1. 2005: He was arrested in connection with Natalee Holloway’s disappearance.
Van der Sloot, then 17, was arrested in July 2005 in connection with the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba. He was released later that year, but the investigation continued, and he was arrested again in 2007 (and released again).
2. January 2008: He threw wine in a crime reporter’s face.
Van der Sloot appeared on Dutch TV in January 2008 with crime reporter Peter R. De Vries, who questioned his innocence. After the program was over, Van der Sloot threw a glass of red wine in De Vries’s face (see footage above). De Vries said, “This says something about Joran, of course. He doesn’t have complete control over his behavior.”
3. February 2008: He confessed, sort of.
Hidden-camera footage orchestrated by De Vries and taken by a friend of Van der Sloot’s in 2008 showed him confessing that he took Holloway to the beach to have sex with her, but then she had a seizure, so he and a friend dumped her body into the sea without checking to see if she was alive or dead. “I didn’t lose a minute of sleep over it,” he said. Later he said he was lying in the confession — prosecutors decided it was insufficient evidence to arrest him again.
4. November 2008: He moved to Thailand and was accused of sex trafficking.
In late 2008, Van der Sloot moved to Bangkok. Almost immediately, De Vries released another hidden-camera video apparently showing Van der Sloot claiming he could get passports for Thai women and girls to go to the Netherlands — they would be told they’d get jobs as dancers, but would really be doing sex work. In 2010, Thai sources told the National Enquirer they were investigating Van der Sloot in connection with the disappearances of Thai women and girls who may have been involved in the sex trade. While in Thailand, he got a tattoo that read “no worries” in Thai.
5. March 2010: He allegedly tried to extort Natalee Holloway’s family.
In 2010, Van der Sloot allegedly contacted Natalee Holloway’s mother Beth (above) and offered to tell her where her daughter’s body was buried in exchange for $250,000. He was eventually charged with extortion under US law, but he had already fled to Peru. In an interview, he appeared to confess to the extortion, saying, “I wanted to get back at Natalee’s family. Her parents have been making my life tough for five years.”
6. June 2010: He was accused of murdering Stephany Flores Ramirez
While in Peru, Van der Sloot met business student Stephany Flores Ramirez at a casino. Days later, she was found dead. Van der Sloot initially confessed to her murder, saying, “The girl intruded into my private life… she didn’t have any right. I went to her and I hit her. She was scared, we argued and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her.” In what had become a pattern, he later retracted the confession, claiming he’d been tricked.
7. January 2012: He was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Van der Sloot ultimately pled guilty, and was sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison. Some reports said he could be paroled after half that time if he behaves well. Flores Ramirez’s father complained that, as a foreigner with money, Van der Sloot was receiving special privileges in jail.
8. October 2012: He told reporters he was going to be a father.
Those special privileges may include conjugal visits. Van der Sloot told a Dutch newspaper earlier this week that a woman named Leidi who had been visiting him in prison was now pregnant with his child. His lawyer said the woman, whom he identifed as Carol Figueroa Uceda was not pregnant, and accused his own client of spreading misinformation. The lawyer did, however, confirm that Uceda was authorized to have conjugal visits with Van der Sloot. Confusingly, another man also identifying himself as Van der Sloot’s lawyer told Radar that Van der Sloot doesn’t know Uceda, but that “there are a lot of women who want to meet Joran van der Sloot. Recently one girl from Germany and another from Switzerland.”
9. 2024-2038: He will be extradited to the US.
Peruvian authorities say even if he marries a Peruvian citizen or fathers a child in Peru, Van der Sloot will still be extradited to the US when his prison term is over (which could be as early as 2024) to face extortion charges. So his cycle of confession, retraction, and prosecution may not be over for a long time.