• This picture taken on November 4, 2012 during the Feather Awards held at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg shows South Africa's Olympic sprint star Oscar Pistorius and his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. (Lucky Nxumalo/AFP/Getty)

    Blade Killer

    Love, Murder and Pistorius

    Ahead of Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial on Monday, his supporters have released beaming pictures of the athlete and Reeva Steenkamp. Unfortunately, happy couples and abusive couples happen to look a lot alike.

    The trial for Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic sprinter who is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, begins on Monday. Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the door while she was in the bathroom. Prosecutors say that he did it on purpose, suggesting that Steenkamp was hiding in the bathroom during a lovers’ tiff. Pistorius claims that he thought an intruder had broken into the house and he shot in haste rather than determining if it was a robber or just his girlfriend who had gotten up in the middle of the night from their shared bed.

    A big part of Pistorius’s defense is to portray his relationship with Steenkamp as a loving one and to portray himself as a grieving boyfriend who should be sympathized with instead of excoriated. On the anniversary of her death at his hands, Pistoriuswrote on his website, “No words can adequately capture my feelings about the devastating accident that has caused such heartache for everyone who truly loved—and  continues to love Reeva.” A friend of Pistorius’s provided CNN with some photos of the pair in the weeks and months before the shooting. The photos show a canoodling couple. It’s clear that the Pistorius camp hopes the public will look at these photos and conclude that they were happy and in love and believe it’s not possible that he might have been abusing her.

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  • Roy Morsch/Corbis

    Unique Stigma

    Wealthy and Abused

    Domestic abuse has ticked up since ’08—and not only among the financially strained. Eliza Shapiro reports.

    A common image of domestic violence: a woman on the brink of homelessness, taking refuge from her abusive spouse in a shelter because she has nowhere else to go.

    But recent domestic violence cases in the news, from South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius allegedly murdering his girlfriend to CBS New York anchor Rob Morrison accused of choking his wife, are revealing what domestic abuse experts say has been the dirty little secret of the wealthy for too long.

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