Joran van der Sloot interview “I am sick of myself”

POSTED: 10/28/13 12:31 PM

Joran van der SlootLIMA – Joran van der Sloot manages – again – to capture the attention of the media, this time through an interview with TV-station RTL’s senior editor Matthijs Voortman. The Antilliaans Dagblad published the story on Saturday. Van der Sloot says – not for the first time – that this time he is telling the truth and that he lied to the media in the past for one reason only: to get money to feed his gambling addiction.
Van der Sloot has by now served three of the 28 years imprisonment he received for the 2910 murder of the Peruvian student Stephany Flores.

Voortman describes the convicted killer’s conditions in the Piedras Gordas prison. Van der Sloot has his own cell but no outside air, ever. Sometimes the guards allow him to leave his cell. Then he goes to a central room where he plays cards with other inmates. In his cell, he exercises and listens to a small radio. He reads a lot and paints – ceramic dolls and little elephants.

Almost every Tuesday and Friday his fiancée Leidy – of whom Voortman does not provide a last name – visits Van der Sloot. The girl’s last name is however public knowledge. Her last name is Figueroa, and she made headlines in October of last year when the story went around that was pregnant, while her father claimed big money from the media because his daughter “had disappeared.”

The convict is not asking for pity: “I know what I have done and there is no way to make it right.”

In June 2005, investigators linked Van der Sloot’s name to the disappearance of 17-year old Alabama teen Natalee Holloway who was vacationing in Aruba. The girl’s body was never found, she was officially declared dead in 2012. Van der Sloot has never been sentenced in this case but he remains a suspect. For years, he was also a hot item for the media.

“Everything I said was published,” he says now. “That American journalist, Greta van Susteren, gave me $100,000 for an interview. With that kind of money, you are prepared to say anything. I only told her nonsense, that I sold Natalee as a sex slave.”

Van der Sloot says that he gambled the money he received away in local casinos in Aruba. The media were an easy source of money for him. Aruba’s most notorious export product told Voortman that he also fooled the Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries with a fake-confession about Holloway’s murder to his friend Patrick van der Eem. Filmed with hidden cameras the broadcast earned De Vries a prestigious Emmy award.

All lies, Van der Sloot says now. “It was acted from the beginning to the end. I had made an agreement with Patrick and he has been royally paid for it. He gave me part of the money. I cannot imagine that Peter did not know I was telling nonsense. He just wanted to score.”

While he knew the De Vries broadcast could cause him a lot of trouble, Van der Sloot still went ahead with the scam. “I was so addicted to gambling that I did not even think about it. I only thought about the money I could make with it. It is bad that many people thought it was real, but I prepared everything together with Patrick in Arnhem. We decided to tell a story that they could easily verify – that it was not true. That is why I was not arrested for it.”

Van der Sloot told Matthijs Voortman that he did not kill Natalee Holloway and that he is unable to provide clarity because he does not know what happened to her. “I understand that you do not believe what I am saying, especially considering my current circumstances. I am in prison for murder. But I have nothing to do with this.”

Van der Sloot says that on the night Holloway disappeared – May 30, 2005 – he went with her to the beach near Fisherman’s Hut. “We were very drunk. No drugs. I left her behind alone on the beach and that was a mistake. I should have taken her back to her hotel. If I knew who killed her I would have sold that information a long time ago for a good amount of money.”

Nothing in the Holloway-case will have any meaning for the now 26-year old Aruban: “My life has been destroyed.”

Maybe that is also because Van der Sloot murdered Stephany Flores in Lima in 2010. He told Voortman that he was in Lima without any money and that he had to gamble. Then he met Flores in a casino. “She went with me to my hotel where I exploded. I was already stressed and then she started about Natalee Holloway. It happened in a split second. She hit me first and I hit back. With one punch it was over. I sometimes am taken aback by the strength I have. She fell with her head against the wall and I knew it was over.”

Van der Sloot claims that he considered suicide by jumping from the hotel’s roof a la Herman Brood, but that he did not have the guts to do it. He fled first to the airport to go back to Holland, then changed his mind and took a cab that drove him to neighboring Chili. There he reported to the police. “I knew by then that there was no way to make it right.”

Van der Sloot was swiftly deported and later sentenced to 28 years imprisonment. He also has to pay the Flores family $60,000 in damages.

Van der Sloot blames his life history on the media that kept hunting him and on his gambling addiction that began when he was just 15. “I gambled on anything; I put money on soccer games, I played poker, blackjack, anything. It was some sort of escape for me.”

Van der Sloot says that he got used to telling stories, all of them untrue, for money. “When I think about it now I am sick of myself. I did all this because I needed money and people paid me for everything.”

In his cell, Van der Sloot one day had a hallucination in which the psychic medium Robert ten Broeke appeared to him. “He told me not to be afraid and not to do anything crazy.”

Later, he tells Voortman: “I can imagine that you don’t believe me or that you think I am crazy, but it did happen. For the first time in my life I felt love.”

The convict is doing some long term planning, thinking about helping gambling-addicted youth when he comes out if prison. That could be in 25 years, or earlier, or not at all. The United States still wants him for extortion against Beth Holloway.

Van der Sloot also wants to get married to 24-year old Peruvian Leidy who visits him twice a week. On those days, from nine to five, the couple has its privacy. “I was never able to love anyone, but now I do,” he says. When Voortman asks why he should believe this story, he says: “I have nothing to win anymore, nothing at all. Money does not do me any good in prison. I just want people to know that I have become a better human being.”

 

 

 

 

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