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Joran van der Sloot confesses to murder of Natalee Holloway

A judge's gavel rests on a book of law. (Dreamstime/TNS)
October 19, 2023

Joran van der Sloot confessed to the brutal murder of Natalee Holloway in 2005 as part of a guilty plea he submitted Wednesday in an extortion case that targeted the Holloway family.

According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Alabama press release, van der Sloot was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Anna M. Manasco for “a scheme to obtain $250,000” in an extortion case involving Natalee Holloway’s mother, Elizabeth Ann Holloway.

A transcript of van der Sloot’s confession obtained by Fox News revealed the horrific account of Natalee Holloway’s death. Van der Sloot confessed that he crushed Holloway’s head with a cinderblock and dragged her body into the ocean after she refused the man’s sexual advances on a beach during a senior trip to Aruba in May of 2005.

During an interview on Oct. 3, van der Sloot explained that he was angry with Holloway’s resistance to his sexual advances and attacked her with a cinderblock, saying, “I smash her head in with it completely.”

“Her face basically, you know, collapses in,” van der Sloot added. “Even though it’s dark, I can see her face is collapsed in.”

Van der Sloot confessed that he dragged Holloway’s body into knee-deep water before pushing her body away into the sea and leaving the scene of the crime.

During Wednesday’s court proceedings, van der Sloot apologized to Holloway’s family for his actions and agreed to take a polygraph test and provide law enforcement and the Holloway family with details about her disappearance, according to Fox News. Additionally, Van der Sloot told the court, “I am no longer the person that I was.”

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Following Wednesday’s hearing, Holloway’s mother told reporters, “After 18 years, Natalee’s case has been solved. Joran van der Sloot is the killer.”

Van der Sloot, who is a 36-year-old Dutch national, was charged in the United States with extortion and wire fraud after he tried to sell Holloway’s mother information about her daughter’s lost body in 2010. Federal prosecutors claimed that van der Sloot attempted to obtain $250,000 from the family for false information, including an up-front payment of $25,000. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2010.

Van der Sloot’s 20-year prison sentence will run concurrently with a prison sentence he faces in Peru for the unrelated murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Peru. Van der Sloot’s expected release date is currently set for June 9, 2043, according to Fox News.

“You have brutally murdered, in separate incidents, years apart, two young women who refused your sexual advances,” Manasco told van der Sloot during Wednesday’s court appearance.

In addition to his prison sentence, Manasco ordered Van der Sloot to pay $25,100 in restitution, as well as a $200 special assessment fee. Van der Sloot’s right to appeal his conviction and sentence was also waived.

U.S. Marshals have been directed to remove the convicted murderer from the United States as quickly as possible.

“Today’s sentence holds Joran van der Sloot accountable for the pain he has caused the family and friends of Natalee Holloway,” FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Carlton Peeples stated after Wednesday’s hearing. “After more than a decade of uncertainty, hopefully, this will bring them and this community some closure.”