Joran van der Sloot Admitted to Killing Natalee Holloway, but Why Did He Do It?

On Oct. 18, 2023, Joran van der Sloot confessed to killing Natalee Holloway. What motivated him to murder the teenager in Aruba in 2005?


Oct. 19 2023, Published 11:20 a.m. ET

Joran van der Sloot arriving for a hearing at the Lurigancho prison in Lima on Jan. 11, 2011
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Joran van der Sloot has confessed to the murder of Natalee Holloway 18 years after she went missing.
  • Van der Sloot killed Natalee after she refused his sexual advances and kicked him in the crotch. He then kicked her in the face and bludgeoned her with a cinder block.
  • Van der Sloot is already serving a lengthy jail sentence in Peru because he killed another woman who also refused his sexual advances.
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The Natalee Holloway case, which remained unsolved for nearly two decades, finally reached a more definitive end on Oct, 18, 2023. Joran van der Sloot, the man who was long suspected of being Natalee's killer, finally confessed to her murder.

Now that Van der Sloot has confessed to the crime, there's still information about the case that many want to know. Among the most pressing questions is why it took him so long to confess, how exactly the crime was committed, and what his motivations were for killing Holloway. Now, we know most of the important details related to the case.

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Joran van der Sloot looking over his shoulder in court.
Source: Getty Images

Why did Joran van der Sloot kill Natalee Holloway?

Van der Sloot confessed to the murder, saying that he killed Natalee in Aruba with a cinder block after she refused his sexual advances. He said that Holloway kneed him in the crotch after he tried to touch her without her consent. After she did so, he responded by kicking her in the face and then bludgeoning her with the cinder block. Van der Sloot said that he carried Holloway's body into the ocean, which means that her body will never be recovered.

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Van der Sloot is also responsible for the death of Stephany Flores, a Peruvian woman who died in 2010. The story there was very much the same, with Van der Sloot getting violent after his sexual advances were refused. Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for Flores's murder. His sentence in the U.S. for sex trafficking and Natalee's death likely means that he won't serve any jail time in the U.S.

Joran van der Sloot has long been a suspect in Natalee's death.

Van der Sloot's confession came after more than a decade of mystery and unease around Holloway's disappearance. He was among the last people to be with Holloway before her death and was arrested in 2007 in connection with the crime. Ultimately, an Aruban judge had to let Van der Sloot and two other men go because there was a lack of direct evidence connecting him to the murder.

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Van der Sloot's confession was part of a deal he reached in connection with his attempt to extort Holloway's family by giving information about the location of her remains to her mother in exchange for a $250,000 reward.

“It’s over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer,” Beth Holloway said. “After 18 years, Natalee’s case is solved. He gave a proffer in which he finally confessed to killing Natalee.”

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