What Joran Van Der Sloot's Life In Prison Is Really Like

Joran van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in one of Peru's most notorious prisons, where the nation houses some of its worst criminals. The results of Joran van der Sloot's dark life landed him here. The Dutch national admitted to murdering two women — Alabama teen Natalee Holloway and Peruvian business student Stephany Flores — five years apart and in two different countries, Aruba and Peru. Van der Sloot has been incarcerated since June 2010, when Chilean authorities arrested him after he fled Lima, Peru's capital, where he had murdered Flores, a 21-year-old from a wealthy and high-profile Peruvian family, a few days earlier on May 30.

After Chile extradited him to Peru, van der Sloot eventually pleaded guilty to Flores' killing and a three-judge panel sentenced him in January 2012. In 2014 the killer married and fathered a daughter, later filing for divorce because he started an affair with a younger woman, per The Daily Mail. As of February 2024, multiple outlets reported that he receives conjugal visits from three women, including a long-term girlfriend, Eva Pacohuanaco.

Then in April 2024, two inmates attacked him in a common area of Challapalca Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary in Peru's highlands. He escaped with only minor injuries. He has also escaped a murder conviction for the 2005 killing of Holloway.

Joran van der Sloot's crimes

Joran van der Sloot's first jail stint was in June 2005 when he was a prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, who vanished from Aruba while on a high school class trip. In October 2023, van der Sloot finally confessed to murdering Natalee Holloway, whose disappearance had remained unsolved for more than 18 years. Van der Sloot said he beat the teen to death after she rebuffed his advances and then dumped her body in the ocean, according to the Associated Press. The admission was part of a plea deal with the U.S. on federal charges of wire fraud and extortion that landed him a 20-year sentence. Van der Sloot had attempted to extort $250,000 from Holloway's family with a promise to tell them where he'd dumped their daughter's body. 

Van der Sloot is serving that sentence concurrently with his Peruvian prison sentence for the brutal 2010 murder of Stephany Flores in Lima, Peru. He met the 21-year-old at a Lima casino and strangled and beat her to death in his hotel room five years to the day that Holloway went missing. Van der Sloot won't be facing murder charges for killing Holloway because the island's 12-year statute of limitations for murder has already passed. 

Van der Sloot has been shipped from prison to prison

In Joran van der Sloot's time behind bars, he has been held at three different Peruvian prisons. He also spent time in the Hoover City Jail in Alabama during his sentencing on the charges related to the Natalee Holloway case. Peru permitted the U.S. to temporarily take him to face justice there. His lawyers said van der Sloot was "happy" to be in a U.S. jail, even if only for a short time because the conditions in the Peruvian prison system were "horrific" (via 1819 News).

Following his sentencing in that case, the U.S. shipped van der Sloot back to Peru to continue serving his time there. Among the Peruvian prisons where he's been are Miguel Castro-Castro prison in Lima; Piedras Gordas prison; and Challapalca Prison. Prison officials have moved van der Sloot amid allegations he has received special treatment, including having Internet access and a cell phone, among other items. 

The prisoner's current home at Challapalca Prison is possibly the worst he's been in. Besides being overcrowded and filthy, Challapalca is isolated high in the Andes Mountains, which is one reason why Amnesty International, the humanitarian organization, says the prisoners there may be suffering "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," per a report by the organization. Other inmates there have targeted van der Sloot. "Many people want him dead," an unnamed Peruvian prison official told the New York Post.