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I don't trust the media, and I don't think, I don't really care, if the media trusts me or not.
Van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot is a Dutch murderer, robber, and con artist imprisoned for the 2010 death of Stephany Flores in Peru, who previously murdered Natalee Holloway in 2005 while vacationing in Aruba.


Van der Sloot was born in 1987 in Arnhem, Netherlands, the first of three children born to Paul van der Sloot, a lawyer, and Anita van der Sloot-Hugen, an art teacher. The family moved to Aruba[1] in 1990. Van der Sloot studied in the International School of Aruba, where he was an honor student and star soccer and tennis player, but according to his mother, he also had a tendency to lie and sneak out of the home to play in casinos from a young age.

Crimes, Capture, and Incarceration[]

The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway[]

Van der Sloot and two Surinamese friends, brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, were arrested on June 9, 2005, for their suspected responsibility on the May 30 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an eighteen-year-old American tourist who was last seen leaving a nightclub and getting on a car with the trio around 1:30 a.m. They offered conflicting and continuously changing stories about Holloway's disappearance, blaming it initially on other people (who were also arrested briefly) and eventually on each other. The Kalpoes claimed that the four visited the beach together and later dropped Holloway and van der Sloot off at her hotel. Van der Sloot claimed that he had been dropped off alone at the beach while the Kalpoes drove Holloway away. Van der Sloot was the primary suspect in the case from the beginning, and was the only one to remain under arrest for the whole four-month period of the initial investigation. After all of the suspects were released due to a lack of evidence, he returned to the Netherlands to study a degree on international business management.

Joran van der Sloot Aruba mugshot

Van der Sloot in 2005.

In 2007, Van der Sloot published a book, The Case of Natalee Holloway, in which he admitted lying in his early statements and recounted yet another version of Holloway's disappearance. The book spurred a new search for Holloway's body in Aruba, and the second arrest of van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers. Van der Sloot returned to Aruba for a court hearing, but all three were released again, free of charges, in December. In January 2008, a sting operation set by Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries filmed van der Sloot admitted to being present during Holloway's death. According to van der Sloot, Holloway suffered a seizure while they were having sex at the beach, something that he had vehemently denied. After failing to revive her, he contacted a friend, only named "Daury", who volunteered to load her body on a boat and dump it in the ocean without making sure if she was dead or still alive. The video was considered admissible before the court, but insufficient to justify van der Sloot's new arrest without additional evidence. Van der Sloot claimed to have lied again, this time to impress the covert journalist interviewing him.

After briefly checking in a mental institution, he moved to Bangkok, Thailand. The claimed motive was to study business at Rangit University, but he dropped out soon afterward and bought a restaurant near the campus. In November, a new sting operation by de Vries filmed van der Sloot in what appeared to be preparations for the traffic and prostitution of Thai women in the Netherlands. Around the same time, van der Sloot conceded an interview to Fox News's On the Record, where he claimed to have sold Holloway into sexual slavery and implicated his own father, the Kalpoes, and two agents of the Aruban police, but he later retracted the claim. A purported recording of van der Sloot and his father discussing human trafficking on the phone, aired concurrently with the interview, was later identified to have been done entirely by van der Sloot himself, who had imitated his father's voice. Van der Sloot returned to Aruba after the death of his father in February 2010. He contacted the legal representative of Holloway's mother Beth and offered to reveal the location of her body for $250,000. The information provided was false, and van der Sloot escaped to South America with the first payment of $25,000 despite Aruban police and the FBI setting up a joint operation to arrest him.

Death of Stephany Flores[]

Joran van der sloot mugshot

Van der Sloot in 2010.

Van der Sloot arrived in Lima, Peru, on May 14, theoretically to take part in the Latin American Poker Tour, though he never paid the entry fee. On May 30, the deadline to pay the fee and the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance, he played cards with 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a casino and took her to his hotel room, where he murdered her. Van der Sloot then fled Peru with $11,000 stolen from Flores, her ID, credit cards, and jewelry. He was arrested four days later near Curacaví, Chile, and handed over to Peruvian authorities. Van der Sloot again told conflicting versions of what had happened to Flores and offered to release the location of Holloway's body in exchange for being transferred to an Aruban prison, which was not considered as there is no extradition treaty between Peru and the Netherlands. In 2012, van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the murder and robbery of Flores and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. He received a second sentence for drug smuggling, receiving 18 years which was reduced to 7 by Peruvian law. After the end of his sentence, he will be extradited to the U.S. to face charges for the extortion of Beth Holloway. On January 17, 2016, van der Sloot apparently confessed to murdering Holloway in the presence of an undercover reporter who subtly recorded him. He also criticized the handling of the investigation, calling it one of the worst that had ever taken place. However, Holloway's parents refused to believe the confession, believing it to be a publicity stunt.

Extortion case[]

Van der Sloot was extradited to Alabama to stand trial for extorting Natalee Holloway's mother Beth. Before the trial he pleaded guilty, confessing to the death of Natalee in the process. Van der Sloot admitted to kicking Natalee, hitting her with a cinder block, and throwing her body in the sea. He received a 20 year sentence, concurrent to his Peruvian sentence. He will not face charges in Aruba due to statue of limitations. Beth Holloway accepted the confession.

Modus Operandi[]

Joran van der Sloot killed Natlee Holloway by kicking her and dropping a cinder block on her head, and disposing of her body in the sea. He later killed Stephany Flores by punching and bludgeoning her with a tennis racket, breaking her neck. Then, he asphyxiated her through undetermined means.


A 2010 report by Peruvian forensic psychologist Silvia Rojas Regalado determined that van der Sloot had average intelligence and was not a psychopath. However, he also "presents an anti-social personality characterized by the ease with which he establishes superficial interpersonal relationships, indifference when it comes to others' well being and the capacity to maintain a fraudulent social style; deficient social conscience that shows in the violation of rules and the mixing in events that affect others' rights, looking only to advance his own interests. He shows social irresponsibility, the enjoyment of superficial activities, in general a libertine and hedonistic lifestyle in search of new sensations in order to be stimulated. [He has] low tolerance to frustration, [being] unable to stand inconveniences and a tendency to generate a vengeful attitude. [He is] emotionally immature which prompts sudden changes in his behavior that can go from simple criticism, to out of control emotions, which makes him prone to commit acts against the lives of others. [He] shows certain dominance over the opposite sex with the devaluation of the feminine figure."

Known Victims[]

Van der sloot victims
  • May 30, 2005, Oranjestad, Aruba: Natalee Ann Holloway, 18 (bludgeoned and drowned; her body was never found)
  • 2010:
    • May 10, Oranjestad, Aruba: Elizabeth Ann Holloway, 49 (extorted out of $25,000 only)
    • May 30, Lima, Peru: Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez, 21 (bludgeoned with a racket and strangled)

On Criminal Minds[]

  • Season Six
    • "J.J." - While Van der Sloot was not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, he appears to have been an inspiration for James Barrett and Syd Pearson - Like van der Sloot, Pearson was the more dominant, charismatic, and sexually successful among the suspects; came from a wealthy family; enjoyed sports; and seemed to revel in the attention given to him by the media and law enforcement. As for James, he went back to the victim's room after dropping her off there (just like van der Sloot is believed to have done) and later threw her off a boat and into the sea (like van der Sloot claimed to have done to Holloway in the first de Vries sting video).
  • Season Seven
    • "Hope" - Sloot's extortion was mentioned by Reid as an example of criminals reaching out to their victims' relatives and interacting with them.
  • Season Ten
    • "Beyond Borders" - Van der Sloot was mentioned when Lily Lambert claims that her team provided a profile pointing to van der Sloot, but that this was ignored by the Aruban police. He was also compared to the episode's unsub, Jerry Tidwell, who may have been based on him - Both were young Dutch nationals investigated by the FBI for the disappearance of American citizens while on vacation in Aruba (the Everetts in Tidwell's case, Natalee Holloway in van der Sloot's). Though van der Sloot never went to trial for the disappearance of Holloway, he went on to kill Stephany Flores in Peru on the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance, mirroring Tidwell's commission of crimes on a fixed date.



  1. A former Dutch colony in the Caribbean, and since 1986, a "constituent country" within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but not a part of the country Netherlands, itself.