Former sports star Oscar Pistorius He may be the most famous killer in the world.
The former Paralympic champion will leave prison in South Africa on Friday on parole, after serving half of his more than 13-year sentence for killing his girlfriend. Riva Stankamp On Valentine's Day 2013.
The twists and turns of his trial nearly a decade ago captivated the nation – and his release was a huge news event here in South Africa and around the world.
The double amputee has won six gold medals at three Paralympic Games, and made history in 2012 when he became the first amputee runner to compete at the London Olympics.
But Pistorius is now known as a convicted murderer.
He's not the type of celebrity seeking a comeback after falling out of fashion or battling demons.
His career as an athlete was over. Brands won't want to sponsor it. He will not be sought after as a sports commentator.
The 37-year-old, who was once dubbed the 'Blade Runner', is said to look physically very different from the athlete people remember.
His sentence will only end in 2029. Until then, he will be subject to conditions and could be returned to prison if he violates them.
Requirements include staying home at specific times each day, attending mandatory programs, and not allowing the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Like other parolees in South Africa, he will be banned from giving media interviews.
But its high profile makes the release unusual.
Recently, much discussion and public comment has focused on the need to focus on victims of crime, not perpetrators.
Typically, when someone is convicted of murder after a trial, the killer's narrative—which may have been extremely traumatic for the victim's family—usually fades from public discourse, and the killer is often hidden from view in prison for decades.
In this case, the killer is world famous and was released while still in his late 30s, after less than eight years in prison.
Steenkamp, a law graduate and successful model, had her future snatched from her when she was just 29 years old.
The ban on media interviews with Pistorius will eventually end, and he will then be free to speak. His fame means he will find a platform.
“Every time we start to process and come to terms with things, Oscar comes out,” says Gwen Guscott, a close friend of Steenkamp.
She predicts that he will eventually seek to exploit the media attention to tell his version of events again.
“For him to come out and talk to the public and maybe, you know, rub one of our emotions in the wrong way, it's going to set us all back.”
In a statement read during his parole hearing last November, Steenkamp's mother said in June that she did not believe Pistorius had been rehabilitated.
She also did not believe his story that he thought her daughter was an intruder the night he shot her.
“I don't know anyone who does that,” June Steenkamp added.
“Rehabilitation requires a person to honestly deal with the full truth of their crime and the consequences,” she said.
“No one can claim to feel remorse if they cannot fully deal with the truth. If someone does not show remorse, they cannot be considered rehabilitated.”
John Steenkamp's husband, Barry, died last year. She says he did so because of a “broken heart” over his daughter's death.
Pistorius's release, and the potential it creates for his future publicity, will not be welcomed by the Steenkamp family.
In South Africa, you hear different views on the issue, with people in the same social circles or families expressing vastly different views on his guilt.
Some forget that he was convicted of murder on appeal, remembering the original conviction for voluntary manslaughter, a less serious crime equivalent to manslaughter, and people's memories of the evidence are inevitably faded.
Under South African law, all criminals are eligible to be considered for parole once they have served half their total sentence.
But Bulelwa Adonis, of the group Women for Change in South Africa, says his early release reveals “the normalization of leniency when it comes to predators, when it comes to anyone who commits any kind of femicide or gender-based violence.”
She feels that the fact that he was once a national hero still colors some people's perceptions.
“I think it's time to challenge ourselves to recognize who this person is because of what they did,” Ms. Adonis says.
For Ms Guscott, the situation is clear. Since her friend Reeva Steenkamp was brutally murdered in 2013, she “has not had a second to properly rest in peace.”