Dateline   |  February 28, 2014

Oscar Pistorius: The Race of His Life part 1

The Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius and his new girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, had spent a quiet night together, but around 3:00am Oscar killed Reeva, shooting her 3 times. Oscar told investigators he didn’t mean to--it was a tragic accident.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> four shots at close range from a 9-millimeter pistol of the the bullets blew through the door like it was paper. behind that flimsy barrier, the beautiful celebrity, lawyer and model, reeva steenkamp, shot dead by her olympian boyfriend, oscar pistorius . it's a tragic tale, almost shakespearian and frankly tainted with myths, embellishments and contradictions. the story you only think you know. here in south africa 's capital city , pretoria, hordes of media are assembling to watch the murder trial of the most famous disabled athlete in history. tonight you'll hear in an exclusive interview the state's case against oscar pistorius , a case kept secret for months.

>> he knew that reeva was in the bathroom and he intended to kill her.

>> and about the remarkable strategy the defense is going to use to fight back.

>> very novel predent setting legal argument.

>> the events began just before 6:00 on valentine's eve, february 13th , 2013 . here on the surveillance camera, you can see a smiling reeva steenkamp driving her silver mini past security guards standing watch over oscar 's walled and debated subdivision. reeva was followed ten minutes later by oscar , driving a white bmw. by 10:00 p.m ., oscar will claim, he had removed his prosthetic legs and was in bed watching tv while she practiced yoga on the floor nearby. this crime scene photo, not intended for public consumption but leaked to the media reveals a never to be opened valentine's gift from reeva to oscar , ossie as she liked to call him. it wasn't much later, according to oscar , they were both fast asleep. and then 3:00 a.m ., this. more leaked photos show where four bullets blew through the bathroom door, two bullet holes marked by police appear to be about waist high. one of the bullets ended up in the base. after firing the pistol oscar bashed an opening in the door with a cricket bat . and then oscar carried reeva's body down these stairs and into the living room.

>> mr. pistorius himself used his firearm to kill reeva steenkamp and that's a fact that cannot be disputed.

>> reporter: attorney nathi mcnube spoke to dateline.

>> who did he phone to tell him please come help? was it the police?

>> well, we know for sure that it was not the police. i don't think it's in dispute that he phoned his friends. his friends were the first on the scene and then the police after.

>> the lead detective got to the house, saw reeva was dead, had been hit three times, in the hip, right elbow, above her right ear. in the bathroom he found two iphones. as you'll see, those might become key evidence at the trial. he listened as oscar said he thought he was firing at a burglar. he didn't buy it and oscar was charged with murder.

>> double amputee olympic runner oscar pistorius was charged overnight with the valentine's day murder of his girlfriend.

>> it was, simply, shocking. oscar pistorius was admired around the world, of course, but in south africa he was a white-hot celebrity. the blade runner , a double amputee who set records and fought for the right to compete in the 2012 olympic games . karen maughan of enca has covered this story from the start. journalist. i'm a south african actually. this is a very conflicted narrative because you want to believe him. you really, really, really, really want to believe him.

>> in the days after the shooting, many south africans did believe oscar . many, in fact, still do.

>> the support has been overwhelming from all across the world.

>> pete van zill, oscar 's hrg, spoke to us two weeks after the shooting.

>> it's not just support for oscar , it's support for him having lost someone really dear and close to him and it's been overwhelming.

>> could it be that oscar in a panic and fearing for his life fired blindly into the door, that it was all a terrible accident? with the trial coming up, both sides will claim they know the truth about that night. not just what happened, but why.

>> he killed her, they have no doubt of the fact that he killed her. but what was his intention?

>> the truth, as we've discovered, it's more complicated than you may have been led to