Joren van der Sloot Finally Confesses to Murder Natalie Halloway

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

It's been nearly 20 years since Natalee Holloway disappeared on the island of Aruba.  She had traveled there with friends following her high school graduation.  The Alabama teen then vanished.  The suspect in her disappearance was none other than local resident Joran Andreas Petrus van der Sloot.


In 2005, van der Sloot was a teenager himself from a well-connected family.  His dad Paulus was an atorney and at the time training to be a judge. Van der Sloot's parents were later found to have inserted themselves into the Halloway investigation and his dad briefly taken into custody.  Paul even led police to the casino where his son was spending the evening gambling, but by the time they arrived he had already returned home.

Five years later, any facade that van der Sloot was an innocent young man came crashing down after an arrest and subsequent 28-year-old sentencing in the murder of a woman he met in a Lima, Peru casino.

Stephany Flores Ramírez, also from a prominent family, was found choked and beaten to death in a hotel room registered under the Dutchman's name.  

Police said at the time van der Sloot and Flores were captured on surveillance video leaving a casino and were later seen together by hotel staff at the Miraflores Hotel Tac, where he was staying. 

van der Sloot was in attendance at the PokerStars sponsored Latin American Poker Tour during its early leg before arriving in Lima. He is also known to have been an online poker player, having played in at least five online poker rooms and won over $12,000 in a poker tournament sponsored by the year prior.  His most recognized poker handles was AANOTILTKK at

He used the handle (player name) angryshark68 in both the and the now defunct online poker rooms, according to reports.  He was reportedly using the handle pokerpro68of on another now shuttered internet poker room Full Tilt Poker.

On October 18, 2023, while still serving the 28-year Peruvian prison sentence for Flores’s murder, van der Sloot finally confessed to authorities that he murdered Holloway. The confession is part of a plea agreement whereby he is set to be sentenced to 20 years in US prison for extortion and wire fraud, not murder.  Specifically, the charges resulted from a 2010 $25,000 extortion attempt from Holloway’s mother while providing her with false information about her daughter's murder.

van der Sloot says he killed Natalie with a cinder block and left her in the ocean. Now Aruba considers possible next steps even with the statute of limitations having apparently run out. 

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over,” Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Alabama. “Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”

Now 36, van der Sloot has pleaded guilty to one count each of extortion and wire fraud in exchange for the 20-year sentence. That prison term will run concurrently with the sentence he's currently serving in Peru.

U.S. Judge Anna Manasco said the details of his confession factored into her sentencing decision.

“You have brutally murdered — in separate instances years apart — two young women who refused your sexual advances,” she said.

- Nagesh Rath,

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