There are very few reasons that most people can think of as natural and reasonable purposes for locking the bathroom door from the inside. When it comes to the Oscar Pistorius trial, that locked bathroom door may be the most damaging piece of evidence yet against Oscar Pistorius. And it is one of many things that the defense does not want anyone talking about. The Toronto Relationships Examiner reported on June 17 the 3 stages of premeditation that have been explored in the Oscar Pistorius trial, but there are still so many questions left. On June 16 the New York Daily News reported that the Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky for "48 Hrs" has refrained from putting an investigative team on the trial for various reasons, but has since changed her mind. What is the truth about that bathroom door "48 Hrs" later?
There has been much dispute over the piles of circumstantial and ballistic evidence in the Oscar Pistorius trial. None of this may matter however if Judge Masipa considers that locked bathroom door as the most damaging piece of evidence against Oscar Pistorius.
Susan Zirinsky told the New York Daily News that up until now she has decided not to put a team on this case to investigate that circumstantial evidence because the level of the players involved interfered with a clean investigation. The circus aspect of the case prevented her from doing so but she has since changed her mind noting, "this is not a whodunnit".
This is a trial where Judge Masipa and her colleagues must decide what was going through the mind of Oscar Pistorius when he pulled the trigger and gunned his girlfriend to death on the night of Valentine's Day 2013. The L.A. Times was one of the first to report that Oscar Pistorius is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation in order to see what the experts have to say about those moments when he had his hand on the gun that killed Reeva Steenkamp.
What was going through Oscar's mind the night in question is the biggest question in this case, and the only question in this case that matters. But his favorite answer to that question is, "I don't know". So the State has to build an argument on other factors that tell the story.
One of those factors is a locked bathroom door, because that is a premeditated act in itself. The bathroom door becomes locked for a purpose. That thought becomes a thing. That is now a premeditated act.
The locked door speaks to peace of mind for both the accused and the victim. The truth behind what happened in the home of Oscar Pistorius that evening could be solved behind answering that one little question, about that one little lock.
Oscar doesn't know.
The State is alleging that this is how it happened.
Oscar and Reeva got into a fight that evening. It was a bad one. Some of the neighbors that have testified have stated that they heard fighting. The State is alleging that the fight between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp got so bad, that Reeva went running into the bathroom to get away from Oscar. In doing so, she locked the bathroom door to secure herself. Some sources have claimed that she also brought 2 cell phones into the bathroom with her as well.
What would a woman be doing with her cell phones in a locked bathroom in the middle of the night if she were not afraid?
What was she afraid of? The State is alleging she was afraid of Oscar Pistorius.
Oscar Pistorius is saying no, she was afraid of the same intruder that he thought was in the house. He has an elaborate story to give support to his intruder defense, but there are more holes in that story than there are in a yard of cheesecloth. The State has poked through every single one of them.
This is why the defense wants the world to forget that this bathroom door was locked. Or at least, they hope that Judge Masipa forgets this seemingly minor detail. If Judge Masipa believes that bathroom door was locked because Reeva Steenkamp was afraid of Oscar, it's murder and the trial is over.
Another thing that the defense in the Oscar Pistorius trial wants forgotten is that Oscar Pistorius is considered a gun friendly, trigger happy individual. "48 Hrs" revealed some of that evidence in their discovery on the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Additionally, alarming evidence was provided at trial where multiple incidents were reported about Oscar that indeed lended credibility to the accusations that he is 'trigger happy'.
One of the most memorable pieces of testimony to date on that note was from one of the very first days of trial when the fourth witness in the Oscar Pistorius trial, Kevin Lerena was called to the stand. The BBC reports that Kevin Lerena is a boxer and a friend of Oscar Pistorius who had experienced one of Oscar's trigger happy experiences first hand.
According to the BBC, Lerena testified that one month before Reeva died, he had attended Tasha's restaurant in Johannesburg with Oscar, another individual named Darren Fresco, and one other person. A firearm was allegedly passed under the table from Darren Fresco to Oscar Pistorius. When it was, Fresco reportedly said, "I'm one up." indicating the gun chamber had one bullet in it.
As the firearm was being passed to Pistorius it went off. It created quite a scene. There was a child at the next table and the bullet actually grazed Kevin Lerena. Nobody was injured beyond Lirena's graze but it was a scene. And Oscar Pistorius knew that it was going to cause an even bigger scene once people realized who he was so what he then reportedly said to Lirena was, "Please I don't want any attention around me. Just say it was you."
Portions of Lirena's testimony in the Oscar Pistorius trial was transcribed via the Times Live,
"A gun was passed under the table... to Oscar. A shot went off in the restaurant and then there was just complete silence... I looked down on the floor. Exactly where my foot was stationary. There was a hole in the floor. I had a little graze on my toe... there was blood on my toe, yes. Darren took the blame. The bill was paid and we left. I never spoke about it again."
On Day 4 of the trial, an ex-girlfriend of Oscar's, Samantha Taylor had some interesting information about Oscar's gun habits to testify to as well. Samantha Taylor was the woman that Oscar was dating before Reeva Steenkamp. In fact, Oscar cheated on Samantha with Reeva and that is how their relationship ended.
Reeva Steenkamp is not the only girlfriend of Oscar's to see him fire a gun. CNN reported that Samantha Taylor was around for another one of Oscar's trigger happy moments according to her testimony on Day 5 of the Oscar Pistorius trial. Samantha recounted an incident that included Darren Fresco, the same man who would later take the heat for Oscar doing that in a public restaurant, where Oscar fired a gun because he was angry at someone.
The three were driving and were pulled over by the police for speeding. When they were, the police saw Oscar's gun in the car and advised Oscar to do something with it, that this was not permitted. Samantha testified,
"Oscar left his gun on the seat of the car. When the police had a look he saw the gun was on the seat. He said to Oscar the gun couldn't just stay there. Oscar got very angry. He shouted at the policeman that he was not allowed to touch his gun."
At that point the trio drove away, and according to Samantha Taylor, Oscar pointed his gun at the traffic light in an attempt to "annoy the police". Instead of firing at the light however, Oscar accidentally fired out of the vehicle's sun roof.
It would be a very scary situation for anybody, including people who live in South Africa and are exposed to high rates of violence on a daily basis.
This testimony happened early enough in trial that to some it might be easy to forget. Especially since there is a hiatus while Oscar undergoes psychiatric evaluation. These are two things that the defense wants us to forget. That Darren Fresco has been around Oscar with a gun going off "accidentally" twice, that more than one of Oscar's girlfriends has witnessed him fire a gun.
It sounds like being around Oscar Pistorius could potentially be dangerous. And it sounds like Darren Fresco has gotten very lucky, dodged a bullet you could say, twice around Oscar Pistorius.
Would you want to be Oscar's friend? Or lover? Or would you ask Oscar to step through a metal detector before getting in your car?
The other thing the defense wants us to forget is the caretaker. It has come up in comment section after comment section, the people want to know. What is the deal with the caretaker?
ABC News reported this mysterious development when witnesses that arrived on the night in question testified in the Oscar Pistorius trial. One of his neighbors testified about a man named Frank Chiziweni, who is a Malawian caretaker and has lived with Oscar Pistorius for some time. He has worked with Oscar at events, races, and live functions with his prosthetics and any additional self-help care that Oscar needs when he is training.
Until that day of testimony the public had thought that Reeva and Oscar were alone in the house that night. But they were not. In the downstairs section of the home behind the kitchen was a man sleeping, that was Frank Chiziweni. When the police arrived on the scene after the killing, he told them he slept through the whole thing.
He said that while there were neighbors standing right beside him that lived almost 200 metres away and heard the events of that evening. 4 gunshots were fired on the floor above where he was sleeping. Blood curling screams that "made you go cold" and sounded like "family murder" occurred one floor above from where he was sleeping.
But he knows nothing. How is that even possible? Even more perplexing, he has not been called to the stand and he won't.
He was actually listed as a potential witness at one point, but Gerrie Nel stated that they would not be calling him.
But, there's nothing stopping the defense from calling him.
So why won't they?
If Oscar is not guilty of this crime, wouldn't he want as many people on the stand saying so? Especially someone as credible that was in the building that evening, and has a long and loyal reputation with Oscar Pistorius?
One reason that Gerrie Nel may not be calling him may be that he thinks he has enough to convict, and does not want to put that witness through undue duress. One reason that the defense might not be calling him, may be that the witness would give enough evidence to convict.
Beyond preventing incriminating evidence, are there other reasons why defense teams keep key witnesses from testifying?
What do you think?