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Nancy Grace Mysteries: Natalee Holloway Disappearance

Aired October 11, 2013 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: When I hear the name Natalee Holloway, so many thoughts collide in all of our minds, a teenage senior trip, a high school senior trip, gone horribly wrong, the disconnect between the police in Aruba, the parents` desperate attempts to find their daughter, Natalee, the unwillingness of Aruban officials and locals to help find her. It was a nightmare, no matter how you looked at the Natalee Holloway case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if you`ll excuse me just for a moment, I want to go back to a previous comment that you made about the possibility of Natalee being a runaway, and on behalf of the family, I want to say that is not an option that Natalee would be a runaway. She had too much of a future ahead of her. Her bags were packed the evening before. Her passport was in her bag. This girl was ready to go home, and she is not a runaway.

GRACE: When you wake up in the morning, what`s the first thing you think?

BETH HOLLOWAY, MOTHER: Oh, you know, Nancy, I used to wake up every morning thinking that today will be the day. But you know, when the day would end and we hadn`t found Natalee, oh, it was such devastating and the deepest hurt I`ve ever felt. And I`ve had to stop doing that, Nancy. I can`t look at today as the day. I look at it, of course, always hoping, but just giving myself just assurance that we`ll get through this day, and you know, not putting a timeline on it, because I`m not giving up, Nancy.


GRACE: It was the last week of May when a group of high school seniors from Alabama head to Aruba for their high school senior trip, 125 seniors go have fun. They`re all together. They`ve -- most of them had been together since early school years. They all graduate together, 125 of them.

One week later, May 30th, 124 of them gather in the lobby of the Holiday Inn there in Aruba to return home. One missing, Natalee Holloway. That`s when everyone first realized she was gone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, the family days (ph) and Beth have meetings with the FBI, usually once a day, and there is some communication going on, but it`s on a very limited basis. They, again, don`t want to provide any details to this investigation because they don`t want to do anything to jeopardize this case.

They even go so far as just to only give initials of the suspects that they have in custody. So we rely on the media to determine what that person`s name is, and other information that we have.

GRACE: The three men that were arrested today, I take it, were already questioned and released by police, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct. Police have told us that shortly after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, simply by virtue of the fact that these were the three young men last seen in her company, they were interviewed.

When we got to the island, police were also saying that they continue to cross-check their stories and that they had looked at their car but certainly not confiscated it. But yes, certainly, they were known to police, Nancy.


GRACE: By all accounts, the last time that Natalee Holloway is seen alive is around 1:00 AM the night before everyone realizes she`s missing. It`s 1:00 AM in front of a bar called Carlos `n Charlie`s there in Aruba. She was spotted by her friends and had gone to the bar with her girlfriends, getting into a gray Honda Civic with three guys, three locals. They were not students on the high school senior trip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police and prosecutors, the last time I spoke to them, which was mid-week, were saying that they were still keeping all avenues of investigation open or hypothesis, and that does include, in addition to the fact that something terrible may have happened to Natalee, also the hypothesis that she may have gone missing of her own accord, i.e. a runaway, or that she may have been kidnapped.

But obviously, as this investigation goes on, the police are narrowing down those lines of investigation. There`s certainly nothing that they`re pointing to right now to suggest whether Natalee is alive or dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somewhere around between 12:00 and 1:00 o`clock is when they left Carlos `n Charlie`s, and then he logged on to his computer somewhere around 3:00 o`clock, and that he -- there was one morning, and I don`t know if it was that Monday morning or the following morning, that we had heard that he actually arrived to school late, like at 10:00 in the morning.

So we don`t know the timetable. The police know that. So he could have very easily called and gotten assistance that night and asked for somebody else to handle everything for him.


GRACE: It was a Monday morning, 11:00 AM, the very same day Natalee Holloway does not show up in the lobby of the Holiday Inn, that now it`s 11:00 AM U.S. time. Her mother, Beth, her husband, Jug, get the call, the call that Natalee didn`t make it to the lobby. Within 11 hours from that phone call, 11:00 AM, Beth Twitty is on the ground in Aruba with her husband looking for her daughter. Within 11 hours, she is packed, on a plane, in Aruba, on the ground looking and asking questions, trying to find her daughter.


BETH HOLLOWAY: If I knew the day that I got that call that Natalee was not gathering in the Holiday Inn lobby to depart for the airport, if I`d known what was ahead of me, Nancy, God, I don`t know if I could have -- I don`t know (INAUDIBLE) fought as hard. I had no idea.

You know, Nancy, I just thought I was going to fly to Aruba and I was going to get her and bring her home, or you know, we were just going to go there and find her.

GRACE: Beth Holloway Twitty, thank you for being with us. Jug, thank you. Beth, tell me where the search went today?

BETH HOLLOWAY: You know, Nancy, I`m not able to disclose where they`re searching. And I mean, that is part of the investigation, and I think that they`ve gotten now cooperation between the authorities and Equusearch. So you know, it`s really not anything that I need to be kept aware of, of where they`re searching.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am. Beth, what did you do today? I know you are working every single day to bring Natalee home. You have vowed not to leave the island without your girl. How are you spending your days?

BETH HOLLOWAY: Well, that`s a good question. Today, we really kind of looked at it as just regrouping, and you know, coming up with a different direction tomorrow. And you know, we love children and we want to be involved in the community. So tomorrow, we`re headed to a school here in Aruba, and we will begin making the hope bracelet for Natalee with a group of school-aged children.


GRACE: Beth Holloway, Natalee`s mother, immediately begins questioning everyone she can find. And different people, different sources lead her to Joran Van Der Sloot. She finds him. It`s a very small community.

She finds Joran Van Der Sloot and confronts him and says, Have you seen my daughter? At first, he totally denies it. But upon questioning, on and on, relentless from Beth Holloway, Natalee`s mother, he finally confesses he did see her the night before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joran has lied from the beginning because soon as we got there, Beth stayed in the car. We walked up to the house with the police, and we had a picture of Natalee, her senior picture, and showed it to Joran, said, Have you seen this girl? Nope. Never seen her before in my life. You know, so from the -- he`s lied from the beginning.


GRACE: What else does he tell Natalee`s mother? He finally confesses that he met her the night before at the Holiday Inn casino, that he later saw her at Carlos `n Charlie`s. It`s a bar, as I mentioned. He then says that Natalee Holloway was drunk, which we all believe not to be true, that she insisted she wanted to ride home with Joran Van Der Sloot and the two Kalpoe brothers, Deepak and Satish.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It took a week for police to begin searching the small Caribbean island after Natalee disappeared. Two days after that, authorities finally picked up the boys from the bar for questioning. Van Der Sloot claimed at one point, he left Natalee drunk on the beach and walked home by himself.


GRACE: That she, in her drunken state, according to Joran Van Der Sloot, wanted to go to the beach to see sharks. Van Der Sloot said he went around and around the island driving in the car with the Kalpoe brothers, and then took Natalee home to the Holiday Inn.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it was an accident, I mean, I`m sure -- I really, truly feel that he gave her some kind of drug, but -- and then, you know, if something happened to her, why not be a man and just say, Look, this happened? And -- but I knew when they wouldn`t help us come look for her the next day and he goes out and starts hiring attorneys and everything that there was something bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It clearly seemed to be very strong evidence that he has committed some crime. What apparently the Aruban judicial system is concluding, that whatever crime is, it`s not a serious enough crime to arrest him while the criminal investigation is still ongoing.

Remember, this criminal investigation is still ongoing, like a grand jury investigation that`s pending. Formal charges have not been brought yet. Aruba has a system to arrest somebody even before formal charges are brought if the evidence is strong enough, if the crimes are serious enough.

But apparently, they`re basically saying that the more serious crime that you might consider here, homicide, manslaughter, assault and battery contributing to death are hitting a dead end, and that is certainly troubling for people who want to see justice for Natalee Holloway.



GRACE: Then fast forward just a few days. Two arrests are made in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, but it`s not who you think. Two security guards at the Holiday Inn are taken in and arrested for her disappearance. They blamed the black guys working at the Holiday Inn. Well, as we all know, those guys are innocent.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... that one of the security guards, while he was in jail, was a couple of cells down from one of the three young men now being held. Well, the security guard had a conversation with one of these three young men, and this one man told the security guard, Listen, I apologize. You were wrongfully accused. We shouldn`t have accused you, and apparently related the story to the security guard of how they had dropped Natalee off with one of the three people, with the Dutch boy, someplace near the Marriott Hotel.

GRACE: And tonight, from Aruba, Mickey John (ph). He is one of the two young men released in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Also with him, his mother, Anne John (ph). To both of you, thank you for being with us.

First to you, Mickey. When did you learn you were going to be released from jail?


GRACE: Mickey, how did -- how do you think you got mixed up in this to start with? Why did they arrest you?

MICKEY JOHN: I don`t really know. I think it`s just mixed identity. I don`t know. I don`t know how to come to a conclusion. Nobody told me why I`ve been arrested, how they get the clues that been (ph) linked up to me. Nobody explained to me.

GRACE: Mickey, where were you at the time of Natalee Holloway`s disappearance?

MICKEY JOHN: According to (INAUDIBLE) the time she was disappeared, I was home sleeping (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: This is Mickey John`s mother. Where was your son the night Natalee went missing?

ANN JOHN, MOTHER: My son, I think he was home in his bed -- in his bed.

GRACE: OK. You said you think. Do you know?

ANN JOHN: Well, I think in the morning, my son went to work with me in the morning. From 6:00 to 2:00, we worked. Then we came back home. But due to my son is a grown man, sometimes he goes in his bed and lies down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, he was not working. He was just (INAUDIBLE) He went there approximately at 9:00 PM, and he left around 12:00 PM. And according to the statement of the two witnesses, the two guys now suspects, that they said they saw a security guard walking up to Natalee around -- I assume 2:00 o`clock. And that never could be my client because he wasn`t even working. So he was not wearing a uniform.

GRACE: It`s my understanding that there is some belief a racial bias is happening. Do you think that?


GRACE: What did the brother tell you happened to Natalee?

MICKEY JOHN: He told me that they picked her up. He, his brother and the Dutch guy picked her up at Carlos `n Charlie`s, drove down to the lighthouse. On the way back, he dropped Natalee with the Dutch guy close to the Marriott. And he and his brother went home. He went on line, like an hour later, the Dutch guy sent him a text message on his cell phone saying that, As soon as you get home, you will talk to me on (ph) line.

GRACE: Do you have any idea how you got tangled up in this? Do you think the other three gave police your name?

MICKEY JOHN: Other three suspects?


MICKEY JOHN: No, no. They didn`t (INAUDIBLE) my name. I found out they made a story up. Deepak explained to me that the (INAUDIBLE) because made the story up of dropping the girl off at the Holiday Inn. It was all something made up. He said the girl was never been dropped off at the Holiday Inn.

GRACE: So if they did not drop her off at the Holiday Inn, where did they tell you they dropped her off?

MICKEY JOHN: Like I told you before, he told me that he dropped the missing girl and the Dutch guy close to the Marriott Hotel.

GRACE: Oh, I see. I see, Van Der Sloot. Were you behind bars with Van Der Sloot?

MICKEY JOHN: No, ma`am.


GRACE: Many of us believed they were innocent at the time they were arrested, but they were proven to be innocent.


GRACE: Then there seemed to be a never-ending revolving door of people going in and out of jail, being booked in, set free, in the search for Natalee Holloway. First of all, the two security guards. They were put in jail. Within just a few days, a judge decided rightly that they had nothing to do with it, and they were released.

During this time, Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers come under suspicion, and the investigation begins on them. But that`s not the end of it. Then there is Steve Cruz (ph). Remember that name? He was the guy that ran the party boat. He got put in jail on the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. And then after about 10 days, the judge decided upon hearing evidence that Steve Cruz was blabbing to make himself seem more important and that he had nothing to do with Natalee`s disappearance. He was let go.


GRACE: Today the release of the party boat deejay Steve Cruz. Explain.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He was released just on Monday, in fact. And today, we sat down and talked to him. And basically, what it comes down to is that Steve Cruz is telling us that he overheard a conversation in an Internet cafe where one of the other suspects, Deepak Kalpoe works, and then Steve Cruz went along to the police and repeated that overheard conversation as if he knew it to be a fact.

That landed him in trouble. It also landed him in jail for 10 days. But finally, a judge looking through the evidence said, No, I don`t believe Steve Cruz has anything to do with it. There`s no evidence to back that up, and then decided to release him, Nancy.

GRACE: So Carl Penhaul, it sounds to me that he`s at the Internet cafe, this deejay. He overhears Deepak Kalpoe cooking up some story on the phone about what they`re going to tell police. He ends up telling police, but why did they arrest him?

PENHAUL: Because then, when the story of the three suspects who last saw Natalee Holloway outside Carlos `n Charlie`s bar, Van Der Sloot and the two Kalpoe brothers -- as their stories fell apart under interrogation and Steve Cruz, the deejay, had told investigators the same story that the boys initially told investigators, i.e. that they`d dropped Natalee off at the Holiday Inn, then investigators assumed that Steve Cruz actually knew more than he was letting on.

But when you talk to Steve Cruz, what he`s basically saying between the lines is, Me and my big mouth have got me into trouble. I was just repeating something I overheard. I had no firsthand knowledge. But investigators thought he did have firsthand knowledge, Nancy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was, like, a mistake that I did, like, telling the cops something that wasn`t true. And I`m really, like, how you say -- you know, if I could have changed it, I`d change it, like, right away. But I`m glad that I proved to everybody that I`m innocent, I didn`t have nothing to do in there.


GRACE: Ten days after Cruz, the party boat owner, was let go, approximately 10 days, Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot was questioned, Joran Van Der Sloot`s father.


GRACE: What do you believe Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot`s involvement was in covering up for his son?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My thought was that once Joran was taken into custody and he gave his initial deposition, I think that`s where Paulus Van Der Sloot came into action, as far as changing up the statements and then doing what he had to do to get his son off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About two weeks later, his father, a judge, was arrested, then released. Law enforcement sources said the boys` stories had changed repeatedly. Things didn`t seem to add up. Yet in July 2005, the Kalpoe brothers were released, as was Van Der Sloot two months later. All were freed for a lack of evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paulus is the man. I promise you, Paulus is involved in this. I truly believe it. I just do. I met the man face to face the night we got down there. He had no idea we`d show up that quick. And he just -- he was the most rude person I`ve ever seen.

And you know, I`m a father, too, and no matter what my -- you know, and I love my son to death, but if he did something wrong, I would stand up to it and we would just have to deal with it.




GRACE: So what was your reaction to the arrest of a judge in connection with Natalee`s disappearance?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m glad to see it happen. I mean, I think everybody knows that I`ve felt from the beginning that he does hold some pieces of the puzzle that we`re trying to figure out here.

GRACE: Why do you think that, Mr. Twitty? What does the judge know about where Natalee is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean, I confronted him on the first night that I was here, and just from what -- some conversation that we had, and I probably spent a total of maybe an hour-and-a-half between two different places with he and his son, and you know, when a judge stands there and says -- tells his son, You say nothing. You say nothing. You know, if he didn`t have anything to hide, you know, he shouldn`t have said that.

And you know, the whole deal, this -- this whole deal about, you know, Joran being such a, you know, wonderful kid and all this -- he`s a great kid. Well, I don`t buy that. I met the boy that night. You know, he was out that night until 3:00 o`clock, 3:30 in the morning. And obviously, we know about timelines. He has was out the night before. And when his mother comes on the air and tells that he`s a wonderful kid and wouldn`t do this and wouldn`t do that, evidently, they don`t know their child very well.


GRACE: Even though Aruban officials were doing little or nothing on the Natalee Holloway disappearance, her parents were doing everything humanly possible to find their missing daughter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spent time with my attorneys and with them going over some tapes that they`ve got, that they had from news crews. I`m asking -- I asked the prosecutor yesterday if we could use this equipment to look at some of the tapes that they have on the interrogation because I realize it`s not going to be anything they can use in court or anything like that, but that`s not what I`m looking for.

All I`m looking for are the answers, and I know that the three boys in there have changed their story several times. This would help us pinpoint, you know, who`s telling the truth and who`s not, and I don`t see where it will hurt.

You know, I`m asking for all the help I can get from the United States, from the Dutch government. I talked to a friend of mine from Mississippi called today, and he`s real -- he`s friends with Trent Lott. He called the embassy today. I know Beth talked to Senator Richard Shelby today. I mean, all of them are very, very concerned, it`s just very, very hard to work through the system down here.

PENHAUL: One of the interesting things that`s happened today, Nancy, in the course of the afternoon, Beth Twitty, that`s Natalee`s mom, met with the Van Der Sloot family, the parents -- parents of suspect Joran Van Der Sloot.

Beth was apparently handing out prayer cards in the district where Joran Van Der Sloot`s parents live. And at that point, Judge Van Der Sloot, Paul Van Der Sloot, the man who`s been in for police questioning in the last few days, came out and invited Beth into the house, where she went in and she met with Paul, and we understand Anita, Joran Van Der Sloot`s mother, as well.

We don`t know what they talked about. The family friends that we have talked to didn`t want to tell us that to respect the privacy of the conversation. They did say that Beth came out looking very drained. But this is all part of the emotional drain that this case is having on her. But they do say that she was calm when she came out of that meeting, Nancy.

GRACE: Did you meet with the Van Der Sloots today?

BETH HOLLOWAY: Well, I`d just like to clarify what happened. Every day that I`ve been here for the last three weeks, I like to get my faith and Natalee`s heart in the community of Aruba. And so distribution of posters and prayer cards. And today, I was just doing as I normally do and thought that I would like to deliver them a prayer card, and a situation presented itself, and I acted upon it, and...

GRACE: And did you speak to them?

BETH HOLLOWAY: Yes, we did have a conversation.

GRACE: What did the Van Der Sloots have to say?

BETH HOLLOWAY: I really don`t want to disclose any of that information at this time.


GRACE: That includes appearing everywhere they possibly could to get the word out about their daughter gone missing, Natalee Holloway.


GRACE: You took to the Aruban airwaves tonight. What happened?

BETH HOLLOWAY: Well, I just want the Aruban citizens to know that -- I realize they feel the same pain that we do, that I do, that Natalee`s family feels. We have to resolve this.

I mean, it`s tearing their community apart, as well as what it`s doing to us in the United States and Natalee`s friends and family and supporters. So we have to have answers. But I realize we have to work together because I think they can be very instrumental in giving us and the authorities or the FBI some information, just one piece of information that maybe somebody had overlooked or that maybe somebody didn`t think would be relevant. But it could be huge. It could be huge in helping us find Natalee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I knew she was dead the second -- probably the second day. You know, my friends went down there with me. We went into all the crack houses, kicking down the doors and (INAUDIBLE) Don`t do that. Do not go in and do it. It`s dangerous.

And then we`d go to a place and we thought she was there. We were told she was there. Police would show up, like, 30 minutes late, and they`d say, Well, we knew she wasn`t there. Well, yes, you knew she wasn`t there because you knew she was dead the second day. And here you put Beth and Dave, you know, going through dumps and going up and down every street through all this stuff. I mean, it`s horrible.


GRACE: Now, it`s ironic that the Aruban officials say that they watched these many appearances by Natalee`s parents and that that hurt the parents` credibility with Arubans. Please! That`s a pot calling the kettle black. Aruba did nothing in Natalee`s disappearance. Her parents did everything. They`ve got a nerve!


GRACE: Well, Jug, it`s my understanding -- Carl Penhaul told me earlier tonight that this judge`s son, this alleged judge`s son, Joran Van Der Sloot, has now changed his story eight -- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight times. Did you knee, Jug?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I knew that he had at least three or four, but I did not know eight. But it doesn`t surprise me. I mean, I`ve already -- you know, I faced him face to face that night. I faced his father face to face. And you can look at somebody, Nancy, and tell if they`re, you know, lying or not.

It`s just -- it`s pathetic. I don`t understand how they can`t break one of these three boys, maybe not him because I think he`s a psychopath or something, but the other two. I promise you, if we had some people from the United States down here that break our -- can break hardened terrorists that they could do it in no time.


GRACE: Now, over the weeks that followed, the investigation into Joran Van Der Sloot as the perpetrator, his story begins to erode. It erodes, and at the same time, he embellishes it. By eroding I mean that more and more of it can be disproven.

And here are the embellishments. Another story attributed to Joran Van Der Sloot is that at the bar, Carlos `n Charlie`s, Natalee Holloway pursues him, that she just won`t leave him alone. And she insists that they dance together repeatedly, that she insists that he come and do Jell-O shots off of her naked stomach.

Everyone that knows Natalee Holloway says this is completely out of character for her. No one believes it -- that she wanted to go with him not knowing him at all. He says she went with him to the beach, where they fooled around, and that he insisted he had to leave the beach early, leave her, this beautiful girl, leave her alone on the beach, because he to get up early to go to school the next day.

He later says that he lied about returning her to her room at the Holiday Inn because he, one, had a girlfriend at the time, and two, was afraid of what his father would think of him about leaving a young girl alone on the beach.

He then goes on to say that his friend, Deepak Kalpoe, goes back to the beach to Natalee, trying to place Kalpoe as the last one with Natalee before she is murdered. Kalpoe denies it, Deepak Kalpoe. And computer records and cell phones show that Deepak Kalpoe is telling the truth. He did leave the beach pursuant to the original story from Joran Van Der Sloot. He did not return to the beach. His brother, Satish, also left with Deepak Kalpoe. They both went home, and that can be proven.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) with Natalee when she died. I mean, whether Deepak and Satish were there, I don`t know. But they know, too. And now that -- I wish they would come out and say something. Now that he said they didn`t have anything to do with it, what do they have to lose?



GRACE: So Natalee Holloway goes missing May 30. Fast forward almost one month to the day. The Kalpoe brothers, Deepak and Satish, sitting in a police car, and with them Joran Van Der Sloot. They don`t realize that they are being taped in the police car.

In the police car, one of the Kalpoe brothers says to Joran Van Der Sloot, Well, there goes your scholarship. You can say bye-bye to that. And Van Der Sloot says, For what? And they say, The girl. The girl. They`re going to get you for the girl. And he, Van Der Sloot, responds, I knew I should have killed you, you retards. Shut up!

Unlike our American jurisprudence and justice system, it`s very, very different, and that`s certainly a euphemism in Aruba. This is how it went down. July 4th, the Kalpoe brothers are released from behind bars. Remember that conversation in the back of the police car, where Joran Van Der Sloot says to Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, I should have killed you, retards? His words, not mine.

A few days later, about five days later, the Kalpoe brothers are released. A judge says there`s not enough evidence to hold them. The judge does not release Joran Van Der Sloot. But then two months later -- two months later -- the Kalpoe brothers are arrested again under new evidence. Just six days later, the Kalpoes and Joran Van Der Sloot are released again.

It`s catch-and-release. We see it happen over and over and over in the Natalee Holloway investigation. Nothing really sticks in Aruba.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Van Der Sloot left to attend college in the Netherlands. The Kalpoe brothers went back to their lives on the island. Van Der Sloot said he`s being wrongly portrayed as suspected rapist and murderer, and he seemed concerned over Natalee welfare.


GRACE: Months pass, years. Joran Van Der Sloot leaves Aruba to attend college in the Netherlands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ironically, apparently, under Dutch law, Aruban law, the fact that he can`t keep his story straight is seen as making the prosecution`s case weaker. Here we say the more times you contradict yourself, the guiltier you are. And we would take his more self- incriminating statements and say, Well, that`s got to be the truth because the natural human tendency is to make lies to minimize.

So when he says he was involved in disposing of a body, called a friend, didn`t know if she was still alive, we would absolutely assume that evidence to be very, very believable. And while you respect the fact that this is a different country, Aruba, sometimes, it feels like it`s a different planet.


GRACE: Two days later -- and it`s never been publicly stated what spurs this -- a team of 20-plus Dutch investigators land on Aruban soil to relaunch the investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. They search for days all over the island. Nothing materializes.


PENHAUL: Well, understand also that the Dutch marines may be getting involved in the search, as well. The prime minister has signed off on that. As far as Equusearch, then again, they`re -- they again -- for strategic reasons, they`re playing their cards a little close to their chest -- in general terms, one might say on the northern side of the island, but nothing more specific than that.

Obviously, on the northern side of the island, a mixture of terrain. It`s a very dry, hard terrain there, a lot of rocks, a lot of cactus. And then as you go down to the shoreline itself, a very rugged coastline, indeed, with a lot of waves splashing into the shore there, Nancy.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the SUV, where he was not -- he was not aware that he was being recorded, is the closest to the truth that we`ll ever see. He was not under any pressure to tell anything. He was not paid. And he was unaware that he was being recorded. And he was with one of his -- what he -- who he thought was his best friend, and that`s who you generally confide in when the chips get down is your best friends.


GRACE: Then shocking video emerges, Joran Van Der Sloot inside the car with a friend of his, a dope buddy named Patrick, is caught on tape, where Joran Van Der Sloot describes having sex, he says consensual, with Natalee Holloway the night she died on that Aruban beach.


GRACE: Everyone, with me is Natalee`s father, that you believe the version he gave with the undercover reporter in the SUV.

DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER: I believe that`s the most accurate confession. You know, he has two things that goes along with this. And if you`ll notice, in this third confession, he makes sure that she`s dead. He points that out because I think he received a lot of criticism due to that first video, and he can`t escape it. And he`s trying now to make up different versions so that everyone will try to forget the original.

GRACE: That is the confession that you believe is closest to the truth?

DAVE HOLLOWAY: It is, Nancy. And it still hurts to listen to him say all these crude things about your daughter, but I believe that`s the closest to the truth that we`re going to get at this point in time.


GRACE: He says that she goes into seizures and dies.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he did the shaking thing in the video, you know, they questioned Beth and I the first day, second day, and then also questioned me two weeks later. And they kept asking about the epileptic fits, or you know, that type stuff. Well, you don`t ask that straight out of the box. I knew there was something funny. So they knew. I think Joran told them that probably something happened on the beach and she did this.

BETH HOLLOWAY: It was very hard to watch that and hear him call Natalee the names that he did, and his total lack of humanity, of trying to get help for her instead of trying to dispose of her body. You know, that`s all he had in his mind, at that point, was to get rid of her body instead of trying to get help. And then just to hear his callous nature about him, with no regrets and no remorse.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A former deputy police chief in Aruba who worked the case tells CNN he suspects Natalee was not left at the beach but went home with Van Der Sloot, that she may have been weakened by alcohol and possibly drugs and may have collapsed. He suggests the boys panicked and, quote, "got rid of her."

GRACE: Do you have any doubt in your mind that he is responsible for her death?

DAVE HOLLOWAY: No, there`s no question in my mind at all. He`s -- he said this, even in this third confession, that he was with her when she died and then he helped dispose of her body.

GRACE: Because Dave, if it had been an innocent accident, he would have called 911.

DAVE HOLLOWAY: Oh, yes. There`s no question about it. And you know, even in the third version, they make a conscious decision that that`s not the option. And so it tells you one of two things. You know, there`s other crimes that may have occurred in her passing, so...


GRACE: Just when we thought Joran Van Der Sloot had escaped justice, he`s arrested for murder. But not Natalee`s murder. It`s the murder of another young girl, another beautiful young girl, Stephany Tatiana Flores in Peru. He has struck up a relationship with her, a friendship, there in the casino. It`s caught on tape. She is found dead, brutally murdered in Joran Van Der Sloot`s hotel room.

He`s also caught on tape going in and out of the hotel, looking like a dear in the headlights as he looks around, up and down the corridor, to his hotel room. Ultimately, he is convicted, doing time in Castro Castro, one of the most notorious prisons in Peru.

The story doesn`t end in the jailhouse in Peru. There we learn of sexual trysts, the use of drugs, partying, jailhouse favors. I guess it all proves one thing -- a leopard can`t change his spots.