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Van der Sloot confession: Peruvians now warn women of 'psychopath' foreigners

In the wake of Joran van der Sloot's confession to killing a Peruvian university student, Peru's press is on fire with stories of the 'psychopath' murderer. Many Peruvians are warning women of dangerous foreigners.

By Lucien ChauvinCorrespondent / June 8, 2010

Police officers escort Joran Van der Sloot during a press conference at a police station in Lima, June 5.

Karel Navarro/AP

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Lima, Peru

Joran van der Sloot's confession Monday night, to murdering a Peruvian university student, is unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon.

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Peru’s media has been mesmerized by the young Dutchman since the case broke June 2, and not only for the confessed murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, the daughter of a local businessman and former race car driver.

Mr. van der Sloot has long been suspected in the murder of another young woman, Alabama native Natalee Holloway, in Aruba. She disappeared May 30, 2005 and her body has never been found. Miss Flores was killed five years later to the day, May 30, in a Lima hotel room.

Although he has denied killing Holloway, Van der Sloot’s confession linked the cases. He told investigators that he killed Flores Ramirez after discovering her skimming through his laptop, looking at files of the Holloway case.

A 'psychopath' who 'hates women'

In Peru, the public anger over this case – fueled by the media – has been at a boiling point for days. Even before his confession, the local Lima press labeled van der Sloot a "monster." He has been called a "serial killer" and most articles on Tuesday, the day after the confession, called him a "psychopath."

Two of the principal dailies here used that word in the headline.

Many Peruvians, when asked, echoed that sentiment, even if their conclusions seem more based on rumor than fact.

“He’s a psychopath. I heard that he has been killing women every May 30,” says Dario Morales, a physical trainer at a local gym.

A similar opinion was shared by large group of people reading the headlines of tabloids at a Lima news stand while waiting for buses to get to work.

“This guy hates women. I bet something happened to him, he was probably raped or something, and is killing for revenge,” says Miguel Torres, a university student.

Only six years in prison for murder?

There is general agreement on the streets of Lima that Peruvian authorities need to make an example of van der Sloot for Flores’ murder.

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