In a move so brazen it would make OJ Simpson himself cringe, Oscar Pistorius plans to write a book about exactly what happened the night he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, dead on 14 February 2013.
Earlier this month Pistorius was acquitted of pre-meditated murder following an exhaustive six-month trial. The double-amputee sprinter was however found guilty of ‘culpable homicide’, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years.
Should Pistorius receive a suspended sentence, as seems likely, he will certainly have enough time to write his sure-to-be bestseller. The move would be highly lucrative for Pistorius, who is certainly now feeling the weight of six months of legal expenses.
Plans for the book were announced by the athlete’s manager, Peet van Zyl, in an interview with The Observer. He said that he and Pistorius had discussed ‘ideas and concepts’ but he declined to go ‘into much detail’. He said that Pistorius himself will announce details of the book no later than October 13.
This would not be the first foray into writing for the paralimpian. He wrote his autobiography Blade Runner five years ago when the world saw him in a very different light. The new book, which has no title as of yet, is highly reminiscent of OJ’s ‘If I Did It’ which contained disturbing passages where OJ details how he would have killed his wife, if he did in fact do it.
Given the incredible amount of human interest in the saga, it seems as though a film about Reeva’s killing and the ensuing trial is inescapable, with several production companies already expressing interest in Pistorius’s side of the story.
The parents of the deceased, June and Barry Steenkamp, have yet to comment on Pistorius’s book plans. They have most recently been reached for comment by ITV News where they said that they did not ‘fully believe’ the intruder story that Pistorius has re-iterated throughout the trial.
It remains to be seen whether Pistorius will be able to justify writing such a seemingly-exploitive memoir. If he truly did mistake Reeva for an intruder, he would not feel the need to shout his innocence from the rooftops, as it were. He would remain respectfully quiet about what happened that night. That is the very least her family deserves.
By Eoin Molloy