The mother of accused killer Joran van der Sloot said that even as a boy her son was a sneaky liar and he may have missed his chance to be an actor.
In a Dutch interview obtained exclusively by ABC News, Anita van der Sloot said her son was not a difficult child, but had a tendency to sneak out of their Aruba home at night.
She noticed, but didn't know that he was leaving to go to casinos.
Gambling became a big part of his life, and led to his involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba five years ago, and to his arrest in the May 30 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Lima, Peru.
Van der Sloot met Flores and Holloway in casinos. In both cases, he's confessed to killing the women, then withdrawn his confession.
Holloway's disappearance is still unsolved, and the 22-year-old van der Sloot remains the prime suspect.
His mother said he initially denied any wrongdoing involving Holloway. The van der Sloots believed their son's protestations of innocence, but his story started to change.
At home, her husband, Paul, would question their son, telling him "'if you know something, tell us, because you're going to the police, and you tell the truth,'" she said.
On different occasions, Joran van der Sloot told reporters that Holloway died accidentally, that he killed her and that he sold her into slavery.
In the end, he claimed he was just bragging and lying.
"Maybe he missed a chance to become an actor," his mother said. "Maybe that should've been a role in his life. I really don't know. I can hardly believe that he can … fake this."
She has also said her son was mentally ill, and that he could possibly have harmed Stephany Flores, who was killed exactly five years to the day that Holloway, 19, disappeared.
In addition to being charged with Flores' murder, he is also accused of extorting $25,000 from Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, promising to show her where the teen's body was buried in exchange for the money.
Flores' battered body was found in a Peruvian hotel room. She was last seen entering that room with van der Sloot. He had gone to Peru to gamble rather than head off to the Netherlands for mental treatment, his mother said.
Van der Sloot initially confessed to killing Flores, but has since retracted the confession.
In the alleged confession, van der Sloot is quoted as saying he met Flores at a Lima casino and they were playing poker in his room when an e-mail popped up on his computer linking him to the Holloway case.
He claims Flores became upset and struck him. Enraged, van der Sloot allegedly smashed her in the nose with his elbow. Blood gushed out and she nearly fainted from the blow, the confession states. He then grabbed her by the throat and banged her head against the wall, the confession says. He finally used his shirt to smother her, according to the alleged confession.
He is being held in the notorious Miguel Castro Castro jail in Lima.
In a jailhouse interview with the Dutch De Telegraaf newspaper, van der Sloot has complained that he has to share his prison cellblock with a Colombian murderer, a corrupt Peruvian general and rats that creep into his cell through the toilet at night.
In the interview, he also suggested that the FBI lured him to Peru in a botched sting operation.