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Six Die in California Killing Spree; Oscar Pistorius: Brutal Murder or Grave Mistake?

Aired June 7, 2013 - 22:00   ET


SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Susan Hendricks with breaking news out of Santa Monica, California, news that got considerably worse at the night went on, six people now dead after a shooting rampage that ended at Santa Monica College at the campus library with the gunman shot dead by police.

It all began at a burning home where at least two people died, between those two scenes, a carjacking, several more shootings, utter mayhem.

Santa Monica's police chief describes how it ended.


JACQUELINE SEABROOKS, SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, POLICE CHIEF: The suspect attempted to evade the officers by running onto the college campus.

As he ran on to the campus, additional shots were exchanged. No officers were injured at that time. The suspect headed toward the library, shot at women on the campus just before entering the library, accosted a number of patrons inside the library and attempted to shoot at them.

Those individuals were able to find safety in a safe location inside the library. However, he continued to shoot at them. The officers came in and directly engaged the suspect and he was shot and killed on the scene.

The information we have indicates at this point that as many as half-a-dozen victims were shot and killed and several more were injured. And I have recently been informed that another victim recently died at the hospital.


HENDRICKS: In a moment, a student who was inside the college library with the killer, but, first, more on what we know right now from Miguel Marquez, who has been on the scene all day.

Miguel, any more information? What's the latest?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Susan, it appears that the school has been completely cleared, 100 percent cleared. So, for the time being, it looks like this thing is over. Police aren't willing to call it completely over yet. But they have gone through the entire school. They say there are no more threats at Santa Monica College. So, that's the good news. We are also starting to learn more about sort of the deadly trail here.

The beginning of that trail, as John Miller said on ANDERSON COOPER earlier, the two people that were dead in that house were related to the gunman. There is increasing evidence that we have both here from sources and "The L.A. Times" reporting as well that it was the brother and the father of the gunman in that house.

What set this person off, we have no idea. The gunman then went through several more locations, hijacking a car before getting to Santa Monica College. It ended at the library in Santa Monica College in a shoot-out with police, possibly campus police at Santa Monica College, where the gunman was killed.

We have a picture which is somewhat disturbing to see of the gunman himself lying on a sidewalk dressed all in black fatigues dead. Several people that we spoke to today say that he was killed in the library and then they saw him outside the library along the sidewalk, where he expired. They said that he was not being cared for at all by police and that they knew that he was dead.

One of the people rushed to the hospital in critical condition died on the operating table. The others died across Santa Monica in just a horrible afternoon -- Susan.

HENDRICKS: It really is. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much for that.

Meanwhile, Brett Holzhauer is a student at Santa Monica University. He was there for finals today when that shooting happened.

Brett joins me now on the phone.

Brett, tell us what you saw. You were actually in the library; is that right? You heard gunshots. What did you do next?

BRETT HOLZHAUER, WITNESS: As soon as I heard the gunshots, I -- well, at first, it was just one gunshot and I kind of looked around and I didn't realize what was going on. I thought oh, you know, someone like dropped a textbook or something.

And then I heard bang, bang, bang, bang. And immediately after that, I knew exactly what was happening. I ran as fast as I could to get my classmate Audra (ph). I grabbed my stuff. And I looked to my right and I saw an open door for a study room, an enclosed study room that's soundproof.

We ran as fast as we could. We head in there. And I told everyone, look, guys, this is what's happening. We all need to remain calm. Everyone call 911. And I kind of just took over a leadership role. I'm an L.A. County lifeguard and I have been trained to deal with situations involving lots of stress and anxiety. So I kind of just took over a leadership role and just went from there.

HENDRICKS: It's a good thing you were in the room with them trying to keep everyone calm.

I understand police eventually busted into the room. Where did they lead you to?

HOLZHAUER: Yes, about 35 minutes later about we initially entered the room, they busted the doors open with their huge guns. They said, everyone, put your hands up. We don't know who you are. Put your hands up. And they were just taking a precaution.

They didn't know who was the shooter. They led us out of the library on our hands and knees. Like, we had to crawl through. And then after we crawled through the library, we came onto the scene and we saw the whole aftermath.

HENDRICKS: What did you see at the entrance there of the library?

HOLZHAUER: At the entrance of the library, I saw hundreds and hundreds of rounds of just spilled ammunition of all different types, I mean, used, unused. It was just a mess.

And then directly to the left, the entire doorway of the Santa Monica College library, it was all glass. It was completely shattered. And then they led us down. And then the first thing I see as I exit the library is just blood spilled all over the entire steps leading up to the library.

And then we were running out towards Pearl Street, where the red car incident happened. And the last thing we saw as we're running out and the girls in my group were just crying, crying. I was trying to console them and say, it's OK. We're out. It's over. And then we come up on the shooter, the dead body.

HENDRICKS: So you saw the shooter just laying there? And what were the police saying as you were walking by what you believe was the shooter?


HOLZHAUER: The officers were just saying, don't look. Don't look. And, of course, I peered over and look. I just saw. I knew exactly what it was.

And I just -- so I just took the girls and we just ran. I took my whole group. I was like, look, guys, we need to get out of here. We need to get to a safe spot.

HENDRICKS: Brett, how do you feel now that some time has gone by and you have gone through that? How do you feel now?

HOLZHAUER: Well, right now, I can definitely say I am so -- I'm emotionally, physically, and mentally just exhausted. Going from studying to finals to fearing for my life to having to take care of all of these different people, talking to all these news sources, I have talked to, like, 40 different news sources, and I just sat down about 30 minutes ago, and I am exhausted.

HENDRICKS: Well, Brett, we're so glad that you're safe and thank you for sharing your story with us. And I'm sure you kept everyone calm in that room. It must have been terrifying for them as well. Thanks so much.

HOLZHAUER: Yes, no problem. Thanks for having me.

HENDRICKS: Coming up at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and 8:00 Pacific, Wolf Blitzer will have the very latest on the Santa Monica shooting and the developments.

But up next, Anderson with a 360 special on the Olympic hero known as the Blade Runner who is now facing murder charges in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

"Oscar Pistorius: Brutal Murder or Grave Mistake?" that's just ahead.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Who killed South African beauty Reeva Steenkamp is no mystery. But was it cold-blooded murder? London Olympics hero Oscar Pistorius, the so-called Blade Runner, says he pulled the trigger, but it was nothing more than a fatal mistake.

This hour-long special examines what happened that Valentine's Day and includes exclusive interviews with friends and relatives.

CNN correspondent Robyn Curnow has the new revealing story of Oscar, Reeva, and a tragic death.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back in 2008, before there was Pistorius the Blade Runner, there was Oscar, the Olympic hopeful.

Just 21 years old, he invited me in to the very house that five years later would become an infamous crime scene.

(on camera): Thank you.


CURNOW: So, are you ready for the Olympics? Do you think you're going to make it?

O. PISTORIUS: I think if I am going to make (INAUDIBLE) course, we're training as hard as we can.

CURNOW (voice-over): Training hard to compete against able- bodied athletes as a sprinter with no legs.

(on camera): This is your prosthetic leg?

O. PISTORIUS: Yes. These are the ones that I use on an everyday basis.

CURNOW: OK. So, you walk, run, go to gym?

O. PISTORIUS: Yes. I'm actually -- I am supposed to walk on them, but you have got a very high-performance foot, so it's not that great for walking, but it's very good for running and jogging.

CURNOW: So this is still your -- this is your own leg.



CURNOW: And this is where you had a birth deformity?


CURNOW: How old were you when you got them amputated?

O. PISTORIUS: I was 11 months old.

CURNOW (voice-over): In an exclusive interview before the London Olympics...

(on camera): That's when he was younger?


CURNOW: ... I visited Pistorius grandmother at her home in Pretoria, where she spoke in her native language, Afrikaans.

G. PISTORIUS: The moment you saw him, it broke your heart.

CURNOW: His first pair of prosthetics came when he was only 13 months old.

G. PISTORIUS: I'll never forget the first time he got toes on his prosthetics. They came back from Johannesburg through the big gate and he says, gran, gran. His feet are sticking out the window. He said, look, I have got toes. Isn't that wonderful?

CURNOW: It wasn't always an easy childhood. He often felt vulnerable, he said, especially when it got dark. He once told me about a frightening night at boarding school.

O. PISTORIUS: One night, we had steel beds and steel -- steel bed frames and steel lock. And the guys threw lighter fluid on it and they hid my legs and they lit them and they told me that the hospital was on fire. And I jumped at them. I always leave my legs next to my bed. And I jumped up and I couldn't find them. And I looked in the front of the bed and I couldn't find them. And I thought, like, the whole hospital is burning down, because (INAUDIBLE) or whatever. And they are all running out. And I was getting in such a...


CURNOW: That's funny.

O. PISTORIUS: And after about 15, 30 seconds, the lighter fluid evaporated and I was like left there in such a panic.

CURNOW (voice-over): But despite his vulnerability, his parents raised him to take on his life at full speed.

O. PISTORIUS: This was my very first motorbike, a four-wheeler. And I got sick of it after a while and got a bigger one. But this was so much fun already.


CURNOW (on camera): So you have always been a speed freak?

O. PISTORIUS: Yes, I think so. I have had motorbikes since I was 4 years old and I loved them.

CURNOW: It seems you're parents were amazing with you.

O. PISTORIUS: Yes, I think my parents pushed me to try anything that I liked that my brother and my sister were doing. And they never said because I have got a disability or because I don't have legs that I'm not able to do something.

CURNOW (voice-over): Two years after his mother's sudden and heartbreaking death, Pistorius found a purpose on the track. He met coach Ampie Louw, who transformed Oscar from an awkward 17-year-old schoolboy into a world-class athlete.

I talked to Louw in a TV exclusive on the track where he spent countless hours training Pistorius.

AMPIE LOUW, TRAINER: Oscar is very strong-minded. He will even push harder than I want him to push in the last repetition of a session.

CURNOW: Pistorius took his training seriously.

(on camera): So you must be drinking a lot, but you don't drink alcohol.

O. PISTORIUS: Yes, and I think the last time I drank was probably about two months ago. I think if you're going to be an elite sportsman, you kind of have to watch how many times you like relax and socialize with your friends. So, I mean, every now and again, I have a typical boys night out. But I think, for me, at the end of the day, my priorities have to be athletics. CURNOW (voice-over): But Pistorius apparently had a dark side, say some. Mark Batchelor, a South African soccer player who socialized in the same circles, said Pistorius had a temper and once tried to pick a fight with him.

MARK BATCHELOR, SOCCER PLAYER: He would have a tough streak and he would get violent and angry. He would fight with people and he caused a lot of problems. And that's -- the incident with me and him was because he was drunk at a party and he starting shouting.

CURNOW: Louw admits that the athlete he sees as a son isn't perfect.

LOUW: I have been asked plenty times now the question of temper. If I said, yes, he must have, I call it temperament. If you haven't got the temperament, you cannot become a national champion or world champion. Forget it.

CURNOW (on camera): So you have got to have that fire in you?

LOUW: You must have it. Yes.

CURNOW: And that fire could mean you sometimes have a bad temper?

LOUW: When you work with any champion, any -- any distraction upsets them.

CURNOW: Is Oscar reckless? Does he have a bad temper?

PEET VAN ZYL, AGENT OF OSCAR PISTORIUS: If you're a top sportsman and you're focused and sometimes things happen that agitate you and you're going to lose your temper and you're going to have words with people, and I can testify to the fact that I was witness on a couple of occasions where he did lose his temper.

But he was always also the first one to apologize for his behavior. So, that's part of the makeup of the man.

CURNOW (voice-over): Pistorius reportedly often carried a gun and had a love of shooting. In November of 2011, he posted this picture on Twitter along with the tweet, "Had a 96 percent head shot over 300 meters from 50 shots. Bam."

LOUW: Oscar was always, always a bit of -- I call it scared.

CURNOW (on camera): So you say Oscar was scared. Was it because he had no legs? Did he feel very, very vulnerable? Or was it something different?

LOUW: You know, I have heard a lot of stories in the press, but without these prosthetics, very vulnerable. Only a guy working with these guys and themselves will know how vulnerable they are.

VAN ZYL: I think a lot of people forget the fact that, if he's without his prosthetics, well, he's a mere 3.5', 4' high, maybe. CURNOW (voice-over): But with his blades, he appeared invincible. He qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in the 400- meter sprint and was a member of the South African relay team.

G. PISTORIUS: He often says it would have been wonderful if his dear mother could see him or he could have experienced her watching him. It would have been wonderful.

CURNOW (on camera): Do you think he will be running for her?


CURNOW: Pistorius made it to the semifinals of the 400 meters. His relay team finished last in the finals, but he would shine in the Paralympics, earning three medals, two gold, one silver.

He was South Africa's golden boy and was about to meet one of South Africa's top models, Reeva Steenkamp.

(on camera): Did you think Oscar and her had a future together?

LOUW: Yes, I think so.

CURNOW (voice-over): Next, Reeva, a law student, a cover girl and what turned out to be a fatal attraction.




CURNOW (voice-over): Reeva Steenkamp was becoming known as one of South Africa's sexiest women on her way to becoming a world-class model. This video shows Reeva posing for the cover of "FHM," a hot monthly magazine.

Hagen Engler was the editor of South African edition.

HAGEN ENGLER, EDITOR: She had, you know, beauty and intelligence, which is the double whammy.

CURNOW: Intelligent enough to get her law degree. Kerry Smith remembers a much different-looking Reeva when they were law school classmates.

(on camera): Those pictures of her, when you knew her, she does look different to the Reeva that I think Oscar fell in love with.

KERRY SMITH, FRIEND OF REEVA STEENKAMP: Yes. Yes. That, I think it's the whole modeling industry, where you have to weigh a certain amount and it's very superficial.

People see this glossy, blonde-haired, beautiful-bodied woman, and that's what they think she is as well. And they don't realize what a fantastic person she actually is. She is not this dumb blonde who just stares at a camera all day and twiddles the little laces on the side of her bikini.

Very cliched saying, but when people say you're as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside, that's Reeva. She was even more beautiful on the inside. Really, she was.

CURNOW (voice-over): Smith took these photographs of the model at a local beach. In those days, modeling was more of a hobby for Steenkamp than a serious profession.

SMITH: She should always say everyone has to remember that modeling is not a career, because your beauty only lasts so long. You have to do something, you have to have something , that modeling mustn't be the first thing.

CURNOW: When Smith was in a relationship that became abusive, Steenkamp was there, pushing her to get out.

SMITH: And she said, you know, get out. You can't accept and no woman can sit and let -- and accept being treated like that. And just she was incredibly passionate about it.

CURNOW: Ironically, Reeva became an advocate for women facing violence and abuse. According to the country's medical research council, a woman is killed by her husband or partner every eight hours in South Africa.

Steenkamp and Smith talked about helping these victims.

SMITH: She wants to protect and save as many women as possible that she could from being abused. We always said that we wanted to establish a center for women.

CURNOW: On Facebook, she showed me messages from Steenkamp.

SMITH: "I'm so happy to see that you're finally happy and safe and in love. My dream come true for you."

CURNOW (on camera): Because she had been really worried about you because you were in a bad relationship before.


And that's where it comes with the whole abused women, how -- how strongly she felt about it.

CURNOW (voice-over): Instead of pursuing a law career, Reeva decided to give modeling a shot.

ENGLER: Already, there was a sense that this girl has got something. Maybe she can actually breakthrough and actually make a career out of modeling.

CURNOW: He says she wasn't quite ready to become a swimsuit cover girl.

ENGLER: Initially, she wasn't in the best shape. So, it was a case of, oh, I would love to give her the gig, but she's not quite in shape.

CURNOW: So Reeva decided to get disciplined about her diet and exercise.

(on camera): Give me some sense of this metamorphosis.

ENGLER: And in the course of those three years, she transformed herself from a slightly chubby kind of student look to an absolute stunning blonde.

REEVA STEENKAMP, MODEL: Hi, I'm Reeva. We're shooting this December cover for "FHM." (OFF-MIKE) Yes, have a good Christmas and buy the issue.

ENGLER: She got the magazine cover, and that gets you noticed and that gets you a bit more commercial work, probably leads to a bit of TV work.

CURNOW (voice-over): She was becoming the next big thing. But to family and friends, she was the same old Reeva.

CNN's Drew Griffin talked with Reeva's uncle Mike Steenkamp and cousin Kim Martin.

KIM MARTIN, COUSIN OF REEVA STEENKAMP: When you were with her, you were like -- you felt like you were a teenager, because she was just so vibrant, so full of life, so bouncy. She was just always laughing, joking, fun.

And the media side of her career, we never really saw that. And we knew that she was -- you know, she was a model and she was doing things with the media. But she never brought that into the family.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: So she doesn't sound like she enamored with the glamour life.


MARTIN: No, not at all.

CURNOW: But her life was becoming more and more glamorous, going from magazine cover girl...

R. STEENKAMP: My name is Reeva. And I'm a model.

CURNOW: ... to starring in a reality TV series.

R. STEENKAMP: And it's a really, really fun production. And it's in its fourth season now. And, yes, watch this space.

CURNOW: And around that time, Steenkamp contacted photographer Gareth Barclay.

GARETH BARCLAY, PHOTOGRAPHER: She wanted to actually do a photo shoot for a photo for a guy she was seeing. It was something more central that she could hang up of her, nothing too provocative or anything directly facing to the camera. So, that's what we did for the shoot.

CURNOW: He doesn't know who the photograph was for. And we can't confirm if it was for Oscar Pistorius. A mutual friend had introduced them at a motor racing event, where she accepted Oscar's invitation to accompany him that evening to the South African Sports Awards ceremony.

Reeva had entered life in the fast lane, quite literally.

M. STEENKAMP: One day, she was with Oscar in the car traveling along the highway. And she phoned her mom and said to her mom, mom, Oscar is speeding.

So, June took the phone and said, let me speak to Oscar, and said to him, Oscar, hey, listen, that's my precious and my only daughter. And that's everything. That's my angel. And you better slow down.

And Reeva said afterwards, mom, he slowed down.

CURNOW: For a woman who was active on social media, she kept her relationship with Pistorius relatively private, even to family.

MARTIN: Whoever she dated would have to be really someone special. So that's why I didn't really bother with who she was -- I just knew that they were one hell of a lucky guy, and they'd have to be someone really special, because she didn't stand for nonsense.

This guy must be a nice guy, because, despite what you hear in the media and things like that, Reeva doesn't date for that reason, you know?

CURNOW: Coming up: Reeva's last tweet on the eve of a Valentine's Day tragedy.

LOUW: Oscar was inside. I could hear him crying in the garage. And Reeva was at the entrance. So, that was terrible for me.



CURNOW: The second week of February, and Oscar Pistorius was making plans for his annual training trip to Italy. But this year was different. He wanted to bring along his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

PEET VAN ZYL, OSCAR PISTORIUS'S AGENT: We were looking at the schedule and planning opportunities where she can come and visit. And my reaction was "You've never asked me for stuff like this. Are you -- are you serious about this girl?"

And his reaction was, "Yes, I am. I am very serious about this girl." ANGUS HAYES, REEVA STEENKAMP'S FRIEND: From her relationship with Oscar, the impression that I got from the messages that we exchanged from our few conversations was that she was very happy.

VAN ZYL: She was always very friendly, always very excited to be around him and with him. She spent a lot of time at the track jogging and running to keep in shape for her -- all her modeling stuff.

CURNOW (voice-over): Ampie Louw, Pistorius's coach, was often at the track with Steenkamp and Pistorius.

AMPIE LOUW, OSCAR PISTORIUS'S COACH: Oscar would bring a shake in his...

CURNOW (on camera): A protein shake?

LOUW: Protein shake or whatever those things have done. Looks nice to me, at any case.

So then she comes from work, meet us here and then she tries while he's training.

VAN ZYL: She was really becoming part of his life. And yes, from all that I've seen of the two of them, he seemed really, really happy and content, to be with each other.

CURNOW (voice-over): Steenkamp was looking forward to spending Valentine's Day with Pistorius, tweeting, "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow?"

South Africa's newest "it" couple appeared to be taking their relationship to the next level.

On the eve of Valentine's Day, a smiling Steenkamp drove through the security checkpoint at the entrance to the gated community where Oscar Pistorius lived. Less than 12 hours later, she was dead.

In a courtroom, no cameras allowed, Oscar's version of what happened next was presented in his affidavit.

(on camera): It's in this document that Pistorius lays out the events that started on the evening of February 13.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "We were content to have a quiet dinner together at home. She had given me a present for Valentine's Day and asked me only to open it the next day."

CURNOW (voice-over): We had another voice read the affidavit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "During the early morning hours of 14 February, 2013, I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in, and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on, I have mobility on my stumps."

CURNOW: Pistorius said he heard a noise in the bathroom. He realized there were no burglar bars on the windows, and contractors had left a stepladder outside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my .09 millimeter pistol from underneath my bed."

CURNOW (on camera): Pistorius says that he'd been a victim of burglaries and even received death threats, that he was acutely aware of violent crime here in South Africa. He says that's why he slept with a .09 millimeter pistol under his bed.

(voice-over): Pistorius claims he screamed for the intruders to get out and then yelled for Reeva to call the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself."

CURNOW (on camera): Because he said in his affidavit that he was scared, that he felt vulnerable that night, and many nights he did. You got a sense that he was a scared person.

VAN ZYL: He's a scared person.

CURNOW (voice-over): Coming up, bullets fired and a tragic death.

VAN ZYL: A totally shattered and broken man. Like I've never seen him before.


CURNOW (voice-over): Early morning, Oscar Pistorius was armed. And he says in his affidavit that he believed Reeva was in the bed, and an intruder was in the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond. When I reached the bed, I realized that Reeva was not in bed."

CURNOW: That's when Pistorius says it dawned on him that it could have been Reeva on the toilet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom, and tried to kick the toilet door open. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door."

CURNOW: When he finally got the door open, Pistorius said he saw Reeva slumped over but alive. Bullets had hit her in the head, the hip, the elbow and her hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. She died in my arms."

CURNOW: In the dead of night, Coach Ampie Louw's phone rang. It was Peet Van Zyl, Oscar's agent.

LOUW: That nights, I forgot to put the phone off. And it rang roughly about in the region of between about 4 and 5. And I saw it was Peet, so I thought, "Whoa, this is funny." And I answered the phone and said, "Yes."

He said to me, "Get in your car. Pistorius. There's problems at the house."

CURNOW: By the time Van Zyl and Louw arrived, police were already on the scene.

VAN ZYL: When we arrived, it was already flooded with police. And everything was falling off and couldn't have had access to Oscar at all.

LOUW: I was in just after Peet but in shock. Because when I arrived at the house, and you see all of the police cars and lights. I was standing outside. Oscar was inside. I could hear him crying in the garage (ph). And Reeva was at the entrance. I just saw the bottom piece and the legs. It was -- the police was in and out the door. It's the front door.

CURNOW (on camera): And you could hear Oscar crying?

LOUW: Yes.

CURNOW: Loudly?

LOUW: Yes. I know him. You can hear. It's sustainable.

CURNOW (voice-over): Police then took Oscar into custody.

VAN ZYL: I got to see him late that afternoon of the 14th at the police house.

CURNOW (on camera): And what was he like? What kind of state was he in?

VAN ZYL: A totally shattered and broken man. Like I've never seen him before. Never seen him like that before.

CURNOW (voice-over): Pistorius was charged with committing premeditated murder. Once a national hero, he quickly became a polarizing figure to crowds gathered outside the courthouse during his bail hearing days later.

Inside, head down, Pistorius was surrounded by the world's media. Pistorius was ready to submit an affidavit that would explain his side of the story. His description of events made international headlines but also laid out the case that his lawyers will now take to trial.

Legal analyst Kelly Phelps explains.

KELLY PHELPS, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN: If he was telling the truth and the forensic evidence that they've gathered supports his version of events, it will actually pull a lot of strength and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) behind the defense case, because they will be able to show that he has unwaveringly stuck to the same version of events all the way from the bail hearing throughout the entire duration of the trial.

CURNOW: But will forensic evidence corroborate or undercut Oscar's version of events? For example, could examination of the toilet door provide a clue as to whether or not Pistorius was or, as he tells it, wasn't wearing his prosthetic legs?

PHELPS: You might have a ballistics expert that says, "There is almost a zero percent chance that this person was not at an elevated angle when that shot was fired. We can tell that because of the splintering of the wood when it went through the door." Just as an example.

But equally, say when the shot went through the door, it actually shattered the door, and it's very difficult to gather from that what the trajectory actually was.

CURNOW: We did our own unscientific experiments at a gun range on a farm north of the capital, Pretoria, with the help of weapons and ballistics expert Li Lotriet.

(on camera): OK, Li. So we have plans of the bathroom that were shown during the court bail hearing. So we've kind of mapped out the proportions of the bathroom.

This, here, was the small toilet area.

LI Lotriet, BALLISTICS EXPERT: That's correct.

CURNOW: Which Reeva was shot in. Depending on whose story you believe, she was either sitting on the toilet or just cowering over the toilet.

LOTRIET: That's right.

CURNOW (voice-over): Our set up was, to be sure, no more than a best guess, because few details about forensic evidence have been made public. For example, we don't know the type of bullets fired or the exact location of where Pistorius stood.

(on camera): We've charted out the proportions here, but we must be clear. This is a very amateurish crime-scene scenario. This is not necessarily exactly what went down.

LOTRIET: Absolutely. I agree. You know, this is really working of the specs of what has been available in open source information.

CURNOW: Very important, which could really determine everything, is what kind of ammunition was used. We don't really know.

(voice-over): We used a tape measure to help us estimate Pistorius's height with and without prosthetics. Then we had Li kneel on a cooler, simulating Pistorius without his legs. This would represent the defense's version of events.


CURNOW (on camera): OK, so this is the door for the second scenario, the state's version of events.

LOTRIET: That's correct.

CURNOW: Where they say Oscar must have had to have his prosthetic legs on.

LOTRIET: Can I go?


CURNOW (voice-over): Next, we put the doors side-by-side for comparison.

(on camera): What does this tell you?

LOTRIET: Well, if I look at it from this way, obviously, it has been hit from an angle. Now, the difference between the two doors in comparison to the target is that, by what we have seen on scenario two, which suggests that the prosthetics were on, is that the hits on the target behind the door are more fatal than what was illustrated on door No. 1.

CURNOW (voice-over): Our demonstration was inconclusive, because we can't know everything that the police are taking into account in the setting (ph) evidence.

But it does show the complexity of the forensic and ballistic evidence and how challenging it could be for either side to prove their case.

The prosecution may be armed with more than just forensic evidence. Investigators found cell phones in the bathroom, so there could possibly be call records or text messages that reveal motive or other vital clues.

And, according to testimony at the hearing, the state's evidence includes a witness who allegedly heard loud arguing during the hour before Reeva was shot. And the judge made it clear that he had trouble believing all of Pistorius's claims.

DESMOND NAIR, JUDGE: I had difficulty appreciating why it was difficult to ascertain the whereabouts of this person when he got off the porch. I have difficulty also coming to terms with the fact that the accused did not seek to verify who exactly was in the toilet when he could have asked. I also have difficulty appreciating why the deceased would not have screamed back from the toilet.

CURNOW (on camera): Now, when the bail hearing's dramatic five days were over, a magistrate made his judgment.

(voice-over): Not on whether he believed in Pistorius's innocence or guilt but on whether Pistorius should be released from prison.

NAIR: I've come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.


CURNOW (on camera): Now, even with the magistrate's ruing and even before his trial date had been set, Oscar Pistorius's affidavit confirmed one truth, that he had shot Reeva Steenkamp. And his life would change forever.

(voice-over): Next, we go to the home where Oscar Pistorius now lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's housebound, you know? He doesn't go out in public places.

CURNOW: And speak exclusively to his uncle.

(on camera): We've just seen him now, and he said he misses her.


CURNOW: He looks at me and said, "I miss her so much."

A. PISTORIUS: That is true.



CURNOW (voice-over): For the past three months, Oscar Pistorius has been living here at the home of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in seclusion. But in a CNN exclusive, we were invited into the home, briefly speaking Pistorius, who looked very sad. Not the same bubbly young man we had met years before. Pistorius won't appear on camera, but his uncle spoke to us on his behalf.

(on camera): We're in your home. Oscar's living here. He rarely leaves the house, he tells me. What does he do every day?

A. PISTORIUS: Well, he comes to the gym every morning. We've got a gym in the house, and we -- his friends and his trainers come over and assist him and -- to get a proper workout. And the afternoons, again, in front of the six.

And during the day, he spends his time with his extended family and with all the grandchildren around him. He's housebound, you know. He doesn't go out in public places. He's (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

CURNOW: When I spoke to Oscar a little bit before he started chatting, he said he had a lot of photos of Reeva and that he was still pining for her.

A. PISTORIUS: Yes, he's got photos in his room. He's got photos all over the place. My heart bleeds for the young man. What can you say? If you're -- the person you love the most dies, and you were the instrument, how would you feel? It's unthinkable.

CURNOW: What's his state of mind?

A. PISTORIUS: Oscar is like we all are. Still very traumatized. It's now three months down the line. The family is trying to back him up. You can see that he's sort of emotionally and mentally trying to cope with the death of Reeva.

And, unintentionally, he was the instrument for her death. And to -- to come around that is almost impossible. This thing will haunt him for the rest of his life.

CURNOW: But he hasn't found peace. He's still haunted, you say?

A. PISTORIUS: Very much so. I mean, he's -- he's in mourning every day, and he is longing for her. That's what he tells me.

CURNOW: Well, we've just seen him now, and he said he misses her.

A. PISTORIUS: Absolutely.

CURNOW: He looked at me and he said, "I miss her so much."

A. PISTORIUS: Yes, that is true.

CURNOW (voice-over): The Oscar today is not the same man as before. He looks withdrawn and shell-shocked. And those who know him know one thing.

(on camera): His life will never be the same.


CURNOW: Rules would never be the same.

VAN ZYL: No. Life will never be the same. Life has -- life has changed forever.

CURNOW (voice-over): Agent Peet Van Zyl, who built the million- dollar Oscar brand, has seen sponsor after sponsor suspend their contract with Pistorius. But it's the public reaction that has been the most difficult for him to take.

VAN ZYL: The one day, a lady recognized him in the store and started crying. So he felt like maybe he'd grow a beard so people don't recognize him that easily.

CURNOW: Legal analyst Kelly Phelps.

PHELPS: In the public arena of justice, this man is never going to get past this experience, whether it ends up being that the state is completely wrong about what their theory is as to what transpired in this case. I don't think he will ever shed the yoke of the trial and the media that has occurred here.

CURNOW: An idol to so many has come crashing down.

Mohammed Zaid (ph) was just 11 years old when he decided Oscar Pistorius was his hero.

MOHAMMED ZAID (PH), PARAPLEGIC: He's kind and he's caring and he's really nice, and I really think I want to be just like him when I grow up. I run and live life to its fullest. Life has no limits.

CURNOW: Five years later, now wheel-chair bound, Mohammed remembers when he heard that Pistorius had shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp.

ZAID (PH): I thought, no, he couldn't have done it. Somebody else must have done it. And then when I found out he actually had done it, actually, it was like a mix of disappointment and shock.

CURNOW: But Mohammed still recognizes the good in the man who inspired him.

ZAID (ph): To see him run, it's a bigger thing to me than to see someone fly. Because for them, that's -- that's something extraordinary. A person can't fly. But a paraplegic shouldn't be able to run.

CURNOW: Whether Oscar Pistorius will ever run another race, whether he has any future, will be determined in court.

And that is where the Blade Runner made his first public appearance, coming out of seclusion to attend a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday. The judge postponed the case until the 19th of August.

Friends and family of Reeva Steenkamp pare still waiting for the trial, left only with images of the past.

(on camera): Reeva -- Reeva had a tattoo on the back of her neck that said "Only God will judge me" in Italian. Do you know why she had that specific tattoo?

KERRY SMITH, REEVA STEENKAMP'S FRIEND: It's something that her grandfather had always said, and it stayed close to her own heart. Everyone is having opinions. And all you'll hear is only God can judge. That's what everyone is saying. And ironically, she had said it, as well. And hopefully, that does happen.

CURNOW (voice-over): All that's left now: pain, heartache and emptiness for two families ripped apart by that tragic Valentine's Day shooting.

A. PISTORIUS: We know exactly what the truth is, and it will only fit in this tragic, tragic mistake he made. And being the two, he killed his girlfriend.

SMITH: She has been murdered and I don't -- blatantly, I don't care. You can say "accident," whatever. She's dead.