How did the State lose? 23


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Most of us, at the beginning of the trial, when so many witnesses testified that they heard the frantic screams of a woman that went silent after a volley of gunshots, thought that is was a slam-dunk case for the State. How could they possibly lose this one? And yet the State did lose on the dolus directus charges. How did this happen?

One of the main reasons why the Judge found in Oscar’s favour was because she believed that the defence put forward the most convincing time line of events.

The timelines as set out in the chronology of events tip the scales in favour of the accused’s version in general. (Record 3322 Line 10)

The chronology of events that the Court accepted and based its judgment on is as follows:

I now proceed to set out the chronology of events:

 

1. At 02:20 security activated guard track next to the house of the accused.

 

2. Approximately between 03:12 and 03:14 first sounds were heard. These were shots.

 

3. Approximately 03:14-15 accused was heard shouting for help.

 

4. Approximately between 03:12 and 03:17 screams were heard or screaming was heard.

 

5. Approximately 03:15 accused was seen walking in the bathroom.

 

6. 03:15:51, the duration was 16 seconds, Dr Stipp telephoned the Silver Lakes security.

 

7. 03:16, the duration was 58 seconds, Mr Johnson called and spoke to Strubenkop security.

 

8. 03:16:13 Mr Michael Nhlengethwa made his first call to security. This call did not go through.

 

9. 03:16:36, the duration was 44 seconds, Mr Michael Nhlengethwa made his second call to security.

 

10. 03:17 Dr Stipp attempted to make a call to 10111.

 

11. 03:17 second sounds were heard. These were cricket bat striking against the door.

 

12. 03:19:03, the duration was 24 seconds, the accused called Johan

 

(Record 3299, Line 7 to 26 and Record 3300, Line 1 to 3)

There are two pillars on which this chronology rest – that the “first sounds” were all gun shots (Point #2), and that the “second sounds” were all cricket bat strikes (Point #11). This sequence was Oscar’s version – and it was so accepted by the police, the State, the defence and ultimately the court. The State could never provide a satisfactory explanation for the “first sounds” while believing that the “second sounds” were  the gunshots.

In this post we will convincingly show that there is actually no evidence that ALL the bat strikes came after the gun shots – it is only an assumption – one that is actually not supported by the acoustic evidence. You may argue that there is solid evidence that he broke down the door after the gunshots. That is true – BUT – and think carefully about this – after the last strike the door panels were only slightly damaged, still intact and in place. The door was not “broken down” by the bat strikes – it only caused the damage that allowed Oscar at some point to pull/push/pry the panel out.

How did this notion that all the bat strikes came after the gunshots start?

Let’s look at the cross-examination of state witness and forensic expert Colonel Vermeulen (who worked for the Scientific Analysis Section of the Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria):

Roux: Now, if we look at this door, it is consistent and I think it is conclusive in fact. If you disagree we can go through it, that when the shots were fired the door was intact. It was not broken.

 

Vermeulen: That is true M’Lady.

 

Roux : What is your view? When was the door hit? When was the door hit?  Hit with the bat, before or after the shots?

 

Vermeulen : M’Lady I would say the door was hit after the shots. When he … some part of it broke after the shots. Because if you look at the crack down here, it enters this bullet hole on the one side and it exits on the other side. Well it enters on the one side and exits on this side. So what this tells me is that there had to be a hole in the door before this piece broke off, otherwise the crack would have gone straight through. (Record 657 Lines 8–20)

 

Now before we analyze Vermeulen’s testimony – imagine for a moment that you have never heard of Oscar and Reeva and of the events of that night. Your mind is a clean slate and all you know is that we have a door that got hit three times with a cricket bat, got shot at 4 times and whose panels then got broken out.

First look at this blue square with two dots:

dots1

Which dot did I make first? The red or the yellow? It is impossible to say. With the next square the situation is different. Here the yellow dot is clearly on top of the red one and one can thus confidently say that the red dot came before the yellow one.

dots2

What we have on the door is like the first square – the bat marks and the bullet holes do not intersect – they are on completely different areas of the door – it thus IMPOSSIBLE to say what came first and what came second.

 

door

The photo above shows the four bullet holes. The three bat strikes Oscar delivered to the door were all well above the door handle by about 300–400 mm. There is thus a clear physical separation between the bat strike locations and the bullet holes.

ss-140325-pistorius-toilet-door.nbcnews-ux-640-900

 

One therefore doesn’t have to be a forensic expert to understand and agree that, based purely on the physical evidence, it is impossible to tell the exact sequence of marks and holes on the door. In the same way that it is impossible to look at these four bullet holes on the door and to determine the exact sequence of the shots. For that one has to look at other evidence inside the toilet and on Reeva’s body.

There is a crack that runs from the location where the bat penetrated the door directly into hole D. This seems to indicate with a fair degree of certainty that that the panel was broken out after the bat strikes and the gunshots. An this is also what Vermeulen says:

When he … some part of it broke after the shots. Because if you look at the crack down here, it enters this bullet hole on the one side and it exits on the other side. Well it enters on the one side and exits on this side. So what this tells me is that there had to be a hole in the door before this piece broke off, otherwise the crack would have gone straight through.

bat_in_door

However, where Vermeulen goes horribly wrong – and in essence saved Oscar from dolus directus – is when he said that this proves that the bat strikes came after the gunshots – while it is only proof that the panels were pried/pushed/pulled out after the last gunshot!

If we dispute the notion that all the bat strikes came after the gun shots – what then happened?

Consider this scenario: After Reeva locked herself in the toilet, Oscar hit the door twice with the cricket bat, a third strike was to the metal plate. These strikes were made to scare and to intimidate Reeva. Cornered and afraid Reeva screamed for help. Oscar then fetched his gun and fired four shots through the door. Immediately afterwards Oscar regretted his actions – now he wanted to save Reeva – in a panic he grabs the bat and gives the door one more hefty strike – this penetrated the door – allowing him to pry the panel loose and out.

The animation below illustrates the above sequence of events – two strikes with the bat – then the four gunshots – then one last bat strike. Then the crack, that was initiated by the last bat strike, propagates towards the bullet hole as the panel is pried/pushed/pulled out. With further pushing/pulling a new crack develops from the bottom of the hole.

 

 

Based purely on the evidence on the door this scenario is as plausible as Oscar’s version and will in the end produce an identical outcome as Oscar’s version. Before Oscar broke the panel out – on both versions there were 3 strikes and 4 gun shots to the door.

To determine which version is more plausible we will later look at which one is supported by other evidence presented to court.

So after Vermeulen’s flawed analysis all that the defence had to do was to pay a few experts of their own to agree with Vermeulen and the Judge would have had no option but to accept Oscar’s version.

343. A further difficulty for the State is that Vermeulen’s evidence, confirmed by Dixon and Wolmarans, is that the door was damaged by the cricket bat, after the shots had been fired. (Record, Vermeulen 657, lines 14–15), (Record, Wolmarans 2378,, lines 9–15), (Record, Dixon 1962, lines 11–14).

This is what Roger Dixon said:

This would be … the hole there, which you see is split by a crack on either side, a top and bottom, is the bullet hole that was referred to as bullet hole D. It is on the side of the door panel, that has got a taper or a bevel to it, where it goes into the frame.

What does that indicate to you? What was first? The shooting or the hitting with the bat? — Okay the crack on the left hand side, going up, which terminates on the left side of the bullet hole and the crack coming down from the right, which terminates on the right side of the bullet hole, show that when the crack, the damage to the door was inflicted with the cricket bat, the bullet hole was already in position. Because if the bullet hole came afterwards and there was a pre-existing crack, the bullet hole would cut a chunk out and the termination of the crack, would be continuous, the top and the bottom.

Would line up? — Would line up. Here your weakness in the grain of the door, stops where you have got a hollow. It cannot propagate and that was coming down by the sides.

I do not think that is in dispute. That was also the evidence of, Colonel Vermeulen.

 

This is what forensic expert Wolmarans said:

“The breaking of the toilet door by the cricket bat. I agree with Colonel Vermeulen that the cricket bat was used to strike the upper door panel of the toilet door in order to break the door open.  I also agree with Colonel Vermeulen that the door was first damaged by the four shots that perforated the door and thereafter by the cricket bat.

This is illustrated in photo 29 below, showing what the damage to the door would look like if the door was first damaged by the cricket bat and thereafter by a bullet.”

M’Lady, that is on the next page, page 29 and you can see it is in a straight line, everything with the bullet hole in the middle.

That is the shot that you fired at the meranti door? — That is correct, M’Lady.

When the door was first cracked and then you fired the shot. — The door was first cracked and then the shots was fired.

Record 2378 Lines 9–26

 

Wolmarans actually cracked a meranti door and then shot a hole through the crack – to prove that bullet hole came before the crack. In what way does this experiment prove that ALL the bat strikes came after the gunshots?

Where Vermeuelen claimed that the crack was made when the panel was broken out – Dixon and Wolmarans claimed that the last bat strike caused a crack that traveled more than 400 mm down to Hole D. Now even if Dixon and Wolmarans are correct – ALL this proves is that ONE bat strike came after the gunshots – there are no cracks running into the other three bullet holes.

Which version is more plausible? Let’s look at the acoustic evidence.

  • NOBODY testified that the “first sounds” consisted of 4 bangs, while we have the testimony of Burger and Johnson that the “second sounds” consisted of at least 4 bangs.
  • Read here for our reasoning why the four thuds that Mrs Estelle van der Merwe heard were actually the “second sounds” and not the “first sounds” (as argued by the defence).
  • If the first sounds were 140 dBA gunshots why did only the Stipps hear it? (Mrs Nhlengethwa only heard one bang)
  • Between the first and second sounds the Stipps, Burger and Johnson heard a woman scream. This would not have been possible if the “first sounds” were gunshots.
  • Read here for our reasoning as to why it is much more likely that the Nhlengethwas (the immediate neighbours who said that they heard Oscar scream soon after the “first sounds”) were the ones that made a mistake in identification.

If we accept Oscar version then we have to accept that the state witnesses Burger, Johnson and the Stipps were wrong, and if we accept that our version is correct then we have to accept that the Nhlengethwas were wrong. And we have shown in our book Oscar vs The Truth how the state witnesses would have heard any screaming louder and clearer than the Nhlengethwas.

The other neighbours – the Motshuanes – who also testified that they heard Oscar scream – didn’t hear the first or the second sounds – so it is not possible to reliably “place” what they heard within the time line. However, if one looks at the acoustics it seems highly unlikely that they would have heard very loud screams emanating from the bathroom or the toilet – so it is more likely that what they heard occurred after the “second sounds” as Oscar ran through elsewhere in the house wailing and crying.

If the third bat strike came after the four gunshots, then why didn’t anyone hear it? The Stipps were so distracted trying to get dressed and making phone calls calling that they only heard 3 of the 4 gunshots – not hard to imagine that they might have missed the much softer bat strike. Burger and Johnson were simply too far away to hear the much softer bat strike in the aftermath of the 4 gun shots. The Nhlengethwas did even hear the 4 gunshots.

To conclude: The defence’s time line – which played such a significant part in the outcome of this case – was based on nothing but a seriously flawed and unsubstantiated assumption.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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23 thoughts on “How did the State lose?

  • Mr Jitty

    Here is another example of how Roux attempted to mislead the Court in X in relation the timetable

    “We will also indicate why Dr Stipp tailored his evidence to, inter alia,
    create the time of approximately 03:30, instead of approximately 03:15
    when he saw the man walking in the bathroom.”

    It became clear that somehow there was a call from Stipp to security logged at 3.27 (after Stipp was already at OP’s house).

    This call was zero seconds.

    So Roux twisted this in to Stipp not getting though with his second call rather than his first

    But clearly this is nonsense.

    • Mr Jitty

      Further on this topic of trickery by Roux presented as “facts”

      The ‘golden thread” of Stipp’s EiC is that the crescendo of screams shots happened BEFORE he spoke to Baba @ security. When you think about it, it would be quite hard for it to be the other way round and for Stipp not to remember that.

      We also know that Stipp tried to call 10111. According to Stipp, he tried to make this call before he spoke to Baba. According to Roux he made it after @ 3.17 and the authority for this is cited as (Exhibit P). I don’t know what exhibit P is.

      Roux placed great importance on whether Stipp succeeded with his first or second call.

      This is because Roux needs the shots to be after 3.15.51

      However when you think about it closely, even if Stipp called 10111 at 3.17, this is not evidence that the shots must have been after 3.15.51

      Surely Stipp could not be confused that more shots happened after he already spoke to Baba?

      Whatever the case – you can see how Masipa fell down a rabbit hole.

      What Roux claims is proved by the call times is actually not proved at all.

  • Rambling Sid

    Mrs Stipp registered 03.02 on her clock as being the time of the first sounds called “shots”. See Oldwage’s cross examination of her where he asks whether it was when she was leaning over her husband (to look at the clock) that she heard the “shots” and she responds that it was. We do know that she was awake prior to the shots but she clearly inferred in her answer to Oldwage that it was whilst leaning over her husband to see the time that she heard the first “shots”. Of course her clock was running fast by, in her estimation, 3-4 minutes. That firms up the first sounds as being around 02.58/02.59. However, I do wonder whether anyone checked the exact difference between her estimated and the actual time on her clock. She was a pedantic witness and I think she did a good job recording these times. She was walking back into the bedroom from the balcony when she heard the second shots and immediately checked the clock. So now we have the second shots timed set at 03.17 (minus 3 or 4 minutes) making them 03.13/03.14. Dr Stipp’s call was timed at 03.15.51 and Mr N’s soon after. Given Dr Stipps would need to find/retrieve his phone and find the number for security, dial it and await an answer could easily account for the 2 minutes before his call registered. I think it is possible to assume the shots were fired at around 03.14 making Mrs Stipps corrected time fit with Dr Stipp’s call timing very snugly.

    • Mr Jitty

      Exactly! No evidence was presented to Court as to how the 3 different clocks compare to each other because no such reconciliation is actually possible. This is a huge error by the Court and also gives some indication of what Nel was not wanting to argue about exact times.

      Yet it all fits perfectly and it is why I think Mike N and his wife are the key witnesses in the case.

      The most important thing (which is what Nel pleaded for) is to look at the similarity of what the witnesses describe.

      Mike N and his wife don’t hear the crescendo of screaming and shooting that all the other witnesses heard. Indeed Mike N does not hear any shooting at all. This is because he was asleep the whole time. The N’s never were witnesses to the shooting.

      Next. The only witnesses to report 2 sets of shots were the Stipps. They are the only ones to be confused on this point.

      All the rest report gunshots as gunshots!

      The critical point is that because Stipp and Mike N are on the same clock – we can reconcile those 2 gentlemen.

      But alarmingly what Roux does it concoct a timeline based on massive assumptions – then Masipa simply accepts this stuff?

      Yet even in her own judgement she then neglects to articulate what are the primary evidence sources for lots of the timings!

      And this is the technical quality of a High Court Judge?

      It makes me weep.

      • Rambling Sid

        Re your comment about no reconciliation of the different time on the clock being possible. I feel fairly sure if a radio time signal were to have been used immediately after the event to check the various clocks and phones the differences could have been established. However, given that the Johnsons did not come forward immediately I am sure Roux would have argued that there was no way Nel could be sure Johnson’s phone was still on the same time as at the shooting.

        One thing about the Ngwentha’s story worries me. The Stipps quite clearly saw all the lights were on in their house immediately after the first shots. Nobody asked whether they usually left all their lights on overnight or whether someone was up at the time of the first ‘shots’. Did the Ngwentha’s withhold evidence? Why were they not asked under cross examination why their lights were on/before 3am (according to the Stipps timing)?

  • Mr Jitty

    I just took a break to read back over the key witnesses again

    In summary

    1. I think Mr N’s evidence dovetails perfectly with the Stipp’s and shows that Reeva was shot a minute or two before either man called security.

    2. Burger and Johnson perfectly corroborate Stipp.

    The single gremlin is Johnson’s claim of a call from 3.16-3.17 with shots after.

    But seeing we have no primary evidence of that call time (it’s hearsay) that statement from Johnson cannot be used to prove what time it was when he heard the shots.

    Thus as a question of evidence, you have the perfect support for your theory.

    Sometime around 3am the Stipp’s hear the cricket bats. They mistake these for shots and are the only ones to be mistaken about Bats/shots

    Multiple witnesses then hear a woman screaming over an extended period. Indeed this goes on long enough for witnesses like Dr Stipp and Johnson to investigate, make calls and then come back.

    Multiple witnesses hear gunshots. These are delivered in sequence 1+3

    No one hears Reeva after these shots but she screams during them.

    These shots wake Mrs N

    At 3:15:51 / 03:16:13 Dr Stipp and Mr N make their logged call to security.

    After this point Mr N hears Pistorius

    So in actual fact the shooting went down exactly as the Stipp’s reported and you theorise.

    Bats. Shots. Prising out of panel.

    The key is simply to realise their is no reliable evidence of the 3.17 timing.

    Sadly Nel overlooked the significance of this, or chose not to get down in the weeds on it.

    Of course it should not matter because as you stated on WS there is far more evidence of a woman screaming than there is of a man screaming like a woman!

  • Ian_L

    I’m also interested in Carice’s view of the timeline. She said she awoke from bed after the shots and went to calm her dogs down towards her balcony. Almost immediately she heard Oscar crying “Help Help” by the time she reached her balcony doors. Wasn’t this short time meant to be when op would have returned along the hallway and been searching for Reeva behind the curtains? Perhaps there was no “search” and he panicked right away.

    • truth4reeva Post author

      Carice didn’t hear the “first” sounds. Her dogs must have – they became restless and woke her – she heard the “help”,”help”,”help” – then closed the balcony door – and therefore couldn’t hear the gunshots.

    • Mr Jitty

      In my opinion the only witnesses who heard the first sounds are the Stipps

      They happened sometime just after 3.02 according to Annette Stipp

      From the J13 site

      “That night she was slightly flu-ish so was awakened by coughing. She was contemplating whether or not to get up for some water. She looked over at the clock radio and it said 3:02am. Typically that clock is about 3-4 minutes fast. She decided she would get up for a drink and just as she was about to sit up, she heard what sounded like 3 gunshots. She asked her husband if he had heard that and he said yes. She asked him what it was and he said gunshots. She sat up on the edge of the bed and could see the lights on at the two houses that are in view from her bedroom window.”

  • Mr Jitty

    I think there is an even simpler explanation which creates an even tighter fit for your analysis.

    That explanation is that Mike Nhlegenthwas was not a witness to the murder at all – and that is why he never hears any shots or Reeva scream.

    Dr Stipp is timed on the same clock as Mike Nhlegenthwa so this actually provide a very accurate time of the shooting.

    i.e. sometime in the moments before 3:15:51

    Mr N actually testifies that he never hears any shots. He is instead awoken by his wife who was woken by shots. No further shots are heard. Surely it is thus strange that on the Masipa/Roux timeline, not only do the Nhlegenthwa’s not notice the second set of bangs allegedly at 3.17 but the Stipp’s also don’t report them either? Despite both sets of witnesses being direct observers and wide awake?

    So surely the simpler answer is that what Mike N actually heard was in fact Pistorius because Reeva was shot near dead by the time he woke up and begain to telephone and investigate?

    Of course this brings one squarely to the Charl Johnson 3.17 call timing issue – but his call time is
    a) Hearsay
    b) Not timed on the same security log clock
    c) accurate only to within one minute

    So for example if Johnson simply has the order mixed up and the last shots happened before his 3.17 call (surely a better explanation than having to completely reformat the Stipp’s evidence by 10 mins!) then your sequence works perfectly.

    Mr N actually fits perfectly with your argument for bats, gun, then panel broken out.

    Shots is sometime prior to 3.15.51 allowing time for Mike Stipp to get to the phone and dial at 3.16
    Bats is sometime prior to the shots

    • truth4reeva Post author

      I guess it comes down to when Johnson ended his phone call to security because he and his wife were quite clear that they heard the gunshots after the call. It is said that the call started (according to phone records) at 03:16. In the Inge Lotz case we worked on – we saw phone records where the phone company only provided the time of the call to the ‘minute’ by chopping off the seconds – and the same company providing phone records for another user to the ‘second’. In this case the call started somewhere between 3:16:00 and 3:16:59 and ended between 3:16:58 and 3:17:57.

      Dr Stipp made his call to security at 3:15:51 – after the “first” sounds and the screaming started. Mr N first attempt to security was at 03:16:13. This was after Mr N walked around the house for a while to check if everything was OK.

      So it seems unlikely that the N’s woke up because of the “second” sounds.

      • Mr Jitty

        For me the key points are

        1. Neither Stipp’s nor Nhlegenthwas report any “bangs” after the absolute fixed point of calling security 3:15:51 / 03:16:13

        2. Neither Stipp’s nor Nhlegenthwas report hearing a woman after 3:15:51 / 03:16:13

        3. It seems unlikely these 4 witnesses could all have missed gunshots or bats after after 3:15:51 / 03:16:13?

        Conclusion: If you accept the Stipp’s are a reliable witness (why not?) then actually Nhlegenthwas corroborate their evidence near perfectly.

        4. AFAIK Charl Johnson’s call time is hearsay evidence. In the trial record I can find no reference to a primary exhibit for his call time. Indeed the call time seems to come from his notes about what time the call was logged on his iphone

        5. Agree that time is likely only correct to the nearest minute

        6. Its not the same clock as the security phone log clock.

        So for example, if Charl Johnson has his sequencing even slightly out AND the clocks are slightly different times – then this can be reconciled?

        By far the most important point regarding Johnson is the handling of his evidence on this point.

        3.17 can be used as proof of what time JOHNSON thought it was.

        It CANNOT be used as proof of what time it actually was because it is not a primary record.

        This is why I find Masipa’s finding on this point to be incredibly poor, if indeed Johnson’s call data was not exhibited.

        AFAIK there is no reliable evidence as to what time Johnson made his call!

        • truth4reeva Post author

          On my way out for the day – so just very quickly.

          The Stipps heard two sets of bangs. The first woke them up and caused them to go to the balconies – where they listened to a woman screaming. Then Dr Stipp called security – and went back out to balcony. Woman was still screaming. They both decided to go inside to make further calls. They then heard the seconds sounds. Mrs Stipp said at this time the clock in her bedroom showed 3:17.

          • Mr Jitty

            According to Stipp’s EIC his first call was to the police (10111). He did not get thru.

            He then hears the second shots as you say. (The 4 gunshots that kill Reeva).

            He then calls the security number and it is this call which is logged at 3.15.51 AFTER the shots. Mike N also calls security at this time his wife having also been woken by the shots.

            It is Masipa who changes the order of Stipp’s actions to place the shots after the call at 3.15.51

            But this was not the testimony of Dr or Mrs Stipp

            Secondly Mrs Stipp testified the clock was 3-4 mins fast.

            So while that clock provides some evidence as to what time the Stipp’s thought it was – you cannot use that clock as a reference to the actual time.

          • Mr Jitty

            The nonsensical thing about the Roux / Masipa rearrangement of the Stipp evidence is that it requires us to believe that while Stipps, Burger, Johnson and EVDM are listening to a crescendo of screaming cut off by 4 “gunshots” Mike N and his wife are next door hearing none of it!

        • truth4reeva Post author

          Just quick again – according to the Defence’s Head

          247. Mr Johnson made a phone call to Strubenskop Security at 03:16 which
          lasted for 58 secs, as per his statement and telephone data. (Exhibit N)

          Without official phone records how would they know the call was 58 seconds?

          • Mr Jitty

            Well this is the unknown i referred to in the first place.

            During the trial Charl Johnson testified to the call at 03:16 which lasted for 58 secs

            In X from Roux it emerged that Charl Johnson had noted the call time and duration from his iPhone log.

            A break was taken in X to allow Johnson to retrieve those notes which were then produced in Court so Roux could cross on them.

            I believe “exhibit N” is not Johnson’s call data from the provider, but rather Johnson’s record of the call time from his iPhone Log which he then repeated in his police statement and in his notes. If you refer to Roux’s cross – you will see that Exhibit N is actually a copy of Johnson’s police Statement.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDcN4YaBJvc

            So as far as I can see, and this is where I really despair at the poor technical quality of the judgment, how can we reliably believe in this 3.17 time?

            We have no way of knowing how Johnson’s iPhone log relates to the clock on the security line.

            What even is the clock on the security phone?

            But as far as I can see – the Court was not entitled to take that evidence as proof of a shooting at 3.17

          • Mr Jitty

            There was also a piece of trickery by Roux in cross here.

            Johnson himself asks Roux whether the Court has the record of call time from the provider.

            Roux seems to imply that they do without actually saying yes.

            So again – I believe the only evidence of the time is Johnson’s own notes.

      • Mr Jitty

        “So it seems unlikely that the N’s woke up because of the “second” sounds”

        Agreed!

        They woke up from the gunshots which happened in the moments before 3:15:51

        There are no “bangs” after this – merely OP breaking out the panel.

        The original bats happen sometime after 3.02 – and these are the sounds the Stipp’s confuse with gunshots

        • truth4reeva Post author

          A lot of good points have been made here – lots to think about. Thank you. Although we may differ in our opinion about the timing of the bat strikes and the accuracy of Johnson’s phone call – I think we can agree that our respective versions share the same essential features – that the bat strikes came before the gunshots – that Reeva screamed before the gunshots.

          • Mr Jitty

            Can I ask you one follow up question?

            How is it possible for Mrs N to be awoken by bats, then hear the screaming which she misidentifies as Pistorius, and yet completely miss the gunshots?

            Ditto Mike N?

            I could understand if they were inside with AC on and thus didn’t hear anything – but they claim to have heard the voices clearly which are not as loud?

            And Mike N was off the phone by 3.17 so surely should have heard the gunshots?

        • truth4reeva Post author

          Inside their room they couldn’t hear the screaming. Only when they stood by the window with the blinds pulled to the side could they hear the screaming. Acoustically the were in a far inferior position then the Stipps, Johnson and Burger. If you look at the diagrams in our book – the only reason they heard the help, help , help is because this sound bounced from the Stipp residence and entered their bedroom at a near perpendicular angle. All other sounds – screams – gunshots would have approached the window at a very oblique angle – larger than the internal angle of reflection of glass.

          Here I am speculating – but I suspect the one bang that Mrs N did hear was the shot to the metal plate – which would have been louder and of a different type of sound than hitting a door.

          We only have their word that they didn’t hear the gunshots and that the screams were very loud. Or maybe Mr N didn’t hear the shots because he was on the phone – while Mrs N was in the washroom. Maybe they both stepped out of the room for a while. Who knows?

          • Mr Jitty

            As a point of trial procedure I agree with you.

            If as I suspect, we don’t have a reliable way of comparing the various clocks – then what the Court needs to be doing is comparing the similarities in the stories for corroboration.

            Mr N describes quite different events to the other witnesses and certainly not the crescendo of screaming cut off by a hail of shots (1+3) that the others all describe.

            Therefore the logical inference is he was not a witness to those events, or cannot add to them. Certainly he doesn’t offer support to over rule the other witnesses!

            So what are we left with?

            A woman screaming, cut off by shots!

            As you correctly point out there is much more evidence for this, than of any other interpretation.

            The Court should ask itself what has been established and proceed from there.

            Unfortunately we saw a reverse logic where the Court found that OP’s version was right and thus proceeded to “explain how the witnesses are wrong”

            This is not a legitimate approach to handling circumstantial evidence!