Here’s How To Watch The Documentaries About The Oscar Pistorius Case

Oscar Pistorius has been released from jail a decade after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius documentaries

by Daisy Hall |
Updated on

It was the court case that gripped the world back in March 2014: whether or not Oscar Pistorius was guilty of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The trial hit headlines for multiple reasons. Firstly, Oscar Pistorius was a celebrated South African professional sprinter who just two years before had won a Gold Olympic medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Secondly, the athlete didn't deny shooting Reeva three times, but claimed that he had mistaken the model for an intruder. He was eventually found guilty and imprisoned for Reeva's murder.

Pistorius was released on parole on 5 January 2024, reigniting interest in the case. A number of documentaries have been made about what happened before, during and after the trial. Here's what's worth watching.

Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp ©Getty

What did Oscar Pistorius do?

On Valentine's Day 2013, emergency services received a phone call from Pistorius requesting an ambulance for his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp - a model and reality star. By the time the ambulance arrived however, Reeva had died from her injuries.

Reeva had been shot three times by Pistorius - her boyfriend of just four months - through the door of his en-suite bathroom. Pistorius claimed that he believed that it had been a burglar in the bathroom and not his girlfriend.

Who was Reeva Steenkamp?

While Reeva's main occupation was as a model, she was also working as a paralegal at the time of her death and had hopes of becoming a qualified legal advocate by the age of 30.

As well as starring in multiple TV adverts and magazine campaigns for brands including Toyota and Avon, she also posthumously appeared in the reality show Tropika Island of Treasure which she had filmed months before her death.

When was Oscar Pistorius' trial?

After being arrested for murder, Pistorius' trial began 3 March 2014 in the Pretoria High Court and concluded on 8 August following a month's delay whilst Pistorius underwent psychiatric evaluation.

What was Oscar Pistorius convicted of?

On 12 September 2014 Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide and of one charge of reckless endangerment and sentenced to a maximum of five years plus a concurrent three years.

Then, on 19 October 2015 Pistorius was released from prison. However, whilst Pistorius had been in jail, Reeva's family had been appealing his conviction, adamant that Pistorius was guilty of murder not culpable homicide. A judge eventually agreed and on 6 July 2016 Pistorius was sentenced to a second prison term of six years.

What is Oscar Pistorius' release date from prison?

After serving eight and a half years, Pistorius was released on parole on 5 January 2024.

Reeva's mother June said, 'There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.'

'We, who remain behind, are the ones serving a life sentence.'

Oscar's sentence expires in December 2029. Until then, a monitoring official will keep tabs on him and Oscar will have to inform them if he seeks job opportunities or relocates to a different address.

How did Oscar Pistorius lose his legs?

Oscar was born without his calf bones and the outside of both feet due to a rare birth defect called fibular hemimelia. The cause of it is unclear, but it can affect other bones in the leg, ankle and foot.

Treatment depends on how the child is affected.

When Oscar was 11 months old, both of his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles.

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp ©Getty

Is there a documentary on Oscar Pistorius?

Multiple documentaries have been released about the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, but not all of them have been positively received. Here's everything you need to know about how to watch them.

Where can I watch The Trials of Oscar Pistorius documentary?

The Trials of Oscar Pistorius aired on the BBC in 2020 and it's still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

The official description of this four-part documentary reads, 'In the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, famous Paralympian Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend, model and paralegal Reeva Steenkamp. The question was why?'

Is The Trials of Oscar Pistorius documentary controversial?

The Trails of Oscar Pistorius wasn't well-received with The Guardian's review calling the series 'a flawed, fawning hagiography' that failed to put the victim at the centre of the documentary.

The BBC also received backlash after the trailer for the film failed to mention Reeva Steenkamp's name.

Reeva's mother June Steenkamp - who runs a foundation against gender-based violence - said she was 'disturbed' that her daughter's name had not been mentioned in the now-deleted clip.

'I've got my foundation now and have been working hard at saving women from gender-based violence,' June said on This Morning. 'It seems tragic that they just used her as the deceased again.'

'She was the most wonderful person, also working against abuse before she died,' June added, speaking about her daughter. 'In fact the morning that she died, she was supposed to go to a high school and speak to the girls about respect for the girls to know that they have to have respect from men. That’s something that’s really lacking in the world today so I feel very disappointed that they didn’t speak about her and say her name and it’s quite upsetting for me.'

In response, the BBC apologised for their error and removed the trailer from their social media. Their statement read, 'We regret that the original trail did not refer to Reeva Steenkamp directly. We are aware of the upset it has caused, which was never the intention. We have removed the trail and it will be replaced by something more representative of the series, which examines in detail a number of complex issues connected to her murder.'

Where can I watch the Pistorius documentary?

Pistorius was released to Amazon Prime in 2018 and is still available to view on Amazon Prime.

The description of this four-part documentary reads, 'Pistorius is a four-part feature documentary about the South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. The story of a man and a nation both born to great disadvantage, the film follows the challenges, hopes and triumphs of both and the demise of their dreams under the glare of the world media.'

Where can I watch the My Name Is Reeva documentary?

Taking pains not to make the same mistakes that the BBC did in their coverage of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, Channel 4 released My Name Is Reeva last year. The series is still available to watch on All4.

The official description of the true-crime documentary reads, 'Paralympian Oscar Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. Almost a decade later, Reeva's parents prepare to confront their daughter's murderer.'

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