On February 14, 2013, gorgeous Reeva Steenkamp, 29, and the object of Oscar Pistorius's romantic obsession, received a short but sweet Valentine's Day message which made her both smile and sigh.
No, it wasn't from the wannabe Romeo himselfÂ—forget the Pistorius machine's dizzying spin and their nonstop "Oscar is Innocent" PR campaignÂ—it came from an ex-boyfriend whom Pistorius still regarded as a rival.
Investigators believe it was this South African rugby star's playful ping to the actress and model, while she was at Pistorius's mansion, that ignited the disabled runner's fury.
And that jealous anger quickly mounted, police say, until it erupted into a homicidal rage which ended in Steenkamp's brutal beating with the nearest weapon Pistorius could get his hands on. A bat the paranoid paralympian kept at his bedside.
But Reeva wouldn't die
She had much to live for and wasn't yet thirty. That's too young to die, and most certainly why she so fiercely clung to life although mortally wounded.
It freaked Pistorius out, what he'd done to this beautiful woman in just a few deranged seconds. Her cries and gasps, the bloody mess he'd made of her lovely head and long blonde hair, her stricken eyes staring up at him, unblinking and filled with terrorÂ…
It was terrifying.
And he knew it couldn't be explained away this time or undone, either. It was much too awful a deed to be brushed under the rug by a powerful family or friends in high places.
So he gazed in impotent horror at his ravaged girlfriend, and with each agonizing breath she made he saw his own life passing, too. Saw a blessed existence steadily slipping away.
He'd never been particularly coolheaded, Pistorius acknowledged then. Worse, he'd had problems in the past because of violent outbursts; hurt and bullied other women before as well. Here, in the same house, with his over-the-top rampages.
But not like this.
No, no. Never like this.
This was a disgrace, a full-blown nightmare, and it dawned on Pistorius as he took in the magnitude of his crime that the woman lying helplessly on the bathroom floor could not be allowed to survive her injuries. A multi-million-dollar career would be kaput if Reeva managed to utter but one single word to the police when they arrived: His name.
In fact, in Pistorius's twisted mind, he believed this was what she was actually hanging on for. To finger him, strip him of his glory and valuable sponsorships, put him behind bars forever.
It was wrong of her to do that. Unfair. So he didn't phone anyone to come and rescue his battered "baba" whom he "loved" so much. Instead, Pistorius staggered throughout the hallways of his lavish home, wringing his hands and wailing over the life which had just been lost.
His own, that is.
Still not dead ? who should Pistorius call?
It seemed hours had passed since fatally assaulting the blonde andÂ—total rubbish all those Hollywood moviesÂ—Steenkamp was still living. Her breathing shallow, her blood pressure falling, but she was still alive.
She was doomed though, her assailant realized, and dooming him by dragging out the inevitable. So in desperation, and bolstered by booze, the pistol-packing Pistorius grabbed a handgun, shot his half-dead lover in the head, slammed the bathroom door behind him, and ran downstairs to vomit.
Seventeen minutes later, he warily climbed the stairs again, cocked one ear against the wall of the cubicle and listened in.
A low groan, followed by another and anotherÂ—he took a step backward and, with a trembling hand, aimed at the bathroom door, visualizing his victim positioned on the other side of it and firing in rapid succession at that mental mark.
He was certain he'd hit her multiple times by the noises she subsequently made, butÂ…still...
A panicked Pistorius dropped the smoking gun, scrambled to gather his cellphones together, and started madly dialing.
Accessory to Reeva's murder
It is very clear that those who rushed to Oscar Pistorius's aid in the critical hours before authorities were finally notified to aid his victim, were themselves so criminally bent they failed to comprehend the difference between consoling a distraught loved one, and abetting him.
The first reaction is perfectly understandable and worthy of forgiveness. The latter constitutes a felony and is worthy of nothing but prison.
Manipulating a crime scene, tainting evidence, conspiring to make coldblooded murder look and sound like "a tragic accident" whilst the victim herself slowly bleeds to deathÂ…these are the vile acts of people who don't know wrong from right.
All the Pistorius players should be charged with Reeva Steenkamp's murder.
No leg to stand on
As a matter of law, Pistorius is not "innocent" of anything, and a judge or jury declaring him so isn't even remotely possible anymore since he submitted a sworn affidavit that he alone was responsible for Steenkamp's slaying, not some armed intruder.
What's more, despite Pistorius's protests and posturing, the prosecution can already prove intentional homicide, and the crime scene hasn't even been fully processed yet.
The bathroom door with its telltale high-to-low bullet-hole trajectories, shot through by Pistorius as he stood on his artificial legs, is off its hinges now, to be presented as key evidence in his upcoming murder trial. Additionally, Pistorius has to worry about the testimony of ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, who also suffered at the celebrity athlete's hands but lived to tell of it.
Taylor's hardly a witness to his good character, and a bloodstained cricket bat won't help his flimsy defense much, either.
It's OJ again
"If his legs were fit, you can't acquit" should be the battle cry in bringing Oscar Pistorius to justice.
Apart from race and nationality, he and OJ Simpson are identical: Sports legends, with a history of abuse, investing their riches on PR spin and garnering public sympathy and legal leniency solely because of fame.
And, just as OJ did, if the butchering Blade Runner is set free, he too will violently re-offend.