Van der Sloot Traumatized by Natalee's Death Says Mom
Joran van der Sloot, the only remaining suspect in the disappearance and suspected death of 18 year old, Natalee Ann Holloway, has spent 5 years laughing in the faces of his accusers. Natalee was celebrating her graduation from Mountain Brook High School with classmates; the last night of an "unofficial" Senior Class trip to Aruba. She was an honor student, a member of her school dance squad and a member of the National Honor Society. She was looking forward to starting The University of Alabama, with a pre-med major in the fall. Her life was just beginning, when it was tragically taken away. Natalee was last seen alive, at 1:30 AM, leaving Carlo's 'n Charlie's, a local night club, in a car with 17 year old, Joran van der Sloot and two of his friends, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe (who were subsequently cleared of any involvement). Since that night, May 30, 2005 - van der Sloot has offered several times to give up the information on Natalee's where-about's, each time ending in a cruel game of cat and mouse.
Twice arrested; on murder charges, in 2005 and again in 2007, charged with manslaughter, but never prosecuted. Local police say they don't have enough evidence to make a case. Prosecutor Peter Blanken, called van der Sloot "the key to a case that may never be solved." Saying; "You don't really need a body, but you need proof that someone is actually dead." and speculating "I think he knows more than he wants to say." Most believe he has said plenty already; including a surveillance video of van der Sloot telling of his involvement and his arranging to have Natalee dropped at sea - unaware if she was dead or alive. He has also claimed she was sold into sexual servitude and that her body was thrown into a swamp, after she fell off a balcony.
Joran lived a privileged life, the oldest of three children, born to Paulus, a lawyer and Anita van der Sloot-Hugen. He attended the International School of Aruba, where his mother taught Fine Art. An honor student and star soccer and tennis player, he had hoped to attend the Saint Leo University in Tampa, Florida - playing tennis. When that failed to come through, after his involvement in the unsolved disappearance of Natalee - van der Sloot started college in the Netherlands in 2005 - studying international business management at Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen. In 2008, he moved on, this time to Muang Ake, a suburb of Bangkok, Thailand, to study business at Rangsit University. Then, no longer choosing to be a student, he dropped out and bought a small cafe near the campus. In August of 2009, calling himself a "professional poker player" he joined the Asia Pacific Poker tour. He returned to Aruba after his father's death, in February 2010.
21 year old, Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez, was business student at the University of Lima. The youngest child and only daughter of former race car driver, business man and entertainment organizer, Ricardo Flores. When Stephany failed to return to her father's home on Saturday night, May 30th, the family and local authorities, feared she had been kidnapped. The police told them they needed to wait for a phone call. Unable to sit and do nothing, the family had been searching on it's own. When they received word she had been seen entering a casino, they watched security tapes of Stephany playing poker with a young man who was known by the locals. Police started a search of the hotels - the family returned to their father's house where Carolina Flores, Stephany's sister-in-law did a Google search of the name they had been given; Joran van der Sloot.
Officials in Peru believe Joran had been observing the young poker player at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima. Stephany Flores Ramiriez was having a good week, winning over $10,000 dollars. Joran befriended her on May 27. Then on May 30th the two appeared to have been playing together and the police believe she left with him to split the nights winnings.
On June 2nd, at the Hotel TAC in Lima Peru, the body of 21 year old, Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez was found in room 309. The registered guest; one Joran van der Sloot. The two are seen by a guest and hotel employee entering the hotel, just after 5 AM. There is video of them entering room 309, together. But only Joran leaves.
Officials sighted Van der Sloot entering Chile, north of Arica, on May 31, 2010. On June 3rd, he was arrested there - local authorities claim he was found with bloody clothes, foreign currency, a business card case, a laptop, and detailed charts of the ocean currents around Lima, Peru. He told the Chilean Police, that there were armed robbers hiding in his hotel room and they killed Stephany, when she refused to be quiet. His Dutch attorney claimed that Joran was on his way to Santiago to turn himself in.
Van der Sloot arrived at Lima police headquarters on June 5, wearing a bullet proof vest, after Chilean Police handed him over to Peruvian authorities. With a translator provided by the the Dutch Embassy and a state-appointed lawyer, investigators interrogated him about the death; van der Sloot claimed that after leaving to purchase some coffee and bread he came back to find Stephany using his computer without his permission. They argued, van der Sloot stated, "I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life . . . she didn't have any right. I went to her and I hit her and she tried to escape," at which time he gave her a blow on the head with his fist and elbowed her in the face. At that time he claims "I took her by the neck and choked for a minute." and then "I took off my shirt and covered her face for several minutes, until she was motionless."
The immediate trouble with this, is that by Joran's account he took off his shirt during the attack - and used it as a tool to smother Stephany - after he returned from the store. Yet, video's of him walking out of the hotel, an hour and a half later, baggage in hand - he is wearing the same shirt he was seen wearing when he went to the store and returned with two cups of coffee. The shirt that authorities found in his possession, covered in Stephany's blood, appears to be the same a the one he was wearing when they entered the room together shortly after 5 AM.
An autopsy showed Stephany's blood alcohol level was too high to resist an attack and that she also had cocaine in her system. The brutal attack left her with blunt force injuries to her head, causing a brain hemorrhage and a broken neck, a shattered nose and face, abrasions all over her body. Dark red bruises on the left side of face. A tennis racket found at the scene has been determined to be the cause of the blunt trauma.
On June 11, 2010, Lima Superior Court Judge Juan Buendia ordered Van der Sloot to be held on charges of first-degree murder and robbery, determining that he acted with "ferocity and great cruelty." Under the Peruvian law, Joran will be tried by a judge, not a jury and he is not eligible for bail. The judge will start interviewing van der Sloot as early as Monday, June 21. When asked for a statement, his mother Anita, has expressed concern that her son's confession was coerced.
Peru has all but abolished the death penalty and seldom issues a life sentence; as elsewhere, confession is usually a defense strategy to reduce prison time, pleading down from murder to manslaughter, punishable by 6 to 20 years vs a conviction for murder, which could result in up to 35 years. However, a life sentence can be issued for a murder committed to enable a robbery. Such as Joran van der Sloot may soon find out.
Immediately following his confession, van der Sloot, who is now Inmate 326390 - was taken by armored truck to Miguel Castro Castro maximum security prison, in isolation and under 24 hour guard, he was placed in a cell near the prison director's office for his own safety. He has been on suicide watch, after banging his head against a cell wall shortly after his arrest.
According to ABC news, on June 18th, Melody Grandadillo - Joran's ex girlfriend received an email from Anita van der Sloot saying "I am not giving interviews to any American media station because I don't trust them. Stay safe and pray for Joran. He is not the monster they like the world to see. he is traumatized, depressed an has an addiction. He is not a murderer. It stinks and feels like a big trap set up for him."
From Aruba, on June 19th, Anita van der Sloot is again claiming her sweet boy who loved his grandma and animals had nothing to do with the death of Natalee Holloway - he has been so traumatized by the Holloway ordeal that it left him "sick in the head". But he wanted no help. She says she tried to have him hospitalized, but he refused. Instead running to Peru where he happened upon another young woman in a casino, who is now dead. Anita has not been to see Joran since he has been incarcerated, saying "If only he had listened to his mother. Then, this would have never happened. If he did this, he must bear the consequences. I can not embrace him."