Joran van der Sloot arrested for murder in South America

Joran van der Sloot arrested for murder in South America

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On June 3, 2010, Joran van der Sloot, a longtime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, is arrested in Chile in connection with the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, in Lima, Peru. Flores was murdered on May 30, 2010, exactly five years to the day after Holloway went missing while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island. In January 2012, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to Flores’ murder.

In May 2010, Van der Sloot, who was born in the Netherlands in 1987 and raised in Dutch-speaking Aruba, was in the Peruvian capital for a poker tournament. He reportedly met Flores, a college student and daughter of a prominent Peruvian businessman, at a Lima casino. The two were seen entering Van der Sloot’s room at Hotel TAC around 5 a.m. on May 30. Approximately four hours later, surveillance video captured Van der Sloot leaving the room alone and carrying his bags. After Flores’ family reported her missing, she was found dead in the hotel room on June 2, beaten and with a broken neck. Her money and credit cards were missing.

After Peruvian officials reviewed the hotel surveillance video, Van der Sloot emerged as the prime suspect in the murder investigation. Police believed he had fled in Flores’ car and later abandoned it in another part of Lima, before traveling south to Chile. On June 3, Van der Sloot was arrested in Chile, and deported to Peru soon afterward. On June 7, the Dutchman admitted to Peruvian authorities he had killed Flores during an argument after she used his computer without permission (authorities suggested she might have discovered he was linked to the Holloway case). Van der Sloot stated he beat and strangled Flores then suffocated her with his shirt. The Dutchman later retracted this confession, saying he was frightened and confused when he made it.

On the day Van der Sloot was arrested in South America, U.S. authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with a plot to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s family in exchange for revealing the location of her remains. Holloway, an 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Alabama, was last seen leaving an Aruban bar and restaurant with Van der Sloot and two of his friends in the early hours of May 30, 2005. Her disappearance generated widespread media coverage in the United States. Despite an extensive search, Holloway’s body was never found. Van der Sloot was arrested twice in Aruba in conjunction with her disappearance but never charged.

On January 11, 2012, Van der Sloot, who has been behind bars in Peru since his June 2010 arrest, pleaded guilty in a Lima courtroom to Flores’ murder. Two days later, a panel of judges sentenced him to 28 years in prison and ordered him to pay $75,000 in reparation to Flores’ family.

One day before Van der Sloot was sentenced, a judge in Birmingham, Alabama, signed an order declaring Natalee Holloway legally dead. The judge made the ruling at the request of Holloway’s father, so that he could settle his daughter’s estate.

Interpol: Joran van der Sloot arrested in Santiago

Joran van der Sloot is being investigated in connection with the death of Stephany Flores Ramirez, right, and was a suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

[Updated at 1:13 p.m.] Joran van der Sloot has been arrested and is in police custody in Santiago, Chile, an Interpol spokesperson in Santiago told CNN.

Van der Sloot, who was previously considered a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, is the main suspect in this week's slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, officials said. She was was found Wednesday in a Lima, Peru, hotel room registered to van der Sloot. Chilean police told CNN that paperwork showed that van der Sloot entered Chile on Wednesday.

Peruvian Interior Minister Octavio Salazar Miranda said Thursday that Peru has made arrangements with Interpol to extradite van der Sloot.

[Updated at 12:33 p.m.] Chilean investigators have told CNN Chile that Joran van der Sloot was spotted in Arica, Chile, near the Peruvian border and they believe he may still be there.

[Posted at 11:59 a.m.] Peruvian authorities investigating a young woman's slaying this week are working with officials from Interpol, Chile, Argentina and Colombia in the search for Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch man previously considered a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, the Peruvian justice minister said Thursday.

There is "incriminating evidence" linking van der Sloot to the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, who was found with multiple stab wounds in a Lima hotel room Wednesday, Cesar Guardia Vasquez, of Chile Interpol's criminal investigations unit, said at a news conference.

The hotel room where Flores was found was registered in van der Sloot's name, he said.

A hotel guest and an employee witnessed the pair entering the hotel room together at 5 a.m. on Sunday, Guardia said.

Police have video of the previous night, May 29, of van der Sloot and Flores together at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, he said.

According to immigration officials, van der Sloot fled to Chile over land on Monday, Guardia said.

"We have all the evidence to show that the killer is this man," the victim's father, businessman and race-car driver Ricardo Flores told CNN en Español.

Dutch Poker Pro On The Run Over Suspected Second Murder

Young Dutch poker pro Joran van der Sloot would appear to be on the run in South America, after the body of 21 year-old Stephany Flores was discovered in a Peruvian hotel shortly after being spotted with Sloot.
The murder took place on May 30th 2010, and in a possible case of history repeating itself, Joran van der Sloot was the prime suspect in another young woman’s disappearance, Natalee Ann Holloway, exactly five years earlier to the day in 2005.
Holloway went missing on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, and although no body was ever discovered, Sloot was arrested twice on suspicion of her murder. Police were unable to find sufficient evidence to charge him at the time and he was subsequently released.
Fast forward to 2010, and video evidence from a Lima casino early Sunday morning shows Joran van der Sloot with Stephany Flores just prior to her murder and, as Criminal police chief Gen. Cesar Guardia explains:
“We have an interview with a worker at the hotel who says she saw this foreigner with the victim enter his room.”
Apparently, the young poker pro had travelled from Aruba, Colombia, and onto Argentina, as he took part in the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). Joran van der Sloot then arrived in Lima to join the LAPT Lima poker event, which was due to start on June 2, when the incident occurred.
“He’s a poker player,” said assistant editor of Bon Dia Aruba, Harold Faro. “He goes to a lot of poker tournaments, and in Peru they had a big poker tournament.”
Sloot, who plays online at Party Poker under the name AANOTILTKK, won around $13,000 at their $300K Guaranteed tournament, last year and is said to have been a successful enough player to maintain a lavish lifestyle.
The day after Stephany Flores’ body was discovered, Sloot apparently fled to Chile by land and now has an international arrest warrant out on him.

Is Joran Van Der Sloot being physically abused in prison?

She married an infamous killer in prison. Then she had their baby. And now, she's become a media presence and human rights activist. Her critics claim she has a "complex personality" and suggest she's a "compulsive liar."

She is Leidy Figueroa, the 24 year-old wife of Joran van der Sloot, who is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for murder in Peru. Van der Sloot is also the main suspect in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.

In the past few weeks, Figueroa has become a media presence in Peru complaining about, what she alleges, is inhumane prison treatment of her 27-year-old husband. A few months ago, van der Sloot was transferred to a maximum security prison in the Andes Mountains. The Dutchman is the only foreigner in the facility.

Recently, Figueroa told media in Peru that her husband has been physically mistreated by prison guards. She showed The Daily Mail a handwritten letter, which she says was from van der Sloot, that read, "This is worse than Guantanamo." Last week, a television camera crew followed Figueroa as she brought her complaints to a human rights organization in Lima. And this past weekend, Figueroa visited van der Sloot for the first time at the Challapalca prison near the border of Peru and Bolivia.

After the visit, Figueroa said van der Sloot had been stabbed in the shoulder and waist by other inmates. She showed the media a bloody shirt that she claimed was her husband's. Van der Sloot's lawyer in Peru also told media in the Netherlands that the stab wounds were each two-inches deep.

However, Peru prison officials say the alleged stabbing never happened. Jose Perez, the head of Peru's prison system, told a local newspaper that in dealing with Figueroa, "we are facing a compulsive liar, that lady is lying and it is not the first time." Perez said that van der Sloot had recently received a visit from his mother and a representative from the Netherlands and there were no complaints from them.

There has been no word from Joran van der Sloot since the alleged stabbing over the weekend. Figueroa is standing by her claims. Perez told media, "No woman in her right mind would go to a maximum security prison and marry its most notorious killer."

Van der Sloot taken to prison on murder charge

Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, second left, is escorted by police officers in Lima, Friday, June 11, 2010. According to Peruvian police Van der Sloot has confessed to killing Peruvian citizen Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room on May 30. (AP Photo)

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LIMA, Peru&mdash Angry onlookers shouted "Disgrace!" and "Murderer!" at Joran van der Sloot on Friday after a judge ordered him jailed on first-degree murder and robbery charges in the beating and strangling death of a young Lima woman.

Prosecutors said the Dutchman, who was taken to a segregated block of an eastern Lima prison, acted with "ferocity and great cruelty" in killing 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores in his hotel room after they met playing poker.

Van der Sloot remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean resort island of Aruba, and Peru's criminal police chief says the defendant told interrogators he knows where her body is.

Aruba's attorney general, Taco Stein, told The Associated Press on Friday he is skeptical Van der Sloot was telling the truth about Holloway's body. He said Aruban officials will decide whether to sent investigators to Peru to question him once they learn exactly what he is offering.

Lima Superior Court Judge Juan Buendia issued a detention order before dawn for Van der Sloot on the murder charge. He was first taken with other prisoners in an armored truck to Lima's judicial palace, then alone to the maximum-security Castro Castro prison.

Police manhandled Van der Sloot as they ushered him to the judicial palace, a scarf around his neck and his hands cuffed behind him.

The more virulent catcalls and bile -- the sensational case has dominated Peru's news for a week -- came from onlookers as he was taken from the prosecutor's office where he had been held since Thursday. One onlooker threw spoiled lettuce.

Police say Van der Sloot brutally murdered Flores three days after meeting her at a casino. He broke her nose, strangled her, threw her to the floor then emptied her wallet and drove away in her SUV, said Gen. Cesar Guardia, chief of the criminal police.

The 6-foot-3 (190-centimeter-tall) Van der Sloot took about $300 worth of Peruvian currency, two credit cards and Flores' national ID card, Guardia said. He said the suspect abandoned her car in a lower-class Lima neighborhood before fleeing south to Chile by bus.

If convicted on the murder and robbery charges, Van der Sloot would be sentenced to between 15 and 35 years in prison, court spokesman Luis Gallardo told the AP.

"The aggravating factors are having acted with ferocity and great cruelty," said a news release issued by the court that announced the charges.

At Castro Castro prison, Van der Sloot was fed the Peruvian chicken dish "seco de pollo," prisons director Ruben Rodriguez said.

The Dutchman will have his own cell in a small block near the director's office. Rodriguez said Van der Sloot asked to be put in a cell by himself because he fears other inmates will kill him.

The only other two prisoners on the block are a reputed Colombian hit man charged with strangling a Peruvian socialite and a provincial mayor charged with laundering drug money

It was not yet known when the trial might begin. A judge must first be assigned to hear the case.

Flores was killed three days after meeting Van der Sloot, police say, and five years to the day after Holloway disappeared. Guardia said "a wealth of evidence" against the Dutchman includes closed-circuit video tracking him leaving the casino with Flores, entering his room with the woman and then leaving alone.

The police chief told the AP on Thursday night that when Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores investigators asked him about the Holloway case.

"He let slip that he knew the place where this person was buried," Guardia said.

The general said the Dutchman told investigators "he would only testify (on the matter) before Aruba authorities."

He said he didn't know how seriously to take Van der Sloot's comment given his history of dubious statements the Alabama teen's disappearance.

Stein, the Aruba attorney general, was cautious about the development.

"I'm not getting my hopes up," he told the AP. "Let's face it, he has been telling us many stories many times before."

Stein said that even if Van der Sloot did reveal what happened to Holloway, there was no guarantee her remains would be found.

Guardia said Van der Sloot confessed that he killed Flores, the daughter of a circus promoter and former race car driver, because she found out about the Aruba case by using his laptop without his permission.

Van der Sloot's newly hired Peruvian attorney, Maximo Altez, has asked the judge to declare his client's Monday confession void on the grounds it was made in the presence of a defense lawyer appointed by police.

Reached by the AP, Altez refused to discuss the case. He said Van der Sloot's schoolteacher mother, Anita, would be arriving early next week with the family's own media adviser.

The young man's father, a lawyer on Aruba, a Dutch territory, died in February while playing tennis.

Van der Sloot arrived in Peru on May 14, authorities say, four days after allegedly receiving $25,000 as part of an FBI sting aimed at resolving the Holloway case. U.S. prosecutors charged him with extortion four days after Flores was killed.

Prosecutors say the extortion case began when Van der Sloot contacted a New York lawyer for Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, in April seeking $250,000 in exchange for the location of the young woman's body, how she died and the identity of those involved.

The lawyer, John Kelly, contacted the FBI, which secretly recorded video of him giving Van der Sloot $10,000 in cash in Aruba on May 10 while $15,000 was wired to a bank account in the Dutch man's name, prosecutors say.

Van der Sloot was recorded telling Kelly he pushed Holloway down, and she hit her head on a rock and died, an affidavit says. He allegedly said his father helped him bury the body.

Van der Sloot admitted in a May 17 e-mail -- he was in Peru by then -- that he had lied about the location of Holloway's remains, prosecutors say.

That fit a pattern of Van der Sloot making confessions he later retracted.

Van der Sloot was the last person seen with Holloway before the girl vanished on the last night of a high school graduation trip. He was arrested twice but released both times for a lack of evidence.

Associated Press Writers Franklin Briceno and Carla Salazar in Lima and Michael Melia in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.


Holloway was the first of two children born to Dave and Elizabeth "Beth" Holloway (1960–) in Memphis, Tennessee. [1] Her parents divorced in 1993, and she and her younger brother Matthew were raised by their mother. In 2000, Beth married George "Jug" Twitty, a prominent Alabama businessman, and the family moved to Mountain Brook, Alabama. [25] Holloway graduated with honors in May 2005 from Mountain Brook High School, located in a wealthy suburb of Birmingham. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the school dance squad and participated in other extracurricular activities. [26] [27] Holloway was scheduled to attend the University of Alabama on a full scholarship, [28] where she planned to pursue a pre-med track. [29] At the time of his daughter's disappearance, Dave Holloway was an insurance agent for State Farm in Meridian, Mississippi, while Beth Twitty was employed by the Mountain Brook School System. [25] [30] [31]

On Thursday, May 26, 2005, Holloway and 124 fellow graduates of Mountain Brook High School arrived in Aruba for a five-day, unofficial graduation trip. [26] [32] The teenagers were accompanied by seven chaperones. [33] According to teacher and chaperone Bob Plummer, the chaperones met with the students each day to make sure everything was fine. [34] Jodi Bearman, who organized the trip, stated, "the chaperones were not supposed to keep up with their every move." [33] [35] Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig, who headed the investigation from mid-2005 until 2006, stated that the Mountain Brook students engaged in "wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. We know the Holiday Inn told them they weren't welcome next year. Natalee, we know, she drank all day every day. We have statements she started every morning with cocktails—so much drinking that Natalee didn't show up for breakfast two mornings." [33] Two of Holloway's classmates, Liz Cain and Claire Fierman, "agreed that the drinking was kind of excessive." [36]

Holloway was last seen by her classmates around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30, as she was leaving the Oranjestad bar and nightclub Carlos'n Charlie's. [37] [38] She left in a car with 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot—a Dutch honors student who was living in Aruba and attending the International School of Aruba— [39] and his two Surinamese friends, brothers 21-year-old Deepak Kalpoe (the owner of the car) [40] and 18-year-old Satish Kalpoe. [8] [40] [41] Holloway was scheduled to fly home later that day, but she did not appear for her return flight. [5] Her packed luggage and her passport were found in her Holiday Inn room. [8] [33] Aruban authorities initiated searches for Holloway throughout the island and surrounding waters but did not find her. [8]

Early investigation Edit

Immediately following Holloway's missed flight, her mother and stepfather flew with friends to Aruba by private jet. [7] Within four hours of landing on the island, the Twittys presented the Aruban police with the name and address of Van der Sloot, who was the person with whom Holloway left the nightclub. [7] Beth stated that Van der Sloot's full name was given to her by the night manager at the Holiday Inn, who supposedly recognized him on a videotape. [28] The Twittys and their friends went to the Van der Sloot home with two Aruban policemen to look for Holloway. Van der Sloot initially denied knowing Holloway's name, but he then told a story corroborated by Deepak Kalpoe, who was present in the house: [33] Van der Sloot related that they drove Holloway to the California Lighthouse area of Arashi Beach because she wanted to see sharks they later dropped Holloway off at her hotel at around 2:00 a.m. [42] According to Van der Sloot, Holloway fell down as she exited the car but refused his help. [42] He stated that as he and Kalpoe were driving away, Holloway was approached by a dark man in a black shirt similar to those worn by security guards. [42]

The search and rescue efforts for Holloway began immediately. Hundreds of volunteers from Aruba and the United States joined in the effort. During the first days of the search, the Aruban government gave thousands of civil servants the day off to participate in the rescue effort. [12] 50 Dutch marines conducted an extensive search of the shoreline. [13] Aruban banks raised $20,000 and provided other support to aid volunteer search teams. [15] Beth Twitty was provided with housing, initially at the Holiday Inn where she coincidentally stayed in the same room her daughter had occupied. [43] She subsequently stayed at the presidential suite of the nearby Wyndham Hotel. [33]

Reports indicated that Holloway did not appear on any nighttime surveillance camera footage of the hotel lobby [44] however, Twitty has made varying statements as to whether the cameras were operational that night. According to an April 19, 2006, statement made by Twitty, the video cameras at the Holiday Inn were not functioning the night Holloway vanished. [44] Twitty has made other statements indicating that they were working and has stated so in her book. [45] [46] Police Commissioner Jan van der Straaten — the initial head of the investigation until his 2005 retirement — said that Holloway did not have to go through the lobby to return to her room. [47]

The search for physical evidence was extensive and subject to occasional false leads for example, a possible blood sample taken from Deepak Kalpoe's car was tested but determined not to be blood. [48]

American law enforcement cooperated substantially with Aruban authorities from the early days of the investigation. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated to reporters that the United States was in constant contact with Aruban authorities. Another State Department official indicated, "Substantial resources are being applied to this as they [Aruba officials] continue to ask for more." [49]

2005 arrests of multiple suspects Edit

On June 5, Aruban police detained Nick John and Abraham Jones, former security guards [50] from the nearby Allegro Hotel [6] (which was then closed for renovation) [51] on suspicion of murder and kidnapping. [52] Authorities have never officially disclosed the reason for their arrests, but, according to news accounts, statements made by Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers may have been a factor in their arrests. [53] [54] Reports also indicated that the two former guards were known for cruising hotels to pick up women, and at least one of them had a prior incident with law enforcement. [55] John and Jones were released on June 13 without being charged. [40]

On June 9, Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers were arrested on suspicion of the kidnapping and murder of Holloway. [56] Aruban law allows for investigators to make an arrest based on serious suspicion. In order to continue holding the suspect in custody, an increasing evidential burden must be met at periodic reviews. [52] [57] According to Dompig, the focus of the investigation centered on these three suspects from the "get-go". [36] Dompig stated that close observation of the three men began three days after Holloway was reported missing, and the investigation included surveillance, telephone wiretaps, and even monitoring of their e-mail. [36] Dompig indicated that pressure from Holloway's family caused the police to prematurely stop their surveillance and detain the three suspects. [36]

As the investigation continued, David Cruz—spokesman for the Aruban Minister of Justice—falsely indicated on June 11 that Holloway was dead and that authorities knew the location of her body. [58] Cruz later retracted the statement, saying he was a victim of a "misinformation campaign". [58] That evening, Dompig alleged to the Associated Press that one of the detained young men admitted "something bad happened" to Holloway after the suspects took her to the beach and that the suspect was leading police to the scene. [58] The next morning, prosecution spokeswoman Vivian van der Biezen refused to confirm or deny the allegation, simply stating that the investigation was at a "very crucial, very important moment". [58]

On June 17, a sixth person later identified as disc jockey Steve Gregory Croes was also arrested. Van der Straaten told the media that "Croes was detained based on information from one of the other three detainees." [35] On June 22, Aruban police detained Van der Sloot's father, Paulus van der Sloot, for questioning he was arrested that same day. Both Paulus and Croes were ordered to be released on June 26. [40]

During this period, the suspects who had been detained changed their stories. [40] All three indicated that Van der Sloot and Holloway were dropped off at the Marriott Hotel beach near the fishermen's huts. Van der Sloot stated that he did not harm Holloway but left her on the beach. [59] According to Satish Kalpoe's attorney, David Kock, Van der Sloot called Deepak Kalpoe to tell the latter that he was walking home and sent him a text message forty minutes later. [40] At some time during the interrogation, Van der Sloot detailed a third account that he was dropped off at home and Holloway was driven off by the Kalpoe brothers. [33] Dompig discounted the story, stating:

This latest story [came] when [Van der Sloot] saw the other guys, the Kalpoes, were kind of finger-pointing in his direction, and he wanted to screw them also, by saying he was dropped off. But that story doesn't check out at all. He just wanted to screw Deepak. They had great arguments about this in front of the judge. Because their stories didn't match. This girl, she was from Alabama, she's not going to stay in the car with two black kids. We believe the second story, that they were dropped off by the Marriott. [33]

Following hearings before a judge, the Kalpoe brothers were released on Monday, July 4, but Van der Sloot was detained for an additional 60 days. [60]

Continued search, rearrests and releases Edit

On July 4, the Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed three F-16 aircraft equipped with infrared sensors to aid in the search, but the results came up empty. [12] [14] In March 2006 it was reported that satellite photos were being compared with photographs taken more recently (presumably from the F-16s) in an attempt to find unexpected shifts of ground that might be Holloway's grave. [61]

After a local gardener [62] came forward with information, a small pond near the Aruba Racquet Club close to the Marriott Hotel beach was partly drained between July 27 and 30, 2005. According to Jug Twitty, the gardener claimed to have seen Van der Sloot attempting to hide his face as he drove into the Racquet Club with the Kalpoe brothers on the very early morning of May 30 between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. [63] Nancy Grace described the gardener as "the man whose testimony cracks the case wide open". [64] Another person, "the jogger", [33] claimed to have seen men burying a blonde-haired woman in a landfill during the afternoon of May 30. [65] The police had searched the landfill in the days following Holloway's disappearance. [65] After the jogger's statements, the landfill was searched three more times the FBI used cadaver dogs to assist in the recovery operation. [66] The searches were fruitless. [33]

Holloway's family initially offered $175,000 and donors offered $50,000 for her safe return. [27] Two months after her disappearance, the reward was increased from $200,000 to $1,000,000, with a $100,000 reward for information leading to the location of her remains. [67] In August 2005, the reward for information leading to Natalee's corpse was increased from $100,000 to $250,000. [68]

The FBI announced that Aruban authorities had provided its agency with documents, suspect interviews, and other evidence. Investigators found a piece of duct tape with strands of blond hair attached to it the samples were tested at a Dutch lab. A group from the Aruban police and prosecutor's office then traveled to the FBI central laboratory at Quantico, Virginia, to consult with American investigators. The hair samples were then tested a second time. [67] [69] The FBI announced that the hair samples did not belong to Holloway. [70]

The Kalpoe brothers were rearrested on August 26 along with another new suspect, 21-year-old Freddy Arambatzis. [16] Arambatzis' lawyer said that his client was suspected of taking photographs of an underage girl and having inappropriate physical contact with the same girl. This incident allegedly occurred before the Holloway disappearance. Arambatzis' friends Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers were supposedly involved in the incident. Van der Sloot's mother, Anita van der Sloot, stated, "It's a desperate attempt to get the boys to talk. But there is nothing to talk about." [71] While no public explanation was then made for the Kalpoe rearrests, Dompig later said that it was an unsuccessful attempt to pressure the brothers into confessing. [33]

On September 3, the four detained suspects were released by a judge despite the attempts of the prosecution to keep them in custody. The suspects were released on the condition that they remain available to police. [72] On September 14, all restrictions on them were removed by the Combined Appeals Court of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. [73]

In the months following his release, Van der Sloot gave several interviews that explained his version of events. The most notable interview was broadcast on Fox News over three nights in March 2006. During the interview, Van der Sloot indicated that Holloway wanted to have sex with him, but he did not because he didn't have a condom. [74] He stated that Holloway wanted them to stay on the beach, but that he had to go to school in the morning. According to Van der Sloot, he was picked up by Satish Kalpoe at about 3:00 am and left Holloway sitting on the beach. [75] In August 2005, David Kock, Kalpoe's attorney, stated that his client had gone to sleep, and had not returned to drive Van der Sloot home. [76] Van der Sloot stated that he was somewhat ashamed to have left a young woman alone on the beach, albeit by her own request, and related that he was not truthful at first because he was convinced that Holloway would soon turn up. [75]

In January 2006, the FBI and Aruban authorities interviewed—or in some cases, re-interviewed—several of Holloway's classmates in Alabama. [77] On January 17, Aruban police searched for Holloway's body in sand dunes on the northwest coast of Aruba, as well as areas close by the Marriott beach. [78] Additional searches took place in March and April 2006, without result. [36]

Shortly before leaving the case, Dompig gave an interview to CBS in which he stated that he believed Holloway was not murdered but probably died from alcohol and/or drug poisoning, and that someone later hid her body. Dompig also stated that Aruba had spent about $3 million on the investigation, which was about 40% of the police operational budget. [36] Dompig indicated that there was evidence that pointed to possession (though not necessarily use) of illicit drugs by Holloway. [18] [79] Members of Holloway's family have denied that she used drugs. [80]

On April 11, 2006, Dave Holloway published a book—co-authored with R. Stephanie Good and Larry Garrison—called Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise, that recounted the search for his daughter. [25] [81]

2006 arrests of new suspects Dutch investigation takeover Edit

On April 15, 2006, Geoffrey van Cromvoirt was arrested by Aruban authorities on suspicion of criminal offenses related to dealing in narcotics which, according to the prosecutor, might have been related to the disappearance of Holloway. [82] At his first court appearance, his detention was extended by eight days. Van Cromvoirt was released, however, on April 25. [83] In addition, another individual with initials "A.B." was arrested on April 22, but was released the same day. [83]

On May 17, another suspect, Guido Wever (the son of a former Aruban politician) was detained in the Netherlands on suspicion of assisting in the abducting, battering, and killing of Holloway. [84] Wever was questioned for six days in Utrecht. Aruban prosecutors initially sought his transfer to the island, but he was instead released by agreement between the prosecutor and Wever's attorney. [85]

At Aruba's request, the Netherlands took over the investigation. Following receipt of extensive case documentation in Rotterdam, a team of the Dutch National Police started work on the case in September. [86] On April 16, 2007, a combined Aruban–Dutch team began pursuing the investigation in Aruba. [86]

Book, search, and inspection Edit

A book by Van der Sloot and reporter Zvezdana Vukojevic, De zaak Natalee Holloway (The Case of Natalee Holloway) was published in Dutch in April 2007. [87] In the book, Van der Sloot gives his perspective of the night Holloway disappeared and the media frenzy that followed. He admits to and apologizes for his initial untruths, but maintains his innocence. [88]

On April 27, a new search involving approximately 20 investigators was launched at the Van der Sloot family residence in Aruba. [89] [90] Dutch authorities searched the yard and surrounding area, using shovels and thin metal rods to penetrate the dirt. [89] Prosecution spokeswoman Van der Biezen stated, "The investigation has never stopped and the Dutch authorities are completely reviewing the case for new indications." [89] A statement from the prosecutor's office related, "The team has indications that justify a more thorough search." [89] Investigators did not comment on what prompted the new search, [89] except that it was not related to Van der Sloot's book. [86] According to Paulus van der Sloot, "nothing suspicious" was found, and all that was seized were diary entries of him and his wife, and his personal computer—which was subsequently returned. [91] According to Jossy Mansur, managing editor of Aruba's Diario newspaper, investigators were following up on statements made during early suspect interrogations regarding communications between the Kalpoe brothers and Van der Sloot. He also said investigators could be seen examining a laptop at the house. [92]

On May 12, the Kalpoe family residence was searched by the authorities. [93] The two brothers were detained for about an hour upon objecting to the entry by police and Dutch investigators, but were released when the authorities left. [93] [94] According to Kock, the brothers objected to the search because officials did not show them an order justifying the intrusion. A statement from Van der Biezen did not mention what, if anything, officials were searching for, but indicated nothing was removed from the home. [93] [94] A subsequent statement from Het Openbaar Ministerie van Aruba (the Aruban prosecutor's office) indicated that the purpose of the visit was to "get a better image of the place or circumstances where an offense may have been committed and to understand the chain of events leading to the offense." [95] [96]

2007 rearrests and re-releases Edit

Citing what was described as newly discovered evidence, Aruban investigators rearrested Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers on November 21, 2007, on suspicion of involvement in "manslaughter and causing serious bodily harm that resulted in the death of Holloway." [9] Van der Sloot was detained by Dutch authorities in the Netherlands, while the Kalpoe brothers were detained in Aruba. [9] Van der Sloot was returned to Aruba, where he was incarcerated. [9]

Soon after, Dave Holloway announced a new search for his daughter that probed the sea beyond the original 330-foot (100 m) depths in which earlier searches had taken place. [97] That search involved a vessel called the Persistence and was abandoned due to lack of funds at the end of February 2008, when nothing of significance was found. [98]

On November 30, a judge ordered the release of the Kalpoe brothers. Despite attempts by the prosecution to extend their detention, [99] [100] the brothers were released on the following day. [101] The prosecution appealed their release, which was denied on December 5, with the court writing, "Notwithstanding expensive and lengthy investigations on her disappearance and on people who could be involved, the file against the suspect does not contain direct indications that Natalee passed away due to a violent crime." [102] Van der Sloot was released without charge on December 7 due to lack of evidence implicating him as well as a lack of evidence that Holloway died as the result of a violent crime. The prosecution indicated it would not appeal. [103]

On December 18, prosecutor Hans Mos officially declared the case closed, and that no charges would be filed due to lack of evidence. [104] [105] The prosecution indicated a continuing interest in Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers (though they legally ceased to be suspects), and alleged that one of the three, in a chat room message, had stated that Holloway was dead. This was hotly contested by Deepak Kalpoe's attorney, who stated that the prosecution, in translating from Papiamento to Dutch, had misconstrued a reference to a teacher who had drowned as one to Holloway. [106] Attorney Ronald Wix also stated, "Unless [Mos] finds a body in the bathroom of one of these kids, there's no way in hell they can arrest them anymore." [107]

Dutch television programme Edit

On January 31, 2008, Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries claimed that he had solved the Holloway case. [108] De Vries stated that he would tell all on a special television program on Dutch television on February 3. [108] On February 1, the Dutch media reported that Van der Sloot made a confession regarding Holloway's disappearance. Later that day, Van der Sloot stated that he was telling the individual what he wanted to hear, and denied any involvement in her disappearance. [109] That same day, the Aruba prosecutor's office announced the reopening of the case. [22]

The broadcast, aired on February 3, 2008, included excerpts from footage recorded from hidden cameras and microphones in the vehicle of Patrick van der Eem, a Dutch businessman and ex-convict [110] who gained Van der Sloot's confidence. Van der Sloot was seen smoking marijuana [111] 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. [112] An individual reputed to be this friend, identified in the broadcast as Daury, has denied Van der Sloot's account, indicating that he was then in Rotterdam at school. [113]

The Aruban prosecutor's office attempted to obtain an arrest warrant for Van der Sloot based on the tapes however, a judge denied the request. [114] The prosecutor appealed the denial, but the appeal failed on February 14. [115] The appeals court held that the statements on the tape were inconsistent with evidence in the case and were insufficient to hold Van der Sloot. [116] On February 8, Van der Sloot met with Aruban investigators in the Netherlands and denied that what he said on the tape was true, stating that he was under the influence of marijuana at the time. Van der Sloot indicated that he still maintains that he left Holloway behind on the beach. [110]

In March 2008, news reports indicated that Van der Eem was secretly taped after giving an interview for Aruban television. Van der Eem, under the impression that cameras had been turned off, disclosed that he had been a friend of Van der Sloot for years (contradicting his statement on De Vries' show that he had met Van der Sloot in 2007), that he expected to become a millionaire through his involvement in the Holloway case, and that he knew the person who supposedly disposed of Holloway's body—and that Van der Sloot had asked him for two thousand euros to buy the man's silence. According to Dutch news service ANP, Van der Eem, who had already signed a book deal, "was furious" after learning of the taping and "threatened" the interviewer, who sought legal advice. [117] Van der Eem's book Overboord (Overboard), [118] co-written with E.E. Byars, was released (in Dutch) on June 25. [119] Van der Eem was arrested on December 13 in the Netherlands for allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a crowbar and engaging in risky driving behavior while fleeing police. [120]

The De Vries broadcast was discussed in a seminar by Dutch legal psychologist Willem Albert Wagenaar, who indicated that the statements did not constitute a confession. Wagenaar criticized De Vries for broadcasting the material, stating that the broadcast made it harder to obtain a conviction, and 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. Wagenaar opined that not only was the case not solved, it was not even clear that a crime had been committed. Professor Crisje Brants, in the same seminar, also criticized De Vries' methods. [121]

On November 24, Fox News aired an interview with Van der Sloot in which he alleged that he sold Holloway into sexual slavery, receiving money both when Holloway was taken, and later on to keep quiet. Van der Sloot also alleged that his father paid off two police officers who had learned that Holloway was taken to Venezuela. Van der Sloot later retracted the statements made in the interview. [23] Fox News also aired part of an audio recording provided by Van der Sloot, which he alleged is a phone conversation between him and his father, in which the father displays knowledge of his son's purported involvement in human trafficking. According to Mos, this voice heard on the recording is not that of Paulus van der Sloot—the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the "father's" voice is almost certainly that of Joran van der Sloot himself, trying to speak in a lower tone. [122] Paulus died of a heart attack on February 10, 2010. [123]

On March 20, 2009, Dave Holloway transported a search dog to Aruba to search a small reservoir in the northern part of the island. The reservoir was previously identified by a supposed witness as a possible location of Natalee's remains. Aruban authorities indicated that they had no new information in the case, but that Holloway had been given permission to conduct the search. [124]

On February 23, 2010, it was reported that 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. New chief prosecutor Peter Blanken indicated that authorities had investigated the latest story, and had dismissed it. Blanken stated that the "locations, names, and times he gave just did not make sense." [125]

In March 2010, underwater searches were conducted by Aruban authorities after an American couple reported [126] that they were snorkeling when they photographed what they thought might be human skeletal remains, possibly those of Holloway. Aruban authorities sent divers to investigate, but no remains were ever recovered. [127]

Van der Sloot's extortion of Holloway family Edit

On March 29, 2010, Van der Sloot contacted John Q. Kelly, Beth Twitty's legal representative, with an offer to reveal the location of Holloway's body and the circumstances surrounding her death, if he were given advance of US$25,000 against a total of $250,000. [128] After Kelly notified the FBI, they arranged to proceed with the transaction. [129] [130] On May 10, Van der Sloot had a $15,000 wire transferred to his account in the Netherlands, following the receipt of $10,000 in cash that was videotaped by undercover investigators in Aruba. [131] Authorities stated that the information that he provided in return was false because the house in which he said Holloway's body was located had not yet been built at the time of her disappearance. [132] On June 3, Van der Sloot was charged in the U.S. District Court of Northern Alabama with extortion and wire fraud. [133] U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance obtained an arrest warrant and transmitted it to Interpol. [134] [135] On June 30, Van der Sloot was indicted on the charges. [136]

At the request of the U.S. Justice Department, authorities conducted a June 4 raid and confiscated items from two homes in the Netherlands. One of the homes belonged to reporter Jaap Amesz, who had previously interviewed Van der Sloot and claimed knowledge of his criminal activities. [137] Aruban investigators used information gathered from the extortion case to launch a new search at a beach, but no new evidence was found. [138] Dave Holloway returned to Aruba on June 14 to pursue possible new clues. [139]

Van der Sloot's murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez in Peru Edit

On May 30, 2010—five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance—Stephany Flores Ramírez, a 21-year-old business student, was reported missing in Lima, Peru. She was found dead three days later in a hotel room registered in Van der Sloot's name. [140] On June 3, Van der Sloot was arrested in Chile on a murder charge and extradited to Peru the next day. [141] On June 7, Peruvian authorities said that Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores after he lost his temper because she accessed his laptop without permission and found information linking him to Holloway. [142] Police chief César Guardia related that Van der Sloot told Peruvian police that he knew where Holloway's body was and offered to help Aruban authorities find it. [129] [143] However, Guardia stated that the interrogation was limited to their case in Peru, and that questions about Holloway's disappearance were avoided. [144] On June 11, Van der Sloot was charged in Lima Superior Court with first-degree murder and robbery. [145] On June 15, Aruban and Peruvian authorities announced an agreement to cooperate and allow investigators from Aruba to interview Van der Sloot at Miguel Castro Castro prison in Peru. [146] In a September 2010 interview from the prison, Van der Sloot reportedly admitted to the extortion plot, stating: "I wanted to get back at Natalee's family—her parents have been making my life tough for five years." [147] On January 11, 2012, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to murdering Flores [19] and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. [148]

Declaration of death Edit

In June 2011 (six years after Natalee's disappearance), Dave Holloway filed a petition with the Alabama courts to have his daughter declared legally dead. The papers were served on his ex-wife Beth Twitty, who announced her intention to oppose the petition. [149] A hearing was held on September 23, 2011, at which time Probate Judge Alan King ruled that Dave Holloway had met the requirements for a legal presumption of death. [150] On January 12, 2012, a second hearing was held, after which Judge King signed the order declaring Natalee Holloway to be dead. [19]

Unrelated bone discovery, contested Oxygen documentary Edit

On November 12, 2010, tourists found a jawbone on an Aruban beach near the Phoenix Hotel and Bubali Swamp. [151] Preliminary examination by a forensic expert determined that the bone was from a young woman. [152] A part of the bone was sent to The Hague for testing by the Netherlands Forensic Institute. [152] [153] On November 23, 2010, Aruba Solicitor-General Taco Stein announced that based on dental records, the jawbone was not of Holloway, and it was not even possible to determine whether it had come from a man or woman. [154]

In 2016, Dave Holloway hired a private investigator, T.J. Ward, to once more go through all evidence and information related to the disappearance of his daughter. This led to an informant, Gabriel, who claimed to have been a roommate of one of Van der Sloot's closest friends, American John Ludwick, in 2005. Gabriel claimed that Ludwick was told what became of Natalee. [155] [156] In an interview with the Oxygen television channel, Gabriel gave a detailed description of what happened on the night of Natalee's disappearance. Oxygen created a new documentary series on Natalee's disappearance that aired on August 19, 2017. Using Gabriel's information, the investigator had found what appeared to be human bones. On October 3, 2017, DNA testing concluded that one piece of bone was human but did not belong to Natalee. [157]

On the show, Ludwick claimed to have helped Van der Sloot dig up, smash and cremate Holloway's bones in 2010. In February 2018, Elizabeth Holloway sued the producers, alleging this and other claims are fictional and harmfully lurid, and that she was misled into providing a DNA sample for comparison without being made aware of plans for a show. In March 2018, Ludwick was stabbed to death by a woman he tried to kidnap. [158]

The Twittys and their supporters criticized a perceived lack of progress by Aruban police. [159] [160] The Twittys' own actions in Aruba were also criticized, and the Twittys were accused of actively stifling any evidence that might impugn Holloway's character by asking her fellow students to remain silent about the case and using their access to the media to push their own version of events. The Twittys denied this. [33]

In televised interviews and in a book, Beth Twitty alleged that Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers knew more about Holloway's disappearance than they have told authorities and that at least one of them sexually assaulted or raped her daughter. [161] On July 5, 2005, following the initial release of the Kalpoes, Twitty alleged, "Two suspects were released yesterday who were involved in a violent crime against my daughter," [15] and referred to the Kalpoes as "criminals". [57] A demonstration involving about two hundred Arubans took place that evening outside the Oranjestad courthouse. The protesters were angry over Twitty's remarks, with signs reading, "Innocent until proven guilty" and, "Respect our Dutch laws or go home." [57] [162] Satish Kalpoe's attorney threatened legal action and described Twitty's allegations as "prejudicial, inflammatory, libelous, and totally outrageous." On July 8, 2005, Twitty read a statement that said her remarks were fuelled by "despair and frustration" and that she "apologize[d] to the Aruban people and to the Aruban authorities if I or my family offended you in any way." [162]

What we want is, we want justice. And you know—and we have to recognize the fact that, you know, this crime has been committed on the island of Aruba, and we know the perpetrators. We know it's these suspects, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe and Joran Van Der Sloot. And you know, we just have to, though, keep going, Nancy, because the only way we will get justice for Natalee is if we do keep going. I mean, if we give up, absolutely nothing will happen. Nothing.

Following the airing of the De Vries programme on Dutch television, Twitty adhered to the position that the tapes represented the way events transpired and told the New York Post that she believed her daughter might still be alive if Van der Sloot had called for help. She contended that Van der Sloot had dumped Holloway's body, possibly alive, into the Caribbean ocean. [165] Twitty also alleged that the person Van der Sloot supposedly called that evening was his father, Paulus, who, according to Twitty, "orchestrated what to do next". [166] Holloway's parents alleged that Van der Sloot was receiving "special legal favors". [166] After the court decision not to rearrest Van der Sloot was affirmed, Twitty stated, "I think that what I do take comfort in, his life is a living hell," [167] later adding, "I'd be good with a Midnight Express prison anywhere for Joran." [168]

In response to her daughter's disappearance, Twitty founded the International Safe Travels Foundation, [169] a non-profit organization designed "to inform and educate the public to help them travel more safely as they travel internationally." [170] In May 2010, she announced that the Natalee Holloway Resource Center would open at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment. Located in Washington, D.C., the center opened on June 8 to aid families of missing people. [171]

Holloway's family initially discouraged a travel boycott of Aruba, but this changed by September 2005. Twitty urged that people not travel to Aruba and other Dutch territories because of what she stated were tourist safety issues. In a November 8, 2005, news conference, Governor Bob Riley and the Holloways urged Alabamians and others to boycott Aruba. [10] Riley also wrote to other United States governors seeking their support—the governors of Georgia and Arkansas eventually joined in the call for a boycott. Philadelphia's city council voted to ask the Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to call for a boycott. [172] Rendell did not do so, and no federal support was given. [10] [11]

The boycott was supported by some of Alabama's Congressional delegation, including both senators and Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL), who represents Mountain Brook. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) voiced his support for the boycott in a letter to the American Society of Travel Agents. [173] Shelby stated, "For the safety, security and well-being of our citizens, I do not believe that we can trust that we will be protected while in Aruba." [173] Prime Minister Oduber stated that Aruban investigators have done their best to solve the case, and responded to the call for boycott, "This is a preposterous and irresponsible act. We are not guerillas. We are not terrorists. We don't pose a threat to the United States, nor to Alabama." [174]

Members of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, the Aruba Tourism Authority, the Aruba Hospitality and Security Foundation, the Aruban Chamber of Commerce and government figures, including Public Relations Representative Ruben Trapenberg, formed an "Aruba Strategic Communications Task Force" to respond collectively to what they perceived to be unfounded and/or negative portrayals of the island. [175] The group issued press releases and sent representatives to appear in news media. They joined the Aruban government in opposing the calls for a boycott of the island. [33]

Skeeters tape and Dr. Phil lawsuits Edit

On September 15, 2005, the Dr. Phil television show showed parts of a hidden camera interview with Deepak Kalpoe in which he seemingly affirmed a suggestion that Holloway had sex with all three men. [161] The taping had been instigated by Jamie Skeeters, a private investigator. When the tape was broadcast, news reports indicated an expectation of a rearrest, which Dompig termed a "strong possibility" if the tapes were legitimate. [176]

Aruban police subsequently provided a fuller version of the relevant part of the tape in which Kalpoe's response differed from the Dr. Phil version, apparently due to editing that may have altered the meaning of what was said. [177] An unofficial Aruban-affiliated spokesperson and commentator on the case said that the uncut videotape showed that Kalpoe had shaken his head and said, "No, she didn't", thereby denying that Holloway had sex with him and the other two men. According to an MSNBC report, the crucial words are inaudible, and presenter Rita Cosby questioned if it could be substantiated that Kalpoe had ever made the statements attributed to him in the Dr. Phil version of the recording. [178]

In December 2006, the Kalpoes filed a slander and libel suit against Skeeters (who died in January 2007) and Dr. Phil [12] in Los Angeles, California. [179] Holloway's parents responded by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kalpoes in the same venue. The wrongful death suit was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction on June 1, 2007 [179] the libel and slander case was initially set for trial on October 12, 2011 [180] but was later set for April 2015. [181] An earlier suit had been filed in New York City by Holloway's parents against Joran and Paulus van der Sloot and served on them on a visit to New York. The case had been dismissed in August 2006 as filed in an inconvenient forum. [182]

On November 10, 2005, Paulus van der Sloot won an unjust detention action against the Aruban government, clearing him as a suspect and allowing him to retain his government contract. [73] The elder Van der Sloot then brought a second action, seeking monetary damages for himself and his family because of his false arrest. [183] [184] The action was initially successful, but the award of damages was reversed on appeal. [185]

Amigoe article Edit

The Amigoe newspaper reported on interviews with Julia Renfro and Dompig in which they said that Aruban authorities had been systematically obstructed in their investigation by U.S. officials. They also said that within a day of Holloway's being reported missing, a medjet, unauthorized by Aruban authorities, had arrived on Aruba and had remained for several days for the purpose of covertly taking Holloway off the island without notifying local authorities. [186] Renfro, an American-born editor of an English-language daily, Aruba Today, who at the time of Holloway's disappearance had become close friends with Twitty, also said she and Twitty received a phone call from an unknown woman on June 2, 2005, asking for money in return for information about Holloway's location, and asserting that Holloway was unwilling to return to her mother. According to Renfro, she and another American went to a drug house where Holloway supposedly was, bringing money, but found that Jug Twitty had already been to the area, spreading "a lot of uproar and panic in the direct vicinity", and nothing could be accomplished. [186] The Twittys disputed Renfro's accounts, with Beth Twitty describing Renfro as "a witch". [33]

Film adaptations Edit

On April 19, 2009, LMN aired Natalee Holloway, a television film based on Twitty's book Loving Natalee. [187] Starring Tracy Pollan as Beth Twitty, Grant Show as Jug Twitty, Amy Gumenick as Holloway, and Jacques Strydom as Van der Sloot, the film retells events leading up to the night of Holloway's disappearance in 2005 and the ensuing investigation in the aftermath. It was shot in South Africa. [188]

The movie stages re-creations of various scenarios based on the testimony of key players and suspects, including Van der Sloot. The broadcast of the film attracted 3.2 million viewers, garnering the highest television ratings in the network's eleven year history. [189] Although it set ratings records for Lifetime, the movie received mixed reviews from critics. Alec Harvey of The Birmingham News called the movie "sloppy and uneven, a forgettable look at the tragedy that consumed the nation's attention for months." [190] However, Jake Meaney of PopMatters found the film surprisingly "calm and levelheaded", and praised Pollan's portrayal of Holloway's mother. [191]

A follow-up film, Justice for Natalee Holloway, aired in mid-2011 on LMN. This film picks up in 2010, on the five-year anniversary of Holloway's disappearance.

TV adaptations Edit

In an episode of Vanished with Beth Holloway, Beth recounted the story of Natalee's disappearance, which is reenacted for the show.

U.S. television networks devoted substantial air time to the search for Holloway, the investigation of her disappearance, and rumors surrounding the case. Greta Van Susteren, host of Fox News' On the Record, and Nancy Grace, on her eponymous Headline News program, were among the most prominent television personalities to devote time to the incident. Van Susteren's almost continuous coverage of the story garnered On the Record its best ratings to date, [192] while Grace's show became the cornerstone of the new "Headline Prime" block on Headline News, which ran two episodes (a live show and a repeat) every night during primetime. As the case wore on, much of the attention was given to Beth Twitty and her statements. [193] Aruban government spokesman Ruben Trapenberg stated, "The case is under a microscope, and the world is watching." [43]

The saturation of coverage triggered a backlash among some critics who argued that such extensive media attention validated the "missing white woman syndrome" theory, which argues that missing person cases involving white women and girls receive disproportionately more attention in the media compared with cases involving white males or people of color. CNN ran a segment criticizing the amount of coverage their competitors gave to the story despite what they characterized as a lack of new items to report, with CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper calling the coverage "downright ridiculous". [194]

Early in the case, political commentator and columnist Arianna Huffington wrote, "If you were to get your news only from television, you'd think the top issue facing our country right now is an 18-year-old girl named Natalee who went missing in Aruba. Every time one of these stories comes up, like, say, Michael Jackson, when it's finally over I think, what a relief, now we can get back to real news. But we never do." [4] In March 2008, El Diario commented, "But if doubts persist about cases involving missing Latinos, there are reasons why. These cases rarely receive the attention and resources we see given to other missing persons. The English language media, for example, appear to be focused on the stories of missing white women, such as with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. Cases of missing Latino and African-American women often remain faceless, if and when they are even covered." [195]

CBS senior journalist Danna Walker stated, "There is criticism that it is only a story because she is a pretty blonde—and white—and it is criticism that journalists are taking to heart and looking elsewhere for other stories. But it is a big story because it is an American girl who went off on an adventure and didn't come back. It is a huge mystery, it is something people can identify with." [4] Good Morning America anchor Chris Cuomo was unapologetic of his program's extensive coverage of the Holloway case, stating: "I don't believe it's my role to judge what people want to watch … If they say, 'I want to know what happened to this girl' … I want to help them find out." [196]

Holloway's family, however, took the opposite approach and criticized the lessening of coverage of her disappearance due to a shift in news priority when Hurricane Katrina struck on August 23, 2005. The saturation coverage of Holloway's disappearance would ultimately be eclipsed by the hurricane. [197] [198] Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway alleged that Aruba took advantage of the extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina to release the suspects [197] however, the deadline for judicial review of Van der Sloot's detention was set long before Katrina. [73]

Dave Holloway lamented in his book:

Hurricane Katrina had left the door open for the boys to be sent on their way with little publicity and few restrictions because it took the world's focus off of Natalee, but only for a brief time. The huge amount of publicity had waned and, during that time of quiet for us, Joran and the Kalpoe brothers were sent home . All of the news shows that had followed our every move only a day before had now become fixated on the next big ratings grabber: the victims of Hurricane Katrina. [198]

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  394. Holloway, Dave Good, R. Stephanie Garrison, Larry (April 2006). Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. pp. 124, 150. ISBN978-1-59555-063-7 . OCLC63472537. Hurricane Katrina had left the door open for the boys to be sent on their way with little publicity and few restrictions because it took the world's focus off of Natalee, but only for a brief time. The huge amount of publicity had waned and, during that time of quiet for us, Joran and the Kalpoe brothers were sent home … All of the news shows that had followed our every move only a day before had now become fixated on the next big ratings grabber: the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Phillips, Kristine (March 15, 2018). "Man who said he disposed of Natalee Holloway's remains is killed by a woman he tried to kidnap". Chicago Tribune.
  • "Natalee Holloway Resource Center". National Museum of Crime & Punishment.
  • "Aruba Judicial System". Archived from the original on October 23, 2007.
  • "Natalee Holloway reenactment" (in Dutch). Aruba Police Force. Archived from the original on September 15, 2010.

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'On Saturday I went to see Joran and he told me that on the 27th October he’d been stabbed in the shoulder by one of the convicts,' she told MailOnline.

'The other inmates threaten him all the time, and call him racist insults like "foreign b******".

'The wardens made him wash the t-shirt to wash off the blood hide any trace of the attack'.

'I left him on Saturday and came back on Sunday with some food for him. When I saw him he was pale and about to pass out.

'He was wearing jacket on top of his T-shirt and suddenly I realized that some blood was coming out from the jacket. I looked and he had a 15cm [hree inch] stab wound on his side and was cut in other places, the wound was bleeding massively.


Conditions inside Peru's jails have become notorious.

In 2012 the government declared a state of emergency because of chronic over-crowding, accusations of corruption and brutality, and claims of prisoners abusing other inmates.

And last year the US State Department highlighted harsh prison conditions as one of its major concerns about human rights in the country.

'Nationwide, prison guards and fellow inmates reportedly abused prisoners,' it said.

'Inmates reportedly killed fellow inmates.

'Inmates had intermittent access to potable water, bathing facilities were inadequate, kitchen facilities were unhygienic, and prisoners often slept in hallways and common areas for lack of cell space.'

'I started to scream and cry and ask for help, but no wardens would come to help. After about half an hour some medics came and stitched the stab in a very basic way, but he was still bleeding with the wound stitches.

'I grabbed Joran’s T-shirt and shouted that this was evidence of the abuse and aggression, and I was going to take it with me. The wardens tried grab it from me so I put it on my own body, with the blood and everything, and managed to leave the prison with it.'

She also said that on these two last visits to the prison she counted around 15 'diseased, starving, half-dead dogs' living among the convicts.

Van der Sloot, who is serving a 28-year sentence for killing a Peruvian student in 2010, was transferred to Challapalca in August.

He also remains the chief suspect in the disappearance of Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005.

The two prison attacks come just days after Van der Sloot penned a rambling letter from his jail cell blasting the country's prison authorities for violating ‘every one’ of his human rights.

In the letter, obtained by MailOnline, Van der Sloot claims he and other inmates at the Challapalca prison are subject to daily beatings, torture and humiliation at the hands of sadistic jail staff.

And he says he fears for his life after claiming wardens told him they have been given the ‘green light’ to ‘break all his bones’.

His four-page handwritten letter was smuggled out of the remote lock-up, which is located at an altitude of 16,000 feet in the Andes mountains, close to the borders with Bolivia and Chile.

Bloodied: A picture of the bloodied polo shirt after Van der Sloot was stabbed repeatedly in the stomach by inmates at Challapalca prison

Torn: Van der Sloot's shirt from the first, less serious attack, by fellow inmates which allegedly took place on 27 October

Frisked: Previously-released video images have show prison officers search Van der Sloot during attempts to keep discipline in the prison, where conditions are notoriously harsh

Tough: Van der Sloot is patted down by a masked prison officer along with other inmates. He has now written to demand a 'criminal investigation' into conditions in the prison where he is being held

According to Van der Sloot, prisoners are banned from communicating with their families or even having pens or paper to prevent news of the ‘abuses’ getting out.

Addressing his letter to Peru's president, among other federal institutions as well as the Red Cross and the country's Dutch ambassador, Van der Sloot demands a ‘criminal investigation’ into the prison and begs to be returned to his previous jail in the country's capital Lima.

Writing in Spanish littered with errors, the murderer whines about conditions in the jail, saying there is no water or electricity, inmates are locked up in their cells 24 hours a day, and food is not even heated up before being served to prisoners.

And he claims prison staff know they can ‘get away with what they do’ because there are no security cameras in the facility and it is so cut off from the outside world.

He whines: ‘People have the right to know everything that is happening in this prison.

‘It is a terrible situation that in the year 2014 should no longer exist.

‘It is a very serious situation that violates every one of my human rights.

‘I thought that prisons were supposed to reintegrate offenders into society, not to torture inmates.’

Meanwhile, Van der Sloot's new wife told MailOnline how she ‘passed out’ on a recent visit to Challapalca, after witnessing conditions at the prison for herself.

Speaking before the latest attacks Leidy described the facility as ‘a place of torture’ and said she was terrified Van der Sloot - who married her in July - would not get out of the prison alive.

She said: ‘It is a horrific place and the men are treated worst than animals.

‘The prisoners are constantly beaten and tortured by the wardens. The men sleep in cells full of their own excrement. The whole place stinks of sewage.

‘Many of the men are dying of tuberculosis and other diseases. But there's no doctor or medical department in the prison so the men are just left to die.

‘There are men who have broken bones and bruises all over their bodies from the beatings.

‘The prisoners just get a two-liter bottle of water a week. If they want more water they have to pay the wardens for it. So they can't clean themselves properly.’

Prime suspect: Van der Sloot gained notoriety when he became the prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway (left) in 2005. He hasn't been charged over her disappearance. But he was sentenced to 28 years in hail for strangling a Peruvian student, Stephany Flores

Wife: Leidy Figeuroa married Van der Sloot earlier this year. She was photographed earlier this year while pregnant with their daughter, to whom she gave birth in September

Leidy, who gave birth to Van der Sloot’s daughter in September, said her husband is targeted for beatings which she claims have left him a ‘shadow of himself’.

She said: ‘Joran's in a terrible state. He's been severely beaten, because he went on hunger strike. He's very mentally affected by it.

‘He's lost 25 kg (3 stone 13lb) already. He's not the same man I married.

‘Last month his mother Anita visited him and she was appalled too. But as soon as she left he was beaten up by the wardens who stole from him the belongings and money that his mother had given him.

‘Joran is terrified, he thinks he's going to die.’

It is not known how Van der Sloot managed to write his letter, which is dated September 25, 2014 and also signed by 32 of Van der Sloot's fellow inmates in the jail's Pavillion 3 wing.

The copy of the letter obtained by MailOnline is stamped as ‘received’ by the Peruvian Congress.

Van der Sloot writes: ‘At night the temperature can reach -20oC, there is no water, no electricity, no yard, and we are locked up 24 hours a day.

‘There is no communication with our family and they attack us psychologically as well as physically.’

They have destroyed all our shoes, and at all hours of the night they throw rocks and sticks through our cell bars.’

He claims that on the day he and other prisoners were transferred to the prison on 24 August, they were attacked my wardens.

‘That night they took various prisoners, stripped them naked and beat them with sticks on the floor,’ he writes.

On another occasion, on September 18, he claims prison staff ‘threw tear gas into all the cells, without any reason. There was no way to escape the gas. It burned the throat like you can't imagine.

‘Being so far away from society they know they can get away with what they do. The prison staff change every five months and so there are no consequences for them.’

He also claims that on September 12 he was threatened by two wardens, who told him they had been sent by Sergio Haro Huapuya, the director of his previous prison Piedras Gordas - now renamed Ancon 1 - who had sanctioned his transfer to Challapalca.

There’s no evidence this claim bares any truth.

According to Van der Sloot, they told him ‘that if there is any complaint they have the green light to break all my bones. They beat me on the head and left.’

Letter: Van der Sloot's letter from prison in which he details the allegations of mistreatment and abuse which eh says are routine in the prison

Dossier: The letter details what Van der Sloot says are a series of abuses carried out on his part of the prison. It is unclear how he managed to write it and send it out of the prison

Fluent: Van der Sloot's letter is written in Spanish and includes complaints about the conditions in which he is held, as well as allegations of abuse

Co-signed: 32 other inmates names are on the letter and what appear to be their signatures. Van der Sloot whines that he wants moved to another prison because he wants to be near his family

Begging to be returned to the Ancon 1 prison on the outskirts of Lima, from where he was moved after authorities claimed he had threatened to kill a warden, desperate Van der Sloot pleads: ‘I am an only child, recently married… my wife bought an apartment in Ancon to be close to me. I don't understand what I'm doing here.

‘I am here because I got married and because the director Haro Huapuya doesn't like me, which is not a reason to send someone to another province, to a prison of punishment where there are extortionists, kidnappers and fugitives.

‘All my evaluations in the last two years have been positive. I have worked in craft painting and recently as an engraver. I am undergoing psychological and social treatment and I am enrolled to study international business at the UAP (Peruvian Alas University). I have documents to prove all this.

‘What hurts me is that I want to be a husband to my wife and a father to my daughter and step-son, something that in this prison I can't be because a newborn baby would die in this climate.’

Van der Sloot is expected to remain in prison until 2038 and then be extradited to the United States to face charges of extortion and fraud for allegedly falsely promising to lead Natalee Holloway's mother to the girl's body in exchange for $25,000 payment.

The murderer was the last person seen with Natalee, who vanished while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

No charges were filed against Van der Sloot and the case remains unsolved.

In 2010, he confessed to killing Stephany Flores, a 21-year-old business student, five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance.

'I don't want to ask: Van der Sloot's wife believes his claim that he didn't kill Natalee Holloway but has spoken about it 'only briefly'

Joran Van der Sloot's wife believes his claims that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of American high school graduate Natalee Holloway.

The Dutchman – who was the last person seen with Holloway before her disappearance on the island of Aruba – says he holds 'no responsibility' for what happened to the pretty student.

Van der Sloot met Holloway in the Holiday Inn casino in Aruba on the night of May 29, 2005, she was 18 and he was only 17.

At the end of the night, Holloway, a straight-A student with a high-school résumé filled with charity work and Bible study, wound up at a bar talking to Van der Sloot.

That night she vanished without trace.

In 2008 Van der Sloot was recorded by hidden cameras while riding in a car with a friend who'd sold him out to Dutch TV, and he half-explained what might have happened.

He claimed that Holloway and he had gone to the beach and that she was very drunk and had some kind of seizure. He said he panicked and decided to dump the body at sea.

The tape was watched by millions of people around the world but without a body there was no case to answer. Yet the video made Van der Sloot an international pariah.

But wife Leidy, 25, told MailOnline: 'Joran has told me he has nothing to do with the Natalee Holloway murder. He says they are accusing him of a crime he didn't commit and I believe him, there’s no responsibility on his side.

Choke: Leidy believes Van der Sloot when he claims he had 'no responsibility' for the death of US student Natalee Holloway (left) in Aruba in 2005. As for strangling Stephny Flores, (right), she said: 'The things he's done, they are behind him now. he is a changed man and he seeks forgiveness'

'He has spoken about it only briefly and I don't want to ask. Of course I understand, I am a mother too and I would want to know what happened to my child. I have a young son and a daughter on the way, I would not want to go through what the family of Natalee Holloway has gone through.'

In 2010 Van der Sloot allegedly tried to extort $250,000 out of Beth Holloway, Natalee's mom.

In return, he promised to reveal "the location of Natalee Holloway’s remains in Aruba and information regarding the circumstances of her death," according to a criminal complaint filed later that year.

Beth Holloway tipped off the FBI. She also gave Van der Sloot a down payment of $25,000. He took the money and ran.

He has since been convicted of killing Peruvian business student Stephany Flores.

He the met 21-year-old at a casino in Lima, Peru, and they arranged to spend the predawn hours of May 30, 2010, together at the tables. At about 5.30am, Van der Sloot persuaded Flores to go back to his hotel with him to keep gaming on his laptop.

As they started to play, an email or Facebook message popped up on Van der Sloot's screen: "I am going to kill you, mongolito (little mongoloid)," it read.

May 30 happened to be the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance, but who sent the message is unclear. Van der Sloot, he later admitted, told Flores some of the story.

Flores hit him, according to the confession he gave Peruvian police, which he later recanted saying he made the admission under duress. He swung his elbow around and smashed her nose, which started gushing blood.

Then, he said, he just lost control, smothering her with a bloody shirt and throttling her. He took all the money she had on her, he said, about $300.

Yet despite admitting his role in a brutal murder and the widespread belief that he also was involved in Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, his wife Leidy still vigorously defends him.

'Yes Joran admitted to me he killed Stephany Flores, he has spoken about it a few times. But the things he's done, I've always thought that I don’t believe them and they are behind him now.

'God punishes us for what we do on earth, and Joran is being punished for what he has done. But he is a changed man, he has found God and he seeks forgiveness.'

Joran van der Sloot arrested for murder in South America - HISTORY

Posted on 06/11/2010 9:27:32 AM PDT by jimbo123

Joran van der Sloot has been charged with murder in the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

Peruvian judge Juan Buendia has ordered van der Sloot jailed on murder and robbery charges, and described van der Sloot as having acted with "ferocity and great cruelty."

Police say van der Sloot smashed in the face of Lima business student Stephany Flores, whom he met playing poker at a casino, after taking her to his hotel room on May 30. They say he then strangled her, threw her to the floor and emptied her wallet.

Buendia issued the order before dawn Friday, instructing penal authorities to place the Dutchman in a penitentiary pending trial.

I’m not an expert in Dutch or Peruvian law but was wondering if this scenario is possible:

He confesses to the Natalee Halloway murder and proves it by giving up the location of the body which is found.
Can he then be extradited back to Aruba to be tried and serve sentence for the first murder he committed before having to return to Peru to serve sentence on the last murder committed?

The answer may shed light on his tactics.

Someone said this girls father can hire someone inside the prison to kill Van der Sloot for very little money.

I think that is his strategy. More likely his lawyers.

“Si, buenos noches, Senor van der Sloot! Que guapo!”

Man, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

“I hear a train a’ comin’, comin’ round the bend. ”

Van der Sloot will probably hire professional protection though. So there you are!

Joran's grooms eagerly await his arrival.

I bet a lot of people would do him for free.

It’s a shame his father isn’t around to give away the bride.

He will probably be transferred back to Aruba to stand trial for the murder of Natalie Holloway and the authorities there will conveniently turn their heads long enough for him to slip away and into obscurity. Then his mommy will keep him hidden and support him till she dies.

Barbara: [whistles] Nice butt. That’s what they’ll say.
Ken Kessler: I beg your pardon?
Barbara: Nice butt. That’s what they’ll say on your first day, in the men’s club.
Ken Kessler: The men’s club?
Barbara: Mmm. The San Quentin Country Club. With a cute little rear end like that, you’ll be the belle of the ball. Your dance card’ll be filled every day. You’ll be so popular, making all kinds of new, close friends. Big, ugly, hairy friends! Not that you’ll ever see what they look like, ‘cause you’ll be facing the other way.
Ken Kessler: You’re very good at this. You should write children’s books.

I haven’t heard it mentioned in the news cirsuit so was thinking I just didn’t know their laws well enough. Heads will explode if he pulls it off!

He said he will reveal the location of Natalie’s body if he is brought back to Aruba.

I just don’t see Peru giving him this opportunity.

Wait until he’s been in a Peru prison for one year.
Then tell him if he gives evidence resulting in the recovery of Natalee’s remains, he can have a pack of smokes.

You can’t give a sociopath leverage!

Peru will hold onto him. He may not face trial in Aruba until after he is sentenced in Peru. It ain’t like the old USA. Penetentiary on a pre-trial basis ought to take the starch out of this puke.

Peruvian prisons are not nice. Anyone remember that lefty woman about ten years ago who got convicted in Peru? They put her in a prison on a mountaintop. without glass in the windows. Newsweek and Time made much of the horrible conditions a non-Peruvian was suffering under, because she froze her rear off, and had little access to blankets, etc. I am sure they are cooking up something nice for Van der Puke, too.

Aruba was very lenient with him before. I think his parents were bigwigs in Aruba.

That may be his hope. But Peru would have to extradite him first. And I don't see them doing that after he murdered the daughter of a former presidential candidate.

Either that or he will get the first “life without parole” sentence in Aruba enabling him to have a private jail condo with all amenities avoiding the Peruvian hell.

Considering what we know of Peruvian prisons, that may be the most merciful thing the father can do. Better to let him live. and suffer.

I certainly hope Peru holds on to him.

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Joran van der Sloot Gambled With His Alleged Victim

"If they have enough proof that he committed the crime in Peru, maybe, just maybe that might help to get him to confess in Natalee's case. It just might crack him," a Holloway family lawyer, Vinda de Souza, told the Associated Press.

A spokeswoman for Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, issued a statement saying she "extends her deepest sympathy" to the Flores family "and prays for swift and sure justice."

"What breaks everybody's heart is this guy had something to do with Natalee and could have been stopped five years ago," Natalee Holloway's aunt Marcia Twitty told ABC

Van der Sloot was grabbed while riding in a taxi near the coastal resort city of Vina Del Mar. Police quickly recognized him despite the fact that his hair had been cut short and dyed red.

Peru's Interior Minister Octavio Salazar Miranda said, "We're confident this young man will pay for his crimes."

New details have emerged about the night that Flores died.

Van der Sloot and Flores, who was an avid gambler, were playing poker in a Lima casino late Saturday night and Flores was winning big, police said.

Investigators said van der Sloot invited Flores to his room at the Miraflores Hotel Tac to celebrate her winnings. A hotel employee later told police that she heard the couple arguing. Hours later, Flores was dead.

ABC News has learned that her body was not discovered for another four days because van der Sloot had prepaid his room for 14 days and instructed the hotel's front desk not to allow anyone into his room, including the cleaning staff.

Flores' father, Ricardo Flores, is a well known politician and former race car driver in Peru. He was burying his daughter at the same time that van der Sloot was being arrested in Chile. He said that his daughter's death had driven stake through the family's heart.

"It's not just about my daughter," he said. "There's a matter pending in Aruba and we don't know how many more remain unpunished."

"I think God used my daughter as an element so that another soul could rest in peace, so that the parents of this girl can rest in peace too, knowing that somewhere in the world justice was made for the killing of their daughter," Flores said.

"This man cannot continue to be out in the world killing people. This man needs to pay for his crimes," he said.

"Joran was able to laugh at the crime he committed in Aruba," the father said. "But in Peru he will not be able to laugh."

Van der Sloot's Peru Murder-Holloway Extortion Cases: Did Authorities Act Too Late?

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: They caught him. Joran van der Sloot prime suspect in the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman has been captured in Chile. You are looking at new video of van der Sloot being taking into custody.

Joining us by phone in Chile is Loretta van der Horst, reporter for "The Santiago Times." Loretta, first of all, is there new information on what is going to happen to Joran van der Sloot now that he's in custody in Chile?

LORETTA VAN DER HORST, "THE SANTIAGO TIMES": Yes. The latest news is he's being held until tomorrow morning, when he will be brought to the Peruvian border, he will be forced to cross the border and will probably be arrested by Peruvian authorities. That's the latest news that they've told us, a couple minutes ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if he is talking, making any statements?

VAN DER HORST: He's not. He's just being held there. We have not had any statements from him, only from the police, and so we don't know what his stance is.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did he get captured?

VAN DER HORST: He got captured while traveling from a beach resort place to Santiago. He was in a cab and he was alone. He was captured by the local police at a checkpoint that was installed for him. He was brought to Santiago directly from there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if there is any clothes, any bloodstained clothes or anything at all in his possession?

VAN DER HORST: No. When he out of the car he was clean as a whistle. He didn't have anything on him. He was very calm and no sign of any material like that.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so he left Peru, and is there any information on what he has been doing since he left Peru?

VAN DER HORST: The only information is that he bused from the border and the taxi from there to go to Santiago. What he did in the meantime, no one knows.

VAN SUSTEREN: Has it been well-known that everyone was looking for him around Chile? Have posters been up and on television, radio, has there been an extensive manhunt for him?

VAN DER HORST: Certainly, yes, in Santiago as well. There's press all over the place and the Interpol station and the television is all over the newspapers heading with it. And yes there's certainly a big manhunt for him, was certainly a big manhunt.

VAN SUSTEREN: Loretta, thank you very much.

And Fox's Phil Keating is in Peru in front of the hotel where 21-year- old Stephany Flores was murdered. Phil, what is the latest there?

PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Greta, once Peruvian authorities have him back in Lima, the Peruvian general in charge of all criminal investigations in this country believes he will have on Joran van der Sloot something that Aruban investigators never were age to materialize for five years, and that is incriminating evidence at the hotel where Joran van der Sloot had been living since mid May.

That is where homicide investigators here in Lima returned yet again today to continue reviewing all surveillance tape taken within the hotel and outside that hotel.

And speaking of that hotel, it truly is not much of a hotel. It is really a basic bones hostel where Joran van der Sloot was actually spending $40 a night.


KEATING: This is a bustling and busy district of Lima, one of the ritzier part of town, and it includes the Atlantic City casino, which happens to be one of the last known spots of Joran van der Sloot before he fled south to Chile.

In fact, the entire reason Joran van der Sloot came to Peru in mid May was to come sit at these poker tables, put down his chips, and try his luck at winning the nearly $1 million cash prize. Instead this casino will go down as one of the last pieces of surveillance videotape on which Joran van der Sloot and Stephany Flores were seen hours before her murder.

Then police say around 5:00 a.m. Sunday, workers at the hostel where van der Sloot had been living two weeks, see him and the young woman enter his room. Four hours later only van der Sloot leaves. Wednesday, Flores' bloody body is finally discovered.


KEATING: And another piece of evidence that Peruvian authorities will have is the testimony by the two taxicab drivers hired by Joran van der Sloot to take him from Lima, Peru all the way south, 20 hours of a drive, to the Chilean border. Those two drivers describe him as being very nervous throughout the entire 20 hour drive and smoking cigarettes nonstop.

Now, today whether he faces murder charges for the Peruvian woman he has been accused of possibly killing? Well, that will be yet to be seen. But I can tell you this -- her father is a very prominent businessman. It is major news here in Lima, and the family, very tragically, buried her late this afternoon. Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN: Phil, thank you.

And now the bombshell breaking news, a disturbing twist in this case right here in the United States. Van der Sloot allegedly paid for his trip to South America by extorting money from Natalee Holloway's mother.

The U.S. attorney in Alabama says van der Sloot promised to tell Beth Holloway what really happened to her daughter in Aruba in exchange for a big cash payout. Van der Sloot tried to get $250,000 but ended up taking $15,000 as a down payment before fleeing to South America. Van der Sloot today has been charged with extortion.

And the story does get worse. As early as May 10th, the FBI knew they had a case against van der Sloot, but the FBI failed to arrest him or act until today. In other words, had they arrested van der Sloot on May 10th when they had the case against him, he would not have been able to travel to South America and there would be no murder.

We'll bring the very latest on this when we get it.

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