Oscar Pistorius with his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who he shot dead on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Picture: Reuters

Johannesburg - A new four-part documentary series that uses grisly crime scene photos of Reeva Steenkamp’s murder has been branded insensitive by her family, but Oscar Pistorius’s family said this is what they wanted all along. 

Pistorius’s uncle Arnold said her family had wanted the photos to be released to the public.
“The crime scene photos were vetted by themselves, they asked for those photos to be played,” he said. 

The new Amazon Prime documentary, Pistorius, which has yet to be released, shows graphic images of Reeva lying on the floor in the bathroom where she was shot dead on Valentine’s Day in 2013. 

Reeva’s sister Simone Cowburn told the Daily Mail that she didn’t see why the documentary-makers felt it was necessary to show such graphic images of her sister. 

The documentary also uses pictures of the blood-spattered bathroom and close-ups of the gun used. Cowburn added that she was worried about the effect the images would have on her elderly parents. 

The documentary was released on September 6.

Among archival footage shown in the documentary is a plea by Reeva’s father, Barry Steenkamp, for the crime scene pictures to be released to the public.
The documentary also reveals a mysterious picture message that was sent to Pistorius’s phone 10 minutes before neighbours said they heard an argument coming from the former Paralympian’s home. 

Police would later discover that the cellphone was connected to a computer owned by Pistorius’s brother Carl. There are allegations that he deleted data from Pistorius’s phone. 

The message on the phone, the documentary makers suggest, might have been read by Reeva that night, and this could have sparked a row which led to the shooting. 

Arnold, who has not seen the documentary, said it was hearsay.
“If it is factual, I don’t mind,” he said. “People gossip all the time, I am not part of that talk. To me, it is about the facts.”

The Saturday Star