Losing a child is every parent’s nightmare, but seeing the man who admitted murdering your daughter go free to kill again must be especially tormenting. I can’t imagine what Beth Twitty, Natalie Holloway’s mother, has endured over the five years since her daughter Natalie disappeared in Aruba. The immediate horror that your child is lost, the futile hope that it is all just some sort of mistake and she’ll turn up any moment, minute, hour, or day now – followed by an investigation into her disappearance by authorities with the competence of the Keystone Cops. Watching the cold hearted smugness of the Van Der Sloots over the years. The father pulling every string and spending every bit of cash necessary to keep his son out of jail. Joren’s admissions to Natalie’s murder – even his smug, shark-like grins as he revels in the international press. I don’t think I could have done it without eating a gun.
Now Joren has been caught for a murder that if anything proves the banality of Evil. He took the life of Stephanie Flores, a 21 year old Peruvian whom he had met hours earlier at a casino, as easily as reaching for a cigarette. He kills a complete stranger with his bare hands for no compelling reason whatsoever. She was using his laptop and found out he was involved in Natalie’s disappearance. Please… I’m surprised he didn’t relish her discovery. Maybe he did. Regardless he killed her because he felt like it.
And why shouldn’t he? He’d gotten away with it at least once before. Like a true narcissist, Joren saw people in the world as things that existed for his manipulation and amusement. He had manipulated his parents for his entire life, had manipulated the press and the Aruban and Dutch police, and was in the process of manipulating the FBI which had even paid for his trip to Peru.
But Joren’s view of his mastery of the world was just an illusion. There is a reality that exists independently of Joren Van Der Sloot, one in which Joren isn’t the center of the universe and will one day be forgotten.
To prevent that day from coming, Joren will play his final card: what happened to Natalie Holloway and where she is buried. He will try to use this information to get extradited to Aruba where Mr. Magoo, the local police chief, would set him free*. Failing that he will use this information to get a shorter sentence, better food in jail, even a more comfy bed. He will prey upon the humanity of others for his own benefit just as he has done his entire life.
And when he does this, I want Natalie’s mother to say publicly, “Joren Van Der Sloot, I know you killed my daughter. I will never see my daughter’s smiling face again. The life that I brought into this world, that I spent 17 years nurturing you snuffed out in seconds.
For five years you have preyed on my need to know what happened and why. But nothing that you say will bring my daughter back to me. Nothing you do will fill the tear in my soul that you ripped. And because of that I am announcing that I don’t care what you know about the night you took my daughter’s life. I don’t need the details you wish to barter to me or the authorities for something that you want. It is time for you to finally learn that you don’t control anything or anyone anymore.
You ripped a hole into the life of another parent as easily as one might swat a gnat, and you have already explained why. The Flores family knows how you murdered their daughter while I am left to wonder.
But you know what, Joren? I can live with that. I don’t need to trade with you. I don’t need to bargain or haggle for the details of my daughter’s death with her murderer, because in the end nothing I give you will bring her back to life. So why should I? Why would I barter your possible freedom to kill again in exchange for how she died – which may or may not be a complete lie coming from a self-professed liar like yourself? Why should I trade a TV in your cell that will dull your boredom and make you more comfortable simply to learn where my daughter’s bones lay?
You are now going someplace where it will be impossible to kill women, a place filled with men who understand you and are immune to your manipulation. I take no pleasure in knowing what is likely to happen to you there since you took away my ability to feel pleasure when you took my daughter’s life, but at least I know that you will not be able to do to others what you have done to the Flores family and to mine.
It is time that I stepped out of the way and let your fate descend on you. It is time that I moved on.”
That is what I would like to say, but as I said earlier, I cannot judge Beth Twitty. I cannot condemn her for allowing herself to be manipulated by her daughter’s murderer, nor can I ever offer anything that will soothe the pain she has felt for the past five years. All I can hope is that each day that passes for her will not be quite as horrific as the last.