Oscar Pistorius Intruder Defense Is Nonsense

(Update 8/18/2013: Pistorius to be formally charged tomorrow with premeditated murder of Steenkamp. Not guilty plea expected with trial to begin in March 2014. No doubt, it will be a battle of the forensic experts.)

Oscar Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp out of fear. Fear of losing her, the same reason domestic violence victims are killed by their partners. The only intruder that evening was Oscar’s emotions. Call it jealous rage, heat of passion, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment or unresolved grief from the loss of another woman he deeply loved, his mother, the result is the same, a 29-year-old woman is dead. Shot 4 times by her boyfriend, Oscar.

Anyone who knows anything about domestic violence or has suffered as a victim of domestic violence knows what happened to Reeva in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day and knows why Reeva took her cellphone into the toilet and locked the toilet door at 3 am. Doors are locked for protection.

Yet, defenses can be crafted to play or capitalize on people’s fear. After all, any salesperson knows emotions are how you sway outcomes. Ask OJ Simpson, a high-profile athlete who walked, when he played on people’s fear of racism, police corruption, and distrust of the police to distract from a classic DV killing. So far, Oscar’s intruder defense is working. As reported, it clearly “resonates” with the public. It is meant to and it is meant to sway the ultimate decider, the trial judge. Who doesn’t have a fear of an intruder? Yet, is that really what happened here? Certainly, it allows people to look away from the ugly truth of domestic violence. But, unlike the OJ Simpson case, domestic violence is front and center. We know Oscar killed Reeva, he admitted it. The question is “why” not “who”. Now, we have to look even deeper as to the “WHY” did he kill and that puts domestic violence on trial.

The intruder defense is nonsense. Oscar claims he has a fear of intruders yet he leaves the bedroom balcony sliding doors open as they slept. There were no burglar bars on the bathroom window. The bathroom window was left open. Ladders were left outside of the house. Does that sound like someone who has a fear of intruders? Simply, not credible. But, maybe you want to “resonate” with an intruder fear because it is easier than looking at the ugliness of domestic violence. Or, maybe you’d rather focus on whether the police wore shoe covers and ignore that Oscar shot at someone behind a locked door, a situation lacking danger and provocation, amounting to an unjustified killing.

Oscar’s version is simply not plausible. Are we to believe that Oscar would not protect the “love of his life” when faced with a possible intruder? Would you leave “the love of your life” in bed without alerting them, ensuring their safety or even checking on their whereabouts before you go to check for an intruder? I find it interesting that the talking heads on TV explain it away by saying, “you never know what you would do in that situation” Hogwash. Ask anyone. We instinctively protect the ones we love.

Having prosecuted domestic violence cases, I get it. People don’t want to look at problem of domestic violence, they’d rather blame it on a victim’s clothing or an intruder. And, they certainly don’t want to see it in someone they have idolized for years like a national hero or a celebrity. Who wants to admit their hero is a killer? Or, that they were deceived? Or, if he could kill in rage, could I?

Given the public outrage over the recent brutal gang rape of a 17-year-old South African woman, the growing epidemic of violence against women and the fact that a woman in South Africa is raped every 3 minutes, an “accidental” killing would surely avoid more public outrage, unrest and a quick conviction. Maybe, Oscar believes he accidentally killed Reeva, but, who would believe that Reeva didn’t cry out after the first shot?

Maybe, it wasn’t a coincidence that Reeva had begun to speak out about violence against women. Just as she began to shine the light on domestic violence, her death will hopefully bring awareness, change and healing.

And, maybe, Oscar can turn his pain into helping others heal their emotional wounds before they act out in violence.

Rest in peace, Ms. Steenkamp.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

Read my other post: Oscar Pistorius What Doesn’t Make Sense

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Oscar Pistorius Case What Doesn’t Make Sense

(Update 8/18/2013: Pistorius to be formally charged tomorrow with premeditated murder of Steenkamp. Not guilty plea expected with trial to begin in March 2014. No doubt, it will be a battle of the forensic experts.)

While Oscar Pistorius lawyers and the prosecution argue over whether a neighbor could hear fighting before the alleged premeditated shooting death of Pistorius’ girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, or, whether steroids or herbal remedies were found in Pistorius’ home, they fail to focus on some telling facts, as revealed in Pistorius’ bail affidavit.

1. The Victim Locked the Toilet Door.

Why would Ms. Steenkamp lock the toilet door? The toilet “is inside the bathroom and has a separate door” that had a key to lock it. Why did she lock the door? Some may close a door for privacy, or before they flick on a light, but, why lock the door, especially given it is an interior toilet? Having prosecuted many domestic violence cases, there is only one reason a victim locks a door. Protection.

2. Bedroom Sliding Doors Left Open in a High Crime Area.

Pistorius’ affidavit states, “I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes with a view to commit crime, including violent crime. I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm, a 9 mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night. During the early morning hours of 14 February 2013, 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.”

If Pistorius has had intruders in the past and fears intruders, why would he leave his bedroom sliding doors open at night while he and Ms. Steenkamp slept?

And, “there are no burglar bars across the bathroom window no bars on the bathroom window.” He fears intruders, yet, no bars on bathroom window?

3. Ladders left Outside His House in a High Crime Area.

He also “knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside.” Again, if Pistorius fears intruders, why leave ladders outside or doors or windows open?

4. Pistorius calls Friend before calling Paramedics or Police.

Most people would instinctively call paramedics or the police when a loved one has been shot.

Read Pistorius affidavit here.

Accident killing or not, this is a domestic violence killing, and the actions of the victim and the defendant are always very telling.

A terrible tragedy.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

Read my post Oscar Pistorius Intruder Defense is Nonsense.

(Update 2/21/2013: No decision on bail hearing today. Bail hearing with closing arguments continue to tomorrow. Reportedly, Ms. Steenkamp had taken her cell phone with her when she went into the bathroom at approximately 3 am. As of yesterday, the lead investigator Botha is reportedly being charged with attempted murder in an unrelated matter when he and other officers allegedly were drunk and shot into a bus of people. Although the charges had been withdrawn in 2011, they were being reconsidered prior to the Pistorius case. Botha has been taken off the case. Questions have been raised as to “preferential treatment” when Pistorius is being held at the police station rather than jail like other prisoners. BTW, as reported on Piers Morgan and CNN, Ms. Steenkamp’s brother and Pistorius’ best friend have said they have never met Pistorius and Steenkamp, respectively. Was it rage or fear? Ballistics and forensics will likely provide the answer.)