After murdering Stephany Flores in his hotel room, Joran Van Der Sloot went out for coffee and a Danish, which he brought back into his room. There, beside the corpse of his latest victim, he nibbled on Danish, satisfied his appetite, and made plans for his escape. He thought of stuffing the murder victim into a suitcase and dumping her someplace far away, but it seemed to him unlikely that he’d make it out of the Hotel Tac without being seen and asked to pay up for his overdue hotel bill. It seemed a better idea to depart by himself, with Stephany’s car keys. He took the car and drove to a run-down neighborhood where he dumped it, and continued on his merry way. That’s the story which has found its way into the media, as bits and pieces of the story drift down from Peruvian authorities.
Joran Van Der Sloot’s confession to the murder, now being contested by his lawyer, has re-ignited the bitter, unfinished business of Natalee Holloway’s likely murder in Aruba. Now that Van Der Sloot is down by law, there is hope that the mystery of Holloway’s “disappearance,” after a meeting on the beach with Joran, will be revealed.
It is axiomatic now that Van Der Sloot is a pathological liar, having told numerous versions of the Aruba story. For Joran now, the truth for him has been a bargaining chip and the lies are bets put down. People may wonder why he would continue to lie, now with all the chips down, but the answer is simple. A night or two in Castro Castro Prison, 30 miles outside of Lima, is reason enough for him to “let slip” to authorities that he can reveal where Natalee’s body is but “only to Aruban authorities.”
For Joran Van Der Sloot and his family, Aruba has been a criminal protectorate. Van Der Sloot, Sr., who died of a heart attack, was a judge on the small island of tourists and insiders.
The Van Der Sloots were insiders, and Joran’s father, by virtue of rank and privilege, had effectively sealed himself and his son off from Aruban investigative authorities-with the complicity of key legal functionaries. That noise you can now almost hear grinding in Joran Van Der Sloot’s mind? “Get me out of here; get me back to Aruba,” Joran Van Der Sloot is most certainly thinking.
A legal defense is beginning to form around Van Der Sloot and it is that the confession was coerced and that Joran is being mistreated or worse. The Dutch government has dispatched embassy staff to see that Joran’s rights are observed.
However, most observers recognize that, while the Peruvian prison system might be medieval, the legal system has been modernized and conforms to accepted civilized norms. There may be no Miranda warnings, but Joran Van Der Sloot, like most other criminals, knows his rights and privileges.
In addition, Peruvian authorities provided Joran with an attorney during the interrogations. Nonetheless, Van Der Sloot’s current private attorney says the state appointed attorney was unacceptable and the confession is void, a strategy aimed directly at the appeals process.
Peru and the Netherlands do not have existing treaties or agreements for returning convicts to their home countries for serving sentences. However, the Dutch government is reported to be negotiating with Peruvian authorities on behalf of citizen Van Der Sloot. A maximum sentence for murder in Peru is 15 to 35 years, but Van Der Sloot also faces federal prosecution in the U.S. for extortion of Natalee Holloway’s family.
Peruvian authorities have described Van Der Sloot as a cynical, brutal, intelligent killer, a portrait substantiated by past lies and manipulations. In the extortion case against Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, Joran contacted Twitty’s attorney to arrange for a signed contract for $250,000 dollars between himself and Beth Twitty. Kelly had already provided Van Der Sloot with $25,000-the deal being a down payment in exchange for Joran providing the location of Natalee’s body.
As with nearly all of the information provided to authorities by Joran Van Der Sloot, the information he provided about burying Natalee’s body in the foundation of a newly constructed house was false. Including his deceased father in the phony narrative was exactly the type of manipulation Joran could get away with under the circumstances of Aruban legal practices. Still, many observers are convinced that the late judge helped his son dispose of Natalee Holloway’s body and evade prosecution.
It’s safe to say that there will be more revelations in this case and Joran likely did more than go for coffee and a Danish on the morning he fled the murder scene. The Peruvian authorities will no doubt find Joran Van Der Sloot as something of a lightweight when compared to other prosecutions like those of Sendero Luminoso, the “Shining Path” guerillas who may soon be Joran’s cell-mates.
Reader Note: For additional background information, I’ve provided the following links to previous articles of this writer:
Joran Van Der Sloot Confesses to Murder of Stephany Flores
Joran Van Der Sloot Pleads “Innocent Again” in the Murder of Peruvian Woman
Natalie Holloway Suspect Joran Van Der Sloot Wanted in Connection with Murder of Peruvian Woman