CSI: South Africa

A tiny fragment of bullet could
have a huge impact on the Oscar
Pistorius murder trial. Charl
du Plessis compares what the
prosecution believes happened
behind the toilet door with what
the defence says
The court replica of Pistorius’ bathroom
The bullet fragment
Prosecution’s version
The bullet fragment from the second shot
fred by Pistorius rebounds from F and hits
Reeva Steenkamp in the back. It does not
have enough momentum to penetrate the
skin and causes the wound below. She
is in a seated, defensive position on the
magazine rack
Defence’s version
The bullet fragment from F lands in the
toilet bowl, along with a piece of broken tile.
It is the result of the third or fourth shot
Pistorius fred. Reeva’s wound is caused by
her falling against the magazine rack
According to the prosecution, this darker
part of the wound is merely bruising
Ricochet mark E
A bullet fred through the door strikes
the wall here and ricochets to F
Ricochet mark F
The bullet from E hits the
wall, fragmenting into
pieces and breaking the tiles
Parallel ‘tram-
track’ striations
can be seen
in this area of
the wound.
According to the
defence, this is
consistent with
a blunt object
(the magazine
rack) hitting her.
The prosecution
says these
marks are
caused by the
bullet impacting
against her
ribbed vest
The prosecution
has argued
that the jagged
edge where the
striations end is
consistent with
the jagged edge
of the fragment
The jagged edge
Gerrie Nel says is an
‘exact replica’ of the
wound’s edge

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