What does Oscar have to do with Jodi?

ariasI’ve been getting this question a lot this week. So appropriately, I’ll use the words of Jodi when I say… the simple answer is Mendacity.  They’re not who we think they are.

Is there any connection whatsoever to the lying, manipulating deviant that is Jodi Arias, and the once beloved athlete, Oscar Pistorius?  Jodi was found guilty of First Degree Murder. Oscar was found guilty of Culpable Homicide, even though he was charged with Murder.  There is a world of difference between the two.  The state in Oscar’s case has been granted leave to appeal based on an error in law committed by the Judge. The state will continue their pursuit of the original Murder charge.  Jodi remains on trial in a penalty phase, waiting to see if she’ll get life or death.

Is it possible these two crimes, these two criminals, one male, one female, separated by more than 16 000 km are made of the same stuff?

Can we find any similarity between the relationships of these two couples? Is there a match between the modus operandi of both crimes and both criminals?   What comparisons can we draw, and what insights do we gain from drawing them?

OP measurements2


The Jodi Arias case provides a dark mirror for the Oscar trial, and by implication, for ourselves. The sex, and religion, the borderline personality disorder and the mendacity underlying this case are several orders of magnitude greater than in the Oscar trial. But if Oscar manipulated us with his tears, if he came with several versions of his defense; Jodi made Oscar’s performance seem like a kindergarten dress rehearsal for her own.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a true crime junkie, and if you’re a true crime junkie then there’s surely been a time when you looked at a criminal and thought – how did they end up like this? How does somebody kill? Doesn’t it make sense then, we should be aware of the commonalities that exist in their minds as well as their motives. They’re not cultivated and motivated on their own. There’s a driving force behind their actions and the more we understand them, the more we understand ourselves.

To read more about the connection between the killers… check out Audacity

And if Oscar piques your interest… try one of these.




The Journey to 8Restoration


Hidden behind monsters and walls of steel, lie treasure.

All of it within us, all of it created by us.

Breathless joy and crippling pain.

One does not exist without the other.  One can never grow without the other.

But what happens when our expectations of joy fall short?

What happens when the sting of pain festers too deep?

Do we erect a prison, safe within our walls, and wait for somebody to show up with a key?

Or do we close our umbrellas and dance in the rain?

Find a sword and face the dragon?

The journey to 8Restoration is not a carefully plotted trip to a far away land.  The path is not always clear or free of debris.  It’s a trek much closer to home; one that spans the terrain of our own minds.

And the answers you seek about Oscar and Reeva… They do not exist in a bathroom at 3am.  They do not exist in a fifteen minute window of time.  They exist over years, in the dark corners that nobody has addressed… that nobody wanted to see… nobody until now.   This journey to 8Restoration will open your eyes, make you pay attention and make you question everything you think you know.

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

8Restoration is available on Amazon… here



Defense Team #B$

defense team

“As far as I could see people were always conning each other to get what they wanted. We even con ourselves. We talk ourselves into things, you know, we sell ourselves things. When we don’t even need or want, you know, we’re dressing ’em up. We leave out the risk, we leave out the ugly truth.” – Irving Rosenfeld, American Hustle

I want to hear from all of you…

What were the most notable bullshit moments from Oscar’s defense team during trial? 

Here are a few from my list:

1. Oscar screams like a woman. 

2.  Roux comparing Oscar to an abused woman in his closing.

3.  Oscar had Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). 

4.  Dixon, the Geologist. 

5.  Double Taps. 

Ok go… 





Who Called the Ambulance… and When?

crime_1The Oscar Trial never disappoints with mysteries to unravel!

Let me know your theories and thoughts…

Who’s telling the truth?

Who’s lying?  And why?





Dr. Stipp went back outside (after examining Reeva) and asked Stander if the ambulance was on their way. Stander said no, he hadn’t called them yet so Stipp called the Wilgers Hospital emergency department and asked them to send an ambulance. They told him he had to call an emergency number directly, not them.  So Stander then dialed Netcare and handed his phone to Stipp who spoke to the dispatcher.  Stipp described the nature of Reeva’s injuries to them.



Stander states that while he was outside, shortly after arriving at OP’s, Dr. Stipp arrived. He introduced himself as Johan and stated that he was a medical doctor. Stander says that he asked Stipp to go inside and see if he could assist. He also asked Stipp for the number to an ambulance because he couldn’t get a hold of them. Stipp gave him the number 082911. Stander then phoned 082911 and managed to get through.

While he was speaking on the phone (he indicates for several minutes), Stipp came back out. Stander states he said to Stipp he was having a hard time explaining to the dispatcher how to get to the house, so he handed the phone to Stipp who then spoke with the dispatcher.

[NOTE:  On cross examination, Nel wants to know what they (Stander & Stipp) discussed. Did they discuss the injuries? Stander says no, Stipp just told him that she had a fatal head wound but he did not discuss any of the other injuries with him.  Nel asks him if Oscar or anybody else told him how many wounds she sustained. Stander says no. Nel then asks, “not even your daughter?” Stander pauses, then answers, “I can’t recall.”  But wasn’t Stander with Stipp when Stipp detailed Reeva’s injuries for the ambulance dispatcher?



Oscar said “just take my car, put her in the car.” Carice said no, just put her down. So he placed Reeva on the ground.   At that moment, Carice’s Dad stepped outside to call the ambulance.  This was within moments of them arriving.

A few minutes later, Carice told Oscar that a doctor had arrived. She claims they were both relieved. Stipp walked in and Carice went back outside with her Dad who was still calling the ambulance. So at this point, just Stipp and Oscar were inside with Reeva, and Carice and Johan are outside on the phone.  Carice testifies that when she was outside with her Dad, she also spoke with the dispatcher.  Why?  How long does it take, and how many people does it take, to request an ambulance?

After examining Reeva, Stipp went back outside and Carice went back inside. They passed each other at the doorway. Carice said Stipp wasn’t in there very long.  Upon coming out, he stated, “it’s very bad.”



Oscar came down the stairs carrying Reeva in his arms. Baba was very shocked by what he was seeing that he couldn’t think for a few moments. How could everything be “fine” when Oscar was carrying a bleeding woman down the stairs? When Johan Stander said “OSCAR”, Baba snapped out of his shock.

At this point, Stander told Baba to go call police and the ambulance. He also gave the guards instructions to make sure that no cars were parked at Oscar’s house. Baba then left to go make the phone calls. He also called the control room office and informed the manager of what was happening. Baba never went in the house that night. He does confirm though that the lights were on inside the house.


Oscar Pistorius shooting

Police vehicles are parked outside the home of South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria




Review of #RS

The RS of the title of this book stands for Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old South African model and law graduate, shot dead by her new boyfriend, Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius. He is currently in jail, serving a five-year sentence for killing her which could see him released in less than half that time. Prosecutors are appealing.

Readers should be aware that it’s the seventh in a series of e-books on the crime and subsequent trial, and a certain amount of foreknowledge is presumed. Those looking for a straightforward, basic explanation of how, when and why Reeva Steenkamp was killed, might be advised to start with some background reading.

Even if readers are already familiar with the case, they should be prepared to go on an unpredictable journey that reaches to the stars and moon, and back. The book is a lesson in freedom, and freedom takes a wandering and often complicated path. ‘It’s complicated’ is a phrase repeated several times in the narrative, and it applies to the way this book sets out to tell of Reeva Steenkamp, as well as of the world which made her and ultimately took her away. The black hole her killing created truly is complicated; Reeva could not escape it, but it absorbed all around it and continued to grow until its mass was felt by much of the world.


The collapsed, darkened star of Reeva Steenkamp drew the world in to share her darkness and in doing so, brought in the light of freedom.  With her death, and the ending of her life, Reeva was also set free. No person in the world can catch, harm, hold or control her. Nobody can trample her dreams – or make them come true. Nothing on earth can touch her. Perhaps Reeva might put up her thumb somewhere up there, as Neil Armstrong once did, and blot out the tiny star that is earth and its teeming humanity, if its light should ever pain her ageless eyes…

Read the rest of the review… here

Visit the findbobharrod Twitter page… here




An Open Letter to Arnold Pistorius and Family

Pistorius family

On October 21st, after Judge Masipa let the world know that 5 years would be a sufficient punishment for the loss of Reeva’s life, Uncle Arnold let the world know that on behalf of his family, he would “address us for the last time”.

How do we feel about their statement?…

Judgejudi, a great friend in justice on the Websleuths forum, has heard his message and felt compelled to share her own…


We the people of South Africa and people of the world did not accept the court’s judgement. The State is now appealing Oscar’s conviction and sentence. Accept this as fact. We embrace this opportunity for justice to not only be done but seen to be done. Accept that the court of appeal will not be influenced by the crying, vomiting and general histrionics demonstrated by Oscar in the court a quo.

You complained that the trial was being televised. This decision was made by a judge who said, “Court proceedings are in fact public and this objective must be recognized”. The defence legal team fiercely opposed it, saying it would infringe on Oscar’s right and distort proceedings, yet they failed to appeal the judge’s ruling. You and your family reveled in the media attention when he was a famous athlete. He courted the media in order to gain hugely lucrative sponsorships. Celebrities use every opportunity to use the media for financial gains, but that comes at a price and that price is privacy. Once he fell from grace, you emphatically denied every article relating to his misdeeds. Unfortunately, you can’t run with the fox and hunt with the hounds.

You asked the media and public to accept Judge Masipa’s judgement. Perhaps you will be gracious enough to accept another court’s findings.
This has been an incredibly hard and painful process for everyone, the Steenkamp family, your family, the people of South Africa and the general public worldwide. It is now time for Oscar to embrace this opportunity to pay back to society.

We are all emotionally drained. The case that was originally set down for 3 weeks has dragged out for 7 months due to the mendacity, deceitfulness and snowball of lies told by Oscar coupled with virtually all the defence witnesses who were either biased, grossly incompetent or in fact not experts at all.

You criticised the State for trying to find Oscar guilty of premeditated murder and the collateral damage caused by that persistence. The State was endeavouring to find the truth and prove that he was guilty of murder. The “collateral damage” as you call it, was due to his persistence in lying and changing his version several times.

One of the most distressful parts for Reeva’s family and the public throughout this whole trial was the refusal by Oscar and the defence to be truthful, honest and transparent with the court.

We too hope that Oscar will start his own healing process. Now he’s unable to yield to temptation and recklessness, perhaps as a family you can support and guide him as he serves his sentence.

You live in the Rainbow Nation, and somewhere over the rainbow dreams really can come true. If this is so, justice will prevail not only for Reeva but for all the women of South Africa.



Excerpt from Transcendence


Earlier this week, Nick van der Leek and I recorded a Skype conversation in which we discussed our motivations for writing the ebook, TRANSCENDENCE. This is the 6th ebook in the Oscar murder trial series.


Four months ago, what initially began as trial conversation between the two of us grew in to a much deeper examination of what is happening to the world around us, and how injustices have affected our own personal lives… and we were angry. Just like many of you have become angered by the outcome of this trial.

This book, as well as the next two, are not intended to be a summary of the court case. Instead, they are heartfelt conversations about what we have lost and what we have gained along the way. We hope that you will share in this journey with us. To listen to our audio, click here:


We’d also like to offer an excerpt from the book. This chapter is titled 8 Perplexing Perspectives. In this passage, Nick is discussing his feelings about the suggestion (during the sentencing hearing) that Oscar should receive community service at the local museum:

In September, during an interview I gave with JacarandaFM, and on a few occasions in RESURRECTION and REVELATIONS, I’ve pointed out how mendacity leads to inversions of a narrative. I mentioned that Reeva’s screams become Oscar’s, Reeva’s voice also becomes Oscar’s, light turns to darkness, and perpetrator becomes victim. Instead of the criminal being the criminal, the policeman (Botha) is the real villain. He shot Reeva, not Oscar. Or it’s the media’s fault. Or it’s a disorder. Or it’s a muddle of versions.

Or it’s nothing more than Mendacity.

The natural end to these inversions must be that when it comes to sentencing, if the judge has dug herself a hole (and in our view she has), then she must see these inversions through to their logical end.

What would be more ironic than sentencing Oscar to a few hours a month cleaning the floors of a museum which still carries the old name of the Apartheid Province – the Transvaal Museum? And perhaps in cleaning the grime and dust from the floor, might see himself reflected, carrying Reeva, seeing her blood drip again and again on every wiped surface. No matter how many times he cleans those surfaces, the blood stains remain. Why? Because in court, did he ever really take responsibility for his disgraceful act?

Was his responsibility ever right, in the sense of sincere, and true? They say the walls talk, but so can the floor, and the weight of one’s own shadow and reflection under one’s feet.

So what may seem a shockingly inappropriate sentence, may, in the scheme of things, and in a specific sense, be wholly appropriate. I do not mean to suggest, even for a moment, that Reeva’s life and the horrific loss of it can be measured against a few sessions of mopping the floor. Obviously it cannot, and obviously nothing but the maximum sentence (45 years) would do the loss of her life real justice.

But when I see the Olympic champion, darling of the world’s media, symbol of hope, hero to the all, grounded to a dirty floor, mopping it up, even for a day, I see a bottom to his fall. And perhaps a bottom from which he will never fully arise again.

It is difficult to imagine, someone with the sense of entitlement and prestige of Oscar (his name itself feels puffed up, and strutting like a penguin) reduced to the vocations of South Africa’s lowliest employed citizens. The domestic workers. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. Washing dishes. Cleaning up the scum and picking up the offal left by white collar workers on their way through the mezzanine level… I know exactly what’s it’s like because when I was 26/27 I worked for about 6 months as a kitchen porter – basically at a minimum wage – in the kitchens of Berkshire, England, during my sojourn in Maidenhead [circa 1998].

More likely, Oscar himself will find this more difficult than his days in court.

In short, all these fucked up inversions will reach their bottom here, and perhaps then for the first time, Oscar may begin to feel our outrage. He may also feel his own outrage, the outrage that led to the events of 14 February 2013, rising undiluted through his marrows once more. He will have to stand there and sweep them, day by day, through the carpet-less halls of a museum that might as well be a mausoleum to all of history’s injustices.

Oscar, even for a limited time, might be the custodian, the janitor, of that. A man who spreads films of water over the footprints and dusty residues of others, and erases them. A man who takes films of clear water, and soap, and collects the grime of society into a bucket. And then watches his floor fill up with more prints, more dust…

Sheer prison time, where one must face the cement walls in quiet contemplation of one’s vile acts (and perhaps, one’s vile self) also seems wholly appropriate. A harsh punishment for what appears now to have been brutal, pitiless, self-reinforcing behavior.

Nel was also at pains to stress today that Hartzenberg may be more than a little biased in her assessment of a wholly remorseful Oscar.

“Is a person involved in a court case, a serious court case…serious and remorseful…when on his own version he became intoxicated…involved in an altercation…during the course of the trial.” Nel asked Hartzenberg words to this effect.

I was also gratified to see Nel using my own aspersion – that culpable homicide is typically the lot of reckless drivers. Nel used this as his example, to differentiate the intent of a driver recklessly or accidentally hitting someone, in the randomness of a road environment, compared to a person arming himself in the confines of his own home, with a weapon that he has received weapons training on (including how to use it to deadly effect on a firing range) approaching danger and then firing it (for all intents and purposes) successfully.

And the answer is, well, if one is taking one’s own culpability seriously, one will make an absolute effort to control one’s conduct. Of course, if the crime was committed out of a sense of entitlement, and needing to perpetuate one’s selfish whims, then going clubbing and misbehaving in the middle of one’s own criminal trial (in which one denies culpability) fits perfectly.

So what is it that we, society want?

Do we wish to put Oscar behind the same door, and take turns firing shots through it until he is dead? We could do that, but that would make us no less barbaric than the criminal. In another age he might have been tied to the door and strung up.

Of course, we’re a far more civilized society. We forgive our murderers, and rapists. We do not deny them the right to murder and rape our fellow citizens once more. We respect their rights and entitlements to be rehabilitated, and criminals (both in and out of jail) also respect and admire us for our absolutely fucked up system. You want to be a victim? You want us to be the wolves, and you the helpless sheep, well then ignore and forget what we do, and forgive us our trespasses so we can do it again.

Revenge may be uncivilized, but we live in an uncivilized society. Why is it that Muslim countries like Malaysia and have such exceedingly low crime rates? Because there are real consequences to crimes. You steal, your hand gets cuts off. It works. In South Africa, you murder, and you get a slap on the wrist. It doesn’t work.

Retribution is quite different. Ulrich Roux mentioned tonight (on the Oscar Trial Channel) that crime hurts, but restorative justice heals. Retribution is when the mythic scales of justice in the sky are basically rehung and rebalanced accordingly. It may be a combination of money, community service, and jail time, but whatever the mix, there is a combination that may feel appropriate. In my opinion, and I hope I am not a little wrong, but very wrong, Masipa will misapply the retribution aspect as well. House arrest, and community service.

The alternative, sending Oscar to jail, is abhorrent. Because it would be dooming him. Well, it is no different to what Oscar did to Reeva, and at least in theory, it is the least Oscar could (and should do). Many on social media (and myself included) feel Oscar deserves the harshest possible sentence. And yet the court appears to be leaning in the opposite direction – to find excuses for the most lenient possible sentence.

The great error here (if it is an error, and the odds are that this ‘error’ is bought, rather than innocent) is that we have lost sight of the victim. What was the value of her lost life, not the value of the criminal’s? Because in seeing the value of her lost life, we give not only her – Reeva – a voice. We give ourselves one too.