Oscar Pistorius's Shocking Fall from Grace in 6 Clicks
1. OLYMPIC GLORY
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee, makes Olympic history when he becomes the first Paralympian to compete in an able-bodied track event at the 2012 Summer Games. Though he fails to medal, his performance inspires many, as does his attitude: "Being disabled doesn't have to be a disadvantage," he says.
2. MODEL BEHAVIOR
Pistorius's good fortune continues in November 2012 as he steps out with model Reeva Steenkamp at the South Africa Sports Awards. The blonde beauty, named one of FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World," is also a law school graduate and an activist for women's empowerment.
3. LOVE GONE WRONG
Just prior to Valentine's Day 2013, Steenkamp takes to Twitter to share her excitement over the holiday, proclaiming it a "day of love." Hours later, her life tragically ends when she enters Pistorius's Pretoria, South Africa, home in the early morning hours and is reportedly shot four times by the athlete. "She was the kindest, sweetest human being; an angel on earth and will be sorely missed," her publicist Sarit Tomlinson says.
4. DISTURBING DETAILS
As more information comes out about the shooting, Pistorious's troubling past also emerges, including a 2009 assault arrest for slamming a door on a woman. No charges were brought against the runner, nicknamed "Blade Runner," due to a lack of evidence, but in their investigation of Steenkamp's death, police report being called to Pistorius's home for "previous incidents" of domestic problems. Additionally, interviews in which the athlete admits to sleeping with a revolver by his bedside, having a machine gun by his window and a cricket and baseball bat behind his bedroom door also come to light.
5. TRIAL PERIOD
Following the incident, Pistorius cooperates with police and asks to be taken to court immediately, where prosecutors say they will seek a charge of premeditated murder against the athlete during an initial court hearing. The runner weeps throughout his appearance, but does not enter a plea. A 9mm gun is recovered from his home, and the runner's Nike ad, in which he is described as a "bullet," is pulled from his website. He's released on bail, but later indicted on the premeditated murder charge; the case heads to trial.
6. COURTROOM DRAMA
The trial makes headlines worldwide, in part for Pistorius' behavior (he vomits) and details like the fact Steenkamp had texted her boyfriend that she was afraid of him. Though Pistorius takes the stand, in 2014 he's found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced to five years in prison, of which he serves one. In 2015, an appeals court finds him guilty of murder, and in 2016, he's sentenced to six years in prison – a decision he can appeal.