Skip to main content

Oscar Pistorius: Bloody photos of scene of killing leaked

June 2, 2013 -- Updated 1546 GMT (2346 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Photos of crime scene in Pistorius' house emerge for first time
  • Photos show bloody bathroom where sprinter shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
  • Other photos show trail of blood, apparent Valentine's Day gift for Pistorius
  • Pistorius charged with murdering Steenkamp on February 14; has court hearing Tuesday

(CNN) -- Photographs purportedly showing the blood-spattered bathroom where Olympian Oscar Pistorius fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp have emerged, apparently showing the scene of the killing for the first time.

The photos surfaced just days before the double amputee track star is due to appear in court, charged with murdering Steenkamp in his Pretoria home in the early hours of February 14.

The images published by Sky News show a trail of blood leading from a bathroom; blood on the walls, stairs and a couch inside the house, and a Valentine's Day card with "Ozzy" written on it -- Steenkamp's nickname for her sprinter boyfriend.

CNN EXCLUSIVE: Uncle says Pistorius 'heartbroken'

The photo of the bathroom shows a toilet covered in blood, a door with a missing panel and what appear to be two police-marked bullet holes below the level of the door's handle. CNN has not been able to independently confirm the authenticity of the photos, and police spokesman Brigadiere Phuti Setati declined to comment on how Sky News obtained the pictures.

Exclusive: The anguish of Oscar Pistorius

The runner says he thought there was an intruder in the house and, fearful of being attacked, ran on his stumps to the bathroom, where he shot through the door from a relatively low angle four times. It was only upon returning to his bedroom, Pistorius says, that he realized Steenkamp was not in bed and that she had been the one in the bathroom.

The state says it was premeditated murder -- that Pistorius had an argument with Steenkamp then put on his prosthetic legs, walked to the bathroom, and shot through the door from a relatively higher angle, intentionally killing his girlfriend.

CNN's Robyn Curnow says a number of questions remain about the photos. "The door was removed quickly from the scene of the crime, but appears to have been reconstructed here, so it's unclear when the photos were taken and whether this is a reconstruction.

"These photos have also not been seen by Oscar Pistorius' legal team, and their release to journalists will raise questions about whether police corruption may have been involved," she said.

The police investigation into the killing has been beset by problems and scandals since the start.

Hilton Botha, the original lead investigator, admitted during Pistorius' bail hearing that police had failed to wear protective shoe covers at the crime scene because they had run out of them, and that it was possible evidence had been damaged as a result.

Botha also drew audible gasps from the packed courtroom when he testified that testosterone had been found at Pistorius' house, before being forced to admit that he hadn't actually read the full name of the substance. The sprinter's lawyers testified that the substance was an herbal remedy.

The Paralympian's lawyers also got Botha to acknowledge that investigators had failed to collect any evidence that counters Pistorius' argument that he mistakenly shot Steenkamp.

Things took a turn for the surreal near the end of the bail hearing when it emerged that Botha himself had been charged with seven counts of attempted murder for firing on a minibus full of people in 2011. Those charges had been withdrawn pending further investigation, but prosecutors reinstated them and he was pulled off the Pistorius case the day before the sprinter was granted bail.

Curnow says the timing of the release of the crime scene photos is especially significant, given that prosecutors are expected to ask magistrates next week to postpone the case pending further investigations.

"A legal expert has told me all indications are that the state's case against Pistorius is really quite thin at the moment," Curnow said. "It's possible that the publication of these photos will delay the trial still further."

Police spokesman Setati told CNN: "Nothing will distract the detectives from the case. They will remain on course to make sure that they secure a murder conviction."

CNN Wires contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Oscar Pistorius
Get live updates on athlete Oscar Pistorius' murder trial -- South Africa's trial of the century.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 0043 GMT (0843 HKT)
The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will soon enter its sixth week. Robyn Curnow reports from South Africa.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 0926 GMT (1726 HKT)
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and it's easy to see why.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 0852 GMT (1652 HKT)
Isa Soares reports on the social media reaction to the Oscar Pistorius trial.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
As the athlete is grilled in court, Becky Anderson asks psychologist Dr. James Thompson about his state of mind.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT)
How successful has the state been in establishing their claim that Pistorius intentionally murdered Reeva Steenkamp?
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Did Oscar Pistorius know his girlfriend was behind a door when he shot and killed her?
March 25, 2014 -- Updated 1031 GMT (1831 HKT)
Chat messages show Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was sometimes afraid of him.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Murder or a tragic accident? Go inside Pistorius' home to find out each side's argument as South Africa's trial of the century gets under way.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1637 GMT (0037 HKT)
The trial was interrupted twice by the accidental display of pictures of Reeva Steenkamp's dead body and mortal wounds.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
He was the so-called "Fastest Man on No Legs," and his inspiring story captured the imagination of the world at the London Olympics.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
The striking, platinum-haired model was gearing up for her reality television debut.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
Reeva Steenkamp on the beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Previously unseen photographs of Reeva Steenkamp show the South African beauty just months before her tragic death.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
A year to the day he killed his girlfriend, blade runner Oscar Pistorius broke his silence, describing her death as a "devastating accident."
February 16, 2014 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
The photos of Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp appear to show a young couple in love.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
He was the first amputee to compete at an able-bodied Olympics. Now, he's being accused of murdering his girlfriend.
March 1, 2014 -- Updated 1913 GMT (0313 HKT)
A week before her death, South African model Reeva Steenkamp talked about her secure, blissful environment.
ADVERTISEMENT