Justice Eventualis, Oscar’s Sentence Extended [Documents]

“The dead cannot cry out for justice.  It is a duty of the living to do so for them.” – Lois McMaster Bujold

Receiving credit for time already served, the respondent, Oscar Pistorius, receives a sentence of 13 years and 5 months [replacing his previous sentence of 6 years].

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Our Conclusions In “Deceit” & “Dark Matter” And How Our Journey Took Us To Them

Originally posted August 2015, by Nick van der Leek

Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

One of the tremendously rewarding experiences we [my co-author Lisa Wilson and I] have as authors is our research forces us to set up camp around questions.  We spend time: mornings, afternoons, days, weeks, even months asking questions and pursuing answers.  The amazing thing when it comes to True Crime, especially popular crime, is those answers are out there. One merely needs to go out and make the effort to look for them. And keep looking.  Seek and we do find!

What makes our narratives distinctive, I think, is that Lisa and I, more often than not, work as a team. How many other narratives have two researchers and authors, working from opposite sides of the Atlantic?  While Lisa provides a US perspective as a juror, a researcher and a True Crime buff, I’m most interested in the intuitive subtleties that underlie these cases.  The psychology, the economics, the motives. Human behavior is fascinating, especially when it drives people to the extreme. I’m also intrigued by what these intuitions reveals about us, and society.

humans

I wasn’t always into True Crime, in fact, like Ann Rule, I sort of fell into it by accident.  While Rule worked with Ted Bundy, I was Facebook friends with the model, Reeva Steenkamp, that Oscar Pistorius shot dead in his bathroom.  I didn’t intend to write a novel, I simply started asking questions, and then penned a 12 000 word magazine article [intended as a 4 part series].  That narrative eventually became my first bestseller.

Although I studied law and economics, I left the corporate environment to freelance full-time as a photographer and writer. My great grandfather was a famous South African artist, and my brother and aunt are also both well regarded artists [and yes, freelancers] in their own rights too.  I guess there is something restless in both mine and Lisa’s blood that makes us want to dig beneath the surface, to see expanded perspectives beyond what the media serves us.

I need to not only explore the world beyond my door, but represent it to myself and others in a constructive and meaningful way. I feel passionate about meaning above all, and it’s gratifying to find so much in such grim a setting where someone has lost their life.  When we honor the victims, when we remember them honestly, something unexpected happens: we also set ourselves straight, we also get ourselves [and society to some extent] back on track.

In terms of the Amanda Knox case, I stepped into the bullring for the first time in April this year [2015].  I knew virtually nothing about the case other than it had been newsworthy around the world.  I knew ‘something’ had happened in Italy, and that Amanda Knox was somehow involved [or not] because she was a housemate of a murdered British girl [also a student].  Before I started studying the case I had no bias either way – I didn’t know whether she was guilty or not.  Based on the little media that came my way, there seemed to me to be equal parts bias that she was innocent and…suspicious.

As soon as I started examining the case, literally within a few minutes, my interest was aroused.  It was along the lines of: she’s hiding something.  It was also along the lines that Amanda might be complicit in some way, but probably not involved in the actual murder.  How could she? Why would she?

Again, it is easy to ask these questions and then walk away from them without investing time in their answers. And when they do come they’re…well…stupefying.

While Lisa was in Italy, for work and research, I started working behind-the-scenes on a narrative Lisa and I designed a framework for called DOUBT.  The plan was that Lisa would return and then we would work on the narrative together.  I got so caught up in my own research I started on the narrative and by the time Lisa returned from Italy, DOUBT was done.  Interestingly, upon Lisa’s return, she still wasn’t 100% convinced Amanda was directly responsible for the murder.  The topic resulted in one or two heated Skype calls between us.

A lie repeated often enough [there was no DNA] eventually becomes, if not the truth, then a kind of truism, doesn’t it? A truism isn’t the truth, it’s a platitude. It’s something you say to get rid of inquiring minds.

No DNA? Well, of course there is – at least five instances of it, mixed with Meredith’s blood.  What’s perhaps more bizarre, for example, is the lack of Amanda’s fingerprints in her own home.  A single print? How many of us could say the same about fingerprints in our own homes?  Our computers, door handles, kitchen areas ought to be covered with prints.  Coming back to DNA, not only is Amanda’s DNA present in the villa, but so is Raffaele’s in Meredith’s bloody bedroom.

What’s the chance that Raffaele was at the villa, in Meredith’s room, but not Amanda?  What was he doing there if Amanda wasn’t with him? And is it any surprise that Meredith’s bra, cut with a knife after the murder, also had Raffaele’s DNA on the bra clasp? This is a guy who had a knife fetish, and who was carrying a knife at the time of his arrest.

In DOUBT [which was banned at first by strident Pro Knoxers and then resurrected as DECEIT], I identified 28 Red Flags.  These were singular signals that seem to show patterns of inconsistency.  Things just didn’t add up.  Indeed, Amanda did seem to be [and still is?] hiding something.  In our follow-up narrative, DARK MATTER, Lisa and I brought a binocular laser-like narrative focus to the four days of intense police investigation following the discovery of Meredith’s body at midday on November 2nd, 2007.

This time, we identified an additional 100+ Red Flags.  In addition to these, we listed several other highly suspicious events amongst other increasingly odd behaviors – not only from Amanda, but also Raffaele. It’s when we pool all of these clues together that a picture begins to emerge.  Patterns emerge.  And suddenly the mystery becomes…less mysterious.

If my initial ‘gut feel’ was that Amanda was simply ‘hiding something’, by the end of DECEIT there was little doubt that there was a lot more going on than that.  In fact, I’ve suggested to Lisa that based on forensic evidence alone [if one threw away all the circumstantial evidence], Amanda would still a have a major case to answer to. Lisa would eventually agree.  Conversely, if one took the entirety of circumstantial evidence, including the on-again-off-again alibi, and simultaneously ignored the totality of forensic evidence, Amanda would still have a major case to answer to.  That’s my opinion.  Lisa’s too, now that she’s gone beneath the surface of this case herself.

The irony is this case is so large, so convoluted, so full of spin and counter-spin, that it is easy to get lost in the details. As we see so often in court cases, it is not a lack of evidence that is a problem, it is the volume of it that gets disconcerting, and frequently confusing.  Confusion and doubt [and ‘reasonable doubt’] go hand in hand.  Of course, being confused by a lot of information is not the same as uncertainty based on a lack of evidence, or based on ambiguous evidence. The evidence isn’t ambiguous.

As such it is Lisa’s and my mission to demystify the eight years culminating in Amanda’s and Raffaele’s ultimate acquittal.  Our narratives, especially the first two or three in the series are probably better suited to newbies [people like us].  In the many narratives to come, Lisa and I expect to be as well versed as some folks on forums and resources like the incredibly valuable True Justice.org.

Before wrapping up, I’d like to share a final insight based on our experience writing another true crime series.  It may seem like Amanda Knox, Jodi Arias and Oscar Pistorius are three distinct individuals, with nothing in common.  But when we look closer, we don’t simply see matches in certain defense schemes, we see entire patterns of conduct [including motive] overlapping, and doing so perfectly.

what you thought

In South Africa, we have a similar situation where the media profit from stories on Oscar Pistorius.  They are reluctant to declare him guilty as that would be slaying a potential ‘cash cow’, and with book deals hanging in the balance [an acquittal is literally worth millions], the media are hedging their bets.

As a person involved in the media, I’m appalled at this, hence our multiple narratives on Oscar, two detailing his motive and the method of what we speculate was premeditated murder.  In terms of Amanda Knox, we suspect a similar game play between the media and Knox.  Both seem to be involved in a kind of PR waltz which both stand to benefit from, if they can dance consistently to their own music.

It was once said of Lance Armstrong that one shouldn’t make Lance Armstrong angry.  Anger is what motivates Lance to win.  And then the punch line: ‘Beating Lance makes him angry.’  Lisa and I have been astonished at the level of organisation and aggressive militancy [and dirty tricks] employed by Amanda’s supporters.  If this was intended to dissuade us from writing, these folks couldn’t be more wrong.

We are not out to make money, Lisa and I, although we care that our narratives resonate and are successful.  What we really care about is justice.  The bottom line, whether one is a criminal, or the supporter of a criminal is you never look good trying to make someone else look bad. The venom and personal insults Lisa and I have endured in our reviews is impressive.  The strategy is clear – attack the credibility of the messenger [since the message itself is problematic].

Our credibility is simple to establish. For my part, I am a professional writer. I did not gain a twitter following of almost 14 000 based on bad writing.  I work and write in partnership with Lisa because her research is often deeper and even more thorough than mine.  For me, our credibility is based on just two tests:  our personal standards and our level of honesty towards ourselves and others.  What distinguishes our narratives from all the others out there is the level of honesty – including self disclosure – both of us bring to our work.

This is because we care about something beyond justice. Besides wanting our readers to have a meaningful and genuine experience reading about these tragic crimes, we – as authors – also want to be enriched.  When we make it a personal journey, the insights and intuitions are truly rewarding. We find how these folks – not only the victim but also the perpetrators – are not so very different from us.  In this sense, if we genuinely learn something from these true stories, Meredith Kercher’s death need not be in vain.

Follow Nick van der Leek @HiRezLife and Lisa Wilson @lisawJ13

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Shakedown Reviews Blade Runner Killer, Oscar Pistorius – Part 2

Listen to clips from the film and hear our views on the relationship between Reeva and Oscar…

Reeva’s Twitter timeline from January – February 2013…

The BEST mommy in the world  #flu #moms #love http://instagr.am/p/USx-pxwPZN/

3:38 AM – 10 Jan 2013

View this post on Instagram

The BEST mommy in the world ☺ #flu #moms #love

A post shared by Reeva Steenkamp (@reevasteenkamp) on

Yaaaaawn!!!! Let me know when you’re done wasting your time trying to wear me down *files my nails*

5:42 PM – 11 Jan 2013

Finally feeling better today! Time to get back into  #brandnewme #2013

12:05 AM – 14 Jan 2013

My favourite sketch at the moment #art #expression #thought #beautiful http://instagr.am/p/UjRot1wPdj/

1:23 PM – 16 Jan 2013

Out of every misery, you WILL find your rainbow. A lesson. A truth. Nothing is a wasted experience if you look with willing eyes!

4:38 AM – 16 Jan 2013

Still can’t believe I went to the movies last night! First time in years!!! It was fun but I prefer DVDs at home. What have u seen lately?

12:00 PM – 16 Jan 2013

” You built your walls so high, no one could climb it. But I’m gonna try boy … Would you let me see beneath your beautiful … ”

18 Jan 2013

My new apartment will have one of these guys in it ….  http://instagr.am/p/UrK8zewPbw/

2:58 PM – 19 Jan 2013

OK blocked and reported times 5. Seriously, if I am that distasteful and repulsive to you then please don’t follow what I am doing. Thanks.

1:45 PM – 21 Jan 2013

This week has taught me that people will say what they like about you regardless&others will believe them.Carry on anyway.Be brave.Be you.

2:17 PM – 27 Jan 2013

28 Jan 2013

Sometimes your blessings lay beneath a mountain of tribulations. Be patient and see them through. You will appreciate them far more!

Some days you just want to stay in bed and nap and think and watch tv and drink tea. It’s those “I need my mommy” days.

8:39 AM – 29 Jan 2013

#FF The most amazing PR company in SA @CapacityR Thank you for always looking after me at events. World class! Cc @CandyGoldring

5:32 AM – 1 Feb 2013

He certainly doesn’t need more followers but he’s beautiful to look at & says some smart stuff too 😉 @OscarPistorius

Fun at the Vaal  http://instagr.am/p/VRiyRowPbb/

12:37 PM – 3 Feb 2013

Thinking of Valentine’s Day well ahead of time – in love with love as Gina Myers put it

 

Grab a copy of the latest @People_SA I’m wearing a few numbers to inspire those ladies looking to spoil their men on Valentines Day 🙂 #Love

10:11 AM – 4 Feb 2013

The queue … Is queueish … At home affairs …. It’s all wrap around and stuff. Fml.

4:25 AM – 4 Feb 2013

Preparing to go overseas?

Feisty

 

Yes, push into the queue that we’ve all been patiently waiting in AND don’t say thank you.

11:55 AM – 6 Feb 2013

New rules:

 

8 Feb 2013

Lying on a blanky in the garden with my @gi_myers breathing in some fresh air and chatting about life. http://instagr.am/p/VeRGH5QPZm/

 

 

Let the hate motivate.

5:12 AM – 6 Feb 2013

 

 

Before you lift a pen or raise your voice to criticise, acknowledge people’s circumstances. You don’t know their struggles. Their journey.

1:54 AM – 8 Feb 2013

 

When it takes you an entire day to try and compose a fitting response, a lacking one at that, rather leave it. It’s just substandard.

7:48 PM – 7 Feb 2013

: Funeral begins for Anene Booysen: ” RIP princess!

Winter Throwback. Myself and at a track day with .

 

 

Excited for a chilled Saturday evening in with good food, movies, popcorn, frozen yoghurt & my boo. #happiness #love #chilling #weekend

6:56 AM – 9 Feb 2013

It’s the last supper with 😦 I think and I will kidnap you forever!!!!

(Martin Rooney leaves 10th of Feb. Murder happens 4 nights later.)

I woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals… http://instagr.am/p/Viq8nNwPRy/

11:17 PM – 9 Feb, 2013

 

When you fall in love with someone’s personality everything about them becomes beautiful.

12:15AM – 9 Feb, 2013

Check out The Link tonight 4 a sneak peek of “Tropika Islands of Treasure” , ,

It’s a beautiful day!Make things happen.Starting my day off with a yummy healthy shake from my boo 🙂

 What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???

3:37 AM – 13 Feb 2013

WEAR BLACK THIS FRIDAY IN SUPPORT AGAINST AND WOMAN ABUSE

4:34 AM – 13 Feb 2013

 

Revelations

 

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Shakedown Reviews Blade Runner Killer, Oscar Pistorius – Part 1

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Listen to clips, and hear #Shakedown’s review of the film…


 


Reeva’s Twitter Timeline from 2007 – January 2013…

July 31, 2007

keeping a secret…

July 31, 2007

excited to see the King again xxxx.

But in August, whilst auditioning for a spot on Top Billing, and signing up with ice Models, Reeva hints at some financial difficulties in her early days in Johannesburg. She also reveals a protracted struggle to find the right man, losing her phone, the trials and tribulations of the nightclubbing scene, and her innermost feelings of conflict and frustration – did she make the right choice to pursue modelling?  A close friend passes away in the same month and Reeva is missing her parents.

After dropping a few hints, Reeva first mentions Warren on Facebook on October 11, 2007, nearly 4 months after their first meeting.

October 11, 2007

at home doing work…it’s nice having Warren here to keep me company…

But 2008 proves to be a year Reeva would prefer to forget.  On April 7 Reeva posts:

‘[I stand] corrected. You do not get over the past. The past decides when to let go of you.’

On May 8, 2008, Reeva changes her relationship status on Facebook to ‘In a relationship’ although Warren and Reeva have been an item since January.

(They spend Christmas and New Years apart)

Going to miss some of my best people tonight @OscarPistorius @gi_myers @Iamfomo Have the most amazing night crazies! Send piccies 🙂

1:33 PM – 31 Dec 2012

No reply from Oscar or deleted.

I’ve learnt many valuable lessons this year. Thank you 2012 for the education! Above all, “trust your inner voice” stands out for me. #2013

12:52 AM – 31 Dec 2012

Flies to Cape Town on New Years Day

The chauffeurs in Cape Town hey. Nice! http://instagr.am/p/UBZZG0wPV5/

4:38 AM – 3 Jan 2013

Home time! Back to work. Thank you Cape Town & all the special people who made this break memorable! #friends #family #ocean #sunshine

3:40 AM – 7 Jan 2013

Visiting my boo on set. He shoots more than me! I need to up my game!!! #manonfire

3:47 AM – 10 Jan 2013

1506863434 (1)april-screams-in-the-night-oscar-cp

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