The Blade Runner & His Model Girlfriend

A legendary athlete, a stunning woman killed, a tsunami of media interest, rumors flying around at the speed of light, a trial that’ll stop a nation – the alleged murder of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius is remarkably similar to the OJ Simpson case that stunned America in the 1990’s.

Pistorius struggled all his life to become one of the world’s most recognizable and amazing competitors, so its beyond shocking that, if he’s found guilty, he end up being known primarily as a murderer.

Reeva, on the other hand, was – and will continue to be – known as a beauty in every sense of the word, thanks to both her status as one of South Africa’s most successful models and her work to fight violence against women. Ironically, she was due to talk to a group of school kids on that exact subject a few hours after she died.

Evan before she’d been laid to rest, rumors about what happened were going berserk. The Sun newspaper claimed that a bloody cricket bat was found in Pistorius’s house, that he called a friend and confessed just after the crime’s estimated to have happened – and that could be just the tip of the iceberg as the case keeps developing.

Some things are certain, though: Oscar was a fan of guns, as he revealed to the New York Times last year, and a mate of his just told South Africa’s Beeld paper that the athlete accidentally fired a pistol when they were in a restaurant, almost hitting him.

Trial of the century of the century, here we come.

What if he’s found guilty?

Premeditated murder is the charge, and in South Africa, that carries a mandatory life sentence. But what does that amount to? Up to 25 years in jail before the offender can even be considered for parole. In special cases, parole can be ruled out entirely, but that’s usually reserved for serial killers.

And the jail he could end up in? South Africa’s got some of the toughest in the world, and the one sitting at the bottom of the barrel is Pollsmoor Prison. Located in Cape Town, it once housed Nelson Mandela, but nowadays some extremely hardcore gangs dominate it. Known as the 26s, 27s and 28s, they were behind a knife fight in January that put five people in hospital, one of them with 21 stab wounds.

When 27s boss John Mongrel was interviewed for a TV show in 2009 and asked how his crew dealt with the screws, he said, “You must kill the warder, or the major, or the captain.” So a rich, famous, disabled man probably won’t have to o easy a time in there.

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