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article imageReview: ‘Oscar Pistorius — What Really Happened?’ Special

By Alexander Baron     Mar 12, 2013 in Crime
Pretoria - The trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp will be the biggest and most sensational trial of a sporting personality since that of OJ Simpson. That is where the similarity ends.
In the UK there are strict laws concerning what can or cannot be said by the media once an arrest has been made. The BBC has very wisely adhered to these guidelines five and a half thousand miles away in Pretoria. The facts of this case are that in the small hours of February 14, 2013, Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. That is about the only common ground between what he said and what the prosecution will say when his murder trial opens.
This is far from the only documentary or analysis of this terrible tragedy, and it will not be the last. The Silverwoods gated community in which Pistorius lived in five star luxury has state of the art security, yet still he slept with a gun under his bed, something which is said to be a common practice in the so-called rainbow nation.
The BBC team seek out friends and not so friends of Pistorius, but they are careful not to overstep the mark. All the same, it is difficult not to come away with the impression that there was a dark side to this inspirational athlete, and that he has been insulated from his human failings because of his celebrity and endorsement status. He is said on one occasion to have threatened to break the legs of another sportsman, though in view of the size of the gent concerned, one can't imagine him doing so without some heavy backup.
The endorsements have now gone: sportswear manufacturer Nike suspended its contract with the Blade Runner last month, and they are not the only ones. He is said also to be selling off his assets to cover his legal bills, which will surely be massive, and even if he is totally exonerated, it is difficult to believe any sponsor would touch him after this, even the NRA.
A date has yet to be set for the trial, which will be by a judge sitting without a jury, although of course the BBC and the rest of the entire world will be watching.
Oscar Pistorius: What Really Happened? can currently be found on iplayer, but will surely find its way onto the usual video sites sooner rather than later, along with many more.
Reeva Steenkamp  a 30-year-old model and law graduate
Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old model and law graduate
Screenshot via Twitter
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