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Introduction

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Introduction

I know for sure that our lives will never be the
same as they were before OP. Its so odd because
from the rst night I lay in bed with a knot in
my stomach from worry and concern about his
disabilities, his fame and how it would impact
our daughter Sammy, and our lives the knot still
remains. I think about Oscar and what he put my
precious child and family through. How his life
went so haywire that he went as far as shooting
and killing someone. And how he hurt my precious
daughter and broke her trust in so many ways...
Trish Taylor, journal entry, September 2013
Why on earth would I want to write this book? This is the question
that will probably be asked a lot once it is published. Is it for
money? Publicity? Fame?
The truth is I am absolutely terried to tell my story, but I
am more terried not to. As hard as it is to get it all out, to sit
day in and day out, spending months and months with Melinda
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Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen
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Ferguson, my writer, and going over all the pain and turmoil and
chaos especially now, in light of what has happened to Reeva
and what transpired in the court case I feel I must tell our story.
Already four months before Oscar shot and killed Reeva
Steenkamp, as he ricocheted out of our lives, I was struck by a
deep need to tell the story of how Oscar had come into our world
and, how, over a period of 18 months, he almost destroyed my
daughter Sam and negatively affected our entire family. During
the Olympics of 2012 and after Oscar returned to South Africa,
I feared that something terrible was going to happen. I believed
strongly that Oscar was in dire need of help; that he was on the
brink of suicide, or that something was about to happen with
disastrous consequences.
After things went sour between Oscar and Sammy towards
the end of 2012, Oscar fabricated so many stories about Sammy,
that hurt both her and her reputation, to justify his actions and
hurtful behaviour. When one of Oscars friends phoned to threaten
Sam and our family, to watch our backs if we ever go back to
Joburg, I was forced to consult a psychologist and an attorney.
I was extremely stressed. Both professionals advising me were as
worried about Sammy and our family as I was. Up until then, to
protect the privacy and safety of my loved ones, I had kept quiet.
They advised that it was possibly the right time to speak out.
But at that stage, just after the glory of the Oscar Olympics
of the summer of 2012, who would have believed me? Oscar
Pistorius was the worlds darling. Why would anyone listen to me,
his ex-girlfriends mother? Why would anyone heed my warnings?
I feared they would turn on me and I would end up scorned
as the crazy, embittered mother. Sammy would be even more
tarnished and threatened. Although I had rst-hand information
of Oscar that was extremely disturbing, that showed a side of him
that was deeply unstable, and as much as I knew that people had
to be warned, my larger sense was that no one would listen. So I
listened to fear, and silenced myself.
Then on 14 February 2013 the world woke up to the news of
Reevas brutal killing. Suddenly, my need to tell our familys
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Introduction
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story became overwhelming. I am not a writer, but I knew I had
something important to tell and I knew I needed an author I
could trust, and who would understand the importance of the
story I had to tell. From the minute Melinda Ferguson and I met
in May 2013, we connected. The truth is, I was on a mission
to nd her. Long before we ever met, I had read her rst book,
Smacked, while travelling on a train in Scotland; her story about
her journey into drug addiction, and her subsequent healing,
blew me away.
Mel understood what I wanted to say from day one. We have
worked together, mostly in secret meeting in hotel lobbies, in
boardrooms, and in hidden back-room spaces. Mel has enabled
me to tell my story, and I will be eternally grateful for that.
While this book was being written, we had no idea whether
Oscar was going to be found guilty and sit in jail for a long time
or be found innocent and live as a free man. In fact, we went to
print before the outcome of the trial was announced. So in many
ways it feels like we wrote the end of the book in the dark. But we
both didnt feel the outcome of the trial would change anything
in the story.
If he walks free it will be even more important that people read
this book. He is a man that needs help. Oscar himself admitted
this to me on numerous occasions. If his family and friends were
honest with themselves, they would admit this as well, and nd
him the assistance he so desperately needs.
The world should know the many layers that make up Oscar
Pistorius. He was a world icon, a respected hero, yet he had many
other sides to him. In the aftermath of the killing, people are still
trying to make sense of what happened. I hope in some way this
book will offer some insights.
I have done my utmost not to make this solely my daughter
Sammys story, but rather our whole familys describing how we
all experienced Oscar and how he affected our lives, as well as the
agony we lived through as my daughter fell in and out of love with
Oscar. But in telling this story, I have had to bring in elements of
their relationship to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
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Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen
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This is a book about a person whose life went out of control
and tragically impacted a number of others.
It is a book about an accident that was always waiting to happen.
I wish I had told my story earlier, when Reeva was still alive.
Perhaps Oscar might have sought assistance and things may have
turned out differently. It might even have saved a life.
Soon after Reeva died, I spoke to a well-known forensic scientist
about my fear of telling this story. He advised me that if I wanted
to protect my family from the threats of violence and keep the
family safe, we needed to tell our truth. He told me: It is safer to
go into the light than it is to stay in the dark. It is those words
that have given me the strength and inspiration to write this.
Patricia Taylor, March 2014
Patricia Taylor, March 2014
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