A fallen hero
When Pistorius was a toddler, his legs were amputated below the knees because of a bone defect.
He runs on special carbon fiber blades, hence the nickname.
A few weeks after the Olympics, he smashed a record to win the men's 400-meter in the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Images of his sports feats flashed across the screens at the time. But by Thursday, it was a jarringly different story.
Pictures of his walk to a police car, his head covered by a sweatshirt, flashed across television screens worldwide.
Then there was his court appearance 24 hours later, grim-faced and sobbing uncontrollably.
Prosecutors planned to upgrade the charge to premeditated murder.
A nation, jolted
Steenkamp's killing rattled South Africa, which is grappling with the aftermath of the recent murder of 17-year-old Anene Booyson -- a case that has put a spotlight on violence against women.
Booyson died after she was gang-raped and mutilated in Bredasdorp, a tiny tourist town southeast of Capetown.
While police have not discussed a possible motive for the 29-year-old model's killing, local media reported that Pistorius had mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder.
But South African authorities stressed that the scenario did not come from them, and said there was no evidence of forced entry at the home.
Police found her in a pool of blood before dawn Thursday after neighbors in the gated community alerted them.
Investigators found a 9mm pistol at the scene.
Renewed calls for stricter gun laws
South Africa has a high crime rate, and many homeowners keep weapons to ward off intruders.
Groups renewed calls for stricter gun laws in the nation after this week's killing.
"There are 1.5 million gun owners -- about 3.5 million guns in civilians hands," said Alan Storey, chairman of Gun Free South Africa.
Most of the victims of gun homicides in the nation of 50 million people are between the ages 20 and 30, he said.
South Africa has passed tough legislation that includes a requirement for a thorough background check for prospective gun owners. The check includes spouses and partners, and is repeated every few years, he said.
"People acquire guns believing they are more safe ... but they place themselves at greater risk," Storey said. "We've made airplanes a gun-free zone. We need to bring that logic down to earth."
But the South African Gunowners' Association, a popular gun lobby group, has said citizens have the right to protect themselves from increasingly violent crimes.
"There are already more than enough laws and regulations to control the possession of firearms by private citizens," it says on its website. "Fewer and less complex laws reasonably, yet properly, applied could achieve the required objective."
Postponed bail hearing