Statement Analysis®

Joran Van der Sloot's Confession


In 2007, 34-year-old Patrick van der Eem befriended Joran Van der Sloot. After gaining Joran's trust, Patrick went to Holland's leading investigative reporter, Peter R. de Vries, and set up a 6 month sting operation to record Patrick's conversations with Joran. The taped recordings were made in a Range Rover that was driven by Patrick with Joran sitting in the passenger seat. Patrick played the role of a gangster and asked Joran if he was interested in starting a marijuana operation. Joran said he was interested and as the months went by Joran began to open up about what happened to Natalee Holloway.

In February 2008, the ABC News program "20/20" aired portions of Joran's taped conversations with Patrick. After the operation was exposed, Joran claimed he was lying to Patrick. He stated that he made up the information about Natalee's death in order to try and fit in with Patrick the alleged gangster. Here are some excerpts from their conversations.

Joran: Even if they find that girl, dead with my sperm in her...

Patrick: Then they can't do a thing anymore.

Joran: Not a thing, no they just can't do a thing.

In earlier interviews, Joran stated that he wanted to have sex with Natalee but did not because he did not have a condom. If they did not have sex, then why would he talk about his sperm being inside her? There is a very good chance that Joran was telling the truth when he said that he did not have a condom, but he was lying when he said they did not have sex.

Patrick: But where the fuck is she Joran?

Joran: She'll never be found. Where exactly, I don't even know myself.

Patrick: How can that be that you don't even know then?

Joran: Well...

Patrick: A higher power?

Joran: A higher power. Powers. No, I'm done with it Patrick. It's fine. It's probably going to come out better than I'd hope.

If Natalee's body was buried on the island of Aruba, chances are Joran would know where she was buried. However, if her body was taken out to sea then we can see how Joran could make the statement that he does not know exactly where her body is. The word "even" is not needed. It shows a contrast of ideas. Later in their conversation he states that Natalee's body was dropped in the ocean. Therefore, he may have used the word "even" because he knows she was dropped into the ocean but he does not know the exact location.

Patrick suggests that Joran had help from a "higher power." Joran confirms this but then adds the plural word "powers" which indicates that more than one person helped him dispose of her body.

Joran: Yeah it's just...she's never going to be found. I think.

Patrick: Because they dumped her in the sea?

Joran: Yeah.

Patrick: Yes? Alone?

Joran: Yeah.

Patrick: Did you swim out or something?

Joran: No.

Patrick: How then? That's weird, it's impossible Joran.

Joran: Look I know people in Aruba. At that age I used to go around with people... people who can help me. But still I'd rather not name those people because they've never, in all this time...never did anything wrong. They've always been good to me, and I've always been good to them. So yes I know who it is, but I'm not going to tell you his name. But it isn't my parents or anything but someone who's a really good friend of mine.

Patrick: With a boat?

Joran: Yes.

Patrick: Then that's it. If you took her out in a boat...for more that two miles, she'll never come back you know.

Patrick asked a question using a plural pronoun; "Because they dumped her in the sea?" Joran confirms this by answering "yeah." Joran then talks about knowing "people" in Aruba and not wanting to name those people. This is another indication that more than one person was involved even though he switches back to the singular tense when he states, "I'm not going to tell you his name."

Joran: Well ok so we're on the beach over there suddenly she wasn't moving anymore.

Patrick: Shit man!

Joran: So I went and called the guy. I walked over to the pay phone and I called him, and I told him, "Well, this is what happened. Please come help me. Please don't call the police." He says, "No I won't call the police. I'm coming to you now." And he came here. His name. I'll take his name to the grave with me because I just know that I can't do that to him. That's my obligation because of what he did for me.

Patrick: Of course.

Joran uses the pronoun "we" which indicates some type of partnership with Natalee. The pronoun "we" shows more closeness than stating "Natalee and I were on the beach." Joran tells us that he called someone for help and that he will not reveal that person's name.

Patrick: How far did you think he took her? This guy must have done a really good job. This guy really knows what he is doing. Did he weight her down to make her sink?

Joran: No, I don't think so.

Patrick: You don't even know that?

Joran: No.

Patrick: Didn't he ever tell you how he did it?

Joran: Of course he did.

Patrick: How did he do it then?

Joran: He just went out in the sea further and then he just dumped her.

Patrick asked if Joran's friend weighed down Natalee's body. Most people would weigh down a body in an effort to make sure the body does not surface. Joran responds, "No, I don't think so." If Joran was playing along with Patrick in an effort to fit in and get Patrick to like him, one would think Joran would have answered this question with a "yes." If Joran is making up the story, why not make up weighing her body down? His answer appears to be truthful and is an indication that he is not lying about what happened that night.

When asked if he was told how Natalee's body was disposed of, Joran doesn't directly answer the question. By answering, "Of course he did" Joran wants Patrick to take it for granted that he knows. This is an indication that Joran does not know what happened to Natalee's body. However, we also find that he uses the phrase "of course" several times which could also indicate he has a habit of saying that phrase.

Joran: So I was with her and I said to the guys, "I want to go somewhere alone with her but she doesn't want to go to her hotel." I also kind of want to do what she wants, that's how it is you know. I say, "Just drop us off at the beach. Then I'll fuck her and take her to the hotel after." So they dropped me off at the beach. I get out and walk with her to the beach. I'm kissing her and stuff but she doesn't look so hot, you know. She was looking kind of pale too. But she wanted it. She really wanted it.

Here Joran is talking about leaving the bar Carlos'n Charlies with Natalee and the Kalpoe brothers Deepak and Satish. Joran tells the brothers "Just drop us off at the beach. Then I'll fuck her and take her to the hotel after." That is pretty bold and rude statement to make in front of Natalee. Chances are though Natalee did not know what Joran was saying. In his interview with Greta Van Susteren in 2006, Joran stated that while the four of them were in the car together he and Natalee were "speaking English to each other." I had mentioned this was an unusual statement and indicated that someone at some point was not speaking English. Now it all fits together. Chances are Joran told the Kalpoe brothers in Dutch what his plans were that night. If Natalee did not speak Dutch, then she did not know what he was saying. After Joran told the Kalpoe brothers of his plans, he then began to talk to Natalee in English.

Joran then says, "So they dropped me off at the beach. I get out and walk with her to the beach." The fact that he mentions himself and not Natalee being dropped off and getting out of the car could be an indication he is making up the story. Based on the entirety of his statement, this is probably an indication of his self-centeredness and indifference to Natalee.

He ends his statement using the word "really." Most likely Natalee did not "really" want it.

Joran: And she has her hand down my pants and stuff. And all of a sudden Patrick like a movie...

Patrick: Shaking.

Joran: Yeah a lot. So I was like fuck what is all this?

Patrick: So what do you do then?

Joran: Yeah. So I stay with her and there was nobody there Patrick.

Patrick: Of course there's no one it's night time Joran.

Joran: So I'm talking to her and she says nothing. She says nothing. She says nothing. So I take her...

Patrick: How long was she shaking like that for? Do you know what that is?

Joran: I don't know Patrick.

Patrick: An epileptic attack or something, dude. She was shaking and foam too out of her mouth?

Joran: No, no foam out of her mouth. Not that I saw. And then I'm panicking you know. I thought fuck no one even knows I left my house. I just left the house like that. So I'm thinking what do I do?

This sounds like a believable story. When Patrick asked if foam was coming out of Natalee's mouth, Joran says, "No." If Joran was making up the story and wanted to gain Patrick's trust, one would think he would agree with Patrick's suspicion that Natalee was foaming at the mouth. Stating that he was panicking is also an indication this is a truthful story. Why would he make himself look bad if he is making up the story?

Patrick: How were you so sure she was dead Joran? You can't...You know people can also go into a coma.

Joran: Yeah, I wasn't sure about that but it really scared me to death.

Patrick: No, but I understand that I definitely understand that, that your were scared. Did you really prod her and stuff.

Joran: No, but it didn't look good.

Patrick: How didn't it look good then?

Joran: Just you know she'd been shaking and stuff.

Mentioning that Natalee's condition scared him to death and saying that he did not prod her would indicate this is a truthful statement.


Conclusion

Joran says that he made up this story about Natalee because he wanted Patrick to like him. However, his language indicates that for the most part this is a truthful statement. Natalee probably did go into convulsions and someone probably did help him dispose of her body by dumping it in the ocean. Many medical professionals believe that alcohol poisoning alone would not cause Natalee to convulse. Based on Joran description of Natalee shaking and being unresponsive, she may have been given the date rape drug GHB.



UPDATE

On June 2, 2010, the body of Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez was found in a hotel room in Lima, Peru. The room was registered to Joran Van der Sloot. Surveillance video showed Van der Sloot and Ramirez entering the room and only Van der Sloot leaving the room. Van der Sloot fled to Chile where he was arrested on June 3, 2010. He was then extradited to Peru to face murder charges.

On June 7, 2010, a Peruvian government official said that Van der Sloot confessed to killing Ramirez. Ramirez had gained access to Van der Sloot's laptop. She searched his name on the internet and found that he was a suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. When Van der Sloot discovered Ramirez was checking up on him, he lost his temper and beat her to death.

If he did indeed confess to Ramirez's murder, hopefully he will will provide more information on Natalee's disappearance.

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