Monday, March 31, 2014

Oscar Pistorius: Complete Statement Analysis

How about one statement with three analysts?

The case of Oscar Pistorius is in the news.  Statement Analysis of the case has been done by Kaaryn Gough as well as Mark McClish.  In reviewing both work, I find excellence in their work, as well as some great teaching samples.  

Here is the statement of Oscar Pistorius, alongside statement analysis done by both analysts.  I have added using my own name.  

Mark's website is  here.  Mark gives in person training as well as online training.  

Note the ability of both analysts to enter into the subject's personal internal subjective dictionary.  The statement is in the form of an affidavit,  in italics, with analysts comments in bold type. I have added underlining and color for emphasis. 

"On the 13th of February 2013 Reeva would have gone out with her friends and I with my friends. Reeva then called me and asked that we rather spend the evening at home."

Mark:   The word then can mean "immediately" which is how people usually want to use it. However, this word can also mean "soon afterward" which is how people usually use it. This means they have withheld some information. Something else occurred before the word then.

Peter:  "her friends" and "his friends" are different.  Was there a disagreement about this? Note that "we" enters his vocabulary about the two of them spending the evening at home. 

"I agreed and we were content to have a quiet dinner together at home."

Mark:  When people use the word agreed it sometimes means they first disagreed and then changed their mind. The police should investigate if Pistorius and his girlfriend had a disagreement. Perhaps he wanted to go out with his friends and did not want Reeva to come over that night.

Peter:  It is important to note when the word "we" is used, and when it is no longer used, with the context being the most important part of it.  "We" can show unity and cooperation.  When it comes to dinner, it produced "we" but only after the word "agreed", which is often used when there was an argument or disagreement.   We will continue to note the word "we" and see if it remains consistent throughout.  

"By about 2200 on 13 February 2013 we were in our bedroom. She was doing her yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television. My prosthetic legs were offWe were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way. She had given me a present for Valentine's Day but asked me only to open it the next day."

Mark:  The phrase "by about" indicates he has skipped over something. He does not tell us what time Reeva came to his house. He does not tell us what they were doing prior to being in their bedroom.
I find it odd that at this point in his statement he tells us that his prosthetic legs were off. I would expect him to state this when he was dealing with the intruder. At this point, there is no reason to tell us this.
The same thing applies to his statement that he and Reeva were deeply in love. He mentions this to convince us that he did not purposefully shoot her.

Peter:  The word "we" was used when they were in the bedroom, then the pronouns "she" and "I" enter as they were doing different things.

When it came to being "deeply in love", "we" re-enters.  That they were "deeply in love" is strange here, just as "I could not be happier."  Both appear as Attempts to Persuade, or editorialize the account, rather than simply report it.  

Overview:  We should consider how long it is taking him to get to the shooting.  The overwhelming number of deceptive statements have a form that is heavily weighted in the "pre" portion of the statement. 

A truthful statement will often look like this:

25% introduction
50% main event
25% post event

When the introduction to the shooting is lengthy, it may not only indicate deception "on its form" but also a hesitation of the subject to get to the shooting, similar to an avoidance.  

"After Reeva finished her yoga exercises she got into bed and we both fell asleep."

Peter:  he does not write, "we fell asleep" but instead, feels the need to make an emphasis by adding the word "both."  This may also show a need to persuade. 

"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.

Peter:  This is an parathentical view:  editorializing like as in a story.  It is very sensitive as it is:

1.  Unnecessary information 
2.  It is a delay in getting to the shooting (main event)
3.  It is explaining the reason "why" something took place, making it very sensitive to Pistorius.
"For that reason" is to explain "why" he had a "firearm" underneath his bed.  

Imagine how short a truthful statement would appear?

One might question if "I have been a victim before" is an attempt to garner sympathy.  

Mark:  Pistorius refers to his the weapon that he keeps underneath his bed as a "firearm." We will see if his language remains consistent in calling it a "firearm." 

"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.
Kaaryn:  Change of language from “intruders” to “someone”. It is important to note when a person’s Personal Dictionary changes. People don’t change their language arbitrarily. People use very specific words and are consistent with their language as long as their relationship/experience with the item/person remains the same. A change in language is expected when the relationship/experience with the item/person changes. The change of language from “intruders” to “someone” at this point in the story, tells us that the subject viewed who ever was in the bathroom differently than from those ‘entering homes with a view to commit crime.’ “someone” is neutral and could be anyone, friend or foe, and the use of it at this point in the story tells us that the subject did not consider the “someone” in the bathroom to be an “intruder”.
Also note: “someone” is singular. The subject believed only one person was in the bathroom.

Peter:  Please notice also the word "to" here in "I woke up, went into the balcony to bring the fan in..." is used to tell us why he went into the balcony.  When someone is telling us what happened, and feels the need to explain why, it is that he may anticipate a question and seeks to answer it before being asked.  This makes it "very sensitive" and in SCAN (Kaaryn and Mark were both trained in SCAN) it is given the color coding "blue", as the highest level of sensitivity.  Therefore, "so, since, therefore, because" etc, are highlighted as sensitive information.  

"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. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps. I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on.
Kaaryn:  “someone”—the subject’s language tells us that he still does not consider the person to be an intruder.

Peter:  Notice also that he places the emotions in the 'perfect' or logical place in the story, at the height of the action.  Since emotions take time to process, deceptive people will sometimes artificially place their emotions in the story.  In truthful accounts, emotions are often found in the "after the action" part of the account.  

Notice anything anyone reports in the negative:  "I did not have my prosthetic legs on" as important to the subject. 

Mark:  There are two types of emotions: short-term and long-term. Short-term emotions occur at the peak of the incident. If you turned around and someone was standing directly behind you, you may become startled. Once you quickly realize the person is not a threat the surprise is over. Being startled is a brief emotion.
Long-term emotions such as being in shock or being frightened occur after the incident is over and the person has time to reflect on what happened or could have happened. The incident itself is so overwhelming these long-term emotions are suppressed. When a deceptive person inserts long-term emotions into his story he usually puts them in the wrong place. He places them at the peak of the incident.
Pistorius tells us that he was in "terror" and was "too scared." Later he will state that he was filled with "horror and fear." These do not appear to be brief emotions but long-term emotions. They also appear to be out-of-place in his story.
Pistorius states that he was "too scared to switch a light on." This does not make sense. Being in the dark usually adds to the stress and fear that one may be experiencing. Turning on the light so you can see what is going on usually helps to alleviate any fears.
"I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.
Kaaryn:  “On my way to the bathroom…”—not “as I approached the bathroom…”. “On my way…” is too casual considering the circumstances.
words to the effect” – He’s not committing to what he said. The “effect” is more important, which was to “get out of my house”.
Note: He does not include that he informs the someone that he has a gun. Since he doesn’t say this, we cannot assume that he did. One would expect when a person wants to gain control in a situation, he/she would use this information as leverage. It would be an important point in a story that the someone was “warned” that a gun was present. Why doesn’t the subject say this?
Also, if the subject screamed for the someone to get out of his house, this demonstrates that the subject had made the decision to allow the someone in the bathroom to leave of his own accord. In order to do that, the someone would have to open the toilet door in order to exit the house (Keep this in mind for later)*. Again, as part of his efforts to get the someone to leave, one would think that mentioning “I have a gun” would help to prompt the someone to leave.

Mark:    Pistorius had a change in language. Earlier he called it a "firearm." Now he refers to it as "pistol." There are no synonyms in Statement Analysis. Every word means something different. A change in language indicates a change in reality. Truthful people will use the same language throughout their statement. There has to be a justifiable reason why he changed his language or else it is an indication he is being deceptive. As I read his statement I cannot find a reason why he would change his language from "firearm" to "pistol."

"I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.
Kaaryn:  “Intruder/s”—change from “someone” as said earlier. The change follows the fact that the subject noticed the bathroom window was open. The question still remains, why did the subject originally consider the person in the bathroom to be “someone” but now considers them an “intruder” at this point?. The subject’s relationship with the someone in the toilet has changed.
“I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.”— The events within a story should be told in the order of how the subject experienced them. Note the order here. The subject realized the intruder/s were in the toilet before he did not see anyone in the bathroom and before he heard movement inside the toilet.

Mark:  The word noticed sounds rather casual.
Earlier in his statement he said that "someone was in the bathroom" and that "someone had entered my house." He now changes his language from "someone" to "intruder." It would appear there is not a justification for the change.

Peter:   Language does not change on its own; something must cause it to change.  In Statement Analysis, there is no synonyms as each word holds meaning.  The number one cause of language change is emotion (Sapir) and we look within the statement to find any justification for a change in language. 

If no justification is found, it may be that the subject is not speaking from experiential memory. 

Experiential Memory:  one that someone experienced. 
It can be that one is speaking from memory, but not experiential memory, but memory from a TV program, book, or what someone else said. 
"It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window. As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.
 Kaaryn:  “I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger.”—not “if the intruders came out…”. The subject was certain the intruders would come out. How did he know this?
“I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger.”—“grave” provides the reasoning behind firing the gun. However, there is a conflict in thinking and logic at this point.
Recall earlier note in my analysis at the (*)—the subject claimed he screamed for he/them to get out of his house. This part of the story happened just moments before he believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet, that he and Reeva would be in grave danger. In effect, he’s telling us that he was willing to allow the intruder/s to come out in order for them to get out at the same time, making the decision that when he/they come out, “we would be in grave danger”. In other words, he was telling them to get out at the same time he was preparing to fire his gun.
 “I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself.”—not “us”. He separates himself from Reeva. However, he does place Reeva first, indicating Reeva was more important than “myself”.
“we”—This is the last time the subject uses this pronoun.
I felt trapped…”—not, “I was trapped”. “felt” describes an emotional state rather than an actual physical one, and yet he uses physical reasons (my bedroom door was locked…) to explain why he felt trapped. Given the subject uses “I” and the past tense, he is committing to this statement and it is likely true—he felt trapped. But trapped how?
felt trapped…”—not “we were trapped”. There was no “we” at this point.

Peter:  Now notice that the emotions are  now"horror and fear" and are in the logical or "perfect" part of the story.  This appears to be artificial placement of emotions.  Not only does he express the emotions but to be "filled" with them. 

I would also want to know if "stumps" is his normal language.  

Mark:  We would want to clarify why his bedroom door being locked made him feel trapped. The door locks from the inside which means he could unlock it and get out of the room. Maybe he felt that someone else would not be able to enter the room and provide him with help.
He stated, "I have limited mobility on my stumps." Earlier in his statement his mobility was not as limited when he said, "I have mobility on my stumps."
"I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance. Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding. When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.
Kaaryn:  Again, change of language from “screamed” to “shouted”. The subject first uses “screamed” when describing how he communicated with the “him/them” in the bathroom and in his communication to Reeva for her to call the police for the first time. However, after he fired shots at the toilet door, his language changed to “shouted” in his communication to Reeva for her to call the police. Why the change? What had changed for him in his experience with Reeva? He had fired shots at the toilet door.
One should note—“screamed” indicates an extreme emotional state and a very loud projection of voice, whereas “shouted” does not necessarily include an emotional state. One can shout simply because of distance or an impediment, such as a door, being between the two. The projection of voice is not as great as a scream.
Also note he included that “She did not respond.” after his second command to Reeva to call the police. One should wonder why he did not say that she had not responded the first time when he had “screamed” at her to call the police. Since he does not say it, we can not assume it happened. Therefore, we can only assume Reeva did not respond when the subject “shouted” to Reeva.

Change of language from “shouted” to “screamed”. Again, the language changed at this point of the story. However, given the events within the story, the change can be explained, making it “justified”. The word “screamed” indicates a highly emotional audio response. Generally, screaming is connected with extreme emotions such as fear, anger, joy. With all three emotions, it’s possible to “scream”

Peter:  He has the wherewithal to scream to Reya to phone the police.  What does he do when it comes to his own actions?  He does not call police but calls someone else to do it for him. 

Again, please notice how he feels the need to explain why:  here, he explains why he did not turn on the light.  This means he anticipated being asked, "Why didn't you turn on the light?" before even being asked.  This is very sensitive and is given the color blue as the highest level of sensitivity (SCAN)

Note "dawned on me" sounds like story telling language instead of adrenaline fueled 'fight or flight' activity.  To "dawn on me" would be to slowly realize.  This sounds very awkward here for good reason:  it is split second reaction and instead of honestly reporting it as such, he is story telling with descriptive language and pressing reasons why something happened (or did not happen) instead of reporting the facts. 

Mark:  Earlier he said that he told Reeva to "phone the police." Now he is telling her again to phone the police. How does he know Reeva did not call the police the first time? He tells us that Reeva "did not respond." Earlier when he told her to call the police he made no mention of her not responding.
Even though he has fired several shots, even though the intruders now know he has a gun, even though Reeva is not responding, he is still "too scared" to turn on the light.


Tania Cadogan said...

Fantastic analysis.

I have questioned why he didn't check where Reeva was given his alleged fear of intruders.
He doesn't tell us the doors were closed before he went to bring in the fans so i can't assume they were.
Considering his alleged fear of crime i have to ask why the sliding doors were open prior to him going out.
On hearing a strange noise in the house, the natural and expected reaction is to wake your partner/ bed companion and ask if they heard anything.
I would expect given his screaming and shouting that Reeva would have responded either to say it's me in the toilet you idiot, or to call security.
I have to ask why he automatically assumed it was an intruder when he was sleeping in the same bed as Reeva.
You know when someone is in your bed, you feel their weight/body heat and hear hem breathing.
He tells us the room is pitch black, unless he has blackout blinds etc there will be some light coming through from outside.
Why didn't he turn on the light which is the normal response in such a situation, it allows you to see who or what is there and react.
It looks like he is using the dark as an excuse.

He fired 4 shots the first shot would have hit Reeva probably in her hip, she would have screamed if not from the injury from the sheer surprise at the gunshot,guns are loud, really loud, especially in a confined space.
He would have heard her scream and thus realised it was her and not an intruder. There would have been no need for the remaining shots if it was in error.
he however carried on shooting, the final shot likely being the head shot and, given the nature of the bullets, it would have been pretty much instant death.

His story simply doesn't follow the logical path.
he did the exams he knew what he was expected to do in similar situations, know who you are shooting at.

As Kaaryn rightly points out, the person in the toilet would either leave via the window (i think there was one in the toilet) or leave through the door.
They were in effect trapped and going nowhere.
If he had shouted he was armed whoever was in the toilet would have responded, especially if it was Reeva. she isn't going to stay quiet when she has a man with a gun pointing at the door and her should she open it unexpectedly.
He tells us early on he screams at the 'intruder' to get out his house. At that point Reeva would have responded saying it's me. Throughout all this the shouting etc what is missing is any response from Reeva.
This is unexpected.
He tells us she never responded.

Tania Cadogan said...

He is truthful on one point though
"I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond
She did not respond because she was either dead or dying.

There was plenty of opportunity for him to descalate.
The intruder in the toilet is going nowhere or at best out the window.
Pistorius was not trapped, he was in the bathroom with access to the bedroom and from there the balcony or unlocking the bedroom door.
He had an escape route he could have used to get away from the danger.
Either the intruder would leave or was trapped till security arrived had pistorius stood his ground or could have escaped via the bathroom if pistorius had fled the bedroom.

Why then did it end up as it did given all the other possible options he had?
All that fits is he knew who was in the toilet, how could he not?
Why then was she dressed when they were both allegedly asleep?
Why did he not tell us she responded?
Is it because the responses she gave indicate an argument, he cannot admit they fought as that blows his story out the water.
Since lying is stressful and he would be lying about her responses, he lies by ommission, he ignores her responses, they don't exist in his reality.

he changes from mobility to limited mobility, a change in language language indicates a change in reality, what changed?
He has mobility when fetching in the fan and hearing the noise.
He has limited mobility should the intruder come out the bathroom and feeling trapped.

I wonder why the bedroom door was locked making him feel trapped?
The key would be on his side of the door so he was never trapped.
was the door locking normal for him?
Why lock the bedroom door yet leave the sliding doors open? ( he doesn't tell us he opened the doors to get to the fan only that he closed them)

Nothing in this story is in the right place, not the emotions ( they are in the perfect place rather than where they should normally be given the words he uses describing them)
How he did things, what Reeva was saying during all this and given the noise he was making she would have responded.

This was a fight that went downhill fast with fatal consequences.

For me given what is known about him, it was not a case of if he killed someone, rather it was when.

Anonymous said...

Peter: he does not write, "we fell asleep" but instead, feels the need to make an emphasis by adding the word "both."

My prosthetic legs were off...

she got into bed and we both fell..

"I am acutely aware of violent..

. I have also been a victim of violence..

Baxtie said...

Great analysis by all! The most telling piece of evidence against Pistorious is that Reeva locked the toilet door.

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S + K Mum said...

Agree! She was hiding from him.

trustmeigetit said...


Searchers combing an expansive Northeast Washington park for missing 8-year-old Relisha Rudd have discovered a man’s body, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Lanier said the unidentified person appeared to have committed suicide and investigators are exploring whether it might be 51-year-old Kahlil Malik Tatum, the man who is under investigation in the disappearance of Rudd. Lanier said they hope to identify the man later in the day.

trustmeigetit said...

I agree with Hobs that this was a truthful statement:

We know he fired… and I think he likely shouted for her to call police as he would be very aware that she had screamed and others likely heard. I think he also screamed (in fear) to possibly mask her screams.

But, he was after her. She went into that stall for safety. Period. I think he came at her with the bat initially and tried to break the door down. I think he then shot when that didn’t work. He was angry at her about something.

I also think he keeps saying the lights were off to go along with his story they were “asleep”. I believe the lights were on. He is trying to keep us on the story line that they were asleep and woke up to this. Not that they were awake fighting.

Also, if its pitch black, how is she getting up and getting to the stall. My room is connected to my bathroom and when I get up in the middle of the night to use the rest room, I flip on my closet light so I can see.

But the one thing about his story that I cannot imagine anyone would buy is that he assumed it was an intruder. What intruder is going to barricade themselves in a toilet stall? If they break in, they do what they came for and leave. Going into the toilet stall make no sense.

The only thing that does make sense for someone to be in a locked stall is that they went in there to get away from someone.

Carnival Barker said...


What an enjoyable lesson using all three experts' opinions! Loved it.

Unknown said...

Great analysis by all!

I agree with you Baxtie, the locked bathroom door is something he will have a very hard time explaining away. It makes no sense in his version on events.

In his story, where Reeva innocently got up without him knowing and went to the restroom, she would have no reason to lock, or even close the toilet door. They were the only people in the home, and she would have been the only one awake, so there would be no concern for privacy.

The door was locked because she was trying to escape his violence.

Unknown said...

Does anyone know how to switch to the mobile version view on a tablet?

I got a new Surface, and I can't find the option to change from web view to mobile view. I prefer the mobile view, since it's easier to follow the comments. I had the option on my iPad, but the option doesn't appear at the bottom where it used to on my Surface.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Anonymous said...

I hope this helps you Jen, it's a link I found googling your question:

Unknown said...

Thank you Anon! It'll check it out.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Pistorious: "By about 2200 on 13 February 2013 we were in our bedroom. She was doing her yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television. My prosthetic legs were off. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way. She had given me a present for Valentine's Day but asked me only to open it the next day." NOTE: His comments about the present are additional, unsolicited information and out of place. Surely, she didn't wait until after exercising and immediately before going to sleep to give him a Valentine's present (particularly if she called asking him to be with her at his house that night).

Anonymous said...

Pistorius: "After Reeva finished her yoga exercises she got into bed and we both fell asleep." NOTE: If he fell asleep, how would he know when she fell asleep (unless she fell asleep first, which he did not say)?The expected is "we went to bed" or "we went to bed and I fell asleep" or "she fell asleep first and then I fell asleep"

The language change regarding his weapon- it's a "firearm" when he references "intruder(s), but it's a "pistol" when he references "someone".

It's interesting that he closed the sliding doors, blinds,and curtains and repeatedly references the bedroom being pitch dark. Yet, on his stumps and with a "sense of terror rushing over" him, he failed mention any difficulty maneuvering his way back to the bed and retrieving his "pistol". Pitch dark, terrified,"limited mobility on his stumps", and trying to hurry should have had him bumping into furniture/the bed at the very least (which should have roused Reeva or had him waking her). That would be the expected.

Why, after he has the gun, is suddenly screaming to Reeva; when moments before, he doesn't feel for her or make any attempt to wake her? Why is he screaming for her to call the police, yet he's too afraid to turn the light on? If he's emboldened enough to scream instructions to Reeva, the light revealing to an intruder that he's there is no longer an issue. If he's screaming at the intruder, the light being on signaling someone's home is no longer an issue either. He keeps repeating that the bedroom is pitch dark because it's sensitive. The only reason to keep it pitch dark is to retain the element of surprise on the intruder...which he lost when he screamed. It sounds more as if he is stealthily creeping up on the unsuspecting Reeva in the locked toilet, then warns her to come out, he has a gun.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Pistorius keeps referencing the bedroom as pitch dark and "terror rushed over" him, yet he reports no difficulty navigating the bedroom furniture. The expected would be that groping along, he would bump the bed, which would wake Reeva. Or as he got to the bed, he would quietly wake her and warn her.

It's interesting to note that he's perfectly comfortable screaming to both the intruder and Reeva and yet afraid to turn on the light? He's already lost an tactical advantage of surprise-the light doesn't matter now.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Pistorius repeatedly asserts that the bedroom was pitch dark and and "terror rushed over" him...yet, on his stumps, he had no difficulty navigating the bedroom furniture? At the very least, the expected is that he would bump into furniture (the bed, in particular). If that didn't wake Reeva, any normal person would quietly rouse her with a two-fold warning: "Be quiet. I think there's somebody in the house."

Instead, he apparently perfectly navigated the furniture in a pitch dark room to grab his gun.

However, his seemingly perfect coordination doesn't fit well with his later statement of having "limited mobility on his stumps". Handicapped without prosthesis + pitch dark + imminent, life-threatening danger + terrified does not equal stealthy, quiet, and coordinated.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Which leads to my next point...he goes from "mobility on my stumps" to "limited mobility" to "rushing back into the bedroom" (near the end of the statement).

If he was able to rush on his stumps in the first place, why wouldn't he wake Reeva and they rush from the bedroom (or at the very least, slip out onto the balcony with his gun and a cell phone and call Security)? His story makes no sense.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Also, he reports screaming at Reeva to call the police and later shouting at Reeva to call police, but nowhere does he recollect hearing her talking to police...even after the fact. Note the words he chooses..."screaming", followed by "shouting" are consistent with arguments.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

Pistorius: "It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window. As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.

His narrative is out of order. He's in a pitch dark room, gun drawn, announcing a second potential victim, ordering the police called, and the intruder to "get out"...and he's working out how he/they got in? There's no time for that. He's telling us he "knew he had to protect Reeva and [himself]...". In the moment, every fiber of your being is trained on that door, watching for the faintest movement, straining to hear the slightest sound that alerts you that the intruder is indeed coming out. You are so focused on trying to stay alive, you aren't thinking of anything else. You're so acutely aware that you hear your own blood pulsating through your eardrums, thundering.

His account seems bogus because: his language is far too casual; emotions, as well as post-event logic, are perfectly placed throughout the event; additional, unnecessary, and unsolicited information is offered; there are too many details where should be few and vice-versa. It reeks of staging a story, rather than experiential memory.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

It's interesting that he has a rambling commentary on violent and violence, followed by screaming (with no response from Reeva), followed by shouting (with no response from Reeva), concluding with more screaming (with no response from Reeva-injured/dying/dead).

Why would a famous athlete, having already been a victim once, having a deathly fear of intruders that prompts a gun under the bed, having received death threats before, even consider allowing contractors to leave ladders up (much less the balcony doors open or a single window unbarred)at night?

Does his house have a security system? Most have zone security features and will alert you that there is a door or window open. Given his high profile, previous experience, knowledge of intruders, and fears, it seems incredibly odd that his house would lack a security system.

Foolsfeedonfolly said...

I'd like to know where he regularly kept his prosthetics and how long it generally takes him to strap them on. Notice he never mentions why he doesn't retrieve them and put them on. Most disabled people keep their prosthetics or medical aids next to their bed, in the event of a fire or sudden medical emergency, because they feel vulnerable without them.

impulsive said...

Aside from everything that's been mentioned what I would like to know is did he REALLY recieve death threats at any time? Really? I just find it somewhat hard to believe not only that one person threatened him but multiple people at different times threatened his life - so much so that he feels so afraid etc..

impulsive said...

Oops also: as far as him calling it a firearm and then a pistol it seemed to me that it was a firearm when being kept somewhere but a pistol when he is retrieving it to use it.

John Mc Gowan said...
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Anonymous said...

I imagine that even without any knowledge of statement analysis, his story is simply just not believable. It just doesn't make sense.

How did he realize Reeva wasn't in bed? It was so pitch black. He could miraculously see in the pitch black, only after he shot his gun? I would think shooting at an "intruder" would cause further fear, anxiety, etc. He never said he turned the light on, inless I missed that part.

JoAnn said...

His story is just that, a story. He was carefully anticipating questions and inserting "answers." I think he mentions screaming from the balcony because Reeva screamed & he knew a neighbor heard. Why would he feel trapped in his bedroom that locks from the inside? Can he not reach the lock without his prosthetic legs (would he really have locks that he couldn't reach in an emergency?) or does he mention feeling trapped because he locked the bedroom door & had the key, therefore trapping Reeva in the bedroom? This might explain why she would run into the bathroom instead of out the bedroom door. She should have been able to flee the bedroom if he wasn't wearing his prostheses. I don't think he had taken off his prostheses at all, nor do I believe they had gone to bed. Was she trying to leave him, break up with him? Is that why she asked him not to open the gift, or did he refuse to open her gift because he was angry with her about something?

JoAnn said...

I think the unopened gift is very sensitive for him. What Valentine gift giver asks you to wait until the next day to open? This is not Christmas Eve, when a gift might have a sticker that says "Do not open until Christmas." It's Valentine's Day - the following day is just Feb 15. He was either too angry to open a gift from her, or she was sadly asking him to wait (I won't be your girlfriend by tomorrow & when you open this gift, you'll see how much I cared, but it will be too late).

Anonymous said...

Yes the screaming gets him out of one hole only to create another... Obviously if he thought an intruder was in the bathroom he would whisper to Reeva to call the police, while he stood duty waiting for the possibly armed intruder to leave the bathroom.

Pistorios is a hot tempered monster but alos a cold blooded manipulator.

I hope he gets life. nOt only should Reeva´s murder be punished to the full, the public must be protected. I don├▒t believe it will ever be safe to release him.

Tania Cadogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

WASHINGTON – Police in the nation's capital say they have identified the body of a man found in a park as that of a murder suspect who was the last person seen with a missing 8-year-old girl.

Police announced Tuesday morning that the man found dead Monday with an apparent gunshot wound was identified as 51-year-old Kahlil Tatum. Chief Cathy Lanier says his death appears to be a suicide.

Tatum was a janitor at the homeless shelter where Relisha Rudd lived with her family.

The search for Relisha continues. She was last seen March 1 with Tatum, and police say the next day he bought trash bags and was seen in the park. School absences sparked the search March 19. After Tatum's wife was found dead, he was charged with murder.

Sadly if he is dead then it is more than likely Relisha Rudd is dead as well. What is not known currently is if she was killed before or after his wife.

If prior to it may explain the murder of his wife, Did she know something and was going to call LE?

Was she killed to keep a secret?

Since he is dead we will never know the motive unless he left a note somewhere.

I suspect her mom and grandmother know a lot more than they are saying, why give care of your child to someone you barely know, who is not family?

Why the need to lie to the school who were asking where Relisha was?
Why pretend he was a doctor?

What the hell was going on in that shelter and between the mom , grandmother and tatum?

My thoughts head off down dark paths, are we talking drugs?
Are we talking child porn?
Was Relisha a payment of sorts?
Given she was missing for so long according to independant witnesses and the mom claims she asked for Relisha back and he refused, is she telling the truth?
He is dead and cannot speak to those claims.

The only ones who know the truth are the mom and grandmother, if they keep quiet about the why's and play the victim card they could be getting away with a horrific crime.

I hope Relisha is alive somewhere, with the suicide of tatum, the odds sadly, aren't in favor.

Anonymous said...

You can see blood on the cricket bat. The toilet stall is TINY. He must have been inches away from her.

Case cosed. He is toast ;-)

Anonymous said...

Maybe he didn't know about the gift until after?

trustmeigetit said...

The whole thing is a story.

They were fighting. More than one neighbor heard this.

They were awake. The lights were ON. She ran from him, locked herself in that bathroom out of fear and did scream.

I believe he has deep anger issues.

He snapped. I am sure that her meeting her ex-boyfriend earlier that day had a big part of it and she may have threatened to end things.

Their doors lock with a key. I lived in Germany at one point and that is how are doors were.

Another thought I had where he commented about being trapped in the bedroom that I had not thought of before…..

I think he bedroom door was locked for some reason.

Now that we know the doors lock with a key (the bathroom did so likely the rest of the house did as well), if it was not in the door for some reason, he is essentially trapped.

So, where was the key. Was it taken out and tossed during an argument?

One idea…

During the fight, Reeva decided she wanted to leave. He took the key out of the door and maybe tossed it. As it escalated, she ran to the bathroom, the only other place she could close a door and maybe be safe. I BELIEVE he chased her with the cricket bat initially. Then got the gun.

I think he then had the break the door down not only to start building his story of what happened, but to also get out of the room. I lived in Germany once. Each door used the same key. We had a couple and we could use the bathroom key to unlock the bedroom key. Not sure that is the case here, but may be.

If he tossed the key in anger to keep Reeva there…. He would be trapped.

trustmeigetit said...


"You're still sleepless, you're still wondering and want to keep it fresh, so that we won't forget her. Because she's like our child." says family friend, Tameka Champion.

It is so very sad… We have had more words from a family friend than mom or dad.

I think this child is on the property. Somewhere assessable by that quad. I think they need to bring in a herd of cadaver ( I am sure she is deceased) dogs to score the acreage. I think she is buried on the area around the home. And I think only dogs will find her. But not 1-2, but a herd.

I think a lot more cases would be solved if they brought in herds of dogs vs a couple. They can cover large areas quickly since they only need a scent… multiple dogs could cover miles of land.

Anonymous said...

Lots of talk about light/darkness and doors in Oscar's statement.

What does that mean? Or is this just the expected in a situation like this?

trustmeigetit said...

Anon 3:04.

I think he is just saying it was dark to stick with his story that they were sound asleep and that he didn’t see Reeva get up.. I don’t think in this case it means more than that.

It needs to be dark to make his story somewhat plausible.

John Mc Gowan said...

I have noticed he doesn't mention his gift to her. Have i missed that?. Or has that never been mentioned?.

Anonymous said...

Good question john. What is the point of him bringing up her getting him a gift? She got me a gift, so I didn't kill her (on purpose)? That's weird, and like you said, what about his gift to her? Was there one?

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The gift does seem sensitive. I feel he is guilty.

Mary said...

Excellent analysis & enjoyable read! Oscar Pistorius' ignorance has earned him one of my limited comments on Peter's blog over the years! His version of events the night Reeva was killed is one of the most ignorant denials a suspect has ever tried sell! This is his version in a nutshell:

After speaking to Reeva, without turning on a light, he goes on the patio to bring in a fan and closes the blinds & pulls the curtains. He then hears something in the bathroom so he gets his gun from under the bed but still doesn't turn on the lights because now, he's too afraid. With no worries if Reeva is still safe in bed, he hollers for the intruder to get out & tells Reeva to call police. During the bail hearing Pistorius' attorney claimed it would've been normal for Reeva not to reply to the request because she'd have been to afraid.

So without his prosthetics & without asking Reeva if she's ok & too afraid to turn on the lights, Oscar isn't too afraid to head into the bathroom where the supposed intruder is. He notices the window open & the door to the toilet room closed, so Oscar Pistorius just starts shooting at the toilet room door. Because that makes sense. At some point, as his attorney claimed in court, Oscar starts screaming like a woman- and the neighbors had heard *him* screaming, not Reeva.

Pistorius' attorney claimed he had no reason to have murdered her while she was using the restroom. I'm sure Mr. Attorney is already very aware Reeva may've thought she'd found a safe place to hide from an enraged gunman, not realizing she was dealing with a rare individual who'll shoot through a door to ensure she pays for angering him. Or maybe she'd just slammed the door in his face & locked him out & he knew she had her cell phone with her & was going to call police.

Again, as usual I enjoyed reading the analysis, Peter. Apologies for the length of my reply & what some might detect as disgust. Pistorius may be found guilty for slaughtering Reeva but time flies & soon, he'll find himself in front of a Higher Power, trying to convince Him he doesn't belong in hell because it was Reeva's fault he had to kill her because she'd pushed him too far. Good luck with that, Oscar!

May Reeva's beautiful soul rest in peace.

Tania Cadogan said...

Succintly put Mary.

When you look at it as you have written,using his claims it is easy to see he is lying through his teeth.

WTG :)

Tania Cadogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What I found the most incriminating is what wasn't said.

Reeva got up to go to the bathroom. Oscar is making all of this noise: He's getting the fan off the balcony without his legs on so I am guessing there was bumping and clattering there, then,"Get out of my house! Reeva, call 911!" But she just went on quietly finishing her business without a word? I can't imagine anyone doing that. Wouldn't any reasonable person be like, "What's going on?! Who's in the house?" If it were me, starting with the bringing in the fan, I'd immediately ask my husband, "What the hell are you doing?"

Also, there's this big set up of: we were so in love, we were casually hanging out before bed, we fell asleep together, everything's just lovely...but he hears a rustle in the bathroom and neither says, "Did you hear a noise?" Nor,"Is that you, hon?"

You could survey ANY couple that sleeps in the same room, whether it's their very first night together or married 50+ years (or even non-romantic couples like roomates or siblings sharing a room) you hear a bump in the night you're going to first turn to the other person and ask, "Did you hear that?" Not just immediately jump to the conclusion that there's a homicidal maniac in the house and start shooting. All other statement analysis of what he did say is just icing; it's the glaring ommission of those 2 sentences that cast serious doubt for me. Anon J

Anonymous said...

Or, JoAnn, he forgot to get her one (or what he got her was something genericly cheesy). She tells him off, maybe throws in the old boyfriend's name, "Bob never forgot Valentine's Day!" And the fight escalated from there. I'd poke around the subject of that gift too. Good point. Anon J

Anonymous said...

If it was so dark in the bedroom, how was Reeva supposed to call police?

Anonymous said...

Thank you.I also realised he uses "hearing aids".
Anon J

Anonymous said...

She had"lost"her cell phone(according to his defence team)a week earlier.
Anon J

Anonymous said...

It creeaps ne out when peoole talk about presents when giving info surrounding murder. it always sounds like a compensation/distraction from conflict.

Anonymous said...

Soundslikely to me. she was trapped. she was terrified. all his feelings are stolen from her.

Vivdora said...

This is all very interesting.
My question is, where were the dogs and why weren't they barking?
Foolsfeedonfolly is a great name :)
Another question, what were they talking about before he got the fan? He can't have thought she'd gone straight back to sleep?
Wouldn't he have said " it's too hot, I'm going to get the fan"?

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis - i absolutly appreciate the way you showed how his use of language betrays what has happened.
Imho the testimony of the ex-girlfriend is crucial - and makes all his talking of being so extremly scared and paniky implausible.
As far as I know she said: there have been a few occasions when OP thought, there might be intruders in or at the house - but each time he checked on her and her wherabouts AND he handled the situation then cool and considerated.
She also said, it was never 'pitch dark' in the bedroom.
So it's not only the way he tells his story - which betrays his lies - but also the story itself.

Also the security guard, Mr. Baba, also said in his statement: he wondered why OP did not hit the 'panic button' - so not only motion detectors, 2 guard dogs, flood lights and regularly patrolling guards, but also panic buttons in the house...

I fail to picture this trigger-happy gold-medal-winning conqueror of all obstacles under above mentioned securtity circumstances being so scared that he screams like a woman and is too afraid to put on the light AFTER he shot through the toilet-door with Black Talon amunition.

Imho - he killed her in a fit of raving madness - and then tried hastily to make up a cover story. But this also betrays this 'fit of raving madness' - his try of gaining time to make up a story, this shows ice-cold consideration.

What terrifies me most - how could he shot on after the first shot which hit Revva Steencamp at the hip and mashed up her hip bone - which for sure made her scream 'blood curdling'.
How could anyone shot on - when you hear that you must have hit the 'intruder' devastingly? Even when you are in a fit of rage with your partner and you shot at him/her - wouldn't that at least be the moment to come to your senses and stop?
And if not - what is the state of mind when you shot on? Remember - each hit alone could have been deadly or, if Reeva would have survived it - seriously disableing her. There seems to be a determined will to kill - knowing exactly whom.

Why was Reeva Steencamp wearing a black vest in the middle of the night? Why did she have her phone with her?
Also she had eaten 2 hours prior to her death - inconsistent with OPs story.

Unknown said...

In his bail application OP states that he went to the balcony to bring in a fan but in the opening statement Pistorius said that he walked on his stumps to the balcony, pulled in two fans. So, is it one or two?

Unknown said...

In the bail application OP said that he went to the balcony to get a fan but in his statement at the start of the trial the story goes that he woke in the early hours and walked on his stumps to the balcony, pulled in two fans. So, was it one or two fans?

Anonymous said...

These posts were really a fantstic read and I am hoping that the discussion will continue tomorrow after Pistorius gives his testimony. I loved the linguistic analysis. And what I would like to know - with all the emphasis of how "deeply in love" they both supposedly were - the scene before they go to bed does not sound loving to me. She's doing her yoga excercises, and he is watching TV. What couple that has only been together three months sounds that neutral the night before the day that commemorates love? In a novel that would not sound very loving at all. So we are supposed to believe that they gave up spending the evening before Valentine's day with their friends to spend it together, and then before 10 pm they already go their separate ways and then to bed at 10? They are in their twenties, not their sixties Where is the affection for each other, physical and otherwise? And btw, why does Pistorius refer to the bedroom as "our" bedroom? It was HIS house and HIS bedroom. Their both sleeping in it does not make it "our" bedroom. That is part of his fabrication. In one of the text messages that were read in court and published (which were also quite strident and strong for a couple that has only been together for three months) he texts to her "you can stay the night, if you like" which I think sounds unusual, as if she had announced prior to that that she was not going to be spending nights at his place. If it was "our" bedroom, wouldn't he assume she would be spending the night? ---- And then as someone astutely asked, where is his gift to her? No mention of a gift for her. --- Yet the texts they sent each other immediately prior to that fateful evening do not sound as if one of them wanted to break up the relationship. The texts are about her cooking for him that evening and his loving it - yet nowhere is there talk of food afterwards, only in the pathologist's report something that totally contradicted Pistorius's saying they ate at eight pm, the pathologist's finding stated that she had eaten at 1 am. That made me think that instead of eating supper he sulked and they fought and she could not eat, got hungry in the middle of the night and went to the refrigerator. And ate vegetables, no less. Now who eats vegetables in the middle of the night? (What I am saying is that they may have skipped supper on account of that fight, and then she got hungry ....). -------- But what makes no sense to me is the timeline. They both arrived at his house at 5 pm - that means that a fight, if there was one, did not escalate until 10 hours later? If they had gone out and got back say at 1 am, 3 am would make more sense for the culmination of a bad fight. So even though I unfortunately believe he killed her in a rage, I have problems understanding the timeline. The huge time gap between 5 pm and the murder at 3 am.

triscaleant said...
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triscaleant said...

Excellent analysis from all three of you. I cannot add anythng regarding the statement by Pistorius that has not already been said, but I do hope you would allow me to add the the following, which does reflect on the case, if not directly on the statement:
To me, the fact that 95% of all text messages between Pistorius and Reeva were reminiscent of a couple deeply in love only proves that in sending her share of the remaining 5% of the messages, Reeva must have had enough of the abuse and had to find a way to try and stop it. As someone who was in an abusive relationship for seven years, I know the signs.
Knowing that he has a bad temper, she could not challenge him directly, fearing his reaction, so she might have grabbed at texting as a last resort. The fact that she did this must have put him on guard, and perhaps he felt that he had to stop her before she spoke out and ruined his public reputation, so he challenged her in order to invoke a response so that he had an excuse to "put her in her place" so to speak. He probably misjudged her in the sense that he did not expect her to challenge him back. He might have been caught off guard, lost his temper and turned violent. Should that be the case, then the rest is history. I am totally for a verdict of "guilty".

Anonymous said...

What side of the bed was Reeva sleeping on folks? The side closest to the window! And she never heard, saw or felt ANYTHING! When I read it, it brought to mind 3 monkeys, see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Why not put the lamp on by the side of the bed. He's admitted to talking with her just before, so yes,unless she had fall straight bk to sleep in mins then woke up and again within mins lol, it's total garbage. Ask any sleep expert ;) Loads more things for me that aren't right, but you're all 'reasonable' folks and what he did was beyond reasonable, so I guess he's going to jail then ;)

triscaleant said...

Sorry! The second post was an accident! I did not mean to post twice. I was under the impression that I have deleted or cancelled the first post before adding the second, so please feel free to delete it if you choose to do so. Regards! :)

triscaleant said...

Deleted because it was a duplication. :)

triscaleant said...

I have a problem with the timeline too. One gets the impression that, if there was a fight earlier on (within about an hour of getting home), and she was possibly doing yoga at ten to try and work off the emotional consequence which suggests to me that there was a fight, then he had at least nine hours to contemplate cold blooded murder and act on it... which in turn suggests to me that this murder was in was pre-meditated.

triscaleant said...

I agree. I would not automatically assume that there is a homicidal maniac in the house... unless, of course, I'm the homicidal maniac...

triscaleant said...

Very well put, Mary! I happen to feel the same amount of disgust you do! I also happen to enjoy your sharp sense of gallows humour in this regard. :)

triscaleant said...

Your version sounds likely to me too... especially chasing her with the cricket bat so she had to hide in the toilet. I believe the cricket bat damage was done before the shots.

triscaleant said...

I think you have put the concerns of a large percentage of the SA public into words... the public HAS to be protected. I was in the claws of a monster such as this for seven years. It's no picnic. I also hope Pistorius gets life...

Anonymous said...

Foolsfeedonfolly, you asked whether his house had a security system. He lived in a gated community, surrounded by high walls (sure), electric fencing, guards and laser sensors (cf. previous Posts) and biometric thumbprint locks.
All in place for People "who want security more than anything else". v.

Yet Pistorius kept a pistol and a machine gun in his bedroom. Sure, he feels more vulnurable and helplessly exposed to crime than other Sout Africans, given his handicap - which is understandable. But, with a view to the safe environment he lived in, isn´t it much more realistic to think that it´s Steenkamp who´s in the bathroom, than an intruder? Does he never get up at night, e. g. to get a fan from the balcony?

What´s suspicious, in general, when people use the word really when it´s not necessary. In some cases, then, it is unconsciously used to emphasize that now the truth is indeed being told. It strikes me when OP says "really" in sentences like we really were making future plans together, "I really was trying to help Reeva breathe".

On a different note: If it was the first night I´m spending with someone, I would not check on the other Person if they heard a noise too (referring to Anonymous: "You could survey ANY couple that sleeps in the same room, whether it's their very first night together or married 50+ years (or even non-romantic couples like roomates or siblings sharing a room) you hear a bump in the night you're going to first turn to the other person and ask, "Did you hear that?"

Anonymous said...

How do you know if your partner is asleep if you are asleep?

Anonymous said...

But...they were not the only people in the home..his man servant was downstairs..the one that didn't hear, see, or know anything...

Anonymous said...

Valentines day?..3 month into a relationship with a supermodel..and you go to sleep at 10pm...after doing seperate activities??????

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why on earth would he whisper to Reeva...then start screaming his head off at the intruder???
Cos none of it happened.
They rowed...he blew his top