Setting a Scene for Justice for Reeva Steenkamp

Setting a Scene for Justice for Reeva SteenkampNot unlike what I am imagining Reeva Steenkamp did, I ran down the stairs, slammed the door and sat up against it while a man pushed and pushed.

I dealt with anger in a relationship that got physical. I began slamming doors to try to define a barrier. More than once I sat in front of one trying to protect myself, sitting there hoping he would go away, cool off, leave me alone.

“He was such nice guy”—to everyone else—so it took me a long time to decide I needed to leave the relationship. And now I have to be careful about what I say because court orders stop women from sharing their stories. Over and over, in the court system, I heard, “He just does things differently.”

Many people want to believe Pistorius. That it was a mistake.

Everyone is wondering, “How could he shoot such a beautiful woman?” I see comments about how “nice” he was to everyone. I thought about the possibility that perhaps he was just trying to scare her or threaten her. That maybe his real “mistake” was that he didn’t “mean” to kill her. I was threatened so many times in so many ways I thought maybe that needed consideration.

But there are much bigger problems with Pistorius’ story. It simply does not make sense.

One good way to find answers to some of them would be to recreate the scene.

Reports say Pistorius claims that the room was “pitch dark.” Someone needs to set up the same lighting and find out.

In a caption under 2) Bathroom noise in an article by the BBC, Pistorius says he was “Too scared to turn on the light, he pulled a 9mm pistol from under his bed and went to the bathroom, shouting to Ms. Steenkamp to call the police.”

Someone needs to set this up. Put a person in the bed and turn the lights off. Then they should get on their knees and come around to the side of the bed where the gun was located.

That person would be face to face with the person in the bed. What “doesn’t happen now” doesn’t make sense.

Pistorius is planning to go to the bathroom because he thinks there’s an intruder in there.

Why doesn’t normal human self-preservation kick in? Why would anyone who is going to be moving more slowly than the average person make their way down a hallway when an intruder could step out of the bathroom at any minute and shoot?

Why doesn’t he do what any normal person would do to at least try to save Reeva? He’s right there. 3D impression of Oscar Pistorius' houseWhy wouldn’t he reach out to wake her up and say, “Get the hell out of here. There’s an intruder in the bathroom. Call the police.” He knows she could run. Perhaps she could get help for him if he was injured.

Instead, he just heads down that hallway. And then he turns the corner. Who the hell in their right mind does that? Pistorius could have no way of knowing the location of the “intruder.” The “intruder” could have been standing in the area by the sink and have a direct shot at Pistorius. If the “intruder” was in the toilet area, he could have opened that door and shot at Pistorius at any time as well. There is simply no rationale for anyone to go toward that bathroom or into that bathroom if he suspected there was an “intruder” in there. The only logical decision anyone would make would be to get the hell out of the house or at least give Reeva a chance.

If he was that close to the bed, reaching under it to get a gun, he had to know that she was not there. Anyone who gets out of bed turns down the covers. Could he have even found the gun if he didn’t have enough light to see some of what he was doing?

Pistorius claims he was calling out to Reeva to call the police.

Wouldn’t she have responded from the bathroom?

You could also imagine sitting on the toilet or cowering behind a toilet and imagine that a shot has been fired. Would Reeva simply stay quiet if she was in there? Wouldn’t she would be screaming for him to stop? Surely any impact to her body would have caused her to scream. I am guessing that a woman screaming when she’s shot sounds quite distinct.

And would Pistorius naturally assume that an intruder would be a woman? Wouldn’t a scream from a woman be enough for him to think, “Hey, that’s a woman. Maybe I need to stop shooting and make sure I know it isn’t Reeva who would normally be in the bathroom?” Wouldn’t you call out and say something? But does a person even scream if they are initially shot in the head? It’s awful to even think about it.

There were two phones in the bedroom and two phones in the bathroom. Not one of them was used to call for help. If you think you’ve made a mistake, wouldn’t you immediately call someone who could possibly save her while you worked to break down the door?

But why was the door locked? Who gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and locks the door? No one. There’s simply no reason other than trying to protect yourself.

And why would he move her body? To cover up the fact she was cowering? It makes no sense for a man who is disabled to attempt to do what he did, to take her “down the stairs.” He tried to make it look like he was doing something heroic. Then he made the claim that she “died in his arms.” Again, for dramatic effect. Making a call, getting professional help as quickly as possible, is what any normal person would do when someone they love is injured.

He also had no license for the .38-caliber weapon so his possession of the ammunition is illegal. And now the “ammunition belonged to his father.”

From what I can see, Pistorius didn’t think through all of the details to make his story believable. I hope the judges do. Men like Pistorius do not have the right to “live their lives,” when women, who are continual victims of this kind of abuse, have theirs taken.

6 Responses to Setting a Scene for Justice for Reeva Steenkamp

  1. There have been no previous reports that Reeva was in an abusive relationship with Oscar. Here are the following reasons I think it was an accident. She possibly locked the door when she heard him shout that there was an intruder in the house. She also posssibly decided to remain silent. The first shot probably hit her in the head and could not scream fast enough. I believe it was pitch black. Its his house and he did not need light to know where everything was. There was a fifth phone which was used to call a private Hospital or Health center and they told him to take her to the hospital. Thats why he moved her.
    He was paranoid about safety and he had probably prepared to confront danger whether he was on his artificial feet or not. We have no idea how terrified or vulnarable a person may feel when there is a threat of danger.

    • I think we can all try to imagine what happened, which is why I suggested they re-create the scene. I think that would allow them to have a better understanding. And if he felt so vulnerable, why would he go down that hallway? It will be interesting to hear what verdict is reached. Right now, however, I am not happy to see him trying to get sympathy with announcing he is going to hold a private “memorial service” for her. He can do whatever he wants, but the minute he “announces it,” he is playing on public sympathy.

    • Yes, that’s what his defence will say, but frankly it’s not in any way believable. Sorry, you say that Reeva ran to the bathroom and locked herself without Pistorius seeing or hearing her. Please.

      • Sorry if it’s not clear. I am suggesting he shot her outright. I believe he knew she was in there. Actually what you say here is interesting. How could he have NOT seen her go in there? I think I recall them saying he went to the deck to get a fan and close the door, but that would only take a couple of seconds. Again, I think they should have recreated the scene to try to understand it better. I was basing my information on a diagram that was shown when the shooting occurred. I noticed the diagram of the room/bathroom configuration changed when I reviewed an article not too long ago.

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