Monday, June 3, 2013

The Oscar Pistorius Case - Shooting at Doors (Video)

It was sometime near the beginning of April this year that I was contacted by a British Television News and Documentaries Producer. The Producer needed assistance with the making of a documentary on the Oscar Pistorius trial and the evidence that will be looked at before the trial commences.

I gave the Producer the details of other people to contact in South Africa, as I was rather reluctant to involve myself in a high-profile case or in a field of expertise I was no longer permanently involved in, namely Forensic Ballistics.

Nevertheless, I was contacted again later when the Producer eventually arrived in South Africa - only to discover that the people who initially promised to assist with the Ballistic aspects of the documentary had suddenly changed their minds. “We urgently need a safe place where we can shoot at a door,” the Producer said. “Oh, and we also need a 9mm pistol, ammunition, and a door or two to shoot at, and a Firearms/Ballistics Expert.”

It was quite apparent - the poor Producer was in a real tight spot and also had a strict deadline to adhere to, as the planned documentary not only involved the Oscar Pistorius case, but also other related matters, which they intended incorporating into the 1-hour documentary.

After confirming that I was dealing here with a team of distinguished professionals, and not some-or-other backyard television crew, I contacted an old mate of mine, an ex-colleague from the old SA Police forensic days. Together we quickly made a plan, although I must confess – my old friend did most of the planning and all the work :-)

We all met at a nearby outdoor shooting range on 19 April 2013, where the original house plans of Oscar’s home were used to construct an outline of the bathroom area where the fatal shooting occurred.

An integral part of the team consisted of two eminent South African lawyers who were not involved in the case, the one in Oscar’s defence and the other representing the State’s case. I acted only as a silent observer in the whole affair and watched the scene from a distance. I also managed to record some footage of my own (with permission, of course), which I combined with some graphics to compile an amateur video, the quality of which will obviously come nowhere near the professionalism that will be featured in the final product.

Please bear in mind that this amateur video was made long before a leaked picture of the scene flooded the Internet (a rather insensitive act I must add), and thus long before the type of door (solid or hollow) or actual location of bullet holes in the door were known. The simple reconstruction depicted here was thus based on the version of the shooting as provided in the Official Affidavit by Oscar Pistorius himself, and should not be construed as the only true version. The video, however, does point out how the mainstream media, in their many sensational speculations, attempted to bring the shooter closer to the bathroom door, while preliminary observations showed that the shooter probably fired the shots into the door from as far a distance as possible – taking into consideration, of course, the confines of the available space in the bathroom.

Video soundtrack:
The first part of the video includes the opening segment of the international hit Midnight Blue by Louise Tucker, which slowly fades out (no copyright infringement intended). The remaining part of the video includes the original sounds one normally finds at a busy shooting range. Some commentary by the two lawyers can also be heard. The range is located near a racetrack, so in addition to gunshots going off in the background there’s also noise coming from the racetrack. The Producer assured me that all the racket going on was no distraction for them whatsoever, as the unwanted noise would be filtered out later by a Sound Engineer. I must say – I now have much respect for Sound Engineers!

The documentary titled, Pistorius Trial: The Key Questions – Examining the Evidence, will be aired tonight (3 June 2013) at 22:00 on Channel 5 (UK).

I have no idea what the final product looks like, and will only get a copy thereof after it has been screened on television. I unfortunately don’t know whether this specific documentary will also be screened in South Africa, or not… Watch the comment-section for updates!

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Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

This saga is going the route of the OJ Simpson case, police errors, pleadings of innocents etc etc etc. Time will show and probably prove that what we have here is a simple basic sordid case of a relationship that broke down. The arrogance of the the rich and famous, a splash of jealousy, a pretty woman, a gun a few drinks and then someone dies. There is sufficient anecdotal info to show that Pistorius is a bit of an arrogant entitled fruitcake. Someone who achieved lots and assumes that his fame makes him impervious. now we have his uncle appearing on TV telling us Pisto grew a beard, found a god and is mourning his loss. Gritty sordid stuff, like the saint Hansie and the super Joost. Time will tell as the lawyers get rich.

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

CHANNEL 5 has a message that reads:


Rather frustrating I would say, considering that the incident happened in South Africa, AND - the documentary was filmed here!

Laager said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

I stumbled across the program and watched it last night.

My first reaction was; surely this is going to influence the outcome of the trial if witnesses see it. The program clearly made the point that trial by jury does not exist in SA and that it had been abandoned during the apartheid era. One man wil judge the facts - although the bench showed three seats. Presumably the judge will be supported by assessors.

Sadly the Rudi Visagie case was also included in the documentary. The point being made was that if OP is not found guilt of pre-meditated murder the lesser charge of manslaughter / culpable homicide could apply - as it did in Rudi's case. Although he was found guilty no sentence was applied as he has to live with the pain of shooting his own child for the rest of his life.

Overall I thought the timing of the program was not good in that influence through trial by TV was being exerted.

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Couldnt care less bout Oscar.

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@Boerseun – me neither, but it was fun being on a shooting range again and watching how the TV crew operated. It also started raining while the shoot was on… That was real fun!

I’m tired of ANC politics and thought I’d share something different with viewers for a change, particularly now that the case is attracting attention again.

PreatorianXVI said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

For any Banned or locked out videos go to, enter URL link to the video and watch what you want, unless the video has been pulled.

Or instead of http://youtube....

Enter https://youtube....

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

I hear you TIAMysoa

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

The full documentary – aired on Channel 5 in the UK can be viewed on YouTube:

Pistorius Trial: The Key Questions

If you're interested in the Pistorius case then this video is definitely worthwhile viewing. Two eminent South African lawyers, Estelle Kilian acting for the prosecution and Marius Du Toit for the defence, weigh the evidence against the Olympic sprinter with the aid of a purpose-built replica of his bedroom and bathroom. Footage of the video shared in this posting also features in the documentary video.

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