Joran van der Sloot admits to killing Natalee Holloway
A nearly two-decade mystery was unraveled in Birmingham’s federal court Wednesday morning when Joran van der Sloot confessed to brutally murdering 18-year-old Natalee Holloway after she refused his sexual advances on a beach in Aruba.
The Dutch national’s involvement in the Alabama teen’s 2005 disappearance had been long speculated, and as part of a plea agreement, van der Sloot provided “full, complete, accurate, and truthful information” about the murder in exchange for a 20-year sentence for his charges of fraud and extortion of the Holloway family.
In an interview between the defendant and his attorney, Kevin Butler, van der Sloot described his plan to be dropped off with Ms. Holloway slightly further from her hotel, hoping to “still get a chance to be with her.”
According to the interview transcript, he recalled the two kissing while on the beach, but she refused his further advances. As he continued to “insist,” he said she kneed him in the crotch, to which van der Sloot kicked her face “extremely hard” into an unconscious state that he described as “possibly even, uh, even dead.” He then bludgeoned her face with a cinder block found lying “right next to her” on the beach and pushed her body into the ocean.
“After that, I-I get out, “I-I walk home,” van der Sloot said.
U.S. Judge Anna Manasco informed the courtroom that the details of van der Sloot’s confession of Natalee Holloway’s murder factored into the sentencing decision.
While his confession is not applicable to charges related to Holloway’s death or disappearance, Beth Holloway told reporters after the hearing,
The victim’s mother told reporters outside the courthouse, “Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder; he is the killer.”, The Associated Press reported.
For the past 18 years, the case of Natalee Holloway had been an unsolved puzzle, worsened by the varying accounts provided by van der Sloot, who at one point described disposing of her body under the foundation of a building.
On May 30, 2005, 18-year-old Natalee Holloway did not return to her Birmingham family home after a high school graduation trip in Aruba. Classmates recall last seeing Natalee sitting inside a vehicle with van der Sloot and his two brothers, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, after leaving Carlos’n Charlie’s, a Caribbean chain restaurant and nightclub in Oranjestad, Aruba, as stated in van der Sloot’s criminal affidavit.
Aruban police immediately identified van der Sloot as a person of interest in Holloway’s disappearance. However, he was not charged. Further investigations are commended as the U.S. lacks jurisdiction over Aruba’s criminal investigations.
In 2010, Joran van der Sloot was indicted on extortion and fraud charges after he attempted to scam a $250,000 payment from Ms. Holloway’s mother and claimed to have knowledge of the location of her daughter’s remains.
Joran van der Sloot was temporarily extradited to face trial for extortion charges from his prison cell in Peru, where he is serving a 28-year sentence for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian college student, Stephany Flores. According to ABC, he described this murder as an “impulsive act” that occurred after Flores read an instant message on van der Sloot’s computer related to his involvement in Holloway’s disappearance.
“I have considered your confession to the brutal murder of Natalee Holloway,” Judge Manasco said. “You have brutally murdered, in separate instances years apart, two young women who refused your sexual advances.”
According to his plea agreement, the Peruvian government will regain custody of van der Sloot, where he will concurrently serve his Peru sentence with the 20-year US federal sentence.