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Fourth-Place Medal

Reeva Steenkamp: a cover model with a law degree

Jay Hart
Fourth-Place Medal

Beauty and brains, that is the portrait being painted today of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed early Thursday morning at the home of Oscar Pistorius.

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Dec, 2011 edition of FHM in South Africa

Steenkamp, 30, had graduated from law school at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the town where she grew up. Two years ago she was on the cover of the South African edition of FHM magazine.

[Related: Olympic 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius charged with murder]

Two months ago, Steeenkamp started dating Pistorius, the Olympic sprinter known as Blade Runner for the prosthetic blades on his legs. According to her publicist, the two had a "healthy, fabulous relationship."

On Wednesday, Steenkamp tweeted to her 8,000 or so followers that she was starting her day off with a shake "from my boo :)." A few hours later she asked, "What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???," Valentines Day. But early Thursday morning, Steenkamp was shot four times in the head and leg, apparently by Pistorius.

Early reports indicated that Pistorius mistook Steenkamp as a burglar inside his home in Pretoria, an upscale neighborhood near Johannesburg. However, police have since indicated that report did not originate from them. Pistorius, 26, has been charged with murder.

Steenkamp was "continuously breaking the model stereotype," her publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, told the Associated Press, adding she was "the sweetest, kindest, just angelic soul" and "a very inspiring individual, very passionate about speaking about women and empowerment."

Wednesday, Steenkamp retweeted the following: "WEAR BLACK THIS FRIDAY IN SUPPORT AGAINST #RAPE AND WOMAN ABUSE."

While Pistorius is known throughout the world for becoming the first amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, Steenkamp was somewhat of a celebrity in her own right. Besides appearing on the cover of FHM, she was set to appear on Tropika Island of Treasure, a reality show filmed in Jamaica. The show was to debut this weekend. Six years ago, she'd moved to Johannesburg to become the South African face of Avon Products.

On Feb. 9, Steenkamp tweeted, "I woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals."

Her final post came just a few hours before her life ended when a friend asked to join her for a cupcake. "I'm there like a bear!!! Yayyyy!!!! X," Steenkamp responded.

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Oscar Pistorius (R) is escorted by police at a Pretoria police station. (REUTERS)

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Police crime scene tape marks off the Pretoria home of South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius. (REUTERS)

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Oscar Pistorius (R) and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg on February 7. (REUT …

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