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Oscar Pistorius murder case begins: 'Bloodcurdling screams' used to show fight

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The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, aka the 'Blade Runner', began Monday in South Africa. Pistorius, who pled not guilty, is charged with shooting to death his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning hours of Valentines Day last year. Opening testimony Monday included neighbors' accounts of events with one saying she heard "bloodcurdling screams" coming from Olympic runner's house, according to CNN on March 3, 2014.

"Something terrible was happening at that house," said Michelle Burger on the witness stand, adding, "Her shouts, her screams were petrifying." Prosecutors hope that testimony will bolster their account of events that the couple were fighting just before Pistorius killed Steenkamp.

Burger was the sole witness Monday in the trial that's expected to last a few weeks. "It was very traumatic," Burger said, adding, "You could hear it was blood-curdling screams." Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday morning, according to Fox News.

Pistorius admits he killed Reeva Steenkamp by shooting four times through a toilet door. But the Olympic runner claims he killed his girlfriend when he mistook her for a dangerous intruder.

Prosecutors, however, counter his claims, saying the world-famous athlete shot his girlfriend to death after a loud fight. As soon as the trial began they used neighbor Burger's testimony to try and prove their theory that the young couple were engaged in a loud argument before the fatal shots.

Under questioning by prosecutors, Burger told the court that she heard a woman's screams and a man yelling for help. Burger said she awoke just after 3 to the sounds of a woman's "terrible screams."

She testified that she also heard a man screaming for help. Burger said her husband then called police. She later told her husband that she feared the woman had possibly witnessed her husband being shot due to the fact that after he screamed, they didn't hear him again.

Pistorius, now 27, and Steenkamp, 29, were a popular young and attractive couple in South Africa. Oscar was nicknamed the "Blade Runner" because of the special prostheses he uses while running, which resemble blades.

He won six Paralympic gold medals and went on to become the first double amputee runner to compete in the Olympics when he ran in the 2012 Summer Games in London.

South Africans and the world at large are mesmerized by the case of Oscar Pistorius, with people deeply divided over whether the athlete is telling the truth, or is alternately a ruthless killer.

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