An Excerpt from DIABLO: Henri Van Breda

From the chapter

Into Darkness

John Harrison: You should have let me sleep! ― Star Trek Into Darkness


 

Henri ax

Exactly twenty minutes into the court session after lunch, Henri’s advocate draws another line through his checklist, and wraps up his direct examination.

BOTHA:  Did you kill your father with an axe?

The accused casts towards his Judge, and his lips seem to curl involuntarily as he wrestles them into a single, softly spoken word.

HENRI: No.

BOTHA: And did you kill your brother with an axe?

HENRI: No.

As Henri answers his advocate on these direct and dire accusations, something sinister has happened to his posture. There’s a dark look in his eyes. From the fig-leaf position, a classic defensive posture which he’s maintained throughout the day while standing, often pressing down on his right hand with his left, now suddenly his demeanour has transformed into something else. Henri looms in his grey suit, both arms brace the side of the dock in a kind of casual menace. He’s spread out, almost like wings, or the ears of Dumbo the elephant.

Having answered the second question, Henri briefly glances from the Judge to the quivering, key-tapping media gallery on the opposite end of the room. And then to his advocate.

BOTHA: Did you kill your mother with an axe?

HENRI: No.

BOTHA: Did you attack your sister with an axe?

HENRI [Mouth gaping]: No. [Henri almost seems to sigh as he answers that one.]

Look carefully and in each of the four ‘no’s’, Henri answers open-eyed while looking at the Judge, but in each case, blinks moments later.  So it’s no…BLINK, no…BLINK, no…BLINK, no…BLINK.

BOTHA: Did you change the crime scene in any way…?

HENRI [Shakes his head]: No, my Lord.

The throwing of the axe, and the hitting of the axe into the wall, is an incidental way of explaining away the absence of blood, touch DNA and tissue DNA on the leading edge of the implement, and fibres and fingerprints on the haft, throat and grip.

Just as we saw in the JonBenét Ramsey case, in a genuine kidnapping, one would expect to find the fingerprints of the parents’ on the Ransom Note. Didn’t they pick it up and read it?  Or if they wrote the note themselves, were they extra careful not to leave any traces of handling it?

In the same way, we’d expect to find Henri’s fingerprints on the axe based on his version of handling the axe.  This absence shows, perhaps, that in his care not to make a mistake, just as in the Ramsey’s case, he was too careful.

BOTHA: Did you have any reason to attack your family?

HENRI [Seemingly aghast]: No, none whatsoever.

It’s difficult to make out on the livestream, but Henri either glances down or blinks as he says the word “none”.  But Botha’s not quite done.  There are three additional cards he wants to put on the table.

1st Card: No Clean-Up

BOTHA: Did you attempt to wash away any blood on your hands, or body, through the course of that morning?

HENRI: No, my Lord.

Henri’s suddenly deferential again.  In the entire court transcript for October 31st …

 

The first installment of DIABLO is available now on Amazon

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The Dark Matter of the Oscar Behind the Great Pretender [White Horse II Review]

WHITE HORSE II: Oscar Pistorius

Review by Melissa Manzella, August 21, 2016

oscar 1

“A brilliant narrative, replete with super sharp observations of both the case and the characters, this narrative brings the truth into ever clearer focus, and does so by having a kind of running theme on the ‘real’ narrative, Oscar knowingly killed Reeva, versus the ‘bogus’ one, Oscar thought he faced an intruder, referencing both often. In doing this, one really sees the flaws in the bogus one.

These two have such a good grasp of the case, having sorted Oscar long ago, and that now applies to their narrative of what happened the night Oscar killed Reeva, and I consider it to be definitive. In this narrative, the reader is brought early on to what may be a fascinating juncture in the case, this involving the rescheduling of sentence date by Judge Masipa, a matter which otherwise might be seen as an ordinary one, except that it was sentencing and the author was in court and caught the face of surprise on Prosecutor Nel, who obviously wasn’t expecting it.

He also noted an awkward looking Masipa, whom he thought looked to be gazing Roux’s way, for some kind of direction. Perhaps guidance on that date? This is what occurred to Van der Leek as he watched this exchange unfold. She changed it from June 17th, to July 6. With this single observation by Van Der Leek, bewildered trial watchers the world over who’d witnessed two vastly different Oscars at the sentencing hearing as opposed to the sentencing, might have just received clarity. We’re talking about collusion here, or more appropriately, the possibility thereof.

Without giving too much of the book away, the author does establish a plausible nexus between the rescheduling of this sentencing date, and a particular activity Oscar was engaged in at the time, outside of the realm of court. Did it happen? Well, Van der Leek doesn’t commit to saying that it did, but does supply the reader with relevant facts that would support it, and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions. Who knows if there was trickery afoot? Who knows that there wasn’t?

Here’s what I like about Van der Leek, and Wilson too, for that matter. They see something that looks wrong, and aren’t afraid to say it. They’ve always called a spade a spade, and have gone where the evidence has led them. Nick also talks about where he thinks this case went wrong, and it’s his belief that Masipa might have had her limitations, with that said, might simply have been overwhelmed with so much evidence. He thinks the case could have benefitted from a narrative, something that might have served to help her focus. He wishes Nel might have employed such. I tend to agree with him. He mentions that as a legal matter, and especially before a judge, showing motive certainly isn’t required but in this case might have been helpful.

Oscar being the scoundrel that he is, did an interview for ITV weeks before his sentence, looked well as he lied and cried his way through it, and then wouldn’t bother to take the stand in court. Van der Leek considers Mark Williams-Thomas the king of the soft ball questions, noting his bias. This narrative also saw new evidence emerge to do with the blood, and the authors made a crucial find here to do with Reeva that is a real game changer! Wow. I’ve not seen what they found documented anywhere else, so leads me to believe they were first in this finding! Impressive.

Both lament the fact that the bogus narrative is now the legal one, and Nick was incensed at Masipa’s doubling down at sentencing, memorializing this joke of a conviction. I’m hearing now however, that there’s a chance for a counter that may be coming down the pike in White Horse III, and I definitely say cheers to that! Looking forward to that read.”

WHITE HORSE II is Available on Amazon

WH2 Cover

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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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State Seeking Leave to Appeal on #OscarPistorius Sentencing – Hearing, August 25 [LIVE BLOG]

The hearing begins at 9am local SA time.  I’ll be providing updates live on this page.  You can also follow Nick on Twitter at @HiRezLife

Nel is walking Masipa through the points of the state’s argument.  He calls the sentence “shockingly and inappropriately lenient.” 

Nel tells Masipa that Oscar’s personal circumstances were “over-emphasized”

STATE’S APPEAL DOCUMENTS

The camera primarily focuses on Nel but when it does pan to Masipa, she doesn’t look too pleased.

“The court misdirected itself in believing that the perception of an intruder entering home was a mitigating factor.”

Nel points out that Oscar formed his INTENTION to fire in the bedroom when he got his gun… not in the bathroom.  This should have been taken into account as an aggravated factor.

“The court failed to take into account the findings of the SCA”

Masipa

Nel says the court made credibility findings about Scholtz, therefore the court should have rejected that Oscar was in no condition to testify.  He also questions her finding that Oscar was remorseful…

“There’s a chasm between regret and remorse.”

Knowing that the SCA found that the accused had never given a proper explanation for why he fired, the accused should have provided testimony during sentencing.

Right on schedule…. a cell phone goes off.

Nel politely uses the words “respectfully” and “utmost respect” repeatedly while he basically tells Masipa her sentencing judgement is shit.

Nel hammers home – the benchmark is 15 years – that’s the starting point of a sentence, not a clean slate.  Go Nel!

“He decided in the bedroom to shoot at whoever – if there was somebody in the bathroom – whoever…”  “That was the fact of his intention – to shoot whoever.”

The court failed to grade the degree of Dolus Eventualis.  The court was bound by the inferences of the SCA.  Likely and Obvious are degrees in Dolus Eventualis… SCA found it was obvious that Oscar’s foreseeability was he would kill a person.  “Those are all very aggravating factors, My Lady.”

#Masipaface

Masipa 2

Nel talks about what bothers Mr. Steenkamp… he wondered what his daughter felt when she was being shot.  Nel feels this wasn’t fully taken into account.  He also emphasizes the cruelty of Black Talon.  It should have been an aggravating factor.  It didn’t get the attention in sentencing that it should have.

The court misdirected itself when the court ignored the SCAs finding that Oscar’s subjective intention was unaffected by his vulnerability.

Nel also points out that the physical demonstration of the accused in court was very different than a person walking down their hallway with a lethal firearm.  In other words, the reenactment in court is not a true reenactment.

The public’s misperception [of why Oscar shot, the argument theory] is irrelevant and shouldn’t have been considered.   Nel says, what is important to note about the public – society has an interest in a proper sentence being imposed based on the nature and gravity of the crime.

Nel wraps up by saying they can only appeal to the SCA, therefore they are applying for leave to appeal.

Roux starts by saying how shockingly inappropriate the state’s appeal arguments are.  Points out the state waited 15 days, and let poor poor Oscar sit in jail waiting to see what they would do.  Roux says the state is “prejudice.”  Reminds Masipa how much Oscar cried in court.  The state has not given a “fair appraisal of this matter.”

Roux says about Masipa’s judgement… “The judgement made me proud of judiciary.”

In case you want to revisit that nightmare, here is the document…

Masipa’s Sentencing Judgement for Oscar Pistorius 7.6.2016

Roux

“What is it that the state wants?”  If it’s 8 years, they want 10 years?  He ponders, should the respondent should sit and be subjected to uncertainty.  “Enough is enough.  It does not comfort you that justice is fair and reasonable.”

“My Lady, we live in the real world.  If I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning, and I believe there’s an intruder in my house, it’s dark and I have no legs to walk on…”  He stops there… was waiting for him to say I’d shoot somebody too, but then he’d have to add in ‘4 times’ to be accurate and um, that kinda sounds bad.

Masipa still looks stern but slightly softer as Roux speaks.  She listens intently and takes notes.

Roux says the court was fair in dealing with Kim Martin and Mr. Steenkamp.

Very few people in the courtroom today.  Even Barry Bateman has given up on tweeting today.  They’re at the South Gauteng Courthouse today, not the usual North Courthouse.

courtroom

There must be a reasonable prospect that another court would interfere with the sentence. Roux trying to argue that there’s no basis for determining what the SCA would consider reasonable.

Karyn Maughan is going to town on her gum right now.

Roux says Masipa should dismiss the state’s application, with cost…

“It should be the end”  “It’s been exhausted beyond the point of any conceivable exhaustion.”

And Roux’s done.  Phewww… I love when he’s brief.  So essentially his entire argument is based on emotion.  That it’s unfair to make Oscar sit around and wonder when this ordeal will finally be over.  Roux did not cite any legal cases.

Nel counters with a few last points saying they did not ignore evidence as Roux suggested, the evidence he referred to was rejected by the SCA.

Nel also emphasizes it is indeed strikingly inappropriate if the minimum sentence is 15 years and results in 6.

Masipa:  “I’ll be back…”  She takes a break to consider the arguments… and make sure that Arnold has the proper routing number.  Haha… kidding 🙂 … Kinda.

Masipa dismisses the state’s bid to appeal Oscar’s sentence.  Dismissed with costs.

Ulrich Roux Chimes In…

Listen to the hearing…

Twitter buzz…