photo shows oscar pistorius in the court room. He is walking past cameras.

Oscar Pistorius

January 5th 2024

Known as the “Blade Runner” for his distinctive carbon-fiber prosthetic legs, Pistorius made history by competing against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 London Olympics, a milestone for Paralympic sports. Despite his achievements on the track, Pistorius’s life took a tragic turn in 2013 when he was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in a high-profile trial that captivated the world. In 2014, he was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison, later increased to six years on appeal. The case sparked debates about justice, disability, and the responsibilities of public figures, leaving an indelible mark on Pistorius’s legacy.

Case Details

Full Coverage


On Valentine’s Day in 2013, Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his home in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius claimed that he mistook her for an intruder and shot her through a locked bathroom door.

Arrest and Charges:

Pistorius was arrested and charged with murder. The prosecution argued that the shooting was intentional, while Pistorius maintained that it was a tragic accident, and he believed there was an intruder in the house.


The trial began in March 2014. It received widespread media coverage, and the proceedings were closely followed around the world. The trial lasted for several months and involved intense scrutiny of Pistorius’s actions leading up to and during the shooting.

Evidence and Testimonies:

The prosecution presented evidence suggesting premeditation, including text messages that reportedly indicated relationship troubles between Pistorius and Steenkamp. The defense argued that Pistorius was genuinely fearful for his life and acted in self-defense.


In September 2014, Judge Thokozile Masipa delivered the verdict. She found Pistorius not guilty of murder but guilty of culpable homicide (similar to manslaughter in some jurisdictions). The judge believed that Pistorius acted negligently but did not intend to kill Steenkamp.


In October 2014, Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide. He also received a concurrent three-year suspended sentence for a separate firearms charge. However, in November 2015, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide conviction, replacing it with a murder conviction.


Pistorius was then re-sentenced for murder. In July 2016, he received a six-year prison sentence for murder, which many viewed as lenient. However, in November 2017, the sentence was increased to 13 years and five months after another appeal by the prosecution.


Pistorius began serving his sentence in July 2016. He was incarcerated in the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, a prison in Pretoria.

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