Joran van der Sloot confesses to murder

Wow.  I just checked Eyes for Lies´ blog again after a long absence and learned that Joran van der Sloot has made the news again.

Joran van der Sloot is a young Dutchman who lived in Aruba in 2005 when American student, Natalee Holloway vanished on a class trip. Joran was around 18 at the time, the son of a prominent lawyer and an art teacher.

Natalee Holloway had been scheduled to fly home later on May 30, but failed to appear for her flight] She was last seen by her classmates outside a Caribbean chain restaurant and nightclub in a car with locals Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. When questioned, the three men said they dropped her off at her hotel and denied knowing what became of Holloway.  Upon further investigation by authorities, Van der Sloot was arrested twice on suspicion of involvement in her disappearance and the Kalpoes were each arrested three times. Due to lack of evidence the three men were released without charge after each arrest.

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Aruban investigators conducted an extensive search for Holloway. In addition to the ground search, divers examined the ocean floor for evidence of Natalee’s body. The searches were unsuccessful, and according to Aruban authorities she is most likely dead. On December 18, 2007, Aruban prosecutors announced that the case would be closed without any charges sought against the former suspects.

On January 31, 2008, Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries claimed that he had solved the Holloway case and that he would tell all on a special television program on Dutch TV on February 3.  On February 1, the Aruba prosecutor’s office announced the reopening of the case, but eventually, nothing came of it.

The broadcast aired February 3, 2008, and included excerpts from footage recorded from hidden cameras and microphones in the vehicle of Patrick van der Eem, a Dutch businessman and ex-con, who had gained Van der Sloot’s confidence. Van der Sloot was seen smoking marijuana and stating that he was with Holloway when she began convulsively shaking, then became unresponsive. Van der Sloot stated that he attempted to revive her, without success. He said that he called a friend, who told Van der Sloot to go home and who disposed of the body.

An account of events that I consider rather likely to be true, or at least close to the thruth, though the “friend” might have been his father (who, according to one of the Kalpoe brothers, had advised that without a body, the police would have no case) and Joran probably slipped Natalee some date rape drug which caused her shaking and subsequent death.

An individual reputed to be this friend, identified in the broadcast as Daury, has subsequently denied Van der Sloot’s account. Also, Van der Sloot denied that what he said on the tape was true, stating that he was under the influence of marijuana at the time and was telling the guy what he believed he wanted to hear. Van der Sloot indicated that he still maintains that he left Holloway behind on the beach.

De Vries was heavily criticized for broadcasting the material, which made it harder to obtain a conviction;  had De Vries turned over the material to the authorities without broadcasting it, they would have held “all the trumps” in questioning Van der Sloot.

Van der Sloot made and retracted various different claims about the case later on. In 2008, he alleged that he sold Holloway into sexual slavery. On February 23, 2010, it was reported that Joran van der Sloot had stated in an interview (first offered to RTL Group in 2009) that he had disposed of Holloway’s body in a marsh on Aruba.

To this day, Natalee Holloway has not been found, nor is it really known what happened to her.  (Account of the case quoted, abridged, from Wikipedia).

Around March 29, 2010, Van der Sloot allegedly contacted the  legal representative of Holloway’s mother Beth Twitty, with an offer to reveal the location of her daughter’s body and the circumstances surrounding her death for an advance of US$25,000 against a total of $250,000. (Whether he was involved in Natalee´s disappearance/death or not, this pretty much constitues his total bastard status for me.) Twitty´s lawyer got the FBI involved, though, and pretended to pay Joran. In exchange, Van der Sloot told Kelly that his father buried Holloway’s remains in the foundation of a house. (That´s his … n-th version pf what happened, now?) Authorities determined that the information that he provided in return was false, because the house had not yet been built at the time of her disappearance. Van der Sloot was charged with extortion and wire fraud in the US.

On May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, Stephany Flores Ramírez, 21, died at a Hotel in the Miraflores District of Lima, Peru. Her beaten body was found two days later by a hotel employee in room 309, which had been registered in Van der Sloot’s name. He had departed from the hotel without returning the room key and left the television blaring.

According to Peruvian investigators, Flores Ramírez suffered blunt force trauma to her head, causing a brain hemorrhage and breaking her neck. A tennis racquet, identified by the coroner as the likely homicide weapon, was recovered from the room. A hotel guest and an employee came forward to claim they saw Van der Sloot and the victim entering the hotel room together, and the police have video of the two playing cards at the same table the night before at a Casino.

Flores Ramírez´father said that police found date rape drugs in his daughter’s car, parked about 50 blocks from the hotel where she died. Her jewelry, money, ID and credit cards were missing.

Peruvian officials named Van der Sloot as the lone suspect in the homicide investigation.  Interpol issued an international arrest warrant. He was arrested near Curacaví by the Investigations Police of Chile on June 3. He was found with a laptop, foreign currency, a business card case, detailed charts of ocean currents around Lima, and bloody clothes.  He told Chilean police that unidentified robbers hid in the hotel room and killed Flores Ramírez. His Dutch attorney claimed that Van der Sloot was on his way to Santiago to turn himself in. He was subsequently handed over to Peruvian authorities. The stains on Van der Sloot’s clothes turned out to match the blood type of Flores Ramírez.

On June 7, 2010, Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores Ramírez. His confession was remarkably complete and corroborated by evidence. Van der Sloot recounted that he briefly left the hotel to get some coffee and bread, and returned to find Flores Ramírez using his laptop computer without his permission. A police source stated that she may have found information linking him to the disappearance of Holloway. An altercation began and she attempted to escape. Van der Sloot stated, “I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life . . . she didn’t have any right. I went to her and I hit her. She was scared, we argued and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her.  Van der Sloot stated that he was intoxicated with marijuana at the time. A detective linked to the case said that Van der Sloot considered getting rid of the body in a suitcase,  but decided against it because he would have been stopped at the front desk. He then drank espresso and took amphetamines to counter fatigue before fleeing.

Criminal police chief Cesar Guardia said Van der Sloot “let slip that he knew the place” where Holloway’s body is buried. Guardia stated that the interrogation was limited to their case in Peru, which he considered “practically closed,” and that questions about Holloway’s disappearance were avoided. Guardia said that the motive for the crime was robbery. Later, Van der Sloot offered to disclose the location of Holloway’s body in exchange for transfer to an Aruban prison because he fears for his safety in Miguel Castro Castro prison. Peruvian president Alan García Pérez said that Van der Sloot would have to stand trial for the homicide before any extradition request would be considered. He also stated that Van der Sloot will serve his prison sentence in Peru. There is no treaty for the transfer of prisoners between Peru and the Netherlands. (Account quoted, abridged, from Wikipedia).

Dave Holloway, Natalee Holloway’s father, told ABC’s “Good Morning America”  that he hoped van der Sloot would reveal what happened to his daughter and said search teams were standing by to look for her body. “He’s confessed to this one,” Holloway said of Flores’ death, “and I’d like for him to tell everyone what happened.”

“I would just like to say that, you know, all the pain and suffering that we’ve gone through, hopefully justice is served this time,” he added, speaking to the show by telephone. “We’re hoping this is the end of the line for him.”

Holloway described the Flores murder as being like “deja vu.” (quoted from

Reading this, I felt I had a “deja vu” as well, only of a different kind. The case reminds me a bit of O.J. Simpson´s story – the man who walked free since he couldn´t be convicted for murder, apparently felt he could get away with anything after that and ended up committing another crime that got him into prison after all. Sometimes, karma is a bitch, eh?

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment