In May 2005, 18-year-old Holloway was a new high school graduate from Mountain Brook, Alabama, on a vacation with nearly 100 of her fellow students but the night before she was scheduled to return home, she went missing and was never heard from again. The prime suspect in her murder, Joran Van Der Sloot, has had repeated run ins with the law since then, culminating a 2012 murder conviction of a South American woman, and may finally have confessed to Natalee's death.
Mountain Brook High School
May 30, 2005Natalee Holloway fails to show up for her flight home from Aruba to Alabama and authorities begin to scour the island to find her.
June 9, 2005Van der Sloot, then 19, and two friends, Deepak Kalpoe and his brother Satish, who had spent Natalee’s final night partying with her and her friends, are arrested. Van der Sloot’s home is searched a few days later, and the three men are all eventually released due to lack of sufficient evidence against them. Van der Sloot is the primary suspect in Holloways disappearance, but is never charged for the crime.
New York Daily News
Nov. 21, 2007While studying engineering in Arnhem, The Netherlands, van der Sloot is arrested for a second time in conjunction with the Holloway case. The Kalpoe brothers are arrested on the same day and all three are charged with, "involvement in the voluntary manslaughter of Natalee Holloway or causing serious bodily harm to Natalee Holloway, resulting in her death." New evidence had emerged in the form of Internet chat logs in which Joran stated that Holloway was dead on the same day she disappeared. Ultimately the men are released again, as a judge rules there is insufficient evidence to indict them.
Peter R. de Vries: Crime Reporter
February 2008Journalist Peter de Vries secretly tapes van der Sloot, now 22, confessing to being present for Holloway’s death on the beach in. He describes her as being heavily intoxicated and having a seizure before dying in his arms, at which point he called a friend to help him dispose of her body in the ocean. Since the video was not legally obtained it cannot be taken as evidence, and van der Sloot later recants the statement, saying he made the whole thing up. The video aired on Dutch TV, but no new investigation opens.
Nov. 25 2008Van der Sloot goes on the Fox News show “On The Record” with Greta Van Susteren and says that he sold Natalee to a man for $10,000, claiming that on the night of her disappearance he took her to the beach, put her on a boat in exchange for cash and then watched her disappear. A short time after the interview is taped, however, Van Susteren is contact again by van der Sloot, who says he fabricated the entire story.
The Smoking Gun
May 2010Van Der Sloot is charged in Alabama with extorting Holloway's parents. In exchange for $250,000, he said he would give them the location of her body, and according to a sworn statements from the Holloways, they made a down payment of $15,000 through bank in The Netherlands to get information from him. Van der Sloot instructed the family’s lawyers to go to a housing lot where he had buried the bodied with the help of his now-deceased father. The search turned up nothing.
June 3, 2010Van der Sloot is arrested in Chile for the murder of 21-year-old college student Stephany Flores in Lima, Peru. Her death occurred on May 30, five years to the day after Holloway’s disappearance and probable death. Van der Sloot, a noted gambler, was in Peru for a poker tournament, and hotel surveillance video linked him to the crime scene where Flores was found beaten and with a broken neck. He initially confessed to killing Flores after an argument, but later recanted the statement. On the same day, U.S. authorities issued an official arrest warrant for trying to extort the Holloway family.
Jan. 11, 2012After spending two years in a Peruvian jail, van der Sloot confessed to the murder of Stephanie Flores. His lawyer asserted that he killed Flores as a result of "extreme psychological trauma" resulting from being accused of Holloway’s disappearance. The day before he is sentenced to 28 years in prison, Holloway is declared legally dead by a judge in Alabama.
November 2012Just a few months into his sentence at the Maximo Altez Navarro prison, known for being especially dangerous, van der Sloot is treated for wounds resulting from an alleged stabbing. However, prison officials say he harmed himself to generate sympathy. His lawyer claims the prison is a place where “they take inmates to torture them,” and unsuccessfully lobbies for it to be closed permanently.
The Daily Mail
July 2014Van der Sloot, now 26, marries a Peruvian woman named Leidy Figureoa from jail. She is also pregnant with his child.
The National Enquirer
March 17 2016The National Enquirer releases a video of van der Sloot telling his wife, “I always lied to the police” and “I made up so many stories.” The undercover reporter on hand for the conversation asks van der Sloot to clarify if he is talking about the Holloway case and he says, “Yes. This is also where I am guilty and I accept everything that I have done.” While van der Sloot does not say “I killed Natalee Holloway,” it is essentially a complete confession for the murder.