Joran Van Der Sloot Sought For Peru Murder on Anniversary of Holloway Disappearance

This is just too bizarre. Joran Van Der Sloot is being sought for the murder of a young Peruvian woman this past weekend. The bloody murder occurred in a Lima hotel room rented by him.

Officials believe Flores was killed exactly five years after Holloway's May 30, 2005, disappearance. Flores was found beaten and stabbed to death in a room booked in van der Sloot's name, police said. A hotel employee told police that Flores entered the hotel early Sunday morning with van der Sloot.

....Flores left a friend's home Wednesday morning and was last seen that evening leaving a casino with Van der Sloot, according local media quoting to the woman's father, Ricardo Flores, a Peruvian businessman and racecar driver. Surveillance cameras caught the pair leaving the casino together.

Van der Sloot arrived in Peru on May 14 for a poker tournament. Authorities believe he fled Peru after the murder, crossed into Chile and is en route to Argentina.

< Artur Davis Loses in Ala. Gov. Race | Rod Blagojevich Trial to Begin: Media Team in Place >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Didn't realize it was the anniversary (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:29:23 PM EST
    Add bizarre to my 'awful' in the last thread. I guess getting away with something once makes no impact on some people's life plan.

    not only sad for the young lady murdered (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by athyrio on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:36:56 PM EST
    but quite stupid and arrogant of this guy...I always think people that murder their "first wife" that don't get caught are always so stupid to try it again as if noone will check them out...Maybe this used to be the way they did things but in todays world of DNA evidence etc etc of forensic science, it is quite stupid IMO...

    A lot of physical evidence this time (none / 0) (#3)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:48:45 PM EST
    She was (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:04:20 PM EST
    Apparently stabbed multiple times and wrapped in a blanket. (That's what little is being reported now).

    And her father is a businessman and ace car driver - he will likely wield a little more influence to find Van Der Sloot than Natalee Holloway's parents did.


    Natalee Holloway's parents wielded (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:26:57 PM EST
    unbelievable amounts of influence.  

    The case became a ratings bonanza for Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly.  O'Reilly nearly started a boycott of Aruba based on the case.

    More attention and pressure was applied to that case than almost any other.

    The problem was a lack of evidence....


    Probably not as much (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:33:13 PM EST
    As a successfull businessman and famous race car driver of the same country.

    And you know the Gretas, the Glenns, and the Nancys will be all over this, especially as it has the added appeal of "international fugitive."


    Far, far more important (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:53:11 PM EST
    is that this is a Peruvian girl murdered in Peru by a foreigner.  Natalee Holloway was an American girl presumably murdered in Aruba by one of their own.

    Peru also does not have heavy teen tourist traffic the way Aruba does.  Aruban authorities had huge motivation to sweep the whole business under the rug, and especially not to charge a young Aruban man with drugging and killing a U.S. teen on a graduation trip to their resort.

    In any case, in the Dutch system, there's no penalty for lying to investigators, so the fact that he apparently told many different stories served to throw smoke over the whole case, which was weak to begin with, with no legal consequences to him.


    "off the record" confessions (none / 0) (#40)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:03:59 PM EST
    by young males are always suspect. The verbal behavior of young males, at least in Western culture for the most part, can be manipulated extensively by those who know how to do it. The myriad of "confessions" attributed to van der Sloot could easily be a sign that he is simply quite manipulable in terms of what he says if he thinks he is off the record. The authorities who evaluated these secretly filmed statements seemed to agree. The reason they agree is because they understand young men. In the film I saw, it was quite clear Joran was telling a fish story about a sexual encounter -- the murder was the last thing he was even thinking about. I'm sure the reporter set it up that way, because the reporter understands young men and how to get them to say what he wants to hear. Young males will make up many stories and say many things about themselves to protect their adolescent idealistic self image. They will say most anything off the record which leads others to believe that they have practically superhuman sexual prowess and worldly sexual experience, they are exclusively heterosexual, they can successfully put the make on any woman, they are not afraid to fight -- anybody -- and that they will prevail in any conflict. That is why it is so important to understand the context of "confessions" from young males, because they have so many self-image interests to protect every time they open their mouths. Most of them I know would admit to murder before admitting to homosexuality -- and they would consider it a bargain! They will say surprising things to inflate beliefs about the size of their genitalia. All you have to do to get a "confession" is to make them believe that failing to make the statement proves that they are weak, gay, sexually inexperienced, or have a small penis. I am sorry, but I am no more impressed by the so-called confessions than the authorities were.

    Oh, I agree entirely (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:25:22 PM EST
    I thought those video "confessions" were bogus start to finish.

    But the "stories" I was talking about weren't those apparent confessions, they were the endless variations on his innocence he told not just to cops in Aruba but to Holloway's parents and TV interviewers, parents, lawyers, etc.

    If it was a deliberate strategy encouraged by his lawyer father, it was a pretty good one because it almost totally insulated him from accidentally incriminating himself.  He'd told so many different versions that there was no way to know which, if any, were true.  In none of them did he "confess" to anything other than sex on the beach.  But the details of how that happened and what he did and she did afterward, who else was there, whether sex actually happened or not (in at least one version, he refused her) were all over the map.  Somebody counted up 11 different stories, which may be an exaggerration, but probably there were at least a half dozen.

    The guy's a world-class manipulator and an obvious sociopath, but I've never been convinced in my own mind whether he outright killed her, whether she died from drugs and alcohol or something else in his presence, or afterward, or he had nothing at all to do with it, or exactly what happened.

    But it seems awfully hard to swallow the idea that this would happen twice.


    Good point (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:41:32 PM EST
    I had thought that perhaps something accidental happened to Natalee and Van Der Sloot was covering up that fact....

    But, two coincidences in a row?


    And (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:52:27 PM EST
    He's still the main suspect in the Holloway case -it isn't closed.  

    the Aruban authorities have said (none / 0) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:18:21 PM EST
    over and over they don't believe his purported confessions. That the case is open means it's still unsolved. That they haven't sought to try him for the crime means they don't have evidence. Without evidence, he's not guilty. Whether you believe it or not.

    I have to disagree (none / 0) (#27)
    by Trickster on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:47:35 PM EST
    The richest man in the world could not create the massive free publicity that attended the Holloway investigation.  Absent similar circumstances (cable-TV-friendly disappearance of pretty young American blonde from nice family), this won't get that much interest.

    When I first heard about this, I thought "overzealous prosecutor looking to tab this guy because he got bad press from the other thing."  Having read the facts recounted above, I recant that opinion.  You can't blame the prosecutor for taking a bit of interest in the guy last seen with the victim and who booked the hotel room where the murder occurred.


    In all fairness (none / 0) (#5)
    by nyjets on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:15:53 PM EST
    In all fairness, the 2 cases are different. In the case of Natalee Holloway, people are still unsure what happened to here. While most people believe she is dead, the circumstances is still unknown. And without a body, it is very difficult to get someone on a murder charge.
    In this case, there is a body and with it a fair amount of evidence. Therefore, it will be a lot easier for the authority to prosecute someone.

    True (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:31:38 PM EST
    But Peru's justice system runs under the Napoleonic code, which means it only has panels of judges to hear cases and not juries. Here's a quote I found from a site about freeing Lori Berenson from 2001:

    Under the Napoleonic Code, a person is presumed guilty if arrested by the state after an investigation. Although the presumption of innocence is written into Peruvian law, the practice more closely follows that French tradition.

    ``If there is evidence of guilt, the person must demonstrate he is innocent,'' said attorney Martin Belaunde, president of Peru's Bar Association. ``He isn't guilty yet, but he is in a middle ground. There is still a presumption of innocence, but it is a weakened presumption.''

    Plus, what few facts we know so far seem to mirror what we know about the Holloway case (met her in a club / casino, went back to a hotel room with her, last person to see victim, etc.) means that if this case goes to trial in Peru, will more than likely being relevant.  (Based on the rules of Peru's criminal law, of course).

    And of course, he was also taped admitting to killing Natalee Holloway, which he then later recanted.  Of course, that does not prove anything, but my guess is, the authorities will figure out how to use it against him (again, if allowed under Peruvian criminal law).


    And (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:46:01 PM EST
    Van der Sloot doesn't have his father to protect him this time, as the elder Van der Sloot passed away in February.

    Jeez. He's just gone and (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by scribe on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:21:55 PM EST
    given Nancy Grace a five-year extension on her contract.

    No worries (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:57:30 PM EST
    It's too far away and doesn't involve a pretty white American teenager.

    They'll certainly cover it, but nowhere near the saturation coverage a crime involving an attractive white U.S. girl does.

    I can't believe youse guys scoff at (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:37:30 PM EST
    my Polanski obsession.  <snk.>

    Anyone knowledgeable about how cooperative (none / 0) (#6)
    by Raskolnikov on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:16:37 PM EST
    South American countries are with each other regarding extradition?

    There's definitely an extradition treaty between (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:44:52 PM EST
    Argentina and Peru. And some big name extraditions between them in the past decade. I doubt it would be tough.

    I guess there must be (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 03:59:07 PM EST
    an extradition treaty of some sort between Chile and Peru.  The Chilean police picked him up and are
    awaiting instructions from their counterparts in Peru, Ovalle said.

    If they're "awaiting insctructions," I would think that there must be some kind of co-operative agreement between the two countries.

    The Chilean authorities (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 04:02:38 PM EST
    are saing he'll probably be extradited in 4-5 days.

    Surprised you all know so much about (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:54:23 PM EST
    this.  My first reaction: who the heck is  Joran Van Der Sloot?

    You apparently (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:55:59 PM EST
    Did not watch cable news for most of 2005 and 2006.  :)

    Correct. I watched for a short time (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:58:58 PM EST
    during the primaries.  

    Much ado about Natalie around these parts...

    I am more interested in politics (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:27:54 PM EST
    than I am in unsolved crimes.

    Me, too, but (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:54:50 PM EST
    the Holloway case was fascinating in many different ways, not least because of the tremendous difference in the legal system and what police are and aren't permitted to do.

    I stopped writing about it (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:55:25 PM EST
    in 2005 when there was no more news and Natalee Holloway's mother refused to get off the teevee. After that, I periodically wrote about Joran when there was news about him and I thought he was getting a raw deal.

    The Natalee Holloway story stopped receiving this kind of coverage many years ago. Nor do I intend to write about her again.

    This new Peruvian episode seems much more interesting, I'll probably write about it when there are developments.


    I don't think this is bizarre. If he did kill both (none / 0) (#14)
    by tigercourse on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:18:32 PM EST
    of these women, he could have been feeling "nostalgic" for the earlier murder on the anniversary and decided to relive old times.

    I'd be interested to know (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:29:16 PM EST
    if there are other unsolved murders on May 30 in close proximity to Sloot's whereabouts during the past 5 years...and maybe previous to 5 years ago as well...

    Not Jonbenet Ramsay, whose name (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:32:02 PM EST
    I just googled--wondering if that murder was ever solved.  It wasn't.

    but natalees mother and jonbenet's dad (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:56:37 PM EST
    dated for a while. I don't think it lasted though.

    Veryyyy suspicious. And seriously weird. (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:33:05 PM EST
    I always liked Jonbenet's dad (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 02:27:34 PM EST
    I was thinking much the same thing (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:32:58 PM EST
    A serial killer who strikes only on a particular day of the year?  Have there been other "anniversary" multiple killers?

    Not quite what you're looking for (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:06:11 PM EST
    But the OKC bombing was on the anniversary of the Waco raid.  Date was chosen on purpose.

    Columbine was planned for Hitler's birthday, from what I remember.


    I was thinking more of a (none / 0) (#24)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:28:56 PM EST
    serial killer (not a mass murderer) who killed one person at a time, on the same date, every year or so (or every five years).

    Although, (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:33:18 PM EST
    on second thought, maybe I should just check out a bunch of Ann Rules' books from the library.  If there is such a serial killer, I'm sure she's written something about him.  (Or her, although female serial killers seem to be much rarer.)

    Diogenes theorem (none / 0) (#26)
    by diogenes on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:45:46 PM EST
    Sunday school teachers hardly get accused of crimes; most arrested" criminals commit many crimes before getting arrested for one, so even if they might be "falsely convicted" of the index crime they are imprisoned by their karma.
    Van Der Sloot is up to two murders already.  The rule of "release one thousand guilty men before convicting one innocent one" has real consequences which are wrought upon other innocents.

    Then there is (none / 0) (#28)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:41:10 PM EST
    the big IF. IF he did it -- either murder. Let's see now, he was first painted as a genius killer who covered his tracks so well that he got away with murdering an American white girl and enraged all American law and order TV personalities. You know those brilliant teenage killers! Now, he is being portrayed as being stupid enough to rent a hotel room in his name, and then leave behind the body of a young women who has a powerful and popular father in a country where being a criminal defendant is not a very ... what can I say ... powerful ... position to be in. Now, let's also consider the corruption and rampant organized crime in the area, and the number of people who would pay to see him hang. I am sorry, but for me, there is still a very, very big IF factor here. You might say there are plenty of alternative explanations, and some fairly glaring inconsistencies in the prevailing hypotheses of who and what Joran van der Sloot actually is. Is he a genius who got away with murder, or an idiot who left a crime scene which could only result in his arrest and a strong case against him. And if you are thinking of bringing up his fleeing as an obvious admission of guilt, how many people do you know -- guilty or innocent -- who would not do anything and everything they could to avoid being arrested and jailed in South American country? The idea of being chained to a wall, doused in water and tortured with electricity as standard interrogation procedure is a fairly powerful deterrent for sticking around.

    Did he know who the young woman's (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:11:24 PM EST
    father was? That coulda been a dice roll there  ;) Do they really care about this dude as far as wanting him to hang?

    I find the timely interesting along with the so called details . . . what are the odds? Be interesting to see how many PD's are looking into May 30th murders at the moment . . .


    I wouldn't hazard a guess (none / 0) (#31)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:21:35 PM EST
    as to what he knew about her father, but I wouldn't think it too unusual if he did know who she was. Even if he didn't know that fact, there are many glaring inconsistencies here in the psychological profile for the open and shut case built up by the media. Generally, psychopathic killers don't vary that much in their M.O. If he was who they said he was with the first murder, then attempting to clean up the mess would have been expected. It doesn't add up.

    Not as easy to (none / 0) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:04:27 PM EST
    "clean up the mess" from a hotel room as it is from an isolated beach on an island.

    Not as easy to (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jeffhas on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 03:40:50 AM EST
    "Clean up the mess" when you no longer have your highly-educated-about-the-local-laws father around.

    I suspect his 'genius' was tied to his father's experience with 'no body, no crime' outlooks on murder.

    Still, bizarre is an understatement.


    Granted, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 05:33:24 AM EST
    jeffhas and gyrfalcon, my phrase "clean up the mess" was poor choice of words. This is a terrible tragedy for the woman's family, and I meant no disrespect. I was speaking abstractly and trying to make sense of this in terms of thinking of this man as a psychopathic killer, and hence I assumed the language that a psychopathic killer would likely use.

    I just sincerely believe that there is more to this than a cut and dried assumption that he killed her. I know it isn't a popular view, but I have seen enough dishonesty and deception in my life to know that things are not always as they appear; and when very important things appear to be too simple, there is often more to it than meets the eye. I had no intention of showing disrespect for this woman's life and I would be the first to say the man should be convicted and removed from society if he is guilty. The problem is, he will likely be convicted and removed from society whether he is guilty or not. The system and the society simply can't manage a lot of things in a just way when there is too much social sentiment against a person. An example would be what happened to O.J. Simpson. To me, a big part of justice has to do with truth, and with fair and equal treatment under the law regardless of peoples beliefs about us. To many people, the truth isn't nearly as important as punishment of people who they think are bad people. I always keep the element of doubt open when someone is universally believed to be guilty, because I have personally been a victim of accusations which were not true, yet nobody believed me. So, you can't convince me that just because everyone is clearly convinced that this man is a murderer, he must be a murderer. History is full of examples where patently incorrect beliefs prevailed. It is perfectly clear to anyone who goes outside and looks around that the world is flat.

    As I have told people before, I am not sure we will ever know whether O.J. Simpson killed Nicole, and we may never know if this man killed Natalie. Cases like these serve as a sort of measure of our social attitudes, in a way like the ink blot tests tell psychiatrists what is going on with the patient. What we see in the ambiguous picture is more about us than the picture. What we see in cases like this is more about us than about the truth. If we knew the truth, Joran van der Sloot would either be unknown or he would be in prison. It is the uncertainty which drives the interest, and it is the uncertainty which draws out our prejudices. It is all about who and when we are willing to give benefit of doubt that tells what we believe about other people simply based on who they are. It is about the assumptions we make based on who the person is and what they are like, rather than based on any knowable facts. Joran van der Sloot is a privileged white male. Most of have us little choice in who we are, or whether we are male or female. Yet those categories come with prejudices and stereotypes. When those prejudices and stereotypes spill over from simply affecting the hassles of everyday living and into driving incredibly important life and death decisions, I think we owe it to ourselves to back off a little and to try to understand why we believe what we believe. Let's say that the last person to be with Natalie was one of her girlfriends that she was with at the casino. Let's say the friend gave the same story that van der Sloot gave. Chances are she would have never been a suspect. Our gender and our social class have tremendous effects on what people believe about us without evidence, yet we have no control over those things. When those stereotypes lead to injustice, it is a human tragedy.

    The reason I hang out at places like TalkLeft is because I tend to give people who are accused of crimes the benefit of the doubt. I think doing so is the right thing to do. It is not because I think criminals should go free, or that I do not care about victims. It is more about how I view justice, and how I think we should use the incredible power of the state. It is because the system through which we decide guilt is imperfect and is always much more powerful than the people accused of crimes. It is also because people too easily come to make assumptions about us because of who they think we are and how they classify us in society, even when we are not who they think we are at all.

    If there is no proof van der Sloot killed Natalie, then I am willing to assume he did not. If he did not, then he probably didn't kill this latest victim, either. I have stated elsewhere that this looks too simple to be true. It looks like it very well could be a frame. My willingness to give benefit of doubt is a fundamental ethical conviction which I have, and I realize it is not widely shared. As I say, it is personal experience of being accused of things I didn't do which led me to understand the horror of being thought guilty of terrible things when you are not, especially when those beliefs are based mostly on the assumptions that people make about gender and class.

    The truth is that I have my prejudices, and I know where they come from. They come from personal experience, and the knowledge that appearances can be very deceiving in matters of guilt and innocence. I also think the system should not have as its goal retribution for victims. When it isn't clear who committed a crime, I don't think anyone is "owed" a sacrifice. I am willing to live with a certain amount of danger of becoming a crime victim if the only alternative is to have an equal probability of becoming a victim of false accusation. Criminal justice is like drug therapy for disease. We want to fight the disease, but it doesn't make sense when the probability that the treatment will kill us overcomes the probability that the disease will kill us. We have to keep the strength of the drug under control or it serves no purpose. That means many people will die of the disease, but if we make the medicine too strong, an equal number will die from the cure. Unfortunately, life is dangerous, and there is risk. But that does not mean we can reduce or eliminate that risk by simply removing the assumption of innocence based on our intuition that someone is guilty. If we do, the cure becomes worse than the disease.

    With my comment about "cleaning up the mess", I have probably given the impression that I do not care about the victim of this crime. I do, and I apologize for the insensitivity. My motivation for leaving open the doubt of van der Sloot's guilt is not born of lack of concern for victims. By making this careless comment, I may have suggested that. It isn't so. It is equally important, though, that we do not multiply the number of victims in our society by rushing to judgment about guilt.


    Re "cleaning up the mess" (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 08:45:50 PM EST
    FWIW, I didn't for one second think you meant any disrespect at all with that phrase.  Just shorthand for cleaning up the crime scene, if there was one.

    I understand your bias, and it's a perfectly reasonable one.


    maybe so n/t (none / 0) (#44)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:22:37 PM EST
    He was never, ever (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:02:05 PM EST
    painted as a "genius."  There simply wasn't any evidence other than that he drove away with her (and two other guys) and she was never seen again.

    His father was a lawyer and judge-in-training, and clearly advised him, whether he did it or didn't do it, on how to play the rules and keep from actually incriminating himself by what he said.

    I was actually on the fence on the Holloway case since there was no evidence, and being an obvious scumbag with pretty tourist females doesn't make you a killer.  But it's kinda hard to see how this Peruvian girl could have been murdered by somebody else in his hotel room after they were seen on video going into the hotel and him emerging alone a few hours later and heading straight for the border.


    I would agree (none / 0) (#43)
    by JamesTX on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:21:15 PM EST
    the scenario looks quite cut and dried, but it almost looks too obvious. There is a possibility this young man is a killer, but there are still many explanations possible, and some real inconsistencies. You may be right. He could simply have an impulse control problem of some sort and becomes violent with women in close quarters when things get hot and don't go his way. On the other hand, video of him entering and leaving the hotel room doesn't tell us who else may have been in there, and there is no guarantee that there is not more video before, after, and between images of him entering and leaving. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but I have sneaky suspicion it isn't this simple.

    True, absolutely (none / 0) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:30:32 PM EST
    But at some point, we get into Occam's razor territory, if not legally than simply logically.

    It's pretty hard to explain how two young women die or disappear within a very tight timeframe of their one-night-stand involvement with a, hmm, what shall we call him, perhaps a libertine, with a habit of exploiting young women for sex.  Either he's a very bad boy or he's the unluckiest man in the world.


    He could be a bad (none / 0) (#50)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:02:15 AM EST
    boy, unlucky, or he could have been framed. He is the focus of worldwide hatred, the limits of which we may not know all about. The law of parsimony doesn't apply to frames. In fact, when framing people, it is Occam's razor which is utilized and provides the cover.

    Sure, he could have been framed (none / 0) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:45:41 AM EST
    by some Peruvian who was obsessed by the Natalee Holloway case.

    A piano could fall out of a passing airplaine onto your head the next time you leave your house, too.

    I certainly couldn't deny that the chance of that happening is non-zero, but please.


    It's not really (none / 0) (#52)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 02:05:13 AM EST
    so far fetched. First, local Peruvians are not the only people in tourist areas in Peru. Van der Sloot's case is not some unknown local issue -- it has captured worldwide media attention and has become bigger than the people involved. When a person becomes the focus of media attention as widespread as this case, money becomes an issue that overtakes normal social processes, because that person's life becomes an issue for those who have money. That is why people seek media attention and go through all kinds of effort to get media exposure. It brings money to people who are otherwise irrelevant. The issue here is money and the power of organized crime in South America. I suspect it wouldn't take too much in USD currency to get something like this done. I think you are perfectly correct to discount the idea that some local Peruvian obsessed with the case dreamed up some scheme. I think it is not unreasonable at all -- whatsoever -- to believe that somebody somewhere in the world would pay to have van der Sloot "done in", and South America is a good place to get things like that done for a fee. If somebody has even $100,000 to make me dead or locked up for life, then I am much more afraid of what might happen to me than I am worried about having a piano fall on me from an airplane! The probabilities differ by orders of magnitude.

    Why A Peruvian? (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 02:49:27 AM EST
    People can take airplanes to Peru as easily as Van Der Sloot, and certainly if it was a frame job, there seems to have been some planning.

    He left the hotel Sun morning (none / 0) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:19:50 PM EST
    The body was found Weds. When did she die? Maybe she had a jealous ex-boyfriend who was told where she went and got there, confronted her and killed her, long after Joran had gone.

    he easily could have been framed (none / 0) (#75)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:08:37 AM EST
    And this is a defense site, your repetitive comments calling him "sick" and labeling him guilty are going to get you limited in the number of comments you can make.

    We get your view. You think he's sick and guilty. Nothing has been proven yet. He's a suspect in Peru and he's charged with extortion here. He's been charged with nothing in Aruba.

    His life has been ruined by the Holloway case. Maybe he's innocent and bitter about it, who wouldn't be?

    As for your theory that strangers don't kill strangers in a violent fashion, please present that as your opinion. It certainly isn't fact.


    "The big IF" (none / 0) (#92)
    by diogenes on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 12:53:55 AM EST
    What do you say about the "big if" and Diogenes Theorem now?

    What goes on in the human mind (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:46:42 PM EST
    is endlessly and utterly fascinating. I think to deny it is to deny our own humanity.

    And maybe he (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:59:39 PM EST
    left her sleeping peacefully in his bed and headed off to Chile and someone else came in and killed her. Let's not call out the firing squad yet. I'll agree, as I said, it's quite a bizarre coincidence but that's not the same thing as proof.

    True (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:09:28 PM EST
    I haven't heard they've established a time of death, either.  But the window here is pretty small, a matter of only a few hours.

    Also, interestingly, they've apparently found containers or "wrappers" for multiple doses of that date rape drug, "roofies," in her SUV.

    There were rumors about his use of the drug with other females in Aruba, and Holloway's parents have always said they thought he'd given them to her.

    Since they obviously went to his hotel room for sex, whether drug-assisted or not, I'm not sure how much use physical evidence is going to be here, even stuff under her fingernails.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 11:36:27 PM EST
    If you know these details about the last case, anyone could have set the guy up. Revenge, the same killer who killed the first woman..  who knows.

    Anyway I have no idea what happened.


    If he did do it he certainly seems to want to be caught.


    Yes... (none / 0) (#64)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 03:40:58 PM EST
    If he did do it he certainly seems to want to be caught.

    ...which is entirely inconsistent with the prevailing popular assumptions that he has constructed bizarre lies to cover for the murder of Natalee, has manipulated the system in ways which are almost unbelievable, and literally got away with murder because of his unbelievable skill at convincing courts of his innocence and manipulating the law. After this superhuman feat of deceiving the world and getting away with murder where he left no trace of evidence of guilt behind, he basically commits another murder with absolutely no regard for the evidence he left behind and an no attempt to cover his tracks? If Joran van der Sloot did this, he has multiple personalities -- a real Jekyl and Hyde.

    Disagree, and (none / 0) (#68)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 09:03:43 PM EST
    you are not characterizing the facts correctly.

    I say again, if Natalee died when she was with him on a remote beach with no witnesses, either accidentally from an overdose or more directly at his hands, dumping her body in the ocean would be all the cover-up necessary.

    The manipulating he did afterwards was very simple, he just kept making up new stories one after the other until nobody could ever tell what was true and what wasn't.  He also had the constant advice of his lawyer father.

    So with zero evidence and expert legal advice, it took no great genius on his part to escape prosecution.  They quite literally have not one shred of evidence he had anything to do with her disappearance other than the fact that he was the last person seen with her.  The only thing that could have caused him trouble would have been if he'd implicated himself, and if he just kept talking and making stuff up, he wouldn't be able to do that.

    It's really not that hard (in a fair legal system anyway) to avoid being charged in that situation.  Calling that a "superhuman feat" isn't remotely justifiable.

    As for the Peruvian case, he most certainly did attempt to cover his tracks.  First, he left instructions to the hotel staff not to clean his room when he left.  Secondly, he took a bus some hundreds of miles to the border, then hired a taxi to take him to a resort on the coast, where his next step could well have been to get a boat to take him out of there and eventually perhaps back to Aruba.  He also dyed his hair red somewhere in there and got it sheared down to a buzzcut.

    And I'll try to point this out again.  It's close to imposssible to conceal a violent crime scene in a hotel room.  Van Der Sloot is smart enough to realize that, if he did it, and that his only recourse was to get as far away from there as possible by the time the body was found.  Which is what he did.

    The one sticking point for me in this Peruvian case is that the violence done to the victim is the kind of violence very, very rarely inflicted on a near stranger in the course of a murder.  It indicates the murderer was in an uncontrollable rage, and stranger murders rarely involve that kind of very personal rage.

    But we'll see.  I hope they're trying to retrace his wanderings around the world over these last years to see about unsolved "Mr. Goodbar" murders of young women during the time he was there.

    Last piece of info just breaking tonight.  The U.S. government has just indicted him for extortion.  Seems he tried to get an unnamed person in Birmingham, where Natalee's parents live, to pay him $250K in return for info about where Natalee's body is.

    This is a very, very sick individual.


    You may be right... (none / 0) (#74)
    by JamesTX on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:55:46 PM EST
    we will see, provided the government in Peru can serve up a trial that actually gets to the truth. They aren't known for that. The Peruvian government is a puppet of U.S. interests and the drug war. Its only purpose is to maintain political control and a foreign policy favorable to the U.S. -- e.g. keep the place free of communists and allow U.S. drug interdiction forces to work unimpeded. That means trials don't work very well as fact finding endeavors. It might actually be cool to get him extradited to the U.S. and tried on the extortion charges. That would be a way to get closer to the truth, but IANAL, and I don't know if that is even remotely possible. I agree the things van der Sloot has done as far as selling stories and telling lies are reprehensible in view of the terrible loss of Natalee, but it looks a little different if he were actually innocent. It is hard to judge the behavior of others unless we understand what they are up against. If he is guilty, then it is reasonable to say that he is a sick and evil person for the things he has said and done. If he were innocent, though, it isn't so clear. If he is innocent, his life has been ruined by all this and he did nothing to deserve it. Unscrupulous journalists have continuously hounded him, setting him up and lying to him to get a story for profit. They rarely would have his best interest at heart. He therefore could have simply become bitter at all the mistreatment and deception and decided to turn the tables -- to try to profit from the publicity and exposure in the same way he has been exploited by the media. It would be easy for a kid his age to allow his anger about being deceived, manipulated, and lied to by journalists seeking profit to turn into rage. He may have finally decided that if they could do it, he could do it, too. After all, nobody was in this for him, and nobody was in it for the truth. They were only in it to get a confession or an incriminating statement they could feed to the public so convinced of his guilt. So why should he care about the truth or care about anything except for getting his share? Nobody cared about him, and if he is innocent, nobody cared about the truth. The truth wouldn't sell videos and stories. Everybody else just dreamed up whatever scheme they could to manipulate him into saying something incriminating so they could get a story for profit, so why shouldn't he do a little manipulating himself? Turnabout's fair play, huh? All of this is unfortunate. I hope we eventually find out the truth.

    You've constructed a very (none / 0) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:29:52 PM EST
    moving and persuasive scenario-- except that it didn't actually play out that way.

    His string of lies happened long before anybody ever interviewed him.  And if he decided to lie and deceive the traumatized parents of this girl because he was mad that Nancy Grace on her little-seen cable show back in the U.S. was saying mean things about him for ratings, let's just say I'd be surprised.

    Peru has apparently significantly overhauled its legal system, so we'll see whether they can deal with this case fairly or not.  The standard in the Napoleonic legal system is not our "burden of proof," but more like our civil "preponderance of the evidence," so I frankly think he's likely cooked just on the basis of what we know so far.  I hope there's better evidence than that, one way or the other.


    One thing we do agree on... (none / 0) (#91)
    by JamesTX on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 11:21:08 AM EST
    I think he is likely cooked, too.

    the window is Sunday morning to Wednesday (none / 0) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:23:23 PM EST
    That's huge.

    No (none / 0) (#79)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:30:55 AM EST
    it's Tuesday

    According to Greta this evening (none / 0) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:30:59 PM EST
    the body was already in a state of decomposition when found, according to the ME down there.

    This Reeks of.... (none / 0) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    ... a set-up, come on, anniversary, hotel in his name, and they somehow end up leaving a casino which everyone knows are saturated with video, and then the icing, a witness at the hotel.

    It's way too easy, I am not saying he did it or not, but this is just way too basic.  At the very least, if you kill someone in a hotel, you hang the 'do not disturb sign' on the door, rent the room for a week and get the hell to a safe place, like home.

    The problem with this sort of crime is will there be a real investigation or is this kid already done ?  I am positive they will extract two confessions, maybe more by the time the authorities are done with him.

    If the show 'Locked-up Abroad' is any indication of the actual Peruvian criminal justice system, only a fool would stick around, regardless of their guilt.  If I were him I found out real quick what countries don't extradite to Peru.

    But if he did do it, he picked the wrong country, maybe they aren't the worse prisons, but they are damn close.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 09:04:58 PM EST
    "if you kill someone in a hotel, you hang the 'do not disturb sign' on the door, rent the room for a week and get the hell to a safe place, like home."

    Turns out that's exactly what he did, right down to the "do not disturb" sign on the door.


    And Headed To Chile ? (none / 0) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:09:32 AM EST
    For safety ?  Why not home ?

    Now there is a third person put in the room.  There was no sex and the girl's neck was broken.

    Every single angle to this crime has redundancy, like someone was making sure this kid got caught.  Who in hell stabs someone and then breaks their neck, or visa-versa.

    This is really starting to look like a set-up.


    Throw in these... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:25:47 AM EST
    extortion allegations and either this kid is a cross between Lex Luthor and Ted Bundy, or he's got enemies in very high places...this is a freakin' weird one allright.

    Or the Damn Dumbest Murderer.... Eva (none / 0) (#86)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:49:40 PM EST
    What really sucks about this case is I doubt we will ever get to anything even close to resembling the truth.  I would be shocked if there is any sort of attempt at a real investigation.  They got their man and now I suspect they are going to try and extract the almighty confession(s).

    If someone in high places is behind this, he is screwed, if he did it, he is screwed, if some nitwit is behind it, he is screwed.  If he is innocent, he is screwed.

    My opinion of the Aruba case is that he did something stupid, and it got snowballed into a complete debacle.  I never though he murdered the girl, but I always though he knew a lot more then he led on.

    And this, it would take a lot of effort to try and make yourself look this guilty.  The evidence against him is almost limitless.  I don't know what he did or did not do, but either way, he is headed for hell, aka Peruvian prison.

    Kdog, I think your views on US prisons are a little soft.  Not that I totally disagree, but I have a little more tolerance for caging humans who commit felonies.  But these god awful third world prison are no place for anyone, guilty or innocent.


    No doubt... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:11:06 PM EST
    if you're getting caged, you want it to be in a first world prison...preferable Europe.

    Our prison conditions should be much better, but still a far cry from the worst...my main beef is how reliant we are on the cages...which are inherently inhumane.  Sometimes we got no choice, like this dude if he done what it looks like he done...but we've got cats rotting in cages for no good reason at all.


    A psychopathic killer (none / 0) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:15:40 PM EST
    that's who.

    In any case, it turns out she wasn't stabbed, just whacked extremely hard on the head.  Whether her neck was actually broken, I don't know.

    In any case, this kind of crime is never rational, so looking for logic will lead you nowhere fast.


    Or it could be (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:34:55 PM EST
    "where's there's smoke, there's fire."

    is that like (none / 0) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:11:22 AM EST
    it doesn't matter if he didn't do the crime he's charged with, convict him anyway because he must have done something wrong or he wouldn't be in this situation?

    It's just as plausible as (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:31:17 AM EST
    "He's being framed"

    Breaking News (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:36:31 PM EST
    Van der Sloot was just arrested in Chile.

    Appears willingly (none / 0) (#61)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 01:25:41 PM EST
    No handcuffs or anything involved.  I wonder if he made himself available.

    No (none / 0) (#62)
    by jbindc on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 01:53:56 PM EST
    He was arrested in a taxi

    Chilean media reports that van der Sloot was captured by police while travelling in a taxi on the highway between Santiago and Valparaiso. Prior to his arrest, a Peruvian taxi driver came forward to say he drove the Dutchman to the border, where van der Sloot, the son of an Aruban lawyer, crossed into Chile by foot.

    Van der Sloot, was escorted by three police officers as he was taken from a dark vehicle into a police office in downtown Santiago, Chile. He made no comment as he entered, walking calmly and without handcuffs as journalists shouted his name, the Associated Press reported.

    Authorities in Chile said it could take up five days before he is extradited to Peru.

    No blood on him (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:22:35 PM EST
    he sat in the front seat with the driver, smoking cigarettes, told him he was from Aruba...sure sounds like a murderer to me (/hardly.)


    Coastal Drive (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:54:47 AM EST
    Looks like a beautiful drive....  and to be chauffeured.

    Sure, beautiful drive. (none / 0) (#83)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:27:28 PM EST
    Lima, Peru to Chile

    Driving directions to Chile
    3,617 km - about 2 days 12 hours
    Suggested routes
    Panamericana Sur and Ruta 5 Norte
    3,617 km 2 days 12 hours

    Panamericana Sur
    4,783 km 3 days 3 hours

    Have you read "Travels in a Thin (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:39:28 PM EST
    Country," by Sara Wheeler?  Good read.

    I'll add it to my list. (none / 0) (#85)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:45:03 PM EST