Alright, I feel a little guilty for writing about this, as celebrity murder trials get way too much attention as actual news.  But, hey, I’m human and have been intrigued by this case.  I love this take from Will Saletan, that even if you entirely buy Pistorious’ own version of events, he’s a dangerous, reckless killer.  Here’s a bit:

On Feb. 14, around 3 a.m., Pistorius was in bed at his house with his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. According to his affidavit,

I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom. I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside.

Pause right there. Pistorius lives in a hyper-secure gated community that advertises a “solid, electrified security wall,” laser sensors, and biometric locks. Wealthy South Africans move to such communities precisely so they can go outside without fear. At last week’s bail hearing, a police officer testified that there were two dogs outside the window where Pistorius claimed an intruder might have entered. The prosecutor also asked why, if Pistorius feared burglars, he slept with his balcony doors open. Pistorius’ lawyer, Barry Roux, didn’t address either point.

There’s no record of any burglary-like incident at Pistorius’ home. The two incidents he has acknowledged were false alarms…

To appreciate the perversity of this story, you have to see the floor plan of Pistorius’ home. His bedroom door wasn’t down the hall, where he’d heard the purported burglar noises. It was in the entryway right next to him. All he had to do was wake Steenkamp and slip out with her. His “limited mobility,” which supposedly prevented him from making it 15 feet to the bedroom door, somehow didn’t deter him from maneuvering 20 feet down the hall toward the danger, and around a corner for another 15 feet to where he thought the intruder was. There, a homeowner ostensibly too terrified to turn on a light in his bedroom, or even unlock his bedroom door and flee, had no trouble firing four shots through the locked toilet door, which offered no escape route. If there really was an armed intruder, this was the course of action most likely to escalate the carnage.

Short version: pretty damning.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Pistorious

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    How about an alternate scenario:
    He and his girlfriend argued. He might have hit her with some object. She ran into the bathroom to hide. Maybe she said she wanted a divorce because he hit her, or maybe she was going to call the police (this time) Either way be was furious, could not open the bathroom door which also made him feel like less then a man, and in a rage he fired shots through the door.

    I cannot believe for one second he didn’t know she wasn’t in bed. I just don’t buy it. And it’s possible that the neighbor did hear them arguing if they are in a quiet area without much traffic and the wind was blowing the right way.

    At very worst it was negligent manslaughter, if you believe him, he had a deadly weapon and didn’t use the necessary prudence in it’s use. At best it was first degree homicide, if they can find evidence that she planned to leave him.

    But this guy is just one more of tens of thousands of people who kill their wife, lover or ex lover. He doesn’t deserve the airtime he gets.

    • Steve Greene says:

      Agreed. I think it far more likely he intended to kill her. I just liked Saletan’s point that even if you buy his version of the story, he’s a dangerous, reckless killer.

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