Convicted killer Van der Sloot is under much media attention in the United States

Convicted killer Van der Sloot is under much media attention in the United States
Joran van der Sloot in a photo in 2012

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Eighteen years after the disappearance of Natalie Holloway in Aruba, Joran van der Sloot has been extradited to the United States today. The 35-year-old Dutch woman is on trial for blackmailing her parents. Books, films and documentaries have been made in America about the same disappearance, of which he remains the prime suspect. “At that time, he chose a path that made him world news,” says journalist Kees van der Spiek.

Because the news about Van der Sloot is not only closely followed in the United States and the Netherlands. When he was transferred last weekend to another prison in Peru, where he had been held for years on charges of murder, it was widely documented.

He was met in Peru by people who filmed him with cell phones:

Joran van der Sloot arrived in Lima for extradition to the United States

“It excites me,” Van der Spek says of all the developments around Van der Sloot. In 2008, together with Peter R. de Vries, he aired an Emmy Award-winning TV show about The Notorious Dutchman. In it, Van der Sloot showed an informant that he was indeed involved in Holloway’s disappearance, while he had always denied it until then.

The 18-year-old student from Alabama disappeared on May 30, 2005 while on vacation in Aruba. According to Van der Spek, the high interest in this can be partly explained by Missing White Woman Syndrome. “A seemingly innocent white girl who disappears on a tropical island gets far more attention than many other disappearances.”

Mother Beth Holloway has described her despair in interviews and documentaries. “It’s become every real-life parent’s worst nightmare.”

A big problem

Natalie Holloway has not been found. Van der Sloot stated on hidden cameras that she started “shaking” and passed out after a night out. Then he “put it near the mangroves” and called a friend “on a boat.” Call it a “big problem,” but it was going to solve it.

Van der Sloot later dismisses his anger at informant Patrick van der Eem as tough talk. “In my eyes it was very authentic,” says Van der Spiek. But Aruban justice did not find the evidence strong enough for a new arrest.

A look back at the Holloway case:

Joran van der Sloot in three minutes

The show’s creator does not believe that 17-year-old Van der Sloot killed Holloway. “Goran had no motive for it. He was in a panic and fed up with that body. The fact that he got away with it so well, I think gave him a kind of immunity.”

At first, van der Sloot always publicly declared his innocence. But after his conversations with Detective van der Eem were published, a torrent of different alternative readings of what would have happened followed. For example, in an interview with Fox News, he allegedly “sold” the drunk Holloway to a man who brought her to Venezuela. “Everywhere he was shouting something else in the hope that people would believe: that story against Patrick van der Eem wouldn’t be true either,” van der Spiek says.

In 2010, Van der Sloot claimed the $250,000 that had been awarded for the discovery of Holloway. In exchange for a deposit, he would tell her the location of her body. “He then claimed his father hid the body in the foundation of a building,” Van der Speck says. “He then sent Beth Holloway’s lawyers an email from Biro saying he had deceived them.” “What a dick.”

A murder in Peru

That same month, Van der Sloot contacted the police in Peru. Exactly five years after Holloway’s disappearance, 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephanie Flores was murdered in a hotel. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison for this.

Peru is now extraditing the Dutchman to the United States. If found guilty of fraud there, he could be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison. He must also first serve out his remaining sentence in Peru.

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