Joran van der Sloot pleads guilty to extortion, admits to killing Natalee Holloway

Joran van der Sloot

Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man long considered a prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, pleaded guilty Wednesday to extorting the teenager’s mother and admitted to killing Holloway in 2005.

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Van der Sloot appeared in a federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, for a plea and sentencing hearing more than a dozen years after authorities charged him with defrauding and extorting Beth Holloway. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he agreed to share what he knew about Natalee Holloway’s death.

Van der Sloot says he killed Natalee Holloway after she rejected his advances

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT Oct. 18: Van der Sloot admitted to his attorney that he killed Natalee Holloway on a beach in Aruba after she rejected his sexual advances and kneed him in the crotch when he refused to stop, court records filed Wednesday show.

Authorities released a portion of the interview conducted Oct. 3 by attorney Kevin Butler as part of a supplement to the sentencing memorandum.

Van der Sloot said he was alone with Natalee Holloway at a beach when the pair began to kiss. She told him to stop when he began to feel her up and then kneed him when he continued anyway. He said he responded by getting up and kicking her “extremely hard” in the face. Afterward, she was unconscious and appeared like she might be dead, he said.

He noticed a “huge ... cinderblock laying on the beach” nearby and bludgeoned her to death, according to the interview. Afterward, he put Natalee Holloway’s body into the ocean and walked home.

In a victim impact statement, Beth Holloway said van der Sloot’s varying stories about what happened to her daughter “have caused indescribable pain and harm to my family and me.”

“You are a murderer. Remember that every time that jail door slams shut,” she said. “You are a killer. You didn’t get what you wanted from Natalee -- sexual satisfaction -- so you brutally killed her. You didn’t get what you wanted, so you killed her.”

She remembered her daughter as “smart, and so accomplished.”

“I have no doubt that she would have made all her dreams come true,” she said. “She had real hope. The hope that filled her heart fills mine, and I will wake up every day remembering who she was.”

‘Natalee’s case is solved,’ Beth Holloway says

Update 1 p.m. EDT Oct. 18: Beth Holloway told reporters on Wednesday that van der Sloot confessed to killing her daughter in a proffer obtained by authorities.

“Today I can tell you with certainty that after 18 years, Natalee’s case is solved,” she said outside the courthouse. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over. It’s over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”

Beth Holloway said van der Sloot told authorities that he killed her daughter on a beach in Aruba before putting her body into the water.

“That was the last that he ever saw her,” she said.

Authorities verified van der Sloot’s confession with a polygraph test, Beth Holloway said. She noted that even with the admission, he could not face charges in the U.S. for killing Natalee Holloway, “but I’m satisfied knowing that he did it, he did it alone and he disposed of her alone.”

She thanked authorities for their work over the years to solve Natalee Holloway’s case.

“Joran van der Sloot’s confession means we have finally reached the end our never ending nightmare,” she said.

“It’s been 18 years since Natalee disappeared, and Natalee would be 36 years old today. I still miss her every day. It’s been a very long and painful journey, but we finally got the answers we’ve been searching for, for all these years. We finally today — we got justice for Natalee.”

Prosecutor: ‘Today marks the end of 18 years of wondering what happened’

Update 12:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 18: Speaking outside the courthouse on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Prime Escalona said that the plea entered by van der Sloot “marks the end of 18 years of wondering what happened to Natalee Holloway.”

“Now, Beth and (Natalee Holloway’s father) Dave can rest, and Natalee can rest knowing that justice was served,” she said.

Beth Holloway says van der Sloot admitted to murdering her daughter

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT Oct. 18: Beth Holloway said in court Wednesday that van der Sloot admitted to killing her daughter, according to CNN and

“For 19 years you denied killing Natalee Holloway. Your lies have caused indiscernible pain. You have finally admitted that you murdered her,” she said while making a victim impact statement, according to CNN.

“You are a killer and I want you to remember that.”

Previously, he told authorities that he took Natalee Holloway to a beach on the night she vanished and dropped her off at her hotel in the early morning hours of May 30, 2005. He had made several conflicting statements about their encounter over the years.

Judge sentences van der Sloot to 20 years

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT Oct. 18: U.S. District Court Judge Anna Manasco sentenced van der Sloot to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion charges on Wednesday, WBRC reported.

His sentence will run concurrently with one he’s serving in Peru, where he was convicted of killing a 21-year-old woman, according to the news station.

Van der Sloot apologizes, agrees to share knowledge of Holloway’s disappearance

Update 11:05 a.m. EDT Oct. 18: As part of a plea deal reached with prosecutors, van der Sloot agreed to share all he knows about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance and to allow her parents to hear his discussions with law enforcement about the case in real-time, The Associated Press reported.

He apologized Wednesday in court and said he was “no longer that person I was back then,” according to

“I would like to take this (chance) to apologize to the Holloway family, to apologize to my own family, to say I hope the statement I provided brings some kind of closure to everyone involved,” he said.

Original report: He pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.

As part of the plea deal reached with prosecutors, van der Sloot will be required to share details of Holloway’s death, including how she died and how her body was disposed of, Holloway family attorney John Kelly told “Today.”

“There won’t be any further, you know, investigation or search or anything like that … for Natalee’s remains,” he said.

On Tuesday, a judge said the court would accept victim impact statements from Beth Holloway and her immediate family before Wednesday’s sentencing. After the hearing, Beth Holloway will hold a news conference to share what van der Sloot told the FBI, CNN reported.

Authorities said van der Sloot was one of the last people seen with Natalee Holloway before the Alabama high school student vanished during a graduation trip to Aruba in May 2005. She was officially declared dead in 2012, although her body has not been found and no charges have been filed, reported.

Investigators said that in 2010, van der Sloot took advantage of Beth Holloway’s fear that she would never find out what happened to her daughter. He demanded $250,000 in exchange for information about her death, including the location of her body.

June 30, 2010 Joran van der Sloot Indictment by National Content Desk on Scribd

As part of an FBI sting operation, the Holloway family gave van der Sloot a portion of the funds, and he led a representative to a home where he claimed Natalee Holloway’s remains were buried. However, court records show he later admitted that he had lied.

Earlier this year, van der Sloot was temporarily extradited to the U.S. from Peru, where he is serving a 28-year prison sentence for the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, The Associated Press reported. He was convicted in 2012 after confessing to killing the Peruvian business student five years to the day after Natalee Holloway vanished, according to Reuters and