New Delhi: With the judgement in the Oscar Pistorius trial slated to be delivered on Thursday, a new book seeks to go beyond the facts of the case in search of a wider context behind the shocking tragedy and motive of the 'Blade Runner' in murdering his model girlfriend last year.
"Behind The Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story" by South African journalists Mandy Wiener and Barry Bateman explores the characters involved, relates courtroom interactions and unpacks the forensic and circumstantial evidence.
The book, brought out by Pan Macmillan India, has details of what happened on that fateful night of February 14, 2013 when double-amputee Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp at his house near Pretoria and the trial that followed. It is likely to hit the bookstores in the first week of October and will also incorporate details of the verdict.
Pistorius was the golden boy of South African sport, and an inspiration to millions around the world until the tragic shooting. The revealing account of the investigation and trial will also have details of the police investigation, the nature of the South African criminal justice system, the culture of violence in South Africa and the need of society to create flawed heroes who are destined to fail.
Pan Macmillan South Africa has acquired world rights to the book. Wiener is the author of "Killing Kebble", an expose of the Brett Kebble murder while her colleague Bateman is one of the first journalists on the scene of Steenkamp's shooting and who has been one of the stand-out scribes writing about the case on social media.
After his arrest on the next day of the murder, Pistorius denied the killing in the "strongest terms". Later he claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and was "filled with horrible fear" that someone had sneaked into his home through a window. He insisted that he did not intend to kill Steenkamp. The trial opened in Pretoria this March, before an army of journalists from around the world. He admitted to having fired the four gun shots but refused to admit any intention to kill his girlfriend.
The trial concluded on August 8 and tomorrow 66-year-old judge Thokozile Masipa will deliver her judgement. Twenty-seven-year-old Pistorius could face 25 years of prison if convicted of premeditated murder. He could also be convicted of a lesser murder charge or negligent killing, both of which will mean some years in jail. He could also be acquitted if the judge believes the Olympian made a tragic error.
During the trial, prosecutors termed him as an egotistical liar who is obsessed with guns, fast cars and beautiful women. For defence lawyers, there were "two Oscars" ? a world-class athlete and a highly vulnerable person with a serious disability who acted not out of anger but fear when he fired at his girlfriend.
"Behind The Door: The Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp Story" is one of the few books on the 'Blade Runner' and his murder trial. The others are "No More Heroes: Oscar Pistorius's Fall from Grace" by Jacques Steenkamp and Gavin Prins; "Die Staat vs Oscar" by Marinda Fitzpatrick; Melinda Ferguson's "An Accident Waiting to Happen" and "Chase Your Shadow: The Trials of Oscar Pistorius" by John Carlin.