Two new specials will be airing this weekend that explore the shocking case of Oscar Pistorius. Nicknamed “Blade Runner” because of his prosthetic legs, Oscar Pistorius made news last year as the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics, but he now is in the news in a far more infamous way, charged in South Africa with murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Reeva Steenkamp was fatally shot by Oscar Pistorius in the bathroom of the star athlete’s home this past Valentine’s Day, and aside from the awfulness of the tragedy and loss of life, the main question to be determined is whether the shooting was an act of coldblooded murder, or a horrible accident.
In the first of the specials airing this weekend, tonight’s (March 1) episode of 20/20 (10pm ET on ABC) titled “The Fast Times of Oscar Pistorius” travels to South Africa to dig deeper into the investigation. ABC News Correspondent Amy Robach speaks with those who know Oscar Pistorius best — including exclusive interviews with Dr. Gerry Versfeld, a longtime family friend and the doctor who amputated Oscar Pistorius’ legs; and Keven Lerena, a friend of both Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp who says he was present when Pistorius accidentally shot his pistol in a previous incident. Robach also sits down with Reeva Steenkamp’s former boyfriend and her roommate, among others, and re-creates Oscar Pistorius’ bedroom/bathroom for an inside look at what investigators – and the defense team — say might have happened that fateful night.
The March 1 hour of 20/20 also includes a report by Chris Connelly on Olympic athletes falling off the pedestal.
Another special airing this weekend is titled (rather tackily, in my opinion) Beauty & the Blade Runner, and premieres March 3 at 8pm ET/PT on Investigation Discovery (ID). A co-production between ID and NBC News’ Peacock Productions (the first under their new partnership), this hourlong special features exclusive interviews with members of both Oscar Pistorius’ and Reeva Steenkamp’s inner circles, as well as key players in Pistorius’ pending trial. The special examines the couple’s relationship and what circumstantial evidence may have contributed to Steenkamp’s death. The program also goes inside Oscar Pistorius’ South Africa home to demonstrate how events unfolded at the time of Reeva Steenkamp’s death.
According to the release for Beauty & the Blade Runner, the special will use resources of the NBC News team with boots already on the ground in South Africa, and will feature interviews with key players in the upcoming trial, such as the spokesperson for The National Prosecuting Authority, Medupe Simasiku. Mary Carillo, who interviewed Pistorius last spring for Rock Center With Brian Williams, will also be featured. Friends and family of both Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp come forward to paint a picture of the couple’s life together, including Pistorius’ friend Terri Lee Mey, as well as Steenkamp’s publicist, Simphiwe Majola.
20/20: “The Fast Times of Oscar Pistorius” premieres March 1 at 10pm ET on ABC.
Beauty & the Blade Runner premieres March 3 at 8pm ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.
Oscar Pistorius at bail hearing: Li Qihua/ZUMA Press/Newscom