Why South Africa's top murder expert will not be involved in Oscar Pistorius case: she is his aunt

 

Johannesburg

As prosecutors and police prepare for Oscar Pistorius' murder trial, they are expected to enlist the services of a psychologist to build a profile of the accused. The one person they will not be able to turn to is Micki Pistorius, arguably South Africa's most experienced criminal profiler, who is also the aunt of the 26-year-old athlete.

A slight 52-year-old with reddish blonde hair, she was a regular in Court C during the proceedings against her nephew last week, but has avoided making any public comment on the case.

The author of Profiling Serial Killers and other crimes in South Africa and a string of other works on the motives and psychology of murderers, she has opposed long custodial sentences in some serious crime cases.

She was founder and head of the South African Police Service's (SAPS) investigative psychology unit, where she held a rank equivalent to colonel.

During her six years in the police she dealt with serial killers, stalkers and rapists. She continues to consult for several government agencies.

The issue of her nephew's psychology and in particular his "propensity for violence" – which the state alleges – makes it likely that psychologists will feature in a future trial: "She is one person who we will not be able to turn to," an advocate for the prosecution confirmed today. The prosecution expect the defence to lean heavily on character witnesses, a tactic they deployed early in the bail hearing with three affidavits from friends of Mr Pistorius who described a "loving relationship" between the accused and the victim, Reeva Steenkamp.

A noted eccentric during her time as a lecturer at the University of Pretoria, she would encircle herself on the library floor with Freud and Jung books because "circles have magic powers" that helped her to absorb knowledge.

In her memoir Catch Me A Killer Dr Pistorius claims to have extra-sensory perception, being able to pick up vibes without using the five normal senses. She calls this gift "cryptesthesia" a term she prefers to "psychic, which to me conjures up the image of a gypsy with a crystal ball or a cup of tea leaves."

Controversially she has written about her empathy for killers: "Serial killers are not monsters; they are human beings with tortured souls. I will never condone what they do, but I can understand them."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road