With two distinctly different stories about how and why Reeva Steenkamp was shot to death on February 14th, a distant memory, one that I will never forget, flashed to the front of my cranium. Is this another “O.J. Simpson case?”
From the Bronco chase down the freeways of Los Angeles, to the trial watched by millions on television, it was nothing more than the sad fall of a great athlete. It was 1995.
Their similarities begin with previous reports of domestic instability. Friends, families, and neighbors all reported sudden displays of uncontrollable anger.
Nicole Brown Simpson had been divorced from O.J. for two years, but still resided in a condominium in the upscale neighborhood of Brentwood. Simpson’s own home was in the same neighborhood, about a five minute drive away. She and reported boyfriend Ronald Goldman were found stabbed to death just outside her residence. Ms. Simpson had multiple wounds to chest, neck and head, and defense wounds on her arms. The most brutal of these was to her throat, where forensics proved she was held from behind and her carotid artery was severed.
Police believe Reeva Steenkamp was fearful of Pistorius, and sought refuge in the bathroom, locking the door. The angle of the shots appear to prove his intention was to kill her. An anonymous police department official said there had been previous complaints of “domestic disturbance.” His home was in an upscale area of Pretoria, South Africa.
O.J. Simpson’s attorneys argued that Ms. Simpson and Goldman were the victims of a “drug deal gone bad.” Ms. Simpson had a house guest by the name of Faye Resnick, an admitted cocaine abuser.
Pistorius claimed his life had been threatened, and he believed an intruder had locked himself in his bathroom. He never intended to kill his girlfriend.
Evidence was found at the home of Ms. Simpson, and at O.j.’s home. One bloody glove was found at the crime scene and one on the side of Simpson’s Brentwood mansion. Blood evidence was found at both residences, as well as a pair of bloody socks belonging to O.j. Simpson.
In Pretoria, a 9mm pistol was found which Pestorius admitted was his, and that he used it to fire through the bathroom door. Police also reported finding a bloody field hockey stick and a bloodied cell phone.
O.J. Simpson had enough money to hire an expensive defense team, who were subsequently able to hire “specialists” to testify on his behalf. Thanks to his defense teams diversionary tactics, the mishandling of evidence by the LAPD, accusations by the defense that Lt. Mark Furman was racially prejudiced and handled Simpson’s case with prejudicial methodology, he was acquitted by the jury. The high-profile trial lasted eight months. He was subsequently sued in civil court by the Brown and Goldman families. The trial found him guilty and liable for damages in their wrongful deaths.
Pistorius’s case has yet to begin, but he has already hired a high-profile defense team and a renowned pathologist. His account of that night drastically strays from what the prosecutors claim is “irrefutable evidence.”
Internationally famous athletes attract a great deal of attention… maybe too much. When athletes achieve a level of hero worship, and fall in drastic fashion, virtually everyone is aware of and affected by it. Lance Armstrong and O.J. Simpson were two of that type. Will Pistorius be the third?
Columnist-The Guardian Express