Oscar Pistorius was a ticking time bomb and a disgrace to Paralympians everywhere -- even before he was charged with murdering his girlfriend -- this according to a U.S. Paralympic gold medalist who says he's "not surprised" by the tragedy.
Todd Schaffhauser tells TMZ he "warned many of the prosthetic sponsors about Oscar after reading some of the first incidents of his reckless behavior" on and off the track.
Todd -- who won gold as a sprinter in the '88 Paralympics (below) -- was referring to allegations Pistorius wrecked a speedboat, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed a car ... and also to the fact he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a different girlfriend in '09.
Although Todd's never met Pistorius -- he adds, "Oscar truly showed the only disabled person he was looking out for was Oscar" ... when he lost the gold medal at the London Paralympics, and accused the winner of cheating.
"I never saw him as a true ambassador of the sport. True ambassadors don't behave as he has in the past.”
As for Pistorius' pending murder trial ... Todd says, regardless of the outcome -- "I am glad he is hopefully out of the sport forever and some of the true upcoming ambassadors get the attention they deserve.”
Bloody Cricket Bat
Found at Murder Scene
2/17/2013 8:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A blood-spattered cricket bat is now the center of the investigation into the shooting death of Oscar Pistorius' model girlfriend ... this according to a newspaper in South Africa.
Cops are unsure if the bat was used by Reeva Steenkamp in self-defense or if Pistorius used it in his attack -- either directly hitting Steenkamp with it or in an effort to break down a door.
The City Press, a paper in South Africa, says that Steenkamp's skull was crushed in addition to the gunshot wounds. The City Press quotes a source as saying, "There was lots of blood on the bat. Forensic tests will show whose blood it was."
It was also reported Sunday that Pistorius' first call following the shooting was not to police, but rather his friend, Justin Divaris, who told The Mirror, "I said to him, ‘What are you talking about? I don’t understand you?’ He then repeated himself, ‘There has been a terrible accident, I shot Reeva.'"
Pistorius is due back in court next week.
Oscar Pistorius' GF
Set to Give 'Abuse' Speech
... Day She Was Killed
2/16/2013 12:53 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oscar Pistorius' GF Reeva Steenkamp was supposed to give a speech on the hardships of abusive relationships on Feb. 14th -- the same day she was shot dead in her boyfriend's home.
Reeva was set to speak to a group of teenagers at Sandown High School in South Africa ... to talk about her own experience suffered at the hands of a previous boyfriend -- not Oscar -- this according to the Daily Telegraph.
In the notes for her speech, the former model reportedly urged the school kids to "be brave, always see the positive" and "make your voice heard."
The Olympian is now charged with her murder.
to Handi-Capable Jail
2/15/2013 7:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Accused girlfriend murderer Oscar Pistorius has been transferred into a NEW JAIL ... after officials in South Africa decided his old cell wasn't suitable for the double amputee's "special needs" ... TMZ has learned.
We spoke to a rep for the South African Police Department handling Oscar's living situation ... who told us, "Oscar has now been moved from the Boschkop Jail to the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria due to his handicap needs."
The rep explains, "The normal cell he was in was not suitable for Oscar so he was moved in order to accommodate to his special needs."
We're also told Oscar will no longer be allowed to accept visitors -- or home-cooked meals -- as he did during his first night in jail. Cops say Pistorius will only be allowed to meet with his legal team.
Officials say Pistorius is now "resting comfortably" in his new cell ... and will be checked on every 30 minutes.
Pistorius has been accused of shooting his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp inside of his South Africa mansion. Cops say he is the only suspect in the case.
Breaks Down Crying in Court
2/15/2013 5:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oscar Pistorius wept openly in court today in South Africa as a judge charged him with the Valentine's Day murder of his model girlfriend.
Pistorius -- a double amputee track star who competed in last summer's Olympics -- held his hands over his face and sobbed as the prosecution said it would bring a charge of "premeditated murder."
The bail hearing was postponed at the request of both the prosecution and the defense and the case was adjourned until Tuesday. Pistorius will remain in custody until then.
Pistorius' lawyer did not squarely say his client did not shoot GF Reeva Steenkamp, saying, "The alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms."
It appears the defense will center around perceived self-defense -- believing Steenkamp was an intruder. In fact, on November 27 -- 3 months before Steenkamp was shot -- Pistorius went on twitter to talk about shooting an intruder: "Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry! waa."
Jenna Edkins, who claims to have been an on-again off-again girlfriend of Pistorius' over the last 5 years, tweeted, "NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me or made me fear for my life."
Steenkamp was a 26-year-old model who was about to make her reality television debut.
Oscar Pistorius' Blade Legs
NOT Considered Weapons
2/14/2013 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Olympian Oscar Pistorius' carbon fiber blade legs could EASILY be used as a weapon behind bars -- but a rep for the South African prison where he's locked up tells TMZ, officials have decided not to confiscate the prosthetics.
The rep tells TMZ, Pistorius will be allowed to keep his legs ... at least until he faces a judge in a few hours -- at which point that decision might change.
Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
We're told SA prison officials typically confiscate any item that can be used as a weapon -- shivs, clubs, anything that can be filed down to a point (including hard plastics) -- but this is a special circumstance.
We called a few jails on this side of the Atlantic for good measure ... and we were told Pistorius would be lucky to keep his legs behind bars, especially if he were placed in gen pop ... where another inmate could potentially use Pistorius' legs to cause real damage.
Competitive advantage: Pistorius.
Oscar Pistorius' Family
Delivers Home-Cooked Meal to Prison
2/14/2013 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oscar Pistorius is living it up behind bars -- a rep for the South African prison where he's locked up tells TMZ, Oscar's family just delivered the Olympian a home-cooked meal and some blankets to make his stay more comfy.
According to the rep, the family dropped off the care package roughly an hour ago. They also brought a pillow from home for him to sleep on.
The rep insists the care package is NOT considered special treatment -- every inmate is allowed to receive similar packages from family and friends.
We're told Oscar's family left shortly after dropping off the goods, and he's currently resting comfortably in his cell.
Oscar -- who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp -- is set to appear before a judge tomorrow.
Arrested in 2009
For Assaulting a Woman
2/14/2013 9:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Olympian Oscar Pistorius -- who now stands accused of murdering his girlfriend -- was arrested in 2009 for allegedly assaulting a female friend ... TMZ has learned.
Boschkop police in South Africa tell TMZ ... Pistorius spent 24 hours in jail following his 2009 arrest ... before the alleged victim decided to drop the charges.
Pistorius is currently being held at a nearby Pretoria Prison.
According to Boschkop police, Oscar and his girlfriend Reeva NEVER had any prior incidents ... at least where cops were called.
Pistorius is set to appear before a judge tomorrow.
Olympic 'Blade Runner'
IN GF's MURDER
2/14/2013 7:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian without legs who became famous in 2012, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend.
Pistorius -- the paralympian known as Blade Runner -- is accused of shooting 30-year-old Reeva Steenkamp in the hand and head -- allegedly with a 9 mm pistol found at the scene.
Pistorius, 26, had reportedly been dating Steenkamp for a few months. She was a law graduate and an aspiring model.
Steenkamp was killed inside Pistorius' home in Pretoria, South Africa. There are reports there have been "previous incidents" between the two at the home.
Pistorius -- considered a national hero in South Africa -- was the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.
Creepy Vibes in L.A.
2/14/2013 6:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
We can't quite put our finger on it ... but there was something strange about our encounter with "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius in Los Angeles back in October ... something ... creepy.
On the surface, he was totally polite with our camera guy as he left dinner at Mercato di Vetro with a friend ... answering questions about his running style.
Notably NOT present during the run-in -- Reeva Steenkamp ... who was gunned down in Oscar's South Africa home early Thursday morning. It's unclear if they were dating at the time.
Oscar is the only suspect in her death.
Never Mentioned Domestic
Violence To Friends
2/14/2013 6:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oscar Pistorius -- the Olympian now accused of murdering his model girlfriend -- was never violent toward her in the past -- this according to a source who worked closely with the victim in her modeling career.
The source tells TMZ ... she was with Reeva Steenkamp "a lot" during the months she was dating Pistorius and insists Steenkamp never mentioned or even insinuated there were issues of violence.
Our source says Steenkamp's family is in "absolute shock" because they never saw anything that would lead to harm.
The source -- who was frequently around Pistorius during the time he was dating Steenkamp -- says, she never saw a dark side -- to the contrary he was a "sweet guy."
The cops say there were previous domestic incidents at Pistorius' home, but they did not say the incidents involved Steenkamp.