Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Inside the Mind of Joran van der Sloot

Taking the Money and Running

A few days after the February 2008 broadcast of the hidden-camera video of van der Sloot's latest version of Holloway's disappearance, van der Sloot reportedly checked into a mental health facility in Germany for a few days' evaluation. However, he did not remain long enough for any kind of treatment. His stay there was seen by some as a ruse to make it seem that he was mentally ill when in fact he was perfectly in control of his acts.

DeVries won an Emmy for his February investigative report, and just a few months later, DeVries was tailing van der Sloot again, this time in Thailand. Joran now sought, after DeVries' undercover reporters approached him, to set up a prostitution ring that would recruit women in Thailand and arrange for them to come to the Netherlands. DeVries once again secretly filmed and tracked van der Sloot's attempts to set up the prostitution ring, although no women were ever actually involved or trafficked in the setup that DeVries organized.

"We couldn't go as far to do something illegal," one of DeVries' producers told truTV.

Joran remained in Thailand, where he attended Rangsit University in 2008, but he soon dropped out. He was also able to cobble some money together from friends and relatives to buy a sandwich and pizza cafe in Bangkok near the Rangsit University campus but soon ran into difficulties managing the business and gave the place up, according to the Associated Press

Joran van der Sloot drinking with an unidentified woman
Joran van der Sloot drinking with an un-
identified woman

Assured now that taped confessions were inadmissible in court, van der Sloot then began brazenly to offer more wild tales about Natalee's disappearance, often seeking cash for the interviews, but then to quickly reverse himself and claim he had been lying. Among his different versions of events, van der Sloot told Fox News journalist Greta van Susteren in November 2008 that he had kidnapped Natalee and sold her for almost $10,000 to a man on a boat that had connections to a sex-slaving ring, before reversing course once again and saying that he had been lying again.

Now in his early 20s, Joran was seen at poker tournaments in Asia, Europe and South America, and listed himself as a professional player on his YouTube page. But besides any success playing online poker and taking part in high-stakes poker games at casinos in exotic places around the world, a main source of Joran's income following his videotaped confessions in 2008 was hustling money from friends, relatives, or anybody who would pay for an interview.

"Wherever he was and whatever he was doing, [van der Sloot] was asking for money," Kees van der Spek told truTV.


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