Van der Sloot's Book Gives His Version of the Night Natalee Vanished

Joran van der Sloot apologizes to family in his book but insists he's innocent.


Nov. 28, 2007 — -- 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."

Van der Sloot writes that he then took Natalee to the beach, where he says they became amorous. He writes that he eventually left a clearly intoxicated Natalee alone on the sand, where he says she wanted to "watch the stars."

Holloway was never seen again.

In numerous interviews with the media, Holloway's family has disputed Van der Sloot's version of events and has accused him and the Kalpoe brothers of involvement in her disappearance.

Jack Levin, a professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University, who has not read Van der Sloot's work, says writing a book can be a way for suspects in ongoing homicide investigations to publicize their version of events.

"He gets to give his side of the story without being interpreted by CNN or Fox," Levin told ABC News, and added, "It could make readers more sympathetic to his side. He could certainly come out looking like an innocent victim, a victim of injustice."

And, Levin, continued, "there is the monetary gain."

A spokesperson for Van der Sloot's Dutch publisher, Sijthoff, told ABC News it does not release sales figures of the books in its collection and cannot comment on the success of Van der Sloot's work.

Van der Sloot was rearrested in the Netherlands last week and is currently being held in Aruba for questioning by authorities. A judge ruled Monday that he can be detained until Dec. 7.

Authorities have not confirmed media speculation that new evidence from wiretaps of the three suspects' phones led to their rearrest.

"From a human point of view, I think it's almost a disaster for a young kid who has overcome so much trying to get a new grip on his life," Van der Sloot's lawyer, Leo van den Eeden, told "Good Morning American Weekend Edition" of his client's rearrest. "And suddenly, as if by lightning, he is getting back again."

Levin said that while prosecutors in Aruba will almost certainly "look very closely" at Van der Sloot's Dutch book, it is unlikely his writing will help break the case.

"Theoretically there may be some passages or incidents in the book that could work against him if this case ever goes to trial," Levin said. "But I would bet you anything he has a lawyer go over every word."

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