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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Joran van der Sloot admits to killing Natalee Holloway, judge says

By Claire Moses and Christine Hauser

The man who has long been linked to the 2005 disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway described in court documents released Wednesday brutally attacking her on a beach in Aruba after she rejected his advances.

It was the first time that details of Holloway’s disappearance have been made public, and it came after Joran van der Sloot, a 36-year-old Dutchman, agreed to provide “full, complete, accurate and truthful information” about it in exchange for a 20-year sentence on extortion and wire fraud charges.

As part of a plea agreement, van der Sloot pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham to charges that he had tried to extort Holloway’s mother, prosecutors said. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In court, Judge Anna M. Manasco said that as part of the sentencing decision, van der Sloot had confessed to killing Holloway and disposing of her remains, The Associated Press reported.

Van der Sloot has been serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian student, Stephany Flores. He will have to return to Peru to finish his sentence for that crime as well as another for a drug-smuggling charge.

“You have brutally murdered, in separate instances years apart, two young women who refused your sexual advances,” Manasco said, according to the AP.

Among the court documents released with the plea agreement were excerpts from an account that van der Sloot gave to his lawyer, Kevin Butler, on Oct. 3.

In the transcript, van der Sloot described wanting to be dropped off with Holloway a distance from her hotel so he “might still get a chance to, to be with her.”

He said they began kissing while lying on the beach, but she refused further sexual advances. When he persisted, he said, she kneed him in the crotch, and he kicked her “extremely hard” in the face. At that point, he said, she was “possibly even, uh, even dead but definitely unconscious.”

He picked up a large cinder block and used it to “smash her head in with it completely,” he said.

He brought her to the ocean’s edge in a “half pull, half walk,” wading in up to his knees. “I push her off” into the water, he said, and then he walked home.

Van der Sloot has never been charged in Holloway’s death or her disappearance while on a trip with her high school class in Aruba, the Caribbean island nation and former Dutch colony where van der Sloot was living at the time.

“Today marks the end of 18 years of wondering what happened to Natalee Holloway,” Prim Escalona, the interim U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, told reporters after the hearing.

Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, said at a news conference after the hearing that van der Sloot had “finally confessed” and that more details would be made public.

“He is the killer,” she said, adding, “He described when and how he killed her.”

“As far as I am concerned it’s over. It’s over,” she said. “I’m satisfied knowing that he did it, he did it alone, and he disposed of her alone.”

She said his confession “means we’ve finally reached the end of our never-ending nightmare.”

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