Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Inside the Mind of Joran van der Sloot


Joran van der Sloot
Joran van der Sloot

The Joran van der Sloot affair may prove one of the most sensationalistic crime stories of the 21st century. However, despite the media circus surrounding him, not much has been revealed about van der Sloot's personality or what motivates him to do what he does.

Those who have met van der Sloot on a casual basis at the tennis clubs or casinos that he frequented usually describe him as very calm and surprisingly normal, like a big six-foot, four-inch college kid with a fondness for marijuana and high-stakes poker. "He just spoke calmly and seemed normal," an Aruban who met van der Sloot at a casino one night shortly before Natalee Holloway's disappearance told truTV. "He wasn't scary."

However, his "normal" demeanor is also one of the typical characteristics of a criminal psychopath who is able to charm and win over people to get what he wants but has little or no remorse for anyone who resists his charm and remains an obstacle to his goals. Indeed, details of his past life suggest that van der Sloot may indeed suffer from an antisocial personality disorder and may have used the likely deaths of others to manipulate the mass media in order to feed both a powerful gambling addiction and an oversized ego.

"Van der Sloot is someone who likes to live on the edge, who likes to believe that he is brighter, smarter, bigger, and better than other people," Clint van Zandt, a former FBI profiler, told truTV. "He thinks he has outfoxed the criminal justice system for five years and has gotten away with murder in Aruba, which has made him believe that he could get away with anything."

However, Van der Sloot himself has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing when speaking to police, although he has confessed to others to knowing where and how Natalee's body was disposed of several times before retracting the statements, claiming he was lying. Van der Sloot's attorneys have never returned truTV's phone calls.


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