At another point, the distraught mother added, "It's time to let him go. I cannot cry for Joran. If he killed Stephany, then he will have to carry the burden of that. He who commits a crime has to pay."
She described her son as a loving boy, but said that something happened to him as he grew up.
"He was a sweet kid, who loved animals and his grandma. Happy, open," she said. "He lost his way along the way. It was gradual.
"After he was arrested for Natalee's disappearance, he was traumatized," the paper quoted her as saying. "We then made a big mistake. We sent him to the Netherlands to study. He should have gone to a closed clinic. He needed psychological help even back then. He wasn't getting any rest, he was being persecuted."
Anita van der Sloot still believes her son is innocent in Holloway's disappearance.
"I believed Joran. Despite his many lies. I felt that he didn't have anything to do with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in 2005," she said. "He had left her on the beach. I still believe that."
Dr. Michael Welner, one of America's top forensic psychiatrists, told "Good Morning America" today it wasn't surprising for van der Sloot to try to take back his confession.
"He realizes that the confession was very damaging to him, not only with his legal situation, but with his own family, so I would expect him to do this."
Those family ties have likely been critical to van der Sloot in the past.
"We know it's quite possible that he killed two young women in two countries with no accountability... Maybe he went from country to country because he had the financial means to do so, because he had a mother and a support system that said, 'My son can do no wrong,'" Welner said.
He dismissed Anita van der Sloot's contention that he son was under pressure for being accused of Holloway's murder and then cracked when his father died last year.
"People mourn their parents all the time and they're not homicidal," Welner said. He added, "People don't kill because they are in mourning. They kill for other reasons and other motivations."