Dutch killer Joran van der Sloot confesses to murdering Natalee Holloway
Dutch killer Joran van der Sloot has confessed to killing missing American high school graduate Natalee Holloway, almost 20 years after she disappeared. Van Der Sloot, who was 17 at the time Natalee went missing, has admitted to killing Ms Holloway after she rejected his sexual advances. He is currently serving time for the murder of another woman and cocaine trafficking in Peru.
Joran van der Sloot admits murdering Natalee Holloway as part of plea
Natalee went missing on the night of May 30, 2005, while on a trip to Aruba with some friends to celebrate their graduation from high school. She was last seen leaving a nightclub near the beach on the Caribbean island with Joran van der Sloot and two other men.
Van Der Sloot’s sudden confession comes as the 36-year-old Dutchman, who hails from Arnhem, is facing trial in the United States for extortion after he offered to disclose information about Natalee’s disappearance to her family for a fee of 236.000 euros. The family paid Van Der Sloot a 24.000 euro advance, but the location he gave turned out to be false. Now, as part of the extortion case in the US, Van Der Sloot admitted his guilt in the crime, as part of a plea bargain.
Initially, police in Aruba arrested Van Der Sloot twice for suspected involvement in Holloway’s disappearance, but both times he was released due to a lack of evidence against him. Eventually, Holloway’s case was closed in 2007, until further video evidence implicating Van Der Sloot was released in 2008. Around this time, a joint team of investigators was also created - with officers from the Dutch police cooperating with Aruba’s own police force.
Peter R de Vries and Joran van der Sloot
The case was also part of a documentary in 2008, where the late Dutch crime journalist Peter R de Vries was able to extract a confession from Van Der Sloot relating to Holloway's murder. The esteemed true crime journalist worked on many unsolved cases over his career, but his work relating to Holloway’s case remains one of the most popular documentaries that he worked on before he was killed in 2021.
In the documentary, de Vries used a Dutch-Antillean drug dealer to befriend Van Der Sloot and record him talking about the missing American high school graduate. During their conversation, Van Der Sloot claimed that Holloway had suffered “some kind of seizure” while they were “having sex on the beach”, and that she died from a medical emergency. He then stated that he found an acquaintance to help him throw her body into the ocean.
Despite De Vries’ investigative work, this confession could not be accepted by law enforcement as they deemed it “insufficient” to warrant any arrests. You can see him talking about the case in this interview:
Toggle the CC/Subtitles button and select "auto translate" for English subtitles.
Joran van der Sloot also murdered 21-year-old Peruvian Stefany Flores
Several years after Natalee was declared missing in 2005, van der Sloot killed another young woman while staying at a hotel in Peru. 21-year-old Peruvian university student, Stefany Flores, was murdered while she shared a hotel room with Van Der Sloot, on the night of the five-year anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance in Aruba.
Unlike in Aruba, the Peruvian authorities were able to find evidence to prosecute Van Der Sloot, and he was sentenced to 28 years in jail for murder. He was extradited from Peru in June 2023, to face legal proceedings for the extortion of the Holloway family.
When will Joran van der Sloot be freed?
For his litany of crimes, Joran van der Sloot is expected to face many years of jail time. Not only is his 28-year jail term for the murder of Stefany Flores ongoing, but in the United States he will now face 20 years for extortion charges. He was also charged with trafficking cocaine into Peru in 2021 and was given an extra 18-year sentence. A judge in the United States ruled that the extortion sentence would run concurrently with the sentences issued in Peru.
The judge also stated that the confession to these crimes is believable. Months of investigation by the FBI found van der Sloot’s claims to be truthful. Natalee’s mother, Beth Hollway, said "You put an end to her dreams, her possibilities when you beat her to death in 2005,” but added that she was pleased that the “nightmare” had come to an end.
Which prison is Joran van der Sloot in?
Since the sentences will run concurrently, it is unlikely that Van Der Sloot will ever return to the United States to serve his sentence. Instead, the killer will be spending the next few decades serving his concurrent sentences in Peru. The jail that he is currently believed to be imprisoned in is Challapalca prison in Tacna, Peru.
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