Joran Van der Sloot: How he's spent the past five years
Joran Van der Sloot: His last five years make up a tale of dissolution, deception and increasing desperation according to friends and people who have chronicled his life.
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"I would describe him as arrogant, like nobody can do anything to me. He wasn't shy about it," Lufcy said. He said he met Van der Sloot's then-girlfriend, a blonde from California. Lufcy was surprised, given all the media attention on him, that she was with him.
Van der Sloot may have been a charmer, but he apparently wasn't much of a businessman. So says the young Thai woman who, with her American boyfriend, bought the cafe from him early this year.
"I looked at the documents and balance sheets he left. Many items just look wrong," said the woman, who would identify herself only by her first name, Siripat. Still, Siripat described him as "a very affable guy. He'd invite us for meals. Sometimes, he'd let us eat for free at his cafe."
One souvenir Van der Sloot apparently picked up in Thailand is visible on his chest in a photo taken during a medical checkup after Chilean police handed him over to Peruvian authorities on June 4. It is a tattoo that says, in Thai, "never mind." The word reflects two prominent characteristics of Thai culture in foreigners' eyes: tolerance and forgiveness.
If Joran van der Sloot can be said to have a nemesis, it is De Vries, a no-nonsense 53-year-old investigative reporter who has refused to leave him alone.
In 2008, the Dutch crime journalist broadcast video of Van der Sloot confessing in front of hidden cameras in the Netherlands to having a friend dispose of Holloway's body after, intoxicated, she went into convulsions.
In the video, Van Eem comments on the huge media hype the Holloway case has caused. Van der Sloot, smoking what appears to be a large marijuana joint, smiles.
"But now," he says, "I can abuse that as well."
Nine months later, De Vries drops another bombshell. He airs undercover footage of Van der Sloot in Bangkok alleging that he was trying to recruit Thai women to go to the Netherlands to work as prostitutes. No women were actually delivered, and Thai authorities have no record of ever opening an investigation.
Van der Sloot's next confession comes that same month — November 2008. He tells Fox News' Greta van Susteren that he sold Natalee into sexual slavery. But before she airs the interview, he calls to say it was all a lie.
In recent months, particularly after the death of his father, it appears Van der Sloot got back into gambling in a big way online.
"I do not have a real job but am a professional poker player," he says on his YouTube page. He says he hasn't read many books, but if he had to choose a favorite it would be "Ace on the River" by Barry Greenstein, a poker strategy book.
Jaap Amesz, a Dutch reality TV star, befriended Van der Sloot and extracted yet another confession from him in the Holloway disappearance. In this one, she falls off a balcony drunk and is disposed of in a swampy lake.
On his blog, Amesz writes about how Van der Sloot was often broke and constantly losing at poker. Van der Sloot, Amesz acknowledges, has swindled him, too.
"He likes to think of himself as a gambler, but he's a loser," said Harold Copus, a former FBI agent who worked as a private investigator for Holloway's family.
The Van der Sloot family's finances were already depleted hiring lawyers to defend him in the Holloway case. Now his mother Anita, an art teacher at Aruba's international school, must pay for defense counsel in Peru.