After Nearly Two Decades, Joran Van Der Sloot Admits To Killing Natalee Holloway
In October 2023, the long-time suspect in the murder of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway finally confessed in detail to her murder, but her body is unlikely to ever be recovered.
When Natalee Holloway, a teen girl from Alabama, disappeared on her senior class trip to Aruba in 2005, the American public became fascinated by the case. Her family searched relentlessly for clues, even going so far as to travel to Aruba to beg for answers. Now, after nearly two decades, they finally have them. The mystery seems to finally be conclusively solved after Joran van der Sloot, who has been a suspect in the case since the beginning, confessed to killing her.
Peru temporarily surrendered van der Sloot to face charges in Alabama, then he will be returned to finish a 28-year prison sentence for his conviction for the 2010 murder of another young woman, Stephany Flores Ramírez. In Peru, he was charged twice is Holloway’s disappearance or murder, yet he was never charged for the killing, reported The New York Times.
On Oct. 18, 2023, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion in a courtroom in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2010, he tried to extort money from Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, when he demanded $250,000 in exchange for providing information on where she could find her daughter’s remains. She ended up paying him only $25,000, but he provided false information, and she gained nothing from that.
Now, in exchange for receiving a 20-year-sentence for the extortion and wire fraud charges, the BBC reported that he agreed "to provide full, complete, accurate, and truthful information” about what happened to Natalee.
In van der Sloot’s confession, he said that he and Natalee took a walk on the beach. He planned to try to seduce her, but when she rejected his sexual advances, he got violent. They kissed, and he groped her even after she told him no. To stop him, she kneed him in the crotch, and he then kicked her in the face. She went unconscious, he said, and she was possibly dead then.
Next, he said he smashed a cinder block over Natalee’s head, according to PEOPLE. He stated in his confession, “I smash her head in with it completely. Uh, yeah, her face basically, you know, uh collapses in.”
After Natalee died, van der Sloot said he pushed her body into the ocean. He then walked home and watched pornography.
Although Natalee was declared legally dead in 2012, her body has never been found. Also, since the statute of limitations for murder in Aruba is 12 years, it’s unclear whether he will be charged in Peru for her murder after his confession. CNN reports that the prosecutor hasn’t yet ruled it out, and either way he is now scheduled to spend more than the next two decades behind bars for his other known murder.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over,” Beth Holloway said outside the courtroom, according to the Associated Press. “Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”
“It's been a very long and painful journey, but we finally got the answers we've been searching for, for all these years. We finally - today, we got justice for Natalee,” she also stated, reported NPR. “Joran van der Sloot's confession means we have finally reached the end of our never-ending nightmare. And for me, reaching the end of the nightmare, being over, is better than closure.”
For more on this case, stream the "Week of 10/23" episode of CrimeFeed on Max.