Reviews of THE APPEAL: Oscar Pistorius

5 Stars, Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left…

Melissa Manzella on January 7, 2016 (verified purchase)

Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left readers absolutely spellbound. This is perhaps the most comprehensive to date, and is chocked full of stunning new revelations. Both authors go further here, explore more, REVEAL more, than in any other narrative thus far. Other books have been written regarding this crime, but this series of narratives stand as definitive.These two, Nick Van der Leek and Lisa Wilson, just have a unique ability to harness this case and all the many characters within it, all the facts, move the story along to where it stands today, and all the while never miss even a nugget of pertinent information. All balls are in the air, and this talent shines through again here in spades! A well written account, as usual, beginning with an informative and truly eye opening interview with Honourable Judge Chris Greenland (retired) giving his thoughts on the actual shooting, and ending with the actual appeal itself, with tons of action in between. Their account of the appeal proceeding is superb, as they actually attended it, and share not only their take on the process, but their thoughts as to their emotional relief of what this murder conviction means to them. At the same time, they recognize their bittersweet lament of the somewhat incompleteness of it. The authors have believed from day one that this murder was one of Dolus Directus, premeditated murder. Their accompanying insights shared here on this subject are quite exceptional. Nick himself studied law, and so naturally has a good grasp of the issues. As with any really good book that holds the readers interest, the authors have a true passion for their subject matter. I happen to believe this reality makes a book distinctive, makes the reading better, more authentic, more interesting. Clearly that is the case here with THE APPEAL. Both authors share a true disgust for the murderer, along with his attempts at thwarting justice (he nearly did), and both share a genuine sorrow for the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Van der Leek has an uncanny talent in recognizing and aptly exposing the character flaws of his subject, in this case Pistorius, and he puts every card on the table here in this book. His criticism of Pistorius is scathing, he goes further than he’s ever gone before, revealing how grotesque and manipulative is the nature of Oscar Pistorius. For those who have followed this story and case, when one reads these words, they immediately resonate as the truth of the matter. He reveals too just what he thinks Pistorius could have been up to immediately following the murder. We’ve all probably pondered it, held it in the back of our minds, but hearing Nick state it gives this possibility much more weight in this readers eyes. Nicks refusal to sugar coat absolutely any aspect of this case, gives the reader a more honest look at what’s really transpired here, as does Lisa’s accuracy and command of all the many facts involved, her integrity and her desire for complete objectivity. Both authors believe there were attempts both by Masipa and even society to some extent, to give Pistorius a pass of sorts. Some leniency. Both believe this notion is flawed and ludicrous, and believe Pistorius should be held 100% accountable for his deed. They mention the horrendously vile and callous nature of his crime and his lack of remorse. To quote the author Van der Leek, “That a man could reason that his symbolic life of luxury, endorsements and specific conveniences was ‘worth’ more than another person’s life is the true horror of Oscar Pistorius.” This quote sums the decision made by Pistorius to shoot Reeva, says it in a nutshell, and this reader concurs. Nick speaks often of his conviction to do justice in his books to the victim Reeva, his first book being one that was solely about her, who she was, her dreams and aspirations, what she cared about most. Lisa speaks similarly of having been profoundly moved by this tragedy and a longing to know more about Reeva, as she began to watch this trial from many miles away in America. She wanted to discover the truth. Then she wanted to see justice done. During the writing of this particular narrative, Lisa happened to travel to South Africa. She includes some side stories of her experience that are really superb and some that are simply hilarious! In a book covering such serious subject matter, some moments of brevity are both nice and appreciated. Pictures are included here as well, which is a really nice bonus. Always an adventure with Nick and Lisa. A truly special part of this visit to SA includes the authors visit with June and Barry Steenkamp. The reader here is treated to bits of conversation with them, and as someone who has really followed this case and developed great empathy for these parents, it was good to hear how they’re faring these days. It’s clear that these two will never ever be the same (how could they) but they’re getting on with it. The visit sounded like a very pleasant one, and the authors remark on just how meaningful it was to them. This crime and resulting trial has held the interest and intrigue of half the world, and continues to do so even today. Pistorius has now appealed his conviction by the SCA to the Constitutional Court, so this matter is sadly not over yet. The hope is that no consideration is given to this appeal by the Constitutional Court, and a just sentence is dispensed instead. It’s high time for it. We hold our collective breath….

5 Stars, This book is a masterpiece! Well done!

Jane Vaughan on January 1, 2016 (verified purchase)

This book is a masterpiece! Nick and Lisa have once again collaborated on the continuing saga of Oscar Pistorius. I enjoyed the way this book was written, a step by step account of the Pistorius saga starting with his days, weeks, & months in prison, through the South African appeal process. This book also makes numerous references and examples of the social media and mainstream media coverage, including video clips from the appeal, and quotes by various players. Unfortunately, with Oscar’s celebrity, there is still a portion of his fans who will attack the truth because they prefer to believe that ten months = one life taken. This book is a ten, unfortunately I can only give it a five. Well done, your collaboration is excellent, no longer awkward, and this is very, very well researched. I enjoyed it, can’t wait for your next one!


5 Stars, Excellent

Amazon Customer on December 29, 2015 (verified purchase)

Excellent … again. !! These books are so good at telling the story of what I consider to be the real truth behind Reeva Steenkamp’s murder.


And… we even heard from one of the Pistorians.  I’m glad they didn’t buy the book and waste their money 🙂

1 Star, This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry

SR Graham on December 29, 2015

This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry. The authors should be ashamed of themselves for being attached to such a worthless project. Find something valuable to write about you opportunistic fools.


THE APPEAL is available on Amazon.   THEAPPEAL

If you don’t have a Kindle, no problem.  You can download the free Kindle Reading App and read on your PC or any smart device.

If you do read THE APPEAL, please stop by Amazon to share your thoughts. You can also join the conversation with the authors by commenting on this blog post, or by reaching out to them via Twitter.





An Excerpt from THE APPEAL: Oscar Pistorius

2015-12-05 13.40.34

From the chapter Inside the Barking Spider:

It’s a strange preternatural feeling closing the car doors and sauntering towards a date with destiny armed with nothing but memory. I’m dreading that the meeting is going to devolve into half an hour of politically correct small talk.   

I do have Lisa. Perhaps between the two of us we’ll find our way to meaningful answers and insights.   Will we forget any questions? Will we miss vital clues?  If we’re simply ourselves and in the moment we’ll be fine, I finally decide.

2015-11-24 14.34.09

Just then Barry Steenkamp pulls up in battered beige Subaru 2000 station wagon. Mud has splattered around the wheels.  I’m the sort of spontaneous person who would approach Barry at his door, and greet him, but Barry seems not to have noticed us even though we’re standing a few metres away. 

Hello from the other side


Through a steel gate we see June sitting in a shaded courtyard with another woman, a sparkly eyed brunette – their legal counsel, Tania Koen.  Lisa and I approach and they stand to embrace us.  There’s a warm introduction. Hugs and kisses. Barry arrives shortly afterward and insists on sitting at a separate table; holding up a pack of Camel cigarettes to indicate why there needs to be some distance between us.

2015-11-24 10.50.04

I immediately pick up a slight distance from June that’s hard to fathom.  She’s there but not there, if that makes any sense.

Hello, can you hear me

Although I have my antennae switched on I’m not picking up a signal.  Whatever I am picking up is fuzzy.  I immediately feel very out of sorts. I am not sure if it is fatigue, or instinct, but I have a bad feeling, a feeling of conflictedness I can’t explain…

The Appeal cover

THE APPEAL is now available on Amazon.

If you don’t have a Kindle, simply download the free Kindle Reading App and read from any smart device or PC.

Follow the authors on Twitter:





Carlin calls it despair, I call it deceit

John Carlin says Oscar Pistorius is likely to retreat into “despair.” Before we examine this statement from Carlin, let’s take a look at how Oscar appeared in court today as he applied for bail.

Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.06.43 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.10.37 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.11.24 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.12.15 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.15.07 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.15.09 (2) Screenshot 2015-12-08 05.35.52 (2) oscar smiling

Is this the look of a man distraught with his current circumstances?  Or a man determined to muster the appropriate face at the appropriate time?  Although, smugness is most definitely not appropriate – ever – in court, that was the face Oscar chose to wear today.

What I can’t understand is why the State is not opposed to bail.  They did oppose some of the conditions, but they agreed not to challenge Oscar’s right to stay out on house arrest.  I’m not aware of any other countries where convicted murderers, not defendants, qualify for bail.  Anywhere else, they would immediately throw you in jail upon conviction and the convict will deal with appeals and hearings as necessary while incarcerated.

Not only does Oscar have bail, meaning he can continue to live at his Uncle’s mansion, he can leave the house (with monitoring & supervision) between 7am and noon up to a 20km radius.  I’ve seen some say this is freedom and others say it’s not.  While it’s not complete freedom, compared to a jail cell, in my view the luxury of enjoying sunshine for 5 hours a day is freedom.  It’s a luxury that’s been afforded to Oscar.  Why exactly does Oscar Pistorius deserve this luxury?  The simple answer is he doesn’t.  It’s just another “condition” that Oscar’s been able to weasle for himself using his high-powered legal team and influential family.



There were two things that bothered me most about Judge Ledwana during today’s hearing.  First, when Nel was arguing that they [the state] was prepared to provide the appropriate monitoring of Oscar, the Judge stated that would create unnecessary extra work.  Could the judicial system in South Africa be any lazier?  Yes, it’s work.  Monitoring criminals takes work.  Is it an appropriate argument to not provide monitoring because it involves “work”?  I don’t think so.

Second, Judge Ledwana equated denying Oscar the right to leave his Uncle’s house to “punishment”.  Yes!  That is what is supposed to happen when you are convicted of a crime, especially a violent crime, and especially murder.

Is this just more indifference to judicial affairs, is it corruption or a bribe, or is it yet another example of our insane political correctness and need for leniency in the world today?  What is it getting us?  More crime, more death, more dangerous people on the street.  Why?  So we can feel good about giving people second chances?  Murderers need to do time in jail.  It’s that simple.  It’s not vengeance or blind punishment; it’s justice.  That is what needs to happen to protect the public as well as maintain civility through the enforcement of our laws.

Last week was a great week for justice as Oscar was finally convicted of murder.  Nick and I were there to witness it and I’ll be writing about it in a separate post.  But lets not take a step backwards now and allow the Pistorius family, and a lazy, corrupt, justice system, undo the good of Justice Leach.  In order for real change to begin, we must remain vigilant that Oscar do his time.

For those of you who claim Oscar feels bad and can’t win whether he cries or appears confident while in public, let’s consider some of the statements he’s made and cut through the BS of this topic once and for all.

Yesterday, I came across an article that Pistorius buddy, John Carlin, wrote for the Sunday Times.  Here are some of the finer points Carlin shares with us:

Murder verdict revives Pistorius suicide fears

“I was with Pistorius at a part in the home of his lawyer, Barry Roux, on the night of September 11, 2014, hours after Judge Thokozile Masipa had made it evident in court that the verdict of manslaughter was what he could expect and that she would formally deliver her sentence the next day.

He would then be going straight to prison, but at that party Pistorius wore the calm, satisfied look of a man who felt he had been vindicated by the justice system and believed his honour had been saved.  “I don’t give a shit about the sentence,” he told Roux.  “I am not a murderer.”

He knew he should expect a five-year sentence but appeared untroubled by the prospect as he chatted politely with guests and took turns to flip steaks and boerwors sausages on the barbecue.

It was a boozy party, but Pistorius did not drink alcohol and left early.  The last thing he told me before driving home was that for the first time in a long time – since he had shot and killed Steenkamp a year and a half earlier, on Valentine’s Day – he had found some peace.”

Oscar was calm and satisfied, and didn’t give a shit, because he and his family know that they [initially] dodged an enormous bullet.  Yes, pun intended.  But Oscar surely did give a shit as soon as he got to prison and realized how hard it would be.  No amount of favors, or ties with mobsters, could ease the discomfort and disgrace of wasting away in a cement box.  Yes, jail is horrible.  People should reconsider before they murder.

Carlin goes on to say:

“Pistorius, who will feel that the justice system and God have failed him, may be extracting some crumbs of comfort from the knowledge that he will never now be found guilty by a court of law of deliberately killing the woman he has always said he loved.

Yet, short of a shock confession by Pistorius, we will never know for sure whether he was telling the truth or not.  

What one can be certain of is that right now, as he faces the imminent prospect of arrest prior to a new and lengthy sentence being passed in the new year, he is devastated.  

We had just met for the first time and he sat across from me in his uncle’s study on a long leather sofa with his head resting on his aunt’s shoulder.  Pale and thin, a pitiful shadow of the “Bladerunner” who had triumphed in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2012, he looked and sounded like a five-year-old boy whose puppy had just died.

Arnold Pistorius had read that in America, in cases where people had killed a person they loved and later regretted it, 20% ended up taking their own lives.  In his nephew he saw signs for alarm.”

Let’s come back down to reality – “The woman he said he loved.”  Saying you love someone, and actually loving them are two very different things, and I think we all know that actions are the proof.   Why should it matter to Oscar if the court attaches a name to the deceased – he killed Reeva Steenkamp, he knows he killed Reeva Steenkamp, so the rest is just semantics for him.  It’s a boo-hoo mentality of please don’t attach her name to this murder – yes, now we can call it murder, so let’s call it that.  But it’s not semantics for us.  I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again.  Oscar should have been found guilty of Dolus Directus!

Oscar Pistorius should have been found guilty of killing

Reeva Steenkamp.

Now, for Carlin, or anybody, to say “we’ll never know” is the pinnacle of absurdity.  Of course we know.  We know from the evidence collected at this scene that Oscar lied.  That is a point that even the incompetent Masipa recognized.  No, we may not know every detail, but we know, as does Captain Mangena, that Oscar intentionally killed Reeva behind that door.   To say “we’ll never know” is merely a mischievous cop-out.

As for being a “pitiful shadow of the Bladerunner”, do you know what that really is?  That pitiful shadow is the real Oscar Pistorius slinking in the background never wanting to be seen.  Take away the limbs of steel, the upper body muscles and the flash of the camera bulbs, and you have a very small man on stumps.  But, the stumps aren’t what make him pathetic.  It’s that ridiculous comic book-like persona that makes him pathetically sad.

Oscar didn’t triumph at the London Olympics – he got there by being a spoiled brat who kicked and screamed for four years to cheat his way into the competition, at the expense of others.  And once he got there, he lost.  Not only did he lose, he was crying and carrying on behind the scenes threatening to leave after screwing others out of the opportunity to be there.  That’s not a fallen hero.  Get a grip, John Carlin.  And it wasn’t his puppy who died, it was a young woman with her entire life ahead of her, with family and friends who loved her, that he killed.

I would also much prefer that Arnold leave American statistics out of his rotten logic about Oscar being suicidal.  The optimal part of the statistic being “people that regretted it.” Do we sincerely believe that Oscar regrets when he tells friends like Kevin Lerena that he doesn’t need to justify anything to anyone because God knows the truth.  I suppose God also knows what was on the iPhone that his dutiful brother so kindly wiped and locked.

It’s no surprise that Oscar and Carl, and Aimee, all hide behind God.

Screenshot 2015-12-08 07.20.44 (2)

Use that three letter word and it becomes a force field, just like Bladerunner was always Oscar’s cloak.  Nobody wants to go there; nobody wants to challenge their use of God.  Because all God-fearing people are surely honest and decent, isn’t that so?  In my view, there’s nothing more despicable than somebody using religion for personal gain.  It’s not about the belief itself [we’re all entitled to our personal beliefs] it’s more about hiding behind something or someone else because you’re too cowardly to take the responsibility on your own.

So now Oscar will pay his $688 and we’ll wait four months to see if Oscar sticks or around or heads to some other exotic parts, perhaps Botswana where his family owns land.


Screenshot 2015-12-08 06.46.39 (2)


We’ll watch and wait to see what happens with his appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Screenshot 2015-12-08 06.47.22 (2)

One thing is certain, the Oscar show is not over; far from it.  It will never be over as long as deceit, money and entitlement are regarded as more important than the truth.  It’s up to us to remain vigilant if there’s any chance for greater peace in this world.  I’ve often heard it said many times – why Reeva?  why Oscar?  We say, why not them.  Every victim and every criminal is indicative of the other.  We have to start somewhere and right now this case holds the power for change in very real ways.  It’s imperative for South Africa, for women and the rest of the world, that Oscar gets his due process, and that the result of that process is the conviction of murder being upheld, and Oscar serving the appropriate full sentence.

IMG-20151208-00607 IMG-20151208-00608 IMG-20151208-00609 IMG-20151209-00610 IMG-20151209-00611 IMG-20151209-00612


GUILTY: Oscar Pistorius, final judgement

Read the Supreme Court of Appeal’s Final Ruling here:


2015-12-03 11.28.04.jpg

Steenkamp Family Statement:

“I’m satisfied with everything now.  I would hope to God that all of this could have been prevented, but seeing that it has been done, let us now all get on with our lives.”

Pistorius Family Statement:

“The legal team will study the finding and we will be guided by them in terms of options going forward.  We will not be commenting any further at this stage.”

Interrogating Oscar


Interrogating Oscar is a visual narrative of two ordinary people – South African photojournalist Nick van der Leek and California-based True Crime blogger Lisa Wilson – and their search for the truth of Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp. Based on their bestselling series of books.

The latest book titled, FUGITIVE, centered on Oscar’s intentionality, is receiving rave reviews.

Teaser Clip

Episode 1 / Part 1

Episode 1 / Part 2

Episode 1 / Part 3

Episode 1 / Part 4

Episode 1 / Part 5

Episode 2 / Part 1 – P.I. vs. Journo

Episode 2 / Part 2 – P.I. vs Journo

Episode 3 / Part 1 – Revelations

Episode 3 / Part 2 – Revelations

Episode 4 / What is Restoration for us?

Episode 5 / Forces of Nature

Episode 6 / Living off the Dead

Episode 7 / Intentionality

Episode 8 / Jump Start 

Additional episodes to follow…

Follow Nick and Lisa on Twitter at:



The Oscar Pistorius murder trial series of books is available on Amazon.

Excerpt from #RS : Reeva Steenkamp

An excerpt from the chapter…


I think Reeva was scarred and thus naive when it came to love, same as Oscar was. Their idea of love was like being in a dream, you have to close your eyes to the world in order to dream…and especially dreams of love…

But as most of us eventually – hopefully – realize, love is that most vital area where you need to be most awake.  Love in the romantic sense may seem the most like dreaming, and may feel that way, but much of those feelings aren’t real.  True love is work.  True love is a shared project, it is DOING things together.  And you can’t do anything with your eyes closed.   photo

 That romantic immaturity, given a cocktail of glitz, glamour, money and media, is a recipe for a disaster of monumental proportions.  It means not only tightrope walking with your eyes closed, while your own ghosts and demons come to the surface, but putting up a brave face to sell to the world, and your partner.  There are three-too many balls being juggled there….

Reeva’s attachment to the idea of being in love meant finding somebody to nurture and heal.  By the act of healing Oscar, she could also heal herself.  And considering her financial stresses, perhaps she thought that partnering with Oscar could provide a better life. 

On 8 February 2013, less than a week before her death, Reeva posted this haunting image to Instagram:

reeva instagram

“…breathing in some fresh air and chatting about life…”

Yes, contemplating the tree of life…and how to rise above her raising.  And how and when and who to have children with and to raise herself.

The tree is what connects the Earth to the Heavens, and Reeva was contemplating her connections…and where they could take her. 

But look carefully…what you see is not one tree, but several…and only one (on the left) is catching the sunlight.  Meanwhile the tree on the right, Oscar’s, has become tall and dark and has begun to blot out the sky….

reeva beach

I think the possibility of finding somebody who needed her as much as she needed him was exhilarating.  They ran in the same circles and were moving in the same direction.  But that kind of luminous possibility will quickly dim when your stars are not aligned with the right person… or worse, you find yourself with a dangerous person.  Although June would like to believe her daughter had not been intimate with Oscar, there are many signs that tell a different story…


Available on Amazon, November 20, 2014