// This Man's Confession Shocks Police And Changes Everything In Missing Teen Case

Natalee’s Backstory

Natalee grew up in Clinton, Mississippi. Her parents divorced when she was around seven years old, and she and her brother lived with their mother, Beth. Her mother remarried in 2000 and the family moved to Alabama.

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Natalee’s Backstory
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An Unexpected Case

When a family splits up in a divorce, it can be difficult to deal with for any child and especially for young children. However, Natalee took it well and was a happy child who grew up to be a normal kid like others her own age. Her home was filled with love, and the family held strong values and morals. What made her disappearance so shocking was exactly that – no one would’ve ever expected her to have been involved in anything like this.

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An Unexpected Case

Trip

Natalee graduated from high school at the top of her class with good grades and a clean disciplinary record. She was rewarded by earning a spot at the University of Alabama where she wanted to major in pre-med. Natalee and her friends were about to split up to go off to different colleges so she asked her parents if she could go to Aruba with her friends so they could say goodbye to each other in style. Her parents gave their blessing.

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Trip

Party

Natalee traveled to Aruba with a large contingent of her school friends on May 26, 2005. There was a total of seven chaperones that traveled with the group who were there to check in on the students from time to time and make sure nothing went wrong. In hindsight, it would’ve been hard for them to monitor a group of that size effectively as there was not enough supervision to look out for every one of the kids traveling. This is heralded as the group’s first major mistake.

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Party

Wild

After arriving and settling in the accommodation, the group began to party. There was a lot of underage drinking among the group as well as whispers of girls and guys swapping rooms. The plan was for the group to be separated into girls and guys rooms and there was also talk that Natalee, in particular, was starting every day with a number of cocktails. It’s clear that there was some lax behavior among the kids.

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Wild

Legal To Drink?

The drinking age in the United States is 21, but in Aruba Natalee and the group were at the legal age for drinking. Parents are forced to accept this when their kids travel outside of the US. Most other countries in the world permit drinking at the age of 18. Questions were asked as to whether Natalee was enjoying her drink responsibly or whether she was losing control somewhat. This fine line is rode by many young people who are suddenly exposed to intoxicating substances such as alcohol.

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Legal To Drink?

Bad Influences

There have been reports that although there were some responsible adults on the trip, Natalee’s closest friends were not the best influence on her. The chaperones were not able to keep an eye on the whole group at all time, and so the likelihood of something bad being able to happen grows. As previously mentioned, the group was out partying every night, and there was some wild behavior just before she mysteriously disappeared.

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Bad Influences

Meetup

On the final day of the trip, Natalee and another friend went out to party one last time. This, unfortunately, turned out to be the fatal night where she met a Dutch man called Joran Van Der Sloot. He was only 17 and was in Aruba with his two friend who were brothers – Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe. Natalee and Joran got along well, and she ended up leaving the bar with the boys.

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Meetup

Joran

Joran moved to Aruba with his family in 1990 when he was very young. In his teenage years, he began studying at the International School of Aruba and was an exceptional student who excelled at most things he put his hand to. He was a sports star and an honors student. Like Natalee, no one could’ve predicted what was about to happen.

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Joran

A Troubled Past

Joran’s family was fairly well off, and he had a very nice upbringing. Again, there was nothing to suggest, at least from the outside, that anything bad could be on the horizon for Joran or his family. Joran’s father was a successful lawyer, and his mother worked as an art teacher. It later transpired that Joran’s mother, Anita, admitted that Joran had a tendency to lie a lot. While living in the family home, Joran would lie to his family and sneak out to parties and casinos.

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A Troubled Past

Last Night

The final night in Aruba when Natalee went out was the last time that she was seen. The exact moment she was last seen was in front of the Carlos’ n Charlie’s at around 1.30am. She was seen getting into a car with the Dutch boys Joran, Deepak, and Satish. When the group met up at the airport, she was not there. They found her bags packed at the hotel with her passport inside. This would become the first clue in the case.

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Last Night

Where Was Natalee?

Everyone became suspicious immediately after realizing that she hadn’t turned up to catch the flight back home. We know by now that odd behavior was out of character for her and everyone was convinced something bad had happened. It was quickly discovered that she had been with Joran the night before when she was last seen, so it was immediately suspected that a person had been responsible for whatever had happened to her and he quickly became the prime suspect. However, the police were most interested in finding Natalee.

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Where Was Natalee?

The Search

The group notified the police of the disappearance and the local authorities swiftly launched a search operation. Many people, including volunteers, scoured the whole island and surrounding water but did not find any trace of Natalee. The police questioned Natalee’s group and discovered that she was last seen with Joran and his friends. They tracked him down and interrogated them. They all said that they dropped her off at her hotel after leaving the bar and had no idea where she might have gone.

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The Search

Extensive Operation

News of Natalee’s disappearance quickly spread across Aruba, and thousands of people came out to help locate the girl. Along with the public, the FBI were flown in as well as Dutch soldiers and a few Dutch Air Force F-16 aircraft joined the search. They found no trace of Natalee at all which led the authorities to wonder if she had been taken somewhere else or dumped in a spot that could be not be reached by the search party.

aruba- searching
Extensive Operation

Beth Arrives

When the news reached the Holloway family, Beth, Natalee’s mother, flew out to Aruba to find her beloved daughter. It’s easy to understand the incredible horror that would’ve gone along with discovering news such as this. After doing some investigating, she also found out that Van Der Sloot was the last person to see Natalee. Although, when speaking to her, he admitted that Natalee fell when she got out of the car but didn’t want them to help her.

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Beth Arrives

New Suspects

Joran was started to add things to his story. He also mentioned that after she had exited the car, Natalee bumped into a man in a black shirt when entering her hotel. He went on to say that he didn’t feel alarmed because he thought the man was a security guard. Later, two men were arrested by the police. Abraham Jones and Nick John were both taken into custody and both have previously worked as security guards at a hotel nearby.

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New Suspects

Alibis

Separately, the police had received information about these two characters. They were known to ‘pick up’ women around the local hotels, and one of them was actually known to the local police as he had a record. It wasn’t known what these men would do women that they ‘picked up’ but both of the men in question were able to give alibis and were released from police custody shortly after. They were held for eight days total.

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Alibis

Kalpoe’s Confession

Fast forward to September 2005, the TV show Dr. Phil showed some clips of an interview with one of the Kalpoe who was there on the night she disappeared. It was a secret camera interview, so he did not know he was being filmed and was asked about ‘intimate acts’ that occurred on that fatal night. He said “She did. You’d be surprised how easy it was.” It was assumed that Natalee had ‘been with’ all three of the men on that last night.

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Kalpoe’s Confession

False Interpretation

The episode of Dr. Phil was viewed by a lot of people, and they were shocked as to the confession as Natalee was known to be a very good girl and it appeared her reputation had been tarnished by this claim. However, it later transpired that the Aruban police had not released the full interview clips and that, in fact, Deepak was misquoted and he shook his head and said ‘”No, she didn’t” to the question. The Holloway family was relieved.

aruba-tapes
False Interpretation

Suspicion

The trail had gone cold when the two men were previously released, and the authorities had no other suspects apart from them and the Dutch boys. So it was decided that they talk to the Dutch boys again and put pressure on them. They arrested Van der Sloot and the two brothers, but they were forced to release them soon after as they were not able to find any solid evidence that would indicate their involvement in any wrongdoing.

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Suspicion

Steve Croes

While Joran Van der Sloot was being questioned again by police, they were hanging on his every word in order to see if there was anything behind what he was saying. Any name that was mentioned would result in an investigation to see if there was any connection. Joran mentioned a DJ named Steve Croes. The police wanted to chase any and all leads, so they located him, but he provided a solid alibi and was ruled out as a suspect.

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Steve Croes

Joran’s Father

The police were becoming desperate for information. It led them to bring Joran’s father to the station for questioning. They were clutching at straws to gain any useful information to help them discover Natalee’s fate. Even though Paul Van Der Sloot was a lawyer, it didn’t stop the police from considering him as a suspect. Again, he provided a solid alibi and was quickly released.

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Joran’s Father

Changes

The police had basically ran out of options with regards to people that they gain any insights from. Because of this, they just kept returning to the original suspects in the hope that someone would say something different. They went again to question Joran and the brothers, but this time their stories began to differ. The Kalpoe brothers decided to turn on Joran. They claimed that they had dropped Natalee and Joran off at the Marriott Hotel and they went home without them.

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Changes

Van der Sloot Interview

Joran was becoming somewhat of a wanted man for press interviews about Natalee and one with Fox News was found to be of interest. In the interview, he told a story that suggested he was on the beach alone with Natalee and that she wanted to be ‘intimate’ with him, but they were unable to do so as he didn’t have any protection. He claimed that she wanted to stay on the beach, but he has asked the Kalpoe brothers to pick him alone.

aruba- van der sloot
Van der Sloot Interview

Conflicting Stories

Joran insisted that he had asked the Kalpoe brothers to pick him up from the beach where he was with Natalee, but the Kalpoe’s lawyers were telling a different story. They said that their client Satish had insisted that he was asleep at 3.30am, the time Joran had called him to pick him up. The discrepancies in the various stories did not, however, lead the police to discover anything substantial that would lead them to Natalee.

aruba- van der sloot
Conflicting Stories

Case Closed

Come 2007; the prosecutor Hans Mos decided to officially close the case as there was just no concrete evidence on anyone to file charges or figure out what happened to Natalee. Regardless, a close eye was kept on Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoes, and it emerged that the boys had allegedly said in a group chat that Natalee was dead. Although, the Kalpoe’s Lawyer later stated that the boys were referring to a teacher who had drowned and it was not in reference to Natalee.

aruba- arrest
Case Closed

Time

A long time had since passed without the case advancing at all as there were no new leads. The authorities felt a huge sense of embarrassment and guilt as they were tasked with finding out what had happened to the poor girl. It was two years since she had gone missing and given that there was nowhere else to turn, they decided to arrest the Dutch boys one more time. By this time Joran Van Der Sloot had moved to The Netherlands and had to be extradited back to Aruba. However, he was again able to get out of it and was released.

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Time

Breakthrough

One year on from that in 2008, there was a report circulating that Joran had confessed his involvement in Natalee’s disappearance. A Dutch journalist released footage from hidden camera footage shot by Patrick Van Der Eem. Van Der Eem was an ex-convict and former businessman who won the trust and respect of Joran Van Der Sloot. Once he felt comfortable, he asked Joran about that night and let Joran tell him all.

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Breakthrough

Confession

After three long years, Joran finally began to tell his story. He claimed that he and Natalee were at the beach when she abruptly began to convulse violently. After they had passed, she was no longer responding to anything he said or did. He went on to explain that he attempted to resuscitate her but not to no avail. At this point, he called a friend called Daury. Daury told Joran to go home and that he would take care of her body.

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Confession

Contact

Joran had clearly confessed to his part in Natalee’s demise but was not arrested by authorities. Anyone familiar with the story who heard his claims about what had happened on that fateful night would’ve been mortified to hear what Joran had claimed happened. Strangely, Joran eventually contacted Natalee’s mom Beth to offer to tell her the location of her daughter’s body. However, he asked her to pay him $250,000 for the information.

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Contact

FBI

Following her discussion with Joran, Beth Holloway contacted the FBI to tell them what he had said to her. The FBI decided to go along with demands but set up a trap to snare Van Der Sloot. Natalee’s mom wired Joran $15,000 as an advance. Joran was back in Aruba and was charged by authorities in Alabama after the transfer was completed. However, he was not able to be extradited to the US to face charges.

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FBI

Fabricated Stories

Van Der Sloot confirmed that he had lied to police during the initial investigations about what went on that night, but that in his attempt to extort money from the Holloways he was telling the exact truth. The authorities were unable to find any evidence of him burying Natalee’s body, which lead Natalee’s father to conclude “We’ve done a lot of searching and things like that, but the ocean has a tendency to take care of things. I would say most likely we won’t find her, but I never say never.”

aruba- van der sloot 2
Fabricated Stories

Peru

When Joran received the $15,000 from the Holloways, he decided it would best to flee Aruba so decided he would try to escape to Peru. First, he went to Colombia as a stopover and from there continued his journey to Peru. He planned to join the Latin American Poker Tour which was in Peru at the time. From this, it was clear that Joran was definitely not a murderous mastermind but a gambling addict who was trying to satisfy his insatiable urges.

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Peru

Stephany Flores

Some time later in 2010, 21-year-old student Stephany Flores was reported missing in Peru. Strangely enough, it emerged that she had attended the same poker tournament as Joran Van Der Sloot. This time, the young girl was found to have been beaten to death in her hotel room. In a further twist, the hotel room she was found in was in Van Der Sloot’s name, and it appeared he hadn’t attempted to cover up his actions this time. The police in Peru arrested Joran, and he was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

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Stephany Flores

Searching

The Holloway family never stopped looking for Natalee. Even after years had passed, there were no answers to the many questions. Natalee’s parents had since divorced, but both continued to pursue the case further by chasing down any potential leads. Dave Holloway searched the entire island including on land, sea, and air. Beth Holloway spent time reaching out to groups of youngsters who were traveling abroad to warn them of the dangers they might face.

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Searching

Media Scrutiny

Natalee’s disappearance was a big news story for America’s media but rather than people worrying about the girl’s whereabouts; some people focused on the fact that it was only widely covered because she was a pretty blonde, white and American. Arguments came that people from minorities who had gone missing or found dead, would not get as much airtime. In response to these claims, many journalists shut them down with one unapologetically stating “I don’t believe it’s my role to judge what people want to watch.”

Natalee Holloway’s mysterious disappearance continued to be a major headline maker in the American media. Although, many people accused the media of focusing on her plight because she was young, pretty, blonde and white. Families of other minorities who had missing children and friends who had been killed would not get as much airtime, many people commented. Amazingly, some journalists responded to the claims by stating “I don’t believe it’s my role to judge what people want to watch.”

aruba- media
Media Scrutiny

Police Theory

Before he stopped working on the case, the Aruban police commissioner said in an interview from 2006 that he was fairly certain Natalee had died as a result of alcohol poisoning or drug overdoes. He completely disregarded the notion that may have been murdered and her body buried somewhere. He went on to state that Aruba spent $3 million over the course of the investigation which was 40% of their entire budget. It was noted that he might have been trying to convince people that it was a dead end and no more money should be spent trying to locate Natalee’s body.

aruba- dompig
Police Theory

Petition

In 2011, Natalee’s father filed a petition to the court to declare his daughter dead. It may be difficult to grasp why a parent wanted to do such a thing and initially, Beth, her mother, was not in agreement with him. Because of the difference in opinion, the decision had to be argued in a court of law. An unbiased judge would have to rule on the decision as both sides had convincing reasons for their respective wishes.

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Petition

Declaration

It wasn’t until 2012 that the hearing was held as to whether Natalee would be declared dead or not. After each side had presented their case, the decision was made. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge decided to rule in favor of her father and Natalee was declared dead. It was hoped that this might bring some closure to the case and both sides might be able to carry on with their lives.

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Declaration

U.S. Boycott

A boycott of Aruba was suggested by an Alabama Congressional delegation which included congressmen and senators. One senator, Richard Selby, penned a letter to the American Society of Travel Agents – “For the safety, security, and well-being of our citizens, I do not believe that we can trust that we will be protected while in Aruba. The Prime Minister of Aruba responded by claiming “This is a preposterous and irresponsible act. We are not guerillas. We are not terrorists. We don’t pose a threat to the United States, nor to Alabama.”

aruba- holloway boycott
U.S. Boycott

Healing

Even after the ruling, both parents were understandably devastated by events and struggled to come to terms with what had happened to their daughter. Dave and Beth both expressed themselves in word by releasing books with their side of the story and feelings on the case. It would be hard for anyone to come to terms with their loss and return to a normal life but they persevered. The Holloways had other children and had since become grandparents after Natalee’s brother Matt welcome a baby girl into the world.

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Healing

The Visit

Joran is still in Peru serving his 28-year sentence for the murder of the other girl, despite some people calling for an even more severe sentence. For her own peace of mind, Beth Holloway decided to visit Joran Van Der Sloot in a Peruvian prison to talk to him. After the meeting, she said that it really enabled her to move on with her life. This closure has allowed to move on somewhat and find some peace in her life.

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The Visit

New Evidence

In 2016, an undercover reporter was sent to the Peruvian prison that Joran van der Sloot is still locked up in. He was talking to the reporter, who was secretly filming him, when he essentially admitted to committing the crime that for so long everyone suspected him of committing. He said, “I think that was one of the worst police investigations that ever took place!…this is also where I am guilty, and I accept everything that I have done.”

Finally, 11 years after Natalee Holloway had disappeared, there was a chilling confession. An undercover reporter traveled to the Peruvian prison to talk to Joran himself. He filmed their conversation with a secret camera and shockingly admitted to the killing which he was for so long suspected of doing. “I think that was one of the worst police investigations that ever took place!…this is also where I am guilty, and I accept everything that I have done,” Joran told the reporter.

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New Evidence

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