HUNTER: Killer Natalee Holloway’s bizarre odyssey of murder and malice

For 18 years, he tricked and taunted the Alabama teenager’s heartbroken family

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When we first saw a photo of Joran van der Sloot in 2005, we knew it.

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We knew he was most likely responsible for the disappearance – and probably murder – of Alabama teenager Natalie Holloway.

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Van der Sloot has done nothing over the years to convince us otherwise. In fact, his dark actions highlighted the depth of his evil.

The creepy Dutchman is almost never charged with Holloway’s murder, but on Wednesday in an Alabama courthouse he finally admitted to killing Holloway during their ill-fated vacation in the Caribbean.

For 18 years, he tricked and taunted Holloway’s heartbroken family. He blackmailed her and promised to tell the family where her body was and what really happened. It was just part of a sick game.

Joran Van der Sloot
This handout image released by Interpol Peru shows Peruvian police and Interpol agents handing Dutchman Joran Van der Sloot over to FBI agents for temporary extradition to the United States in Callao, Peru, on June 8, 2023. Photo by HANDOUT/Interpol Peru /AFP via Getty Images

On May 30, 2005, Natalee Holloway was on a school trip to Aruba to celebrate the end of high school. She wouldn’t return alive.

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At a bar on the island, the 18-year-old fatefully met 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot, the scion of one of the island’s most powerful lawyers, who was about to become a judge.

On the beach she torpedoed his sexual advances. Joran van der Sloot didn’t like that.

“I put her – we lie down together – in the sand and, uh, we start kissing,” van der Sloot, now 36, said in his recorded confession. “She says ‘no’ to me.” She tells me she doesn’t want me to grope her. Uh, I insist. I still feel it one way or another.”

Desperate to get out of the situation, Holloway drove a knee into the Dutchman’s crotch. He kicked her in the face and either killed Holloway or knocked her unconscious.

He then used a nearby cinder block.

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He confessed: “I take this and uh, yeah, I – I – I completely smash her head in with it. Uh, yeah, her face basically collapses.”

Van der Sloot then threw Holloway’s lifeless body into the warm tropical waters. Then he went home.

She was declared dead in 2005. He easily exceeded the 12-year statute of limitations for homicide in Aruba.

When a Canadian or American citizen is murdered or disappears in the tropics, their families typically face a host of challenges: corrupt and incompetent police and officials who are disinterested.

In the Holloway case, the key evidence was an army of witnesses who had last seen the pretty blonde with van der Sloot. But in Aruba his name meant something.

Dutchman Joran Van der Sloot is transferred in a police car from Ancon I prison in Lima on June 8, 2023
Dutchman Joran Van der Sloot is transferred in a police car from Ancon I prison in Lima on June 8, 2023. Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES /AFP via Getty Images

His father was one of the richest and most powerful lawyers on the island. A man of no small influence. This effectively put the investigation on hold.

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But van der Sloot wasn’t satisfied with that and blackmailed the Holloway family for $25,000 in 2010. He then happily told the family that his information was “worthless.”

Instead, he took the cash and fled to Peru.

There it wouldn’t be long before the homicidal maniac killed again. He met casino heiress Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, in Lima, where they shared a hotel room until she discovered who he really was.

Ramirez would be systematically beaten to death. That was just a month after landing in Peru. This time Dad was out of the picture and van der Sloot was convicted of murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison in the slammer trial.

Of course, if van der Sloot had been convicted of Holloway’s murder in Alabama, Ramirez would still be alive and in line for a date with the electric chair.


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