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Pistorius Trial: Text Messages Paint Ugly Picture Of Accused Murderer

Image courtesy of Getty

Image courtesy of Getty

Last week Gerrie Nel surprised many with the announcement that the prosecution in the murder trial of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius was nearing its conclusion. On Tuesday the prosecution rested, having called just a fifth of its 107 potential witnesses.

There was speculation that one of two scenarios would play out. Either Nel would reveal a “smoking gun” to the jury or he would, in essence, throw in the towel. Throwing in the towel not because the case was lost, but conceding the state’s case would not be improved by parading dozens of additional witnesses through the courtroom.

Well, on Tuesday the prosecution rested, but not before introducing explosive text messages between the two. Texts, that were among more than 1,000 exchanges between the couple police found on their phones and computer, which paint Pistorius in the most unflattering of lights.

Perhaps they aren’t quite tantamount to a “smoking gun,” but it’s clear Nel had no intention of throwing in the towel. While the texts don’t offer any insight into exactly what happened in Pistorius’ home in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, they do provide a window into Steenkamp’s desperation in dealing with a very troubled relationship.

South African Eyewitness News senior reporter Barry Bateman, who is currently co-writing Behind The Door: The Oscar and Reeva Story, tweeted out a screenshot of a devastating and damming message sent by Steenkamp to Pistorius just 18 days before she was killed at his home.

Via @barrybateman:

Image courtesy of @barrybateman on Twitter

Image courtesy of @barrybateman on Twitter

In the message Steenkamp details an incident that took place at the engagement party of one of her “best friends.” According to the text, Pistorius accused her of flirting with the husband of a friend, throwing a very public tantrum and forcing them both to leave the party early.

Steenkamp noted that Pistorius had been picking on her “incessantly” and enforced a double standard within their relationship. One in which he could freely mention his ex-girlfriends, but allowed him to lash out irrationally should she ever make passing mention of a former boyfriend.

If the relationship looked like a struggle to the outside world, that’s because, according to Steenkamp, it was. She makes it clear how much she loves Pistorius, but also adds that he scares her and that she spends much of her time (too much) trying not to “rock the boat.”

Considering how the woman he supposedly loved poured her heart out to him, Pistorius’ return texts weren’t very forgiving. Though he apologized for his tantrum, ultimately he blamed Steenkamp for being the catalyst to his behavior.

Image courtesy of @barrybateman on Twitter

Image courtesy of @barrybateman on Twitter

Said Pistorius, “I was upset that you just left me after we got food to go talk to a guy and I was standing tight behind you watching you touch his arm and ignore me and when I spoke up you introduced me which you could done but when I left you just kept on chatting to him when clearly I was upset.”

In his response, Pistorius apologizes right away, then goes on to detail all the ways in which he believed his actions were warranted and the various reasons for them. He was late. He was starving. He had a headache. He was left alone. He was tired. He was sick. He didn’t have the energy.

A bunch of nonsensical drama created in his own mind to justify all of his unjustifiable actions. He lost his mind because she was talking to a friend. He threw a public temper tantrum. He forced them to leave. He scared her by driving like a maniac on the way home. He personally attacked her about her accent to make her feel bad about herself.

One week before she was killed by Pistorius, who fired four shots blindly into a locked bathroom door, killing who he says he believed was an intruder, Steenkamp texted, “I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating u AND be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from.”

The communications between Pistorius and Steenkamp go a long way to back up the prosecution’s assertion that the Blade Runner, who captivated the world at the 2012 Olympics in London, is anything but the hero he’s been portrayed as.

Through the trial a picture has emerged of Pistorius. One of a man who plays one part when he knows the eyes of the world are centered on him, and is an entirely different person when he thinks no one is looking.

For instance, the night that Steenkamp was killed, Pistorius had the state of mind to call his family, his lawyer and his best friend, Justin Divaris shortly after the shooting. The first person he called was his father, who arrived on the scene to see his son carrying Steenkamp’s lifeless body down the stairs.

In fact, for as devastated as he claimed to be on the scene, Pistorius never called the police. He kept it together well enough to call up everyone in his address book as Steenkamp lie dead in his home from his hand, yet the sight of her dead body shown on a private monitor in court was enough to make him vomit.

The Pistorius drama is set to continue later this week, as he is scheduled to take the stand in his own defense—and we can expect a show. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from his actions to date, it’s that Pistorius will deliver when he knows who’s watching.

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