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Natalee Holloway's Mom Says Daughter "Fought Like Hell" Before Joran van der Sloot Killed Her
“She was killed just by standing her ground,” Beth Holloway said of her daughter's final moments. “I was so proud of her.”
After Joran van der Sloot confessed to murdering Natalee Holloway in 2005 as part of a plea deal this week, giving chilling details, the Alabama teen’s mother said she's "proud" that her daughter "fought like hell" against her killer.
In a recorded October 3 confession that was released on Thursday, van der Sloot said that he had hoped to have sex with Holloway after meeting her during her Aruba vacation 18 years ago, and made a move on the beach. She turned him down, and when he persisted, she kneed him in the crotch, he said.
“When she knees me in the crotch I get up on the beach and I kick her — extremely hard — in the face,” he said.
Van der Sloot went on to describe bashing Holloway's head in with a cinderblock, adding that, “Even though it’s dark I can see her face is collapsed.”
Beth Holloway says she's proud of Natalee Holloway for fighting off Joran van der Sloot
The victim's mom, Beth Holloway, said she recognized her daughter’s feistiness through van der Sloot’s vivid description of the struggle between Holloway and himself.
"Yes, I said, 'That's her,'" Beth told CBS News. "She fought like hell. I think she fought like hell with her killer."
“She was killed just by standing her ground,” Beth added. “I was so proud of her.”
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, van der Sloot, a Dutch national, pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud charges related to a 2010 attempt to sell information about the location of Holloway’s remains to her mother in exchange for $250,000. The plea deal was contingent on van der Sloot providing details of Holloway’s disappearance.
On Thursday, the audio of his confession was released, in which he recounted how he bludgeoned Holloway with a cinderblock after she refused his sexual advances, then pushed her body out to sea.
“It’s just blistering to your soul, and it hurts so deeply,” Beth told CBS News of hearing van der Sloot’s confession.
"A far as I'm concerned it's over, it's over," Beth told reporters outside court Wednesday.
“Today, I can tell you with certainty after eighteen years, that as far as I’m concerned, Natalee’s case is solved,” Beth added Wednesday. “It is over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”
On Wednesday, 36-year-old van der Sloot was sentenced to 20 years in prison, which he's set to serve concurrently with his 28-year sentence in Peru for killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores in 2010.
“I feel like I have the power and the victory over him because all he’s gonna hear is that jail cell door slam to remind him he’s a double murderer,” Beth told Birmingham station WVTM 13, referring to van der Sloot.
The Night Natalee Holloway Disappeared
Holloway vanished on May 30, 2005, while on a trip to Aruba with her classmates. The 18-year-old was celebrating her graduation from high school. Her classmates said she was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot. Despite being a prime suspect in the case for years, he was never formally charged in her disappearance.
Due to a 12-year statute of limitations for murder in Aruba, van der Sloot won't faces charges in Holloway’s killing.
In court Wednesday, van der Sloot apologized 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.
Beth told WTVM that her daughter's killer's words did not seem genuine, saying, "I heard it, but I feel like it's a hollow apology because I don't feel like a double-murderer and someone who can extort money and make a mother of a child you murdered pay you money, so it felt scripted."
Holloway’s father, Dave Holloway, called his daughter’s killer “evil personified,” WTVM reported.
"We are living every parent's nightmare," he said in a statement. "Today and every day, please hug your children in honor and loving memory of our daughter, Natalee Ann Holloway."