As prosecutors prepare again to question Dutch student Joran van der Sloot in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, readers in the Netherlands can simply go to a bookstore to find out what he is likely to say.
In "The Case of Natalee Holloway: My Own Story about her Disappearance on Aruba," Van der Sloot admits he lied to police, and he apologizes to Natalee's family. Yet he insists he is innocent.
"I see this book as my opportunity to be open and honest about everything that happened, for anyone who wants to read it," Van der Sloot writes in the introduction to the 351-page tome, which he co- wrote with a Dutch journalist. "I understand that my lies in the past seriously tarnished my credibility, and that some people will not believe what is written in this book. Still, I feel that contributing to this book is something I have to do. I hope to contribute in this way to recovering the truth."
He continues, "I want to apologize to Natalee's parents, Dave Holloway and Beth Twitty, and to both of their families, for the fact that I initially made up statements. I can't say that I agree with many of the things they did, but the pain of not knowing where their daughter is and what happened to her must be unimaginably great. ? I hope every day that Natalee will be found."
The book was published in the Netherlands in April 2007 but never translated into English.
Natalee Holloway disappeared on the Caribbean island of Aruba in May 2005 while on a senior trip with high school classmates. She was last seen leaving a local club with Van der Sloot and two of his friends, brothers Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, around 1 a.m.
Van der Sloot and the Kalpoes were arrested on suspicion of involvement in Holloway's disappearance in June 2005 but were released in September of that year for lack of evidence. Under questioning, Van der Sloot is said to have changed his story several times, alleging first that he dropped Holloway off at her hotel but later stating that he left her alone on the beach.
Authorities rearrested all three men on suspicion of involvement in Holloway's death last week, citing new evidence in the case.
In discussing Holloway's disappearance and the international media frenzy that followed, Van der Sloot in the book paints a picture of himself as a somewhat self-centered, irresponsible 19-year old who "found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time, and took a wrong decision."
"Those who know me know exactly who I am and what I am capable of," Van der Sloot writes. "I am no angel, but I did nothing illegal and I am certainly not a murderer."
In the book, written after he was initially released and while he was attending a business college in the Netherlands, Van der Sloot describes the night Holloway disappeared in explicit detail.
"Natalee is still dancing in a sexy way on the stage next to the bar. When she sees me she jumps off the stage. She takes my hand and says: 'Hi, how are you?'" Van der Sloot writes of the moment he first saw Holloway in the popular Carlos 'n Charlie's nightclub on Aruba.
"She pulls me to the bar on the opposite side of the dance floor for a Jello shot. She jumps on the bar, lies down and yells: 'Jelloshot!'" the book continues. "I place the Jello with the alcohol on her navel and lick the Jello shot off her stomach."