Oscar Pistorius’s trial has begun today with discussion of when Reeva Steenkamp may have eaten her last meal.
Witness Christina Lundgren, an anaesthetist, described when a stomach is likely to be emptied after eating.
Oscar Pistorius’s trial has begun today with discussion of when Reeva Steenkamp may have eaten her last meal (photo AP)
Christina Lundgren said the prosecution’s argument that Reeva Steenkamp’s stomach would have been empty if she ate when Oscar Pistorius said she did was “pure speculation”.
Oscar Pistorius, 27, denies intentionally killing Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013.
The South African Paralympic sprinter says he accidentally shot her through a toilet door in a state of panic, mistaking her for an intruder.
Oscar Pistorius had said Reeva Steenkamp ate her last meal the evening before she was killed, and that the couple had been sleeping before waking in the early hours.
The prosecution has argued that this cannot be true as Reeva Steenkamp had food in her stomach at the time of her death.
Speaking on Thursday, Prof. Christina Lundgren, who was shown copies of the post mortem report, said there were many factors that could have delayed gastric emptying in Reeva Steenkamp’s stomach, including sleep, exercise, medication, and her age.
“In an ideal world, after six hours of fasting after [the] meal her stomach should probably have been empty. But there are so many unknowns about possible factors that might have delayed gastric emptying,” she said.
“One cannot state it as being fact” that Reeva Steenkamp’s stomach would have been empty six hours after eating, Prof. Christina Lundgren said.
A bone of a large flying reptile found in the gut of a Velociraptor is believed to be the dinosaur’s last meal.
Velociraptors have previously been described as “hyper predators”.
However, scientists suggest this pterosaur was too large to be the Velociraptor‘s intended prey but could have been scavenged.
The findings are published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology.
An international team of scientists revealed the drama of 75 million years ago with a detailed analysis of the skeleton found in the Gobi desert, Mongolia.
“It would be difficult and probably even dangerous for the small theropod dinosaur to target a pterosaur with a wingspan of 2 metres or more, unless the pterosaur was already ill or injured,” said co-author of the study Dr. David Hone, from the University College Dublin, Ireland.
“So the pterosaur bone we’ve identified in the gut of the Velociraptor was most likely scavenged from a carcass rather than the result of a predatory kill.”
Velociraptors were not much taller than domestic turkeys but were thought to be voracious predators.
A bone of a large flying reptile found in the gut of a Velociraptor is believed to be the dinosaur's last meal
A famous fossil unearthed in 1971 known as the “fighting dinosaurs” shows a Velociraptor and larger Protoceratops apparently locked in combat.
But evidence of feeding by theropod dinosaurs, such as Velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus rex, is scarce in the fossil record.
The 75 mm-long pterosaur bone shard was found within the rib cage where the Velociraptor‘s gut would have been.
According to Dr. David Hone, the contents of dinosaur’s stomachs often elude scientists as they are rarely preserved.
“Gut contents are pretty rare and pterosaur bones are rather fragile and don’t preserve well, so it is an unusual find.”
In addition to proving that velociraptors took advantage of ailing animals, Dr. David Hone suggests that the evidence provides a further revelation: that small dinosaurs ate relatively large bones.
By analyzing the bones, researchers also found out that the Velociraptor died shortly after feeding on the pterosaur.
The smooth surface of the reptile bones suggest it was not eroded by stomach acids and the team discovered the Velociraptor itself suffered from a broken rib.
“Pretty much all carnivores are both predators and scavengers as the situation dictates – actually getting evidence for that from the fossil record is rather hard [to get] though,” said Dr. David Hone.
Pictures of the hotel room in which Whitney Houston died show remnants of her last meal – a hamburger, fries and a turkey sandwich – which she is said to have eaten in the bathroom right before she died.
The images also Whitney Houston was drinking champagne and beer shortly before her death and it is suggested the lethal combination of alcohol with prescription drug Xanax – which was also found at the scene – could have been the cause of her death.
A tray can be seen on the floor of the bathroom which is said to have contained the turkey sandwich and jalapenos. A Gilette razor, glass of water and items of clothing are also strewn on the floor.
Family sources told TMZ Whitney Houston ate the burger and fries in the hotel suite before taking the turkey sandwich and jalapenos into the bathroom where she planned on eating them after her bath.
It also emerged today that drugs Whitney Houston allegedly took in the hours before her death were bought at the same pharmacy Michael Jackson frequently used, sources say.
Whitney Houston’s body was found in a bathtub at her suite in the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel on Saturday, surrounded by different bottles of prescription pills including ibuprofen – a painkiller, Xanax – an anti-anxiety drug, Midol – for menstrual cramps, amoxicillin – for bacterial infections and several others.
TMZ reported that some of the prescriptions were filled out at the infamous Mickey Fine pharmacy, which was raided in 2009 by the DEA for evidence of “improper dispensing of controlled substances”, in connection with the death of Michael Jackson.
These reports have yet to be confirmed.
Whitney Houston ate the burger and fries in the hotel suite before taking the turkey sandwich and jalapenos into the bathroom where she planned on eating them after her bath
Mickey Fine’s is thought to have been the go-to pharmacy for both singers who are believed to have spent thousands of dollars there.
According to TMZ, Mickey Fine also sued Michael Jackson in 2007 for non-payment of a bill of more than $100,000.
Some of the prescriptions found in Whitney Houston’s hotel room were reportedly issued in 2011, but some were believed to have been more recent.
The amoxicillin was recently prescribed to the singer for a sore throat, sources told TMZ.
A tray can be seen on the floor of the hotel bathroom which is said to have contained a turkey sandwich and jalapenos, a Gilette razor, glass of water and items of clothing are also strewn on the floor
A coroner ruled today that it was impossible to ascertain the exact cause of the singer’s death but ruled out foul play.
A source close to the investigation said it was “from drugs and not from drowning”.
Police confirmed today that Whitney Houston’s body was found under water but that she may have died before being submersed.
A natural cause of death has not been ruled out either.
Los Angeles assistant chief coroner Ed Winter refused to go into details and said toxicology reports will not be available for several weeks, making it impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of death.
Ed Winter confirmed to ABC that officials found prescription bottles, but said there wasn’t anything “alarming” or “out of the ordinary” about them.
Though there were reports Whitney Houston had drowned, or overdosed, he said they won’t make a final determination until “all the tests are in”.
Ed Winter said: “I had a conversation with the family at the hotel and at no time did I discuss prescription meds or the drowning issue.
“I don’t know if the detectives discussed that with the family, but no, we have not released any information like that.”
Asked by reporters whether he ruled out drowning because there had not been enough water in the singer’s lungs, as was earlier reported, he said: “That did not come from us. It’s too early to say. The autopsy was done yesterday and there still is additional testing that is ongoing.
“You can look at a body and not know what the cause of death is. You might have a suspicion that person could have suffered a heart attack or something.
“No matter what medications they’re taking, until we run a (toxicology test) and see the level and what’s in the system, we’re not going to speculate.”
Law enforcement sources said it is possible Whitney Houston suffered a heart attack as a result of the cocktail of drugs she had taken.
Whitney Houston’s body was released to her family today.
The legendary singer’s funeral will be held in Newark, New Jersey, later this week, NBC New York reported, possibly on Friday.
Her body will be flown there later today and taken to Whigham Funeral Home.
Whitney Houston was born in Newark and raised in East Orange. She got her start as a singer in the choir at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
Mourners have been flocking to the church since her death, with local Shawn Cooper saying yesterday: “The Houston family means a lot to this community, they have done a lot for this community, and being there for them is the best thing we can do as a community today.”
Whitney Houston may be buried alongside her father, army serviceman and entertainment executive John Houston, who died in 2003 and was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, New Jersey.
Meanwhile Whitney Houston’s brother-in-law Billy Watson insisted that the star would never have taken her own life. He told ABC: “Oh, no, this is accidental. She wouldn’t have left her daughter like that. She wouldn’t have done that to her daughter.”
Billy Watson, whose sister is married to Whitney Houston’s brother, Gary, also confirmed the family was taking her body to New Jersey from California today.
Whitney Houston’s mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, issued the following statement: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends.”
Since her mother’s death, Bobbi Kristina Brown was rushed to hospital twice and relatives now fear she has become suicidal.
Bobbi Kristina Brown was first admitted after allegedly passing out, after drinking alcohol and then taking a sedative pill given to her by one of her mother’s entourage to calm her down, upon learning of the devastating news.
Her father Bobby Brown cut short his reunion tour with New Edition to fly to Los Angeles to be by the 18-year-old’s side.
Bobby Brown said in a statement: “Obviously, the death of her mother is affecting her, however, we will get through this tragedy as a family. Again, I ask for privacy during this time.”
Bobbi Kristina Brown was pictured being taken out of the Beverly Hilton – the same hotel where her mother had died just hours earlier- on a stretcher at 10:30 a.m. yesterday and being rushed to Cedars-Sinai where she was treated for extreme anxiety.
The teenager was released several hours later, but friends and family are still very concerned about her mental state.
Bottles of Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax and a sleeping medication were found in Whitney Houston’s hotel room, it has been claimed.
The drugs were believed to have acted as sedatives, causing Whitney Houston to fall asleep in the bathtub once they had been mixed with alcohol from the previous evenings.