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The reconstructed bathroom door through which Oscar Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp this week

took centre stage at his murder trial. Charl du Plessis looks at what we can learn from the door 8
Vermeulen admits a crime scene photo showing one of these panels had what looked like a police boot print on it. The print is no longer on the panel

What stories wood may tell

Johan Vermeulen, a police forensic scientist, says marks on the bat can be physically matched to this mark on the door. According to Vermeulen, he could only recreate the mark in natural position when on his knees, a similar height to Pistorius without his prosthesis on. The defence maintains this mark can also be made by a person standing up

Marks found on the bat indicate this gap is where the cricket bat broke through the door. According to Verlmeulens testimony, it was made by a person facing the door and then twisting the bat after it broke through. This is contrary to the previous blow (1), which was made by a person standing parallel to the door, facing the handle

The prosthesis mark: It is this mark Barry Roux claims was made by Pistorius when he attempted to kick the door down with his prosthesis before getting his cricket bat to break it down. Roux says their own forensic testing shows bres of the sock on the prosthesis are embedded in this mark. But Gerrie Nel led evidence suggesting this mark could have been made before the shooting by someone who was kicking the door to scare someone Waist height

Vermeulen admits this signicant mark is not visible on crime scene photographs of this panel when it was lying on the oor. He concedes this mark must have been made while the door was in the states safekeeping

Police ofcer Schoombie van Rensburg testied he found the key in the lock on the outside. This seems to t Pistorius version that he broke down the door, found the key and unlocked the door

This is the bullet hole revealing the door was broken down with a bat after the shots were red. A crack, caused by the breaking down of the panel, enters the bullet hole on one side and exits it in a straight line. Vermuelen and the defence forensic experts agree the hole was there before the crack caused by the bat

Contradictory and disputed evidence

This was the only panel that was not ripped out of the door by Pistorius 1. Pistorius said in his bail application he put on his prosthetic legs before he hit the door with a cricket bat. But Vermeulen says the marks on the door could only have been made when Pistorius was not wearing his prosthesis 2. Van Rensburg remembers two plakkies (ip-ops) standing neatly next to the left side of the bed, as if theyd been taken off by someone before going to bed. But Pistorius says he was sleeping on the left side of the bed after receiving treatment for a shoulder injury. But police forensic photos

show the ip-ops were moved around

3. Pathologist Gert Saayman testies that although it is not an exact science, he estimates Steenkamp ate her last meal about two hours before she was killed. This conicts with Pistorius version that they were in the bedroom before 10pm 4. In his bail application, Pistorius said he brought in a fan from the balcony before shooting. But in his plea explanation, he said it was two


5. In his plea explanation, Pistorius said he spoke to Steenkamp shortly before fetching the fans. He did not say this in his bail application