specific.
Clearly this did not become clear during the trial. There was really little attempt to understand how or why Oscar would actually have been driven to shoot through that door at Reeva….
The time after shooting there is a lot of interesting evidence that it might not be an accident, but it was all overlooked, except for him saying “i’m fine” to security.
And I gather the police did not seize THREE computers / laptops that were in his house. They also meekly accepted his explanation that he “forgot” the passcode. They did not do police interviews either – maybe that’s a South African thing – but in UK or US or Russia or (most place??) – he would have been interviewed in the days after the shooting.
Also in Russia he would have made a video talking the officers through the whole scenario, literally acting it out for them, which would have made it very difficult to claim it was “communication errors” with his legal team at a later stage if that story changed (as with the door slam).
So yeah…lots to reflect upon really.
@Jason. P.S. Why would Reeva want to phone during a row?
If a “wood movement” is good enough to precipitate bullets, then maybe the moment a phone call to police was finally about to occur would be too.
That would then answer your question as to why the phone call did not happen “in all that time”. The attempt to call may have been the critical event in a row and became the cause of the bullets.
DJ: thanks for the insights regarding the likely State operation – they say an iceberg is only about 10% above water and I suspect the same with what was on show from Nel et al.
Being an armchair commentator from the UK it is difficult to sense what the cultural context and social zeitgeist within which this occurred – so I am aware there could be differences in perceptions.
For example the ex SA Springbok star who shot and killed his daughter as she was driving out early in the morning was considered a tragic accident, because SA law allows you to shoot dead thieves if there is no other way of stopping them (justifiable homicide or something) – at least that is what I have been told.
Here we have an innocent 19 year old woman (Marle) being shot dead “justifiably” because she was mistaken for a thief even though she had told her father she was going to drive out early in the morning the previous day. The overall reaction following her shooting to death was sympathy for the father, the person who shot her to death. It’s strange and demonstrates how the wider cultural context influences perception.
This can be extended further. One of my interests is understanding the use of double speak to influence perception – 1984 (George Orwell style).
The fact that Reeva did not call anyone during the late evening early morning … is I believe a common cause fact and one can make deductions from that fact … one of which is to exclude as a likelihood some of the proposed online theories as to what really happened. One of the online theories is an extended rowing and arguing, locking in bedrooms, shooting at bedroom doors, packing of bags, preparing to leave, clothes being removed from Reeva’s body etc etc. My view is that the fact that Reeva didn’t call anyone during this entire period has consequences for some of those theories.
@Jason. The springbok dad was charged with murder initially, and according to their laws it would be murder. There was nothing permitting him to open fire.
The case would have succeeded but was dropped on compassionate grounds. Imagine it was someone else’s daughter that was killed driving out of a neighbour’s driveway. I’m sure he would be in prison now.
I think as it was a single bullet and there were witnesses, there was a clear cause – a car pulling away – and no alternative causes – such as a father than for some reason had grown angry with his daughter – then it could only be an act of incredible reckless stupidity gone horribly wrong. They did not want to inflict another tragedy onto the family.
Oscar’s case, well, Reeva was not his daughter – she was his partner, and they had not been together long. She was in no sense “his” in the same way you might refer to a child “belonging” to their parents.
The cause – something very suspect and murky – without another witness to confirm his fears. Imagine if he had dialled police on his way down the passage and begun to whisper to an officer. It would be much better corroborated. Or a real intruder in the property and he shot the wrong person in a chaotic scene.
Then there was the locked door. A hugely important fact. Oscar says he couldn’t hear it locking? I don’t get why that was accepted. The mechanism was so noisy and he was a few metres away. If that’s false, his whole version is false. The state’s claim Reeva locked it to get away from him is more credible than the defense version that she locked it somehow in a “panic” thinking only about herself (not caring if Oscar got beaten up by whoever he was shouting at, for example), then did not communicate – even though she was now fairly safe – and on top of all that he didn’t hear it locking. It’s all a stretch.
Then of course he shot through it four times and the reconstructions proved the sequence came to a stop on or around the head shot. And then he stopped firing. This is all terribly incriminating.
Just because one person has an accident we can’t learn a thing about whether another person should receive the same sympathy because of how they claim a death occurred. Not until we know if they are telling the truth… !
@Jason. Re: Online theories. We can exclude some theories for sure e.g. bullet through the bedroom door. No ricochet mark on the wall so must be on another day.
However you definitely cannot exclude a row because there was no phone call during it. Bit of a leap from rowing to waking people up or making it official. If she assumed she could “handle” Oscar for the most part then why would she be moved to wake up a friend or report him?
I agree that the serious alarm bells would be limited to immediate minutes or even 20sec before the shots happened. But of course that’s possible. We know from hypothesis if being chased she wanted to secure safety and would have been unable to dial while running, for example, or while locking doors, or while rushing to grab a phone.
Oscar is very quick thinking (and competitive) person and also famous for his agility so her time margins would be small anyway.
If he wanted to stop her badly enough from taking a decisive action against him, then maybe he succeeded.
Please bear in mind that if she was shot by him deliberately then the man that did it was a globally successful human hence not to be underestimated.
If he was guilty of shooting her he would not go down without a fight and you’d have to find narrow cracks in his versions not gaping great holes.
P.S. I agree there are some very OTT crazy theories online. But one of those theories in my opinion is that the intruder was a real belief lol 😉
Hi DJ: Judge Greenland suggested that one can use a gun to stop a thief if there wasn’t any alternative means to stop the thief. So if you tell me that this is not the case then I don’t know what to think – I would need to read up the relevant law which might take me a few weeks to get round to.
Yes context changes everything but two young women were shot dead. For those two women, whose lives were ended violently by bullets, one through the neck and the other through the head, with their entire lives ahead of them, with the possibility of having children and grandchildren etc etc – the only context that mattered to them was being shot to death. And they were shot to death by people that the state allowed to carry guns for the purpose of using those guns in order to kill them under a certain set of conditions.
The rest is just an overlayer comprising a justice system in which decisions are made as to whether or not the killers killed those women legally or illegally according to a set of laws. If it is decided that the killing was illegal then there is a whole shade of illegality with associated state punishments from which to chose from.
Anyway – apologies for being philosophical – recognise in real life we have to be practical and deal with the specifics of the case. But at the end of the day both Reeva and Merla lost their lives and deserve equal sympathy and thoughts … at least from a philosophisical viewpoint.
Next up Shrien Dewani, another trial, another young woman. Such is life.
It was the case up to the late 90’s in south africa, but with the new constitution the right to life was put before the right to defend property and courts started to rule that it was not acceptable to murder someone who was fleeing with your jewellery or vehicle.
You may still defend yourself with lethal force if there is a threat on your or a person nearby in proximity and the threat must have commenced or be imminent.
The force used to defend oneself or someone else must reasonable as well, you couldn’t take out your firearm and kill a person because they slapped your friend in a pub.
But if someone where to break into your house and hit your wife in a house breaking , or you were the victim of an armed robbery you may get away with self defence.
You may not shoot a person who is fleeing as the test for self defence wont hold up as there is no threat commenced or imminent.
Sorry Peter should be Jason – I contribute to other boards and try to pick an identifiable label in which to make comments and discuss items.
Hi Crackzn and DJ, just to say thank you for clarifying – the change in the law that maybe the good Judge hadn’t kept up with … and the reasons why what would have been murder was downgraded to homicide on an extrajudicial (clemency) basis … except if the Springbok player had shot a killed a thief would he have still have been cleared of murder … I suspect he would have … thank goodness I don’t live in a gun society … although my government exports guns and bombs onto other societies. Apologies for getting political.
@Jason. Hey, well I can only back up that Rudi Visagie Marle’s dad was charged with her murder.
Maybe Judge Greenland’s remarks are out of context somehow (and refer to armed thieves) or were an adaptation of the Zimbabwean legal code rather than the South African one? I’m not sure.
It would be unlikely you could shoot a thief so readily. What if they were aged 13 and stole some fruit from a tree in your garden? You couldn’t run after them in time to stop them escaping so you would be allowed to shoot?
There has to be much more to this law on firing at thieves.
‘the only context that mattered to them was being shot to death’
I’m not sure I agree. If Reeva died because she had been chased by this specific man to her death, as a society we would definitely want to expose his vices and apply a reckoning to that.
We definitely want to know if the situation was really about an intruder or not. If not, then there is a whole different mentality going on there, in terms of who Oscar Pistorius “really” is…and it means the justice system wasn’t up to the task to prove it. For the time being, anyway.
People with a “catch me if you can” mentality who are also erratic and impulsive do tend to screw up not only once. I’d be surprised if Oscar stayed on the straight and narrow as it strikes me he will become bored & unable to resist risk. He admitted as much, in the more positive senses, to journalists and ex-girlfriends in the past. In terms of “thrill seeking”.
Seems unlikely Springbok guy is going to be so hasty towards another perceived thief. Considering he must be wracked with an almost unbearable guilt. In Oscar’s case, I’m really not so sure, it depends on his intruder, or not, as the case may be…
@Jason. Yep – best not get political since crime crosses boundaries of every society.
@Jason. And also judicial and police blunders as well as corruption crosses all the politics as well.
I’ve heard a lot more astonishing things than the Oscar Pistorius verdict.
Legally this is important since the amount of “common cause facts” may be almost 100% in a case with a perceived intruder, the only difference being the accused’ state of mind – and ability to convince as to his authenticity in the moments before and after shots. Court must be able to mine very articulately those states of mind (perceptions, memories, emotions, beliefs, motives, etc). And come to a firm decision – even if there is no witness evidence, & not even any forensics either, of any kind to gainsay the defendant’s story. It’s always a big challenge, such cases, intensely psychological, and often leads to hung juries & retrials. It suggests as a species we are not very good at making a firm decision on a person’s truthfulness under such circumstances…
Indeed the human is a complex beast and is a good argument against armchair philosophers with their theories of a deterministic universe (no free will etc).
The issues you highlight is probably the reason why Justice must also be SEEN to be done … which introduces notions of the “reasonable person” with his “reasonable actions”. The defendant always has the possibility to appeal the decision (if he can afford it).
@Jason. Yeah…appeal there to pick up pieces.
Masipa’s ruling definitely watered down the usual association between use of a lethal weapon intentionally at a person, unlawfully, and murder.
The only justification for that in English Common Law would be if Oscar was simple-minded, a child, or severely impaired at the time.
It’s a bit of a joke from that point of view.
Sort of judgement someone’s mum would probably give their son because she knows he’s a nice boy really and couldn’t have meant any harm…
P.S. Check out Seth Techel and Phil Spector as points of comparison to this trial, the first claimed a phantom intruder pulled the trigger, the second claimed the woman was depressed and turned the gun on herself in front of him. In other words they both admitted they were there when it happened but told an unlikely tale which only needs to be “reasonably possible” to acquit. Both had to have retrials as people couldn’t make up their minds.
The Coens Brothers film “The Man Who Wasn’t There” – which I personally thought was brilliant … had the hot shot lawyer wanting to bring out his “Heisenberg Argument” defence … when you look at something really really closely, it becomes uncertain … which I thought was ingenious and immensely comedic (years of studying quantum mechanics helps in seeing the humour).
Well honestly this case has done just that! Oscar’s bullets were both intentional and accidental, right? And we still don’t know. Masipa hasn’t opened the box – “Only Oscar knows what was in his mind”. That’s partly what makes it such a weird judgement….
There’s some more QM in one of their other films – A silent man? A physics’ teacher’s student tries to explain cheating on his assignments using two contradictory explanations – the teacher questions it – but then cannot refute it due to the syllabus making the contradictions a possibility lol ;).
When challenged for the truth, the student just says: “It’s a mystery”.
If we suggest police corruption and tampering/bribery, what good does that do for prosecution/defense if it cant be proven? We know OP’s entire version is a farce. I personally think the judge must have discredited it entirely and focused on the fact that he fired 4X through a closed door, with deadly ammo, into a small cubicle, changed his aim to ensure a hit. Did actually hit his target 3X and neutralised his perceived threat. He was not under any diminished mental capacity so therefor must have foreseen the possibility of death becomming to the person behind the door. That is clear murder (dolus eventualis, i believe they call it)
But then again he knew it was RS…It only takes listening to his testimony (of events that mostly never happened) to conclude this.
Nel did enough. Its clear murder. As for the verdict, we know an error in law was made.
Why else did he discharge the GUN!!!. Was it to tickle his target? Was he testing the gun? Was the target fleeing? Was it to scare away the intruder? Was the target posing any immenent danger to him? GUNS ARE DESIGNED TO KILL!!! THEY ARE NOT TOYS. Was he justified to use SO MUCH force? Was his life threatened by the intruder? No, no, no and no no no.
The gun was METHODICALLY discharged that many times to KILL. A LISENCED gun owner musnt ALWAYS have accidents with his weapons. He knew why he was shooting, and that was to kill. (and if u know u are shooting to kill thats murder the last time i checked, not CH). Mr OP needs a good 15yrs rehab behind bars to appeciate the wrongfulness of his act, simple.
SORRY but I couldnt resist this copy and paste from wikipedia. Does good in describing Mr OP in the witness stand, though.
A farce is a comedy that aims at entertaining the audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, and thus improbable.Farces are often highly incomprehensible plot-wise (due to the many plot twists and random events that occur), but viewers are encouraged not to try to follow the plot in order to avoid becoming confused and overwhelmed. Farce is also characterized by physical humor, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances. Farces have been written for the stage and film. Furthermore, a farce is also often set in one particular location, where all events occur.
When Oscar Met Reeva, a play in three parts. I am sure this will inspire playwrights throughout the globe.
If OP had done the right thing: turned himself in to the police when he fired a shot at the restaurant, accepting responsibility and whatever punishment was legally merited, including perhaps retraining and suspension of his gun license … as opposed to covering it up and breaking the law which is what he did …
… would he then have been in the position (still carrying guns, still having an evasive attitude to the law, still having a reckless attitude with guns etc) that ultimately led him to shooting to death an innocent woman called Reeva?
Did the breaking of the law at the restaurant (and his cover up) lead to the bigger crime of killing his girlfriend. With further and larger covering up with the creation of re-enactment videos of what could have happened and his brother wiping clean his phone (allegedly), etc etc
With this line of thought and argument would it be reasonable to give Oscar the maximum sentence presently available 5 years + 15 years. I think yes.
It would be wise that judge masipa would add to her sentence :prohibiting OP to have any gun in his possession for as long as possible , especially in light of the fact that he reacted unreasonably and that she found him to have used extreme unecessarry force causing the death of one who counted on him for protection.
I`m pretty sure she doesn’t have to. It would seem logical that if you are convicted of a gun related charge, then you forfeit any rights to own a firearm.
Next week is gonna be very interesting. Is Masipa gonna stand strong with her judgment in light of all the opinions against it?
I feel we`re in for more bitterness and disappointment when she delivers her sentence. A harsh punishment on CH would look like she`s making up for mistaking Dolus Eventualis. I`m guessing about 7 years of which 5 will be suspended, and out a free man this time next year.
Ok so in a book just released by 2 of our south african reporters they claim 2 forensic experts claim that the toilet was flushed just prior to RS being shot.
One of them quoted, our very own roger dixon, says the toilet was flushed and he says this because of the way the blood appears in the toilet bowl, it looks like it was bled into during the final moments of the flush, i looked and it does appear that way.
It wasnt flushed after the shots because all the blood would have been washed away and because there were splinters that were found that would have also been flushed away.
Dixon says the flush was the 3rd startle that caused him to fire.
Both experts say it was never raised as it pokes holes in both state and defence versions.
The state because it proves she did go to the toilet to relieve herself, meaning in all likelyhood there was no fight.
The defence because who in their right mind fires at a flushing toilet and because in his plea he said he heard wood moving, and Nel caught him out correctly on that lie, but it is just to damming for OP to say he heard the toilet flush and he shot as no housebreaker would flush a toilet in a house he had just broken into in the dead of night.
It has no effect on the case, i know, but what do you guys make of this?
If the toilet noise was the flush and Oscar fired immediately that definitely could be determined from an analysis of the blood pattern in the water in the bowl itself and possibly on the sides as well. Thick blood running down the sides of still water would tend to run down the side of the water leaving the central portion clear: slowly there would be mixing but it would be a slow process. This is very interesting,
BUT if Reeva was flushing and OP immediately fired Reeva wouldn’t be right next to the door with her head against the door as if she was listening – I don’t think so anyway. She would be standing up and closer to the toilet than the door.
We`re going around in circles. OP cant be anymore guilty than we already believe he is.
He was just very lucky to have such a soft centered judge, who clearly bought his tears and acts of remorse.
Maybe Masipa just got tired of hearing Nel go on and on and on (correctly of course) about OP avoiding responsibility, that when it came time to apply that finding….
“Why did you shoot?” – Don’t know MiLady
“What noise did you hear” – Not sure MiLady
She just didn’t put two and two together.
It`s all very well her claiming he was nervous on the stand and made mistakes, but this isn’t some flute recital and he`s not 6 years old! If there are two more important points that OP MUST be 100% sure about, it`s these two
The forensic argument hasn’t been cross-examined. The toilet could have had a design which drained slowly, with rivulets of water for many minutes after a flush. Or, Reeva could have tried to pull herself up with the handle as she fell. Or, the very first thing Oscar did could have been to flush the toilet but while Reeva was still bleeding.
I don’t know about the splinters. Depends how many there are and whether they can have fallen out from Reeva’s hair or from Oscar’s arm as he had reached through the splintered frame of the door or whatever else.
Clearly it can’t be the 3rd “startle” since Reeva was facing in the complete opposite direction when Oscar fired. It would be even harder for her to pull the toilet handle given her posture when he fired A, than it would be to disturb the magazine rack. The pattern in the blood is interesting and it would be good if it could be pinned down to a single cause and timing.
Bateman and Wiener are speculating about reasons why the state + defense left out certain arguments, they seem to imply both sides are being evasive, this appears to be one of the angles they are taking in their book. However, it’s possible neither side considered it carefully.
Replying here because it is easier…
Yes but then such an app would have been found on the phone.
The problem really is that the defence tampered with the evidence in the first place. That should have been a huge redflag but police incompetence seems to mean it was not even an issue at trial.
@James. Did anyone even look for such apps? Or scripts? Or configuration settings? Moller’s report wasn’t published.
The point i made previously still applies. The three phone connections during “sleeping” time were 5:02, 5:07, and 5:09 in duration, which you haven’t addressed in your response. Such similar connection lengths suggests an automatic cycle of some kind.
If the same pattern of ~5:00 to 5:10 duration connections is noted on the other nights that week, then it is definitely automated (regardless on whatever Mr. Fossil or anyone else claims about 3G networks, or anything else at all to do with that phone). Agreed?
If, however, there is no such pattern on the other nights, then it is definitely due to a human on that particular night.
It’s a simple test, and one which the state and / or defense would easily be able to see from browsing all the phone data for that week. I’m sure they have the printouts. If that pattern’s there every night, then what on earth is the point of discussing it? It would just be a sheer waste of time. A distraction, caused by Mr. Fossil. lol
There is a ton of reasons why he might want stuff deleted off his phone – basically all and any messages to girls except Reeva; any messages from over-enthusiastic mates/family after the shots offering help to “sort it” (which would look terrible); any other dubious messages, which could pertain to dubious business activities (for which he might receive even more charges). And so forth.
@James. PS See comments to Rita below where she wrote “All this talk is getting ridiculous”. That my impression as well. There has to be a limit and can’t just get stirred up every time someone writes a book lol. You have to go through it all then, decide what’s good in their “new claims”, if anything, and it becomes really tedious. The trial is sealed in aspic now – it’s happened! 99% people made up their minds on his guilt or intruder a loooonnnnggg time ago!!! We just have to try to appreciate it in a holistic way i think. There’s lot of important themes that came to light in the course of it, and that’s the kind of stuff I’m interested in now, not so much the tiny little details on forensics where we always have half the information…can’t be bothered lol. There’s some great material in this trial to ponder but it’s not going to be about his wood splinters or whether the hair clippers was standing up or not, etc. I think i had enough of that now. 🙂
The blood in the toilet occured after the 4th shot to reeva’s head and she fell with her head on the toilet bowl..so how could the toilet water still be going on from before the first shot when she allegedly flushed it? All of this talk is getting really ridiculous…
I agree. I think this case increasingly needs to be seen as simply a reference point for wider themes in society and that’s where the more interesting work lies; books which are attempting to take a narrow view on the details will burn themselves out pretty soon.
I couldn’t agree more, DJ. You should read Restitutio and when it comes out in early November, Transcendence 🙂
I completely agree and blame those two journalists for creating intrigues for the sake of it – particularly in respect of dynamics inside the court room, which i believe have been misrepresented for the purposes of gossip-mongering.
I initially gave some credence to Bateman & Wiener’s remarks that this phone data stuff was kept out of the court room due to some hard bargaining with the spectre of Hilton Botha becoming necessary causing a fearful Nel to suppress his lines of questioning about mobile data. But then thought, that’s not honorable, if the state was in jeopardy of their case collapsing so readily. And willing to argue more weakly to prevent the risk. Then i thought a little more.
If literally the case could collapse from Botha, there was a mechanism for defense to call Botha anyway. Why would they bargain, if they were already in a position to destroy the phone arguments? They can have Botha declared both a defense witness AND a hostile witness – that’s possible. And what’s the connection between Botha and the phone? I don’t think there really IS one. Not a significant one. Particularly given Roux emphasized his points about Botha at length anyway. Suddenly the suggestions Bateman and Wiener has made do not sound particularly realistic.
Almost like they’ve created a negotiation which probably did not take place. Or, certainly not in quite the terms they have expressed it.
Then they did it again! This time, a TOTAL speculation. They claim that “neither defense nor state brought the evidence of the toilet flush because it would have harmed both their cases”. Once again, they’re alleging that the lawyers are being evasive rather than bringing evidence “without fear or favour” to court. Maybe this is how journalists think, in terms of a story, and it may play a greater role for defense advocates, but it’s probably not how Nel thinks.
Their perspective assumes “fear or favour” rule is something the prosecution lawyer barely pays more than a lip service to. I think they have the ethics muddled up there and it’s unlikely to be a guiding principle for Nel. If it were, he would be a very unethical prosecutor – and that doesn’t match his reputation. So i don’t really like how they’re interpreting MADE UP theories (about the timing of the flush) as a symptom of lots of “behind the scenes” bargaining and trickery by both sides.
Such negotiations might perhaps apply more to their world – tabloid journalism – than court.
@Rita. PS. What was contested, Nel described as contested: So his heads states “The shots occurred after 3am. There were screams – by whom is disputed”. Where Nel writes with passion is in relation to the fans, tailoring, “no blame”, and the fundamental flaw of 2 defenses, the gastric contents, and so forth. That’s the stuff he really believes in. That’s what’s meant by “without fear of favour”.
Bateman and Wiener seem to be saying something different to this, where you actually need to be cagey and devious while trying to convince a judge of a defendant’s guilt. I really hope that’s not an accurate reflection but from my observations I don’t think it is at all. I think at most Nel got tied in knots with “strong” evidence (screams) that turned out to be “wrong” evidence. He pretty much capitulated with his timeline in closing arguments anyway, and was widely criticized for that; but it’s a reflection of his ethics in my view.
One would form quite a different impression if you were to imagine his goal was simply to stitch Oscar up by whatever means were available. This “toilet flush” stuff shows how the authors of the book are thinking, but i’m sure they have that wrong. A toilet flush would have benefited Nel – Reeva was supposedly in the cubicle for 5 mins or so anyway, so why might she not? And it’s a loud sound…no disadvantages to the state from this proposition at all.
And, as you rightly point out, it doesn’t really make sense anyway.
For once I agree with you, Rita
Nothing constructive seems to be coming out of this except bitterness and petty observations.
OP`s phone being activated at 1:48am is interesting but largely insignificant as it`s too easily explained away. I`m sure if Nel asked OP if Reeva knew his pass code, the answer would be, yes. So now we have to consider Reeva waking up and turning it on.
Would it really make any difference to anyone if Carl was thrown into prison for 1000 years for destroying evidence? It goes nowhere near explaining the events of the night, as he could of been deleting totally unrelated text messages, and I don’t see how his conviction would bring the Steemkamps any closure at all anyway.
I think a few of you need to start getting used to the fact that, as unpalatable as it is, OP will not be retried for Reeva`s murder
‘OP`s phone being activated at 1:48am is interesting but largely insignificant as it`s too easily explained away. I`m sure if Nel asked OP if Reeva knew his pass code, the answer would be, yes. So now we have to consider Reeva waking up and turning it on.’
Ouch! It would be worse if Reeva was the one accessing it. Given the “loud female” 8 minutes later.
Most likely reason it wasn’t questioned is because “the phone did it”. IMO.
@Juror13. Yes I should – and I will! 🙂
Getting ridiculous indeed. Why would a toilet flush startle him like he doesnt know what that would sound like. He is not a caveman. Naturally I would expect its someone Im living with. Its ok for pple to use the loo at that hour, that shouldnt startle him. Its unusual for pple to open windows at 3am, so the window startle is not surprising. Why would an intruder enter, lock themselves in the bathroom then flush? Why wudnt he think its just RS? Give OP some credit. There is quite alot of intelligence in his absurdity. RS pants were shot through as well in the hip shot. This shot must have occured when she was closer to the door than the toilet. The last shot must have been the head shot that got her head resting on the toilet and silenced her.
If he had been a caveman, I’d be completely ok with his “culpable homicide” conviction as it would be reasonable to assume he only figured out what the gun would do after firing the first couple of bullets and then managed to stop himself… 😉
Van der Nest report:
Click to access SpatterVanderNest.pdf
You’ll see it refers to Oscar’s bail affidavit sections 16:13 – 16:17 as the “most probable” explanation for the patterns.
That section describes how Oscar first fires through the door, then subsequently breaks through after some time, then carries her downstairs.
The significance for blood pools is there needs to be a time delay to explain why the vast majority of major bleeding took place in the toilet. If he had moved reeva quickly after shooting, the bathroom would have had large pools of blood as well. You need the time delay between shots and moving her to explain why there is no “major” blood pool in the bathroom.
In any event – this is another line of forensics which was not challenged and on the face of it supports the “shots – Oscar crying out – bats” order of events. There are so many!
This helps to better understand the constraints under which the judging panel was operating, in terms of the documents before them.
Oh great thanks!
The body was “dragged” out of the toilet – consistent with the drag marks on the floor.
We know OP lied about this already from his video reconstruction where he was only able to pick up “reeva” with her clinging around his neck.
So in other words he never went in to the toilet and hugged reeva then carrying her out.
He just dragged her out.
No worries. There’s a steady stream of reports appearing on websleuths. Makes for interesting reading.
Apologies if my replies sound a bit curt at times – it’s only if you make very certain sounding statements lol. Being a person that is always consumed by scepticism i tend to react to that. But it’s nothing personal. 🙂
Also 5.3 proves the heart was beating at the time she was carried downstairs – this cannot have been 5mins+ later given she stopped breathing within seconds.
As per David Hartopp – on OPs own testimony he broke in within a couple of mins and moved her downstairs after dragging her out.
Van der Nest retracted his own remark about “arterial spurts” in the bedroom when Roux asked him if it could have been droplets flicked from Oscar’s hand. No proof, sorry.
P.S. The heart can carry on beating for over 5 mins after breathing stops. However not much more than that. There is minimal blood anywhere outside of the bathroom, with the vast majority in the toilet. Active arteries would be spraying more continuous patterns onto walls. I think there is ONE visual to support that, though not in VdN’s report – an S-shape on the staircase wall. But it’s faint, the volume of blood minimal. Given her long hair, matted in blood, as the body is swung and jolted while being carried, it’s clearly not strong enough to support a claim she was still alive then.
Try flicking paint of end of a paint brush, you can make some interesting patterns on the walls and it’s not due to arteries…
Note the characteristic S-shape of the arterial paint spurt in pink on the extreme left of the canvas. 🙂
REASON WHY THE PANEL WAS LENIENT (PROBABLY):
Imagine trying to prove person A murdered person B in April when they already admitted to killing person B in May (though say it was more innocent).
There are some witnesses that claim they saw it happen, murderously, in April; but others that say they saw it happen, more innocently, in May.
Crucially, nearly all the forensic evidence supports the story it happened in May. Even the state’s own investigations lead to this conclusion.
But the state persists to try and prove a murder occurred in April, when it didn’t. They leave numerous questions unanswered and barely contest any of the counterarguments.
Leaving the judge no option but to conclude: The April theory is completely wrong – and those persuasive sounding witnesses? they have really got the wrong end of the stick. What’s the judge going to do at the end of that??? There’s still the killing the May to consider, but most of her time has been wasted trying to figure out if it was April or May when the killing happened.
Would you expect such a judge to come down particularly hard on the defendant in relation to his admitted killing in May? Or by and large accept his version of events.
Too many if, buts and maybe’s. As I have always said, lets focus on WHY he charged into the bathroom and shot through a closed/lock door 4X.! And also why it never clicked in his head to locate RS prior stomping to the bathroom. We can analyse as much as we like but the reality is his version likely never happened, he lied many a times and was very evasive. At the end of it all, he has no acceptable legal reason for killing. He murdered and now we are being taken for a ride, confusing ourselves with the many possibilities why he did what he did.
They argued, he got furious beyond control, she threatened to call police, and thats why she was shot to death by Mr OP. He is a trigger happy chappy and never thought of the seriousness of his actions till she was dead. After that he regrets, thats after reality hit home. A very lucky chappy to have a linient judge, otherwise, its really MURDER premeditated in a few seconds.
That’s a very likely interpretation of these events.
I have a view about his guilt, but most of the key material, I wouldn’t have argued the same way to the state. yes, the 2 defences and when Nel touched upon having his back turned to cover the LED, that would be common ground. Similarly the B to E path is important. And I would have emphasized the “Get the Fuck outta my house” shout as well. But the rest of it, is almost nothing in common.
I’m just a bit bemused by some of the twists and turns that were taken in this trial, which has left a rather strange impression of a defendant that refused to co-operate, by not providing a clear account of their actions, but this was accepted by a court on some level as “ok”. I agree Masipa & co. have been taken for a ride in that sense viz. 2 defences.
But they were definitely entitled to be puzzled by some of the state’s arguments as well. E.g. He was on stumps when firing + they might have rowed downstairs (this fits with alarm being off, gastric contents, voice heard at Mrs. Van der Merwe…). So what, he went downstairs on his stumps before? Or took them off specifically to shoot? It doesn’t even sound reasonably possible.
Absolutely there are major major problems with Pistorius’s credibility but surely we can’t tolerate any old crap serving as an argument to sling people into prison? The price of that would be too high. No thanks!
P.S. The panel lost credibility for me when they entertained the notion of defending yourself against a movement you heard behind a door.
A mate of Oscar’s, very old interview, someone from Silverwoods:
Shots at 3:08?
“Ouch! It would be worse if Reeva was the one accessing it. Given the “loud female” 8 minutes later. ”
You`re simply building a picture you cannot prove. This doesn’t mean OP was awake.
@miktal. If you’ll read my posts, I’ve suggested the phone was running an automatic cycle as it connected 3 times for 5:02, 5:07, 5:09 to the 3G network during the night. It seems unlikely a human would keep on linking up for almost exactly 5 minutes.
If anything you are building a picture by saying “If you asked Oscar if Reeva knew his passcode, the answer would probably be yes.”
Don’t be a hypocrite! 😉
So what is such an App that can establish a 3G connection by itself?
Remember we are talking about a phone not connected to the networks – not just that data was switched off.
1. The phone was off OR
2. The phone was on but in airplane mode OR
3. The phone was out of coverage but reappeared for a few mins at a time
So lets rule out 1 (requires human) and 3 – unlikely.
So far I cannot find any obvious app that can establish its own 3G connection from airplane mode.
And even if there was such an app – wouldn’t it connect at routine intervals?
It could be an app, it could be the operating system, it could be an obscure configuration setting…
This is my sole reason for thinking it’s automatic, these timings are almost the same, 3 connections, then disconnections, from 3G network, between 10pm and 3am.
It’s just too much coincidence. There’s nothing to be gained from the pattern unless someone such as a policeman would publicize the data from other nights that week. If they did that, then we can talk about it. Either these 5 minute connections happen every night, or they don’t. If they happened every night, it’s automatic. If they only happened that morning, then it’s human, but a strange coincidence.
If they happened every night, it would explain why no one asked any questions about it in the court room.
This isn’t the same phenomenon but it’s the same type of thing:
I-phone 4 automatically toggling between wi-fi and 3G. Causing people to be puzzled as to why it does that. Only at intervals of a few seconds instead of hours, then 5 minutes.
I was just imagining there could be a power saving state which might cause a phone to disconnect from 3G at most times and then “boot up” that function in order to gather data for a 5 minute period – enough time to collect any messages – and then go quiet again?
Airplane mode isn’t the only “unusual” mode a smartphone can be placed in. There is a variety of possible “idle” or “out of range” or “power save” states i’m sure.
And who honestly normally runs Moller’s software on their smartphone to extract all this type of data for a complete system log on all it’s connection activities? It would not show up on your bills.
Just have a look at system log for a desktop computer, despite being left idle, it periodically comes to life, runs a bunch of stuff, and then goes back into stasis.
Anyway, the short answer is – I don’t know if that 1:48 connection is human or automatic. If it was the only connection that morning i’d say human. As there’s another 3 of them, almost exactly the same length, i’m putting my money on automatic. If we had the rest of the week’s data we would know the answer.
If i get round to it i will email someone that might know the answer.
It isn’t the same type of thing.
There as no WIFI at the house.
If it were an App – we’d expect it to connect on a regular schedule – not with random gaps.
What can initiate a random series of connections?
Answer – a human
It is most likely those are human initiated.
You are inventing an app for which there is no evidence.
Another powerful piece of circumstantial evidence that OP was awake.
And epic fail from Moller.
Also – when a phone toggles from the WIFI connection to the data connection – there was already a 3G connection in place
The phone prefers to take the data over WIFI – but can fall back on 3G depending on your settings AND if their is a 3G connection in place.
If your WIFI data connection fails, your phone does not switch on your 3G
I feel you still have not understood the difference between a mere connection to the 3G tower, and actual data transfer.
OPs phone was not connected to the tower.
This means it was
1. Switched off OR
2. In airplane mode
To come out of airplane mode on an irregular schedule implies a human.
Other explanations are in the realms of possibility but highly unlikely – especially because such an APP would have to have been installed on the phone.
@James. Yeah I take the argument but i still don’t understand why there were 3 connections almost exactly the same length, almost to the nearest second: 5:02, 5:07, 5:09. That just looks automated to me, i can’t say it any other way, so remain unconvinced. There’s no requirement for a regular schedule either – check out the system log on your computer, if you left it ideal for several hours, it would periodically have bursts of activity, but not at precise intervals. The problem with these devices is they are very complicated. What i would need to be convinced is to see the data on the other nights to see if it looks just the same…in the meantime maybe someone could do a data extraction using the same software to Moller on their own i-phone and see what pretty patterns shows up if any.
@James. sorry if you left it idle – not ideal. 🙂
@James. No wi-fi at the house? Are you sure. That seems pretty unlikely.
@James. OK – i finally decided what might be happening (guess). “No network signal” is a translation of a code in the phone’s system log which actually simply means: “IDLE”. So actually “3G connection” really DOES mean “transferring data”. “No network connection is nothing but a misnomer, resulting from the software, which does not understand the phone system log for i-phone OS 5, or alternatively, the system log is displaying an unhelpful code to indicate the event of going back into idle mode.
Take a look at any call during the day which has a period of just a 3G connection around it, for example:
18:47:59 to 18:48:35. Call to Carl.
18:47:40 to 18:48:57 3G connection
The pattern’s always the same. The phone is “connected to 3G” for around 15 – 20 secs before the call begins, and for about 10-22 secs after the call ends.
Doesn’t that seem pretty much like:
(a) picking up your phone so screen goes active again
(b) beginning to find contact, then dial – which is when call starts.
(c) call ends
(d) short delay and then it’s back on idle.
How are you going explain this pattern in terms of the 3G network itself?
Is it just a coincidence Oscar keeps on picking up a signal around 15-20 seconds before he decides to phone, and losing his signal 10-22 seconds after he finishes? That seems pretty unlikely.
You would assume the 3G on/off patterns during the day were just due to patchy signal, right? But can’t keep on happening around his phone calls like that…”idle” makes more sense.
Yeah ok it could be aeroplane mode (being British lol). Maybe he flicks it on shortly before making calls and back off shortly after. That also seems unlikely. Particularly as there are other random 3G connections on and off during the day.
Nah, i think it means “idle”. If that’s the case then nothing to prevent an APP from running a scheduled request to gather it’s data at night – not a special magic app – a completely normal one, like Line or Whatsapp or… – and it checks “is there wi-fi?” concludes “no, it’s off” so then goes to 3G, links up for 5 min to give the online server a chance to hunt for messages, and then winds down again.
OK, so i’m questioning the lack of 3G connection now, during the periods which say “no network signal”.
Note that Reeva’s phone is i-phone OS 4 so the system log may be interpreted/translated slightly differently by each of the various software extraction tools.
I think that step might be the weak link here.
And yep i know i’m speculating there: that the data extraction tool interprets the code for “idle” as “no network” … but it makes more sense of the fact there are fixed time interval connections of almost exactly 5 minutes, 3 times, something a human would be unlikely to do by chance. It really would be unlikely!
This also would explain – if it’s true – why it was not addressed in court. Because Nel and Moller could see the same pattern every single night…always 5 minutes. If they saw that, they definitely wouldn’t raise it in court as it would be due to scheduled retrieval of data.
There are many possible causes for such behaviors where an app does something while the phone is idle, and hence begins to drive a cellular data download (or upload) e.g.
You would have to carefully observe the system activities to identify the cause.
Another option is Oscar was watching a 5 minute video and watched it 3 times. lol. 🙂
BTW just to clear up some confusion. Whatever the word “proof” actually means, and that’s debatable, not every statement pertaining to an alleged crime needs to be “proven” in a court. Only those which are strictly necessary to “prove” each element of the crime – the actions, and the intentions – “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The rest of building a “case” allows more free reign at times for the imagination.
Suppose you have a STRONG case person A murdered B (from other arguments) but you are not entirely clear on the motive (because no one else was there, and this person A has not confessed). This happens ALL THE TIME in circumstantial case. What the prosecutor will do is weave together bits and pieces from their case and make a picture of how the murder MIGHT have happened – and why. There will be stuff in that picture that is NOT to prove the murder but simply to show it is POSSIBLE or PLAUSIBLE.
It would be ridiculous to get so hung up on things you are trying to “prove” that you forget to mention that the crime is possible, plausible, believable, of that person, or between that couple, etc. This is an important thing and contributes to the NARRATIVE of a criminal case.
So in other words: There’s nothing wrong with using your imagination! In fact if the police DON’T do that it would be one reason why they FAIL to solve cases!
The only things which have to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” are the elements necessary for the offense itself = action + intention of the crime. The rest of a case, can definitely be about making pictures as you would want to show your case was credible (in terms of what might have happened, and why…).
No point proving a case which no one can understand or believe actually took place? Make sense???
Individual facts of the case relating to actus reus and mens rea of the to offence actually don’t have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Beyond reasonable doubt is the overall burden of proof in the case.
So there might be ten circumstantial pieces of evidence which together create proof of reasonable doubt.
But the prosecution does not have to prove each piece of evidence beyond reasonable doubt.
Instead usually the Court just asks itself what facts have been shown or what facts does it accept.
This is why OPs version should not have been accepted – as there was no reliable evidence of it.
@James.I think we’re at cross-purposes. When i wrote ‘Only those which are strictly necessary to “prove” each element of the crime’ i wasn’t talking about the special facts of the case, but rather the elements in the definition of the crime for which the person is charged.
For example in English Common Law to prove “murder” you must prove 5 elements – and each element needs to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
3. Of a human
4. by another human
5. with malice.
The building of the case might be a lot of arguments to show for example that the defendant IS the culprit  or that it WAS NOT self-defense  or that the killing was in one of the states of mind making it malicious (the very contentious issue in Oscar’s case).
And yes, then we’re into the facts of the matter, and individual facts does not need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, but only the case as a whole. Some of a case can simply be showing such & such actions were plausible. Doesn’t have to prove every little detail. Completely right/agree!
I don’t think Oscar would give out his passcode to Reeva at such an early stage in relationship – if ever. He didn’t know hers. And even if she knew his, if she was going round his side of the bed, picking up his phone, and browsing it for 5 minutes while he was sleeping, it could only be because she wanted to check stuff on in, since she had her own phone, so why would she access his?
To quote from, A few Good Men & Training Day….
“It doesn’t matter what you think, it only matters what you can prove”
If OP says he did give her the pass-code, no one cant prove otherwise. The evidence was too easy to dismiss and I`m guessing this is why Nel didn’t pursuit it.
@Miktal. Yeah but what i was remarking upon was that Reeva going into Oscar’s phone for 5 minutes at that time while he was asleep would be strange, since she had her own phone. Why would she wish to use his? While he is asleep? that could almost be considered snooping. And what often happens when partners browses one another’s private devices/emails? They discover stuff not intended for them which causes arguments. It would become quite a credible cause for them rowing 8 minutes later. So i daresay Oscar would NOT have defended himself by alluding to the possibility of Reeva using his phone (not once, but THREE times, after he fell asleep – why is she obsessed with his phone???). She had her own phone so the behavior would be strange.
Anyway whichever of Oscar or Reeva it was, Nel spent enough time to work on gastric contents to prove she was awake, why would he just discard another piece of information for one or other of them being awake?
I still think it’s automated. I can’t explain how, perhaps due to lack of technical knowledge, but that’s what i think.
@Miktal. Just read something v. funny you wrote:
“It`s all very well her claiming he was nervous on the stand and made mistakes, but this isn’t some flute recital and he`s not 6 years old!”
Love that. LOL.
I agree about going round in circles. Under no illusions this is just theoretical chat as the real trial took a course already!!! I never put much faith in authorities to get things right so was totally unsurprised by the trial errors or the verdict.
I’m like that pessimistic mathematician in Jurassic Park lol, the one that assumes from the word go things will not go as planned. 😉
On that note, next project = epidemiology modelling to figure out some “probabilities” on Ebola going global. I don’t trust others information!!! It could be “Roger Dixon” advising the Pentagon for all we know. LOL. When you’ve got a computer and a bit of spare time it’s amazing what you can discover!
Hope the Oscar trial discussions do not pale into insignificance on account of world events… 😉
Ill be very surprised if OP gets jail time and from what i heard today from his manager he has every intention to start athletics again.
Just like nothing happened, only a bit poorer.