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Joran van der Sloot Confesses to Natalee Holloway's Murder
Joran van der Sloot confessed to murdering Natalee Holloway with a cinderblock in 2005, saying he smashed "her head in with it completely."
Joran van der Sloot, who has long been the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, pleaded guilty Wednesday to extorting Holloway’s mother, confessing in court that he killed the Alabama teen.
Van der Sloot, 36, agreed to take a polygraph test and said he'd provide details about Holloway’s disappearance as part of a plea deal, NBC News reported.
The Dutch native was indicted in June 2010 on extortion and wire fraud charges to which he originally pleaded not guilty. U.S. District Court Judge Anna Manasco accepted his new plea Wednesday and sentenced him to serve 20 years, according to AL.com. He's set to serve them concurrently with his 28-year sentence in Peru for killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores in 2010.
"You changed the course of our lives and turned them upside down," Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, said in court, according to ABC News. "You are a killer. I want you to remember that every time that jail door slams."
Holloway was 18 years old when she went missing in 2005 on a trip to Aruba with her classmates to celebrate high school graduation. She vanished after a night out with friends. Her classmates said van der Sloot was the last person seen with Holloway leaving a bar before her disappearance. She was declared legally dead in 2012 and her body has never been found.
How did Joran van der Sloot kill Natalee Holloway?
In his confession, van der Sloot admitted that he struck Holloway in the head with a cinder block and dragged her to the ocean after she refused his sexual advances, according to local station WTVM-13, which cited a transcript of an October 3 interview.
"I smash her head in with it completely,” van der Sloot said of using the cinder block. "Her face basically, you know, collapses in. Even though it's dark, I can see her face is collapsed in." He remembered thinking, “I don’t know what to do,” after the attack. He said that he went knee-deep into the ocean, pushed her out to sea and walked home.
"You have brutally murdered, in separate incidents, years apart, two young women who refused your sexual advances," Manasco told van der Sloot in court, referencing both Holloway and Flores, according to AL.com.
Van der Sloot’s extortion and wire fraud charges stem from a 2010 attempt to sell information about the location of Holloway’s remains to her family in exchange for $250,000, according to an affidavit.
“You knew the information you were selling was an absolute lie,” Manasco said of van der Sloot's extortion attempt of Beth.
The Dutchman apologized in court to the Holloway family and his own family.
"I am not the same kind of person today as I was then, I have given my heart to Jesus Christ," he said, adding that he hopes his statements can provide closure, according to ABC News.
“Today, I can tell you with certainty after 18 years, that as far as I’m concerned, Natalee’s case is solved,” Beth said outside the court while addressing the media, according to Birmingham station WBRC. “It is over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”
Will Joran van der Sloot be charged with Natalee Holloway's murder?
Van der Sloot will not be charged with murder in the Holloway case because the statute of limitations for murder is 12 years in Aruba, according to Holloway family attorney John Q. Kelly, WTVM-13 reported.
“Joran van der Sloot’s confession means we have finally reached the end of this never-ending nightmare, and for me, that’s even better than closure,” Beth said, per WBRC.