Dateline | September 10, 2010
CHRIS HANSEN reporting: Now the story of another international flight from the law. This one has ended, for now, in a South American prison, where Joran van der Sloot is being held on murder charges in the death of a Peruvian woman. It's been a long, bizarre journey for the man suspected in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway . And now, in an exclusive interview obtained by NBC News , Joran van der Sloot as you've never heard him before, in his own chilling words.
There he is emerging from lockdown for a pat-down. Yet after three months in this tough Lima prison, Joran van der Sloot looks healthy and relaxed. Amazingly, as you'll soon hear, he sees himself not as a murder suspect but as a victim. And incredibly, he's angry at the family of Natalee Holloway .
Mr. JORAN VAN DER SLOOT: So many things have happened because of that case and people bothering me, lying to me, you name it, anything else, that yeah, I have a lot of anger because of that, also.
HANSEN: He considers himself a victim, even though he's the chief suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway , even though he's wanted in the United States for alleged extortion of the Holloway family, even though he's facing murder charges in the killing this year of a young Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores . In the meantime, van der Sloot says he's doing just fine, thank you.
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: Well, when I was arrested, I -- and I was scared, for sure, and also at the police station, things happened that were not OK at all, but since I've been here in the prison, they -- I've been treated really well.
HANSEN: Tonight, in his first television interview since his arrest, an exclusive from behind bars. Van der Sloot is talking. He's at turns reflective...
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: I can understand that it's very hard for a -- for a family to lose somebody.
HANSEN: ...and cold.
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: Natalee 's someone I met one night, and I barely know her.
HANSEN: He's adding new detail, telling new stories and claiming to feel sympathy for the family of one of his alleged victims.
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: I feel really bad that her family -- that her family had to lose their daughter. That really does hurt me, and I think about it all the time.
HANSEN: Also tonight, DATELINE retraces van der Sloot 's exotic odyssey across four continents, with exclusive details and photos. Years after Natalee Holloway 's disappearance, he was living the life of a well-heeled jet setter.
HANSEN: What you'll hear tonight from Joran van der Sloot might offend you, might anger you -- but it also might give you rare insight into the mind of a notorious young man who's been in the headlines for the last five years . In an interview conducted by a veteran Dutch crime reporter and licensed by NBC News , van der Sloot seemed to confront his growing mountain of legal troubles and acknowledges, for the first time , his own role in causing so much grief.
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: It's a whole web of problems, but I created all of them myself, so, yeah, I have to deal with it now, deal with the consequences.
Mr. JOHN VAN DEN HEUVEL:
HANSEN: Dutch crime reporter John van den Heuvel interviewed van der Sloot in Dutch and English two weeks ago at Lima 's Miguel Castro Castro Prison . Why did van der Sloot decide to talk now?
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: Well, I think it's important to put my side across. I'm being portrayed as a monster, as someone horrible. I want to counter that.
HANSEN: This latest chapter in the bizarre half-decade saga of Joran van der Sloot , Natalee Holloway and now Stephany Flores began in May in Peru . Van der Sloot says he was there for two weeks to play in a poker tournament in the Miraflores section of Lima .
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: Yeah, mostly playing cash games in the casino, and that's mostly what I was doing.
Mr. VAN DEN HEUVEL: Did you met girls in the period?
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: I met -- yeah, we went out in the nighttime to different clubs and other spots in Miraflores .
Mr. VAN DEN HEUVEL: Yeah. You took those girls into your hotel? Did you have sex with them?
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: I don't -- I don't think that's important at all -- at all, when we're talking about this. No.
HANSEN: Whatever happened on the nights before, on May 30th , on the fifth anniversary of Natalee Holloway 's disappearance, this image of van der Sloot was captured on a casino security video. Another camera showed a 21-year-old woman, Stephany Flores , a college student and avid poker player in the last few hours of her life. And a camera inside the casino captured Stephany with Joran van der Sloot .
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: I met her a couple of days before in the -- in the casino. She came to play in the same table as me, and then we smoked a cigarette together and talked, and the day after exchanged phone numbers.
Mr. VAN DEN HEUVEL: Mm-hmm. What was your impression of her?
Mr. VAN DER SLOOT: Yeah, a very nice girl, like she was my -- like a friend.
HANSEN: That night they played together for about two hours. Stephany Flores is seen collecting some of her winnings. Then, as night turned to day, they went to his $40-a-night room at the Hotel Tac . On the hotel's surveillance camera, van der Sloot is seen picking up a key at the front desk with Flores behind him. At 5:33 AM Van der Sloot and Flores are seen entering room 309. Three hours later, van der Sloot is seen in a different shirt, apparently locked out of his room. He called a hotel employee to let him in. About 20 minutes later, he's seen leaving, by himself, wearing a backpack. He left the TV blaring and reportedly told the front desk clerk, 'Don't disturb my girl.' And