Legless Blade Runner Killed His Girlfriend for Valentine’s Day

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 10.19.22 AMPhoto: Getty

In case you needed another example why hero narratives in sports – even the ones that seem truly deserved – usually turn out to be bullshit, look no further than the news this morning that Oscar Pistorius, the legless blade runner who competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics this summer, is being charged with the murder of his (very attractive) girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

New York Times:

Early Thursday morning, the police responded to a report of gunshots in the upscale housing complex where Mr. Pistorius lives, said Col. Katlego Mogale, a police spokeswoman. When they arrived, they found paramedics treating a 30-year-old woman for gunshot wounds. The woman was pronounced dead and a 26-year-old man was taken into custody, Colonel Mogale said.

Colonel Mogale would not comment on a possible motive for the shooting.

“A case of murder has been opened,” she said before the police said they had formally charged Mr. Pistorius. 


But, there’s another side to this story (of course). There are reports that Pistorius thought Steenkamp was a burglar, a plausible claim in South Africa, where there is a high rate of break-ins. 

Reports from local media said that Mr. Pistorius told the police that the shooting was an accident and that he had mistaken the victim for an intruder.

But speaking to reporters in Pretoria, another police spokeswoman, Brig. Denise Beukes said those reports had taken her by surprise.

She also said that the police had responded previously to complaints of a “domestic nature” at the runner’s home but declined to give further details.

South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime, and break-ins by armed robbers are relatively common. Legal handgun ownership is also common, with some restrictions.


Putting aside the gun debate ammo that an accidental shooting would provide, it wouldn’t be the first time a South African athlete killed a loved one who was mistaken to be a thief– in 2004, a Rugby player killed his daughter when he heard his car being driven away in the early morning.

There’s some irony in this story, too. Pistorius has, on several occasions, mentioned or tweeted about possible break-ins. Here are two examples, via Business Insider and NY Times Magazine:

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 NY Times Magazine, 2012:

As he put together lunch for all of us — fruit smoothies, breaded chicken fillets he pulled from the refrigerator — he mentioned that a security alarm in the house had gone off the previous night, and he had grabbed his gun and tiptoed downstairs. (It turned out to be nothing.)

I asked what kind of gun he owned, which he seemed to take as an indication of my broader interest in firearms. I had to tell him I didn’t own any. “But you’ve shot one, right?” Actually, I hadn’t. Suddenly, I felt like one of those characters in a movie who must be schooled on how to be more manly.

“We should go to the range,” he said. He fetched his 9-millimeter handgun and two boxes of ammunition. We got back in the car and drove to a nearby firing range, where he instructed me on proper technique. Pistorius was a good coach. A couple of my shots got close to the bull’s-eye, which delighted him. “Maybe you should do this more,” he said. “If you practiced, I think you could be pretty deadly.” I asked him how often he came to the range. “Just sometimes when I can’t sleep,” he said.


And perhaps more unfortunately, a 2011 Nike commercial featuring Pistorius contained this very unfortunate phrase:

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Even more eery are these Tweets from Steenkamp, from yesterday(!), about Valentine’s Day and (jokingly) being jealous of her friend for being in “heaven”:

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Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 10.12.37 AM
Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 10.12.37 AM
Steenkamp died just hours later.


13 Responses

  1. This is a very unfortunate headline and completely uncalled for. Let the facts come out before you write something like that. You’re like the poor man’s New York Post with this headline, which isn’t even remotely clever or funny.

    1. FACT: HE killed his girlfriend. Murder or accident? The judge will decide. BUT HE
      KILLED HER AND WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS. I hear he has an 18-year old girlfriend.

  2. Irony? Irony is if you ride a bike because more people die in car accidents but then fall off your bike and die. Thinking you might be burgled and then thinking your are being burgled isn’t ironic.
    But anyway put a side the misuse of the word ironic I see something more then a coincidence that he just so happens to kill his wife by mistake in what he believed was a burglary when he has talked about it before. And that is the possibility that he was trying to set a precedence for his actions that day that led to the “accidental” murder of his wife.
    The guy starts to put it out their for the world to know that he gets jumpy and over reacts when he hears a noise in the house that he snaps into combat mode because he’s so afraid that someone might be committing a burglary in his house. That way he has an excuse to feed to a prosecute and maybe later a jury.
    Its funny that it just so happens that burglary is his reason for shooting. Something the people of South Africa (who will make up the jury) can relate to. Violent crimes and burglaries happen a lot were they live its something they know all to well. They all know somebody thats been effected by the high crime rate. Its either happened to them or someone their close to. So maybe it is possible that it was just a mistake. The ballistic and blood evidence doesnt quite match what he’s saying but I have my doubts. Im a reasonable person and their is evidence that he was scared of being burgled. “YOU CAN READ IT RIGHT ON TWITTER!”.
    Now obviously all the evidence didnt come out yet so I have no clue what happened really, but what I said isnt that far fetched. It happens. Watch channel 111 Investigation Discovery people do crap like this all the time. It usually doesnt work, well at least in America. But that doesnt stop countless people from trying it. And the way it was reported it seems like that was the guys go to excuse when asked what happened.
    I really only see 2 plausible explanations for that comment.
    1)Either it really was an accident and that’s what happened
    2)Hes trying to do exactly what I said.

  3. MacJac, if you’re going to correct someone for their “misuse” of a word, be sure the rest of your post doesn’t have 2,407 grammatical errors of its own…

  4. Yeah she was so hot id still do her what was she doing with forest gump anyways

  5. Macjackmccoy Was the only one with anything worth reading. Though a bit speculative, at least you think for yourself instead of deep throating what the media feeds you. The rest are TOOLS AND……we need to…..dportdtools.

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