According to Peruvian authorities, van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores, a 22-year-old Peruvian woman he had met only hours earlier when playing poker, because she found something on his laptop computer -- something she was never meant to see.
"I did not want to do it," van der Sloot confessed to police, but "the girl intruded into my private life."
Van der Sloot's private life, however, has been fodder for international headlines around the world his entire adult life. Although the subject of numerous police investigations and undercover press probes, what is still not known about van der Sloot is what makes him tick and if there are other women who have met the same grisly fate as Flores.
"He is a narcissist and he has no impulse control," Harold Copus, a former FBI special agent hired by Holloway's family to investigate van der Sloot, told ABCNews.com. "He might not set out to murder. I don't believe he's a serial killer. He's just extremely arrogant and believes he can get away with anything."
The profligate son of an Aruban judge, van der Sloot, at 18, became the subject of international intrigue for his alleged role in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, a 17-year-old American high school girl who vanished from an Aruban beach on May 30, 2005, exactly five years before Flores was killed.
The snippet of van der Sloot's confession, made three days after authorities arrested him in Chile, shed some light on a young man whose 22-year-old life has been defined by scandal and arrests.
Prior to his arrival in Peru, van der Sloot had been trying to sell information about Holloway, first to journalists and, according to a U.S. federal indictment, to an individual in Alabama who sources say is Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty.
In the five years since Holloway disappeared, the unemployed van der Sloot spent much of the time gambling, partying and soliciting women.
He also has been suspected of murdering two women, arrested three times, indicted on extortion charges, and accused of trafficking women in Thailand for sex.
Just after news broke that van der Sloot was wanted for the Flores murder, Dutch journalist Jaap Amesz interviewed a friend of van der Sloot's who described him as broke, "completely desperate and pretty depressed."
"I was in touch with Joran until right before May 30," the friend told Amesz. "He was in Peru. That was known. In Aruba, he couldn't deal with it anymore. His relationship with his mother was getting worse. He had gambled money away again. This is what preceded his flight to Peru. Right before the weekend, it was clear that Joran was in financial trouble, and he was pretty confused. Driven by hunger, the fear of not being able to pay for his hotel. He desperately needed money. I have never seen Joran so frustrated as in this period."
"He asked me on several occasions to send money, and was [by his own account], completely desperate and pretty depressed. He asked for small amounts [to eat], and became pretty angry when I refused to send anything. He said literally that he was capable of strange things because no one wanted to help him," the friend told Amesz.