Pistorius May Have 'Crushed' Girlfriend's Head With Cricket Bat Over Text from Rugby Rival

Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympic medalist who was charged last week with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, may have beaten her with a cricket bat before shooting her four times through the bathroom door—an attack said to have been spurred on by a text from an ex-boyfriend, the rugby player Francois Hougaard.

According to police sources who spoke with South Africa's City Press, police are currently running tests on a bloodied cricket bat they believe may have been used to beat Steenkamp, whose skull was "crushed." (Alternately, they speculate, the bat may have been used as a defensive weapon by Steenkamp, or as a battering ram to knock down the door behind which Steenkamp was hiding—either of which possibility would undermine Pistorius' contention that he mistook Steenkamp for a robber.) The City Press article reports several new details about the case:

One cartridge was found in the bedroom and the police suspect Oscar may have "chased" her and fired the first shot before Steenkamp could lock herself inside the toilet.

"The suspicion is that the first shot, in the bedroom, hit her in the hip. She then ran and locked herself in the toilet. She was doubled over because of the pain. He fired three more shots. She probably covered her head, which is why the bullet also went through her hand," said a source. [...]

In anticipation of a possible argument that he experienced "roid rage" – extremely aggressive behaviour associated with taking large doses of steroids – the police insisted that the athlete's blood be tested for any foreign substances.

Another piece of evidence is emerging, alongside the cricket bat, as "intrinsic" to the case: Steenkamp's iPad. Today, the Mirror reports on a rumor that Steenkamp and Pistorius had been fighting over Francois Hougaard, a close friend and ex-boyfriend of Steenkamp who plays rugby for the South African national team—according to Die Berger, Steenkamp had received a text message—possibly on her iPad—from Hougaard the night she was killed. Here's a photograph of Steenkamp and Hougaard (below right), tweeted by mutual friend Justin Divaris.