Stephany Flores Ramirez's Killer, Joran van der Sloot, Apprehended


Section:  
World News: Joran Van Der Sloot's mugshot, taken shortly after the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez

The case of the grisly murder of 21-year old Stephany Flores Ramirez has been closed. The Dutchman, Joran Van Der Sloot, was taken into custody by authorities in Chile on June 3rd, and currently waits in a Peruvian prison. He has since confessed to this murder, as well as his involvement in the 2005 disappearance and murder of Natalee Holloway.

On the morning of June 2nd, Stephany's body was found in a hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima. She was clothed but face down on the hotel room floor with "abrasions on her face and body, and signs of trauma". According to the Examiner, Stephany's vehicle was not far from the scene, about 50 blocks from the hotel, with date rape drugs in the abandoned vehicle.

Van Der Sloot was apparently in Peru for a poker tournament, and formed a bond with the victim through their mutual grasp of the English language. Video footage shows that the two met at the hotel casino on May 30th in the early morning, and were later seen entering the hotel and future murder site by a hotel employee. Though she was found on Wednesday, police believe Stephany was murdered that Sunday night, exactly five years after the Natalee Holloway case, and bringing into question some sort of sick killing ritual of Van Der Sloot's.

Fleeing to Chile the next day by bus, his exit was registered at the Santa Rosa border crossing. Interpol immediately issued an international arrest warrant, and hours later upon seeing his photo in the local newspaper, he turned himself in. On June 10th he was transported to the Public Ministry in Lima to face prosecutors, a vitriolic mob outside shouting "Murderer!" and throwing unsavory items. If he is convicted of murder, he could face up to 35 years imprisonment, however his defense team seems to be aiming for a manslaughter charge, which is only punishable by 6 to 20 years.

In a recently released transcript, Van Der Sloot goes into graphic detail of what happened that fateful night. Flores had apparently seen a personal e-mail regarding the Holloway case, and he attacked her violently, breaking her nose and the room covered in excessive amounts of blood by the end of it. "I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life . . . she didn't have any right." The confession reads, "She hit me in the head on the lefthand side with her fist, and in that moment, impulsively, with my elbow of my right arm, I gave her a -- I hit her in the face, right above her nose. There was a lot of blood all over the place, and I think she was about to pass out. It affected me so much, that I took her -- I grabbed her by the neck with both hands, and I strangled her for about one minute. And at that time, I thought, What am I doing? I kind of came to my senses, thinking, What can I do now? Because I also had blood on my shirt. There was also blood on bed. So I took my shirt and I put it on her face and pressed hard to the point where I killed her -- to the point where I killed Stephany."

He goes on to say that he thought about getting rid of the body for only a moment, but there was “too much blood” and fled the room instead. He stole her jewelry and emptied her wallet, taking about $300 worth of Peruvian money, two credit cards and her ID card. Her car was taken too and abandoned in a seedy Lima neighborhood.

Van Der Sloot has been since taken to the maximum security Miguel Castro-Castro prison. There he lives quite comfortably in his own cell in a small block only shared by one other inmate, near the prison director's office. One of the most notoriously dirty and rough prisons in Peru, he is kept isolated from the general population and in a high security area with a guard on duty 24/7. This luxury is not quite good enough, and Van Der Sloot goes to such bold lengths as to tell police that he will reveal the location of Natalee Holloway's remains - if he is transferred to a prison in Aruba. Fearing for his own safety in his looming integration with the rest of the inmates, he is desperate to get out of the Castro prison.

Holloway's mother, Beth Twiddy, is livid at these new revelations. Back in March, Van Der Sloot offered again to reveal the location of the remains for cash, in which he ended up receiving $25,000. The information given turned out to be false (which Van Der Sloot admitted in an e-mail when he was already miles away), and the FBI (who provided the money) never detained him and were slack in filing charges against him even when getting a tip that he was about to leave the island of Aruba. The extortion case failed, and Van Der Sloot used that money to get to Peru, where he would meet the doomed Stephany Flores Ramirez.