Joran Van der Sloot (23), who many believe had a significant role in the disappearance and suspected murder of American teenager Natalee Holloway, has indicated he will plead guilty by reason of insanity for the violent murder of 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores. Flores was killed on May 30, 2010, five years to the day when then 18-year-old Holloway disappeared while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot and his two male friends, brothers Deepack and Satish Kalpoe, were the last persons known to have been with Holloway on the night of her disappearance. Van der Sloot has "confessed" to being with her when she died and of disposing of her body. His confessions were made to various friends and others, but were never allowed to be the basis of an arrest and prosecution as local Arubian officials believed he was a pathological liar and that no one could tell when he was lying and when he was being truthful.
Van der Sloot is accused of murdering Flores after he allegedly became enraged when she used his laptop computer to search his name, uncovering his relation to Holloway, this just prior to Flores' murder. Authorities believe Van der Sloot met Flores at a poker tournament in Peru, and either saw or knew she had won $10,000 on May 24, 2010, and smaller amounts on subsequent days. Van der Sloot's luck was not near as good, and, as the story goes, he murdered her to steal her poker winnings, afterward stealing her car to flee the country. As Van der Sloot exhibits many of the classic characteristics of a sociopath, murdering for money would not be beyond him. It was revealed in 2008 that he was involved in efforts to sell Thai women into prostitution around the world, efforts that he indicated would bring him $13,000 per woman.
After his arrest in Chili and his subsequent incarceration in Peru's notorious Castro Castro prison (population 2,300), Van der Sloot allegedly confessed and then retracted his confession implicating himself in Flores' murder. He has also attempted to manipulate both Arubian and U.S. authorities, suggesting that he might provide needed information concerning Holloway's disappearance if he were extradited to Aruba. Evidently he would do just about anything, perhaps even come close to telling the truth to escape his fate in Peru. Concerning Flores' death, he indicated that he hit her in her face with his elbow, then strangled and asphyxiated her, suggesting, however, that she threw the first blow. A local coroner said Flores' was bludgeoned (a baseball bat found at the crime scene was the suspected murder weapon) and then asphyxiated.
Now Joran has a new ploy. If he can't retract his confession for Flores' murder, he'll add a small addendum; one stating that he was temporarily insane at the time he killed her in his hotel room. Van der Sloot's defense will be one centering on "violent emotion," alleging he killed Flores because she enraged him when she snuck into his laptop to look his name up. Just like old Joran; it's always the fault of someone else. Were he to be successful in this "crazy" defense, he could shorten his jail time from up to 35 years to as low as three years, further hoping that he could then be released in as little as 20 months. Van der Sloot, a self-confessed congenital liar, has been a con-man for most of his teenage and his short adult life. He probably believes he can once again beat the system, and once again, as many believe, get away with murder.
At the time of Flores' murder, the US Government was building an extortion case against Van der Sloot, this centered around $25,000 extortion money that he was given by a Holloway family representative in exchange for his offered assistance in resolving her disappearance. This was, of course, just another lie, and he took the money and ran. In this case, though, the FBI was planning to indict him for extortion and wire fraud (which they subsequently did), extradite him to America and charge him with these and other offenses. Unfortunately it appears he may have used some of the $25,000 to travel to Peru where he met and subsequently murdered Flores.
It there is one thing right that the Arubian Government can do at this point, it is to do nothing and let the wheels of justice in Peru deal with the confessed killer. Flores' father, Ricardo, is a well-known race car driver and a past candidate for Vice President and President in Peru. It is hard to believe that Van der Sloot, who was accustomed to conning and lying his way across Aruba and Holland due to his father's status as a lawyer and judge in training, will be able to have any similar level of success in Peru. And as much as the Holloway family (and most of America) would love to solve the mystery of Natalee's disappearance and lay it once and for all at Joran's feet, he is probably just where he should be for the next 35 years. Let's hope he and the affected families finally find true justice.
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