Details continue to emerge in Reeva Steenkamp's murder. Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who uses dual carbon-fiber prosthetic legs to walk and run, has been charged in her murder, and on Sunday, a bloody cricket bat emerged as key evidence in the case.
The cricket bat was one of at least four weapons that prior reports said Pistorius had within shouting distance of his bedroom. They included the cricket bat, a baseball bat, a handgun, and what was called a "machine gun," although that might have meant an assault rifle.
The bloodied cricket bat may fit into two different scenarios that authorities are investigating. In one of them theories, Steenkamp used the bat to protect herself, as a defensive measure, against Pistorius, who was her boyfriend. In a second scenario, Pistorius instead used the bat to break down a bathroom door behind which the model and reality TV star was hiding.
According to reports, Pistorius' blood is being tested for steroids and other drugs. In addition, authorities said that -- in addition to gunshot wounds -- Steenkamp's skull was "crushed." Police are testing the bat and her body to determine if her injuries were due to the bat and to determine whose blood is on it.
A source with inside knowledge of the case said:
There was lots of blood on the bat. Forensic tests will show whose blood it was.
It's possible some or all of the blood belongs to Pistorius. Those familiar with reality forensic shows will note that often, in the case of weapons such as knives or other blunt force weaponry, the assailant will wound themselves as well and have their blood appear on the weapon, too.
Original news reports said that Pistorius accidentally shot Steenkamp when he thought she was an intruder. However, South African paper City Press said three sources close to the investigation all agree: They have ruled out that possibility.
Those same sources agreed on another point. They all said that the state had a “rock-solid” case against the former Olympian. One attorney, who has 30 years’ of experience in the law, said:
He [Pistorius] could possibly get a 20-year sentence instead of life if he pleads guilty.
If Pistorius were sentenced to life, he would be able to apply for parole after 25 years, when he will be 51.
Oscar Pistorius was nicknamed "Blade Runner" because of his dual prosthetics. He was born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 4, 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games. In the first heat of the 400m race, he finished second place with a time of 45.44 seconds (which had been his best time of the season at that point), advancing to the semifinals which were held on Aug. 5, 2012.
He ran in the second semifinal, where he finished eighth, which was last, with a time of 46.54 seconds. Pistorius also ran in the 4 x 400 relay, but the South African team did not medal. He was chosen to carry the South African flag for the closing ceremony.