Days after a tragic shooting turned an Olympic hero into a murder suspect, South Africans tried to make sense of hazy details surrounding a case that has left the nation stunned.
Information remained scant Saturday, a day after a judge charged a sobbing Oscar Pistorius with murder.
Universal admiration for his sports achievements turned to global shock following his arrest, with more questions than answers:
What transpired in Pistorius' upscale Pretoria home?
What led to the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a platinum-haired model gearing up for her reality television debut?
And why on Valentine's Day?
In a packed courtroom in Pretoria, the man nicknamed Blade Runner, for his lightning-fast prosthetic legs, held his head in his hands and wept. His loud sobs shook his body uncontrollably.
"As you can imagine our entire family is devastated, we are in a state of total shock," said his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in a written statement. "All of us saw at first hand how close she had become to Oscar during that time and how happy they were."
"We have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the State's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder or indeed any murder at all."
Pistorius, 26, also rejected the murder allegation "in the strongest terms," his agent said in a statement.
'Medals are just medals'
But Saturday, two days after Steenkamp's death, some South Africans remained puzzled over his alleged involvement.
Despite the fact that he is innocent until proven guilty, some said the allegation has tainted his image.
"I was very shocked. A mother lost a daughter. I was not expecting anything like this from someone like him," said Nondumiso Mlondo, who lives in Durban.
"Everybody is still talking about it. Just think of those young kids who want to be like him. Who are looking up to him. After his Olympic success, we were hoping for something bigger for him this year ... look what has happened."
Citizens carried on heated discussions in buses, bars, barber shops.
"People are saying .. why do stars make a point of screwing up when they are doing so well?" Mlondo asked. "Medals are just medals ... I don't care whether he has hundreds of them, he should be held accountable."
'Life goes on'
But for others, the shock was ebbing.
"Life goes on," said Rufaz Mavhure, who lives in Woodmead, a commercial suburb of Johannesburg.
"It was a shock to the nation when we first heard it ... but it has worn off," he said. "We have sobered up -- even though people will still question why."
The allegation was a major fall from grace for a man who made history last year by becoming the first double-amputee runner to compete in the able-bodied Olympic Games in London.
Meanwhile, South Africa's national broadcaster aired a reality TV show featuring Steenkamp discussing her exit from the taped program, on which she was a contestant.
"I'm going home with sort of a sweet taste in my mouth. I don't have any regrets. I don't have any bitterness," she said. "I'm going to miss you all so much and I love you very very much."
The decision to air the program took "much deliberation," and that "this week's episode will be dedicated to Reeva's memory," Executive producer Samantha Moon said.