eviIn 2005, the nation was captivated by the disappearance of a high school senior, Natalee Holloway. She was on a trip with her class in Aruba when she disappeared without a trace. If you were around in 2005, you definitely couldn’t have missed this story, as her face was plastered over every newspaper, magazine, and television set that you came in contact with.
For more than a decade, investigators in both Aruba and in the United States were probing the case of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, but the truth has been elusive. Finally, however, new evidence has been brought to life, and we can’t wait to tell you about it. Before, we get to it, however, here’s a review of the case:
Natalie Holloway: The Typical High School Senior
David and Beth Holloway’s daughter, Natalee, was the typical high school senior in 2005. The couple was divorced, but co-parented Natalee and her younger brother, Matt. Natalee lived with her mother, Beth, and Beth’s husband, Natalee’s stepfather, whom she had married in 2000.
The blended family lived in Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Natalee attended the local high school. She was a popular student, and a member of both the school dance team and the National Honor Society. As most of us do as seniors, Natalee had already made plans for her future, and she was already accepted to the University of Alabama. She had a scholarship and her dream was to become a doctor. Unfortunately, if you know the story, this would never happen.
Was Natalie a risk-taker like many believed? Click ‘Start Slideshow’ to see what her friends say.
Natalie’s Personality, According to Her Friends
Before graduation, Natalee approached her parents to ask them about going on the senior class trip to Aruba. Though they could have said, ‘No,’ they agreed. After all, Natalee was known to be an excellent student, and she never got into trouble. In fact, out of her group of friends, Natalee was known to be one of the most cautious and best decision makers.
Claire Fierman was one of Natalee’s best friends, and she spoke to Glamour magazine about Natalee’s personality. Fierman claimed that Natalee was quite cautious, and that she was never “a rule bender.” She also said that Natalee was among the first of their friends to get her driver’s license, and though Fierman begged, Natalee would never allow her to drive.
Natalee left for Aruba with her classmates. Click ‘Next’ to see how her first days were.
Natalee and Her Classmates Arrive in Aruba
Natalee and 100 of her classmates, along with four chaperones, left for Aruba on May 26, 2005. They planned on being on the tropical island for five days, and the seniors, who were on the verge of adulthood, were given the opportunity to explore the beaches by day and the nightclubs by night. When they needed a break, the settled into the local Holiday Inn.
After several days of fun in the sun, the trip was about to come to a close. The students had one more night ahead of them, and decided that they were going to live it up. Natalee and her group of friends chose to visit a local bar, Carlos N’ Charlies, and as you might imagine, they wanted to live it up in style.
Natalee met a guy at the bar. You think you know the story, but do you really? Click ‘Next.’
Natalee Meets Joran Van Der Sloot
As with most 18-year old girls, Natalie wasn’t going to say no to meeting a cute, available guy. So, when she met Joran Van Der Sloot, she was certainly interested. Van Der Sloot was a local in Aruba, but he was born in the Netherlands to Paul and Anita, who had moved their family to the island in 1990. Joran Van Der Sloot was a high school athlete, and his plans were to go to college in Florida and to continue playing sports.
According to her classmates, when Natalee and Joran locked eyes, there was an immediate attraction. The students she was with described his as a normal guy, and they didn’t think much about it when Natalee left Carlos N’ Charlie’s with Van Der Sloot and his two friends. This would be the last time any of Natalee’s classmates would see her alive…in the backseat of a car with the three young men. You will learn more about the friends, and Van Der Sloot, himself, if you keep reading.
Natalee’s classmates and chaperones would experience their worst nightmares, come true. Click ‘Next.’
It’s Time to Go Home…But Where’s Natalee?
The next day, Natalee’s classmates and chaperones were planning on leaving Aruba and heading back to Alabama. However, when they were ready to head to the airport, no one could find Natalee. First, as you might imagine, no one panicked because they believed that she might be late. After all, this is an 18-year old girl we are talking about, right? Eventually they went back to the hotel to look for her, and you won’t believe what they found.
As you might imagine, the first place the chaperones looked for Natalee was the hotel, but there was no sign of the 18-year old. What they found, however, was frightening; all of her belongings were in her room, including her luggage, which was packed, and her passport.
What did the chaperones do as soon as they realized that Natalee was missing? Click ‘Next.’
Natalee’s Parents are Notified
When the chaperones learned that Natalee was nowhere to be found, they had to make the terrible call to her parents. As soon as they heard, they immediately headed to the airport to get the first flight out to Aruba. Meanwhile, Natalee’s closest friends were back in the US, and started gathering at the Holloway home. They kept in close contact with Natalee’s mom, Beth, and filled her in about what they knew…and these students told her about one person…
As Natalee’s friends contacted her mother, all of them told her that Natalee had last been seen with Joran Van Der Sloot. In fact, when Beth touched down in Aruba, the first thing she did was head to the Van Der Sloot home. The family, however, refused to speak with her, and she remained outside of their home shouting. Ultimately, however, she left without contact.
Beth Holloway immediately took action. Click ‘Next’ to see what happened.
Beth Holloway Begins a Lengthy Journey
As soon as Beth heard that her daughter was missing, her mother’s intuition clicked on, and she knew that there was something terribly wrong. Natalee would never just disappear, and she was always on time. She immediately contacted both the police in Aruba, and the FBI in the United States. She knew that something horrible had happened to her daughter.
As soon as the local police department was notified, they began their search for Natalee. The news of the search quickly spread across the area, and soon, there were hundreds of local people who volunteered to help. The government of Aruba gave people off work for a day to help look for Natalee, and the government of the Netherlands sent 50 Marines to help, too.
What did the search parties find? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
The Search Parties Turn Up…Nothing
While the search parties looked for any trace of Natalee, the police brought their main suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot, in for questioning. Van Der Sloot claimed that he was with Natalee that night, but he dropped her off at the Holiday Inn at about 2AM, and he never saw her again. He also said, however, that he saw a man in a black shirt advance towards Natalee as she approached the hotel, but he thought it was a security guard. Meanwhile, the searchers found no trace.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, the story of Natalee’s disappearance was coming to light. Greta Van Susteren, who was on Fox News at the time, broke the news nationally. It was soon picked up by other networks, and most people in America were aware of the missing 18-year old within hours. However, things were about to get very confusing.
A new suspect comes to light…would Van Der Sloot be off the hook? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
The New Suspect
By June 5th, 2005, the search for Natalee was still ongoing. However, two people were arrested that day in connection with the case. Who? It was two men who used to work as security guards, Nick John and Abraham Jones. They were arrested under the suspicion of kidnapping and murder. Was the case solved? Nope. They were quickly released as there was no evidence that they had ever met Natalee. However, the police would soon make more arrests.
After John and Jones were released, Aruban police were back at square one. However, just days later, they made another arrest. This time, it was Joran Van Der Sloot and his two friends, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. They, too, were arrested on kidnapping and murder charges, however, after a search of the Van Der Sloot home with no results, they, too, were released. You won’t even believe it, but the police then made two more arrests for kidnapping and murder; Steve Croes, a DJ, and Joran’s father, Paul Van Der Sloot. Both men were quickly released, and you will be shocked by what Joran Van Der Sloot did next.
The Aruban police did something stunning. Click ‘Next’ to see what it was.
Aruban Police Let All Suspects Run Free
Though the Aruban police considered Joran Van Der Sloot and Deepak and Satish Kalpoe as their main suspects in Natalee’s disappearance, they dropped all possible charges and lifted travel restrictions, which had previously been placed upon the men. Van Der Sloot quickly left Aruba for the Netherlands to attend college.
When audiences in the United States heard that all suspects had been fully released without restrictions, there was outrage nationwide. Meanwhile, Beth, Natalee’s mom, became distraught and frustrated, believing that Aruban authorities had completely dropped the ball on the investigation. She approached the government of Alabama, and together, they orchestrated a statewide boycott of the island nation. As you might imagine, this didn’t go over well with Aruban authorities. The Aruban locals were also angry, as they relied on tourism and they believed that the government had done all they could to help the Holloway family.
A full year passed with no sign of Natalee…but then, something happened. Click ‘Next’ to see what it was.
Joran Van Der Sloot Appears on Television
A year after Natalee’s disappearance, there was no break in the case, nor was there any new information. Meanwhile, Joran Van Der Sloot began making the rounds on national news and television shows touting his innocence. But, all wasn’t good for Van Der Sloot, as one, single appearance would change everything for him…
In March, 2006, while appearing on the show On The Record, which was hosted by Greta Van Susteren, Joran Van Der Sloot made a mistake. If you remember, his statement to the police was that he and his friends, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, had dropped Natalee off at the Holiday Inn. However, he told Greta Van Susteren that he had gone to the beach with Natalee and left her there…and that was the last time he saw her.
Even though Van Der Sloot stumbled, it would be awhile before the case would pick up steam. Click ‘Next.’
The Calm Before the Next Storm
The case of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway was all but cold. In fact, nothing was found to add to the case for several years. In the meantime, both of Natalee’s parents wrote separate books in 2006 about the case. Natalee’s mother’s book, Loving Natalee, was made into a television movie in 2009 on the Lifetime Network. Someone else wrote a book, too; do you know who?
In 2007, Joran Van Der Sloot also wrote a book. In it, he describes his life and tells his side of the story about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance. Throughout the book, he maintained his innocence. 2007 would also mark the next arrest in the case, but you have to keep reading to find out more about it.
Aruban police made an arrest in 2007, and it would shock the world. Click ‘Next’ to read what happened.
Aruban Police Make Another Arrest
Once again, in 2007, Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers would be arrested. This time, however, police had evidence in the form of a chat log where Van Der Sloot claimed that Natalee was dead on the day of her disappearance. This was the only evidence, however, and once again, to the shock of people across the globe, the suspects were released and an Aruban judge declared that the case was closed. A Dutch crime reporter, however, would take things into his own hands and change everything we knew about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance.
Peter de Vries was a journalist in the Netherlands who had been following the case closely. In 2008, he decided that he was going to go undercover and try to gain the trust of Joran Van Der Sloot. Over the months, he gained that trust, and Joran Van Der Sloot told him a story about what actually happened on the night that Natalee disappeared, and it is deplorable.
What did Van Der Sloot confess to Peter de Vries? You must click ‘Next’ to find out.
Joran Van Der Sloot Makes a Confession
Every time Peter de Vries spoke with Joran Van Der Sloot about the case, he secretly videotaped it. In the recording, Van Der Sloot tells a chilling story. He claims that Natalee was highly intoxicated, and when they went to the beach together after the club, she had a seizure and died right there. He then claims that he panicked, and he and a friend threw her body into the ocean. Obviously, this confession was what the world was waiting for, right? Not so fast, there is more to the story, but you have to keep reading.
You will never believe this, but the court in Aruba would not accept this video as evidence in the case of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance. Why? Because it was not obtained by law enforcement. Meanwhile, though this news broke, Joran Van Der Sloot once again appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s show and told a totally different, and totally new tale. Now, he claimed that Natalee was so drunk, he sold her into slavery and received $10,000. Days later, however, he claimed this was a lie.
Shockingly, Van Der Sloot contacted Natalee’s mother. Click ‘Next’ to see what he said.
Joran Van Der Sloot Contacts Beth Holloway
After all of that hullabaloo, in 2010, Joran Van Der Sloot did something that no one expected: he contacted Beth Holloway. He told her that he would reveal to her where Natalee’s body was…for a price. At that point, there was a $250,000 reward for anyone who could tell authorities where Natalee was, and Beth agreed that Van Der Sloot could have it if he came through on telling her where Natalee’s body was. In fact, she even sent him a small amount of the reward, $15,000, as a show of good faith.
To make sure that she would be able to find her beloved daughter, Beth decided that she would even give Joran more money, an additional $10,000, and sent it to Aruba with an undercover cop. When Van Der Sloot got the money, he revealed a location where Natalee was buried. However, when that location was explored, nothing came up. The US charged him with extortion, but he didn’t seem to care. Van Der Sloot was now $25,000 richer and on his way to Peru, where another young woman was in grave danger.
Was Joran Van Der Sloot a two-time murderer? Click ‘Next’ for the grisly details.
Joran Van Der Sloot and Stephany Flores
By May, 2010, Natalee Holloway’s location was still unknown, and Joran Van Der Sloot was living it up in Peru with the money he had extorted from Beth Holloway. On May 30, 2010, the body of Stephany Flores, 21-years-old, was found in Van Der Sloot’s hotel room. Her body was badly mutilated, and people across the globe pointed their fingers right at Van Der Sloot. Though he tried to run, he was captured and charged with murder for Stephany’s death.
Joran Van Der Sloot confessed to the murder, and in court said that he felt “very bad” about the murder, and that he was “sorry for this act.” He was sentenced to 28 years in prison. When Beth Holloway heard this, she headed to Peru. Finally, she could talk to Van Der Sloot face to face. She made it into the prison, but as soon as officials realized that she was the mother of Natalee Holloway, she was escorted out.
You won’t believe the next twist in this tale. Click ‘Next’ and don’t stop reading!
Joran Van Der Sloot…Married
If you think this story couldn’t get any crazier, you would be wrong. Let’s fast forward a couple of years. Joran Van Der Sloot is still in jail, but he is also married. Wait, married?! Yes, in 2014, Van Der Sloot married a local woman named Leydi Figueroa. The pair met in the prison when Figueroa was visiting an incarcerated relative. They were married at the jail, and this, of course, would start another sensational story surrounding Van Der Sloot.
Soon after they were married, Leydi Figueroa became pregnant, and it was announced to the press. Later that year, it was revealed that Joran Van Der Sloot was stabbed in prison, but was he really? Mysteriously, his wife brought a blood-soaked shirt out of the prison to show the media, and the Chief of the Prison claimed that Van Der Sloot stabbed himself to strum up even more publicity. Even more publicity would come Van Der Sloot’s way, too, but you have to keep reading.
A new witness in the Natalee Holloway case also emerged during this time. Click ‘Next’ to see his story.
A New Witness to a Crime?
Just a few months after Joran Van Der Sloot was married, the unexpected happened. A man by the name of Jurrien de Jong came forward and claimed that he had witnessed Van Der Sloot disposing of Natalee Holloway’s body; he claimed that he saw Van Der Sloot carrying the body into a construction site in Aruba. Why didn’t he come forward sooner? He claimed it was because he was involved in an illegal drug trade. Where was the construction site?
Jurrien de Jong claimed that the construction site is now where the Spyglass Tower, which is a Marriott Hotel, now sits. Natalee Holloway’s father asked authorities to look into the claim. Authorities say that no construction was taking place at the site during that time, but satellite images of the area say otherwise. Additionally, Natalee’s father claims that he remembers the construction site when he was on the island when Natalee first disappeared.
Did a snorkeling couple unknowingly take a photo of Natalee’s body? Click ‘Next.’
A Grisly Photo Emerges
Over the years, there have been many who have approached the police in Aruba about the Natalee Holloway case. One 2010 report is definitely worth mentioning. A couple were vacationing on the island, and as most do, they were taking in a variety of activities, including snorkeling. While in the water, they were taking photos, and one photo caught their attention.
As you can see, the photos show something head-scratching on the ocean floor. Is it possible that the couple captured the skeletal remains of Natalee Holloway? Many think so, but Aruban authorities say that it is clearly a coral reef.
Joran Van Der Sloot made another confession…but was it what we want to hear? Click ‘Next.’
Joran Van Der Sloot Confesses…to Lying
Though most of us want to hear Joran Van Der Sloot officially confess to murdering Natalee Holloway, so far, that hasn’t happened. However, in 2016, journalists secretly filmed Van Der Sloot in prison. On the footage, he is heard saying that he never told the truth to police, and that he always lied to them during the investigation of the Natalee Holloway disappearance.
When Joran Van Der Sloot was questioned about these comments, he said “yes,” and he also said “this is also where I am guilty.” He never mentioned Natalee by name in the conversation, though he did admit to killing Stephany Flores is a rage that was fueled by drug use. Both of Natalee’s parents were asked about the confession after it was released to the media, and they agreed that it was merely another attempt for Joran to extort money.
At this point, you probably have an opinion about the Aruban authorities. Click ‘Next’ to see what others think.
Aruban Authorities are Criticized
As you have read about the handling of the Natalee Holloway case, what do you think of the Aruban authorities work? Most people across the globe criticize the way they handled the case, and as you know, Natalee’s parents called for a boycott of the island.
As mentioned, Natalee’s parents started with the state of Alabama, but other states, including Arkansas and Georgia, also supported the travel boycott. Additionally, there were a number of members of Congress who supported the boycott, too. The boycott not only discouraged Americans from traveling to the island of Aruba, but also to any other Dutch territory.
Over time, many other organizations and people supported the boycott. Who? Click ‘Next.’
Support for the Travel Boycott Grows
In addition to those mentioned, more cities, states, and organizations supported the Aruban travel boycott. Though it didn’t get as far as some believed it should, i.e. federal support, there were enough people, governments, and organizations that supported the travel ban that people were very aware of it.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby greatly supported this travel boycott. In fact, he wrote a letter to the American Society of Travel Agents to encourage them to tell their clients that he doesn’t believe they would be safe when traveling to Aruba.
As you might imagine, Aruban officials responded. What did they say? Click ‘Next.’
Aruba Responds to the Travel Boycott
Because of the publicity surrounding this case, and the travel boycott, of course, Aruban officials had to respond and comment on the situation. In fact, the Prime Minister or Aruba, Nelson Oduber, released a statement claiming that the authorities did their best and that the boycott was “preposterous” and “irresponsible.”
PM Oduber also formed a task force in response to the negative portrayals of Aruba. The group was made up of several organizations including the Aruban Chamber of Commerce, the Aruba Tourism Authority, and the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association.
As all of this was happening, Beth Holloway did her best to remain in the spotlight. Click ‘Next.’
Beth Holloway Remains in the Spotlight
Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, never left the spotlight. She remained on the television circuit, and did television interviews anytime new information was found. She claimed that both Joran Van Der Sloot, as well as the Kalpoe brothers, were withholding information from the authorities. She claims that Van Der Sloot revealed that he had performed behaviors towards Natalee that would constitute sexual assault, but Aruban police deny this.
Beth Holloway has always made her thoughts about Aruban police known throughout the investigation…she says, “I’m not getting any answers.”
What would you do if you were Beth Holloway? Click ‘Next’ to see if you would do what she did.
Beth Holloway Is Not Giving Up
The love that Beth Holloway has for her daughter, Natalee, cannot be denied. However, it has taken a toll on her, too. In addition to not knowing the fate of her daughter, Beth Holloway also has separated from her second husband, Natalee’s stepfather, following her disappearance.
One of the most traumatic things that a parent can go through is losing a child, and this takes a toll on their other relationships. In Beth’s case, not only has she lost her child, she also has no idea what happened, nor does she know where Natalee is. This stress and inexplicable grief often becomes too much for most people to handle.
How has Beth Holloway coped with this grief? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
Coping With Her Loss
One of the things that Beth Holloway has had to learn to do is to cope with the loss of Natalee. One way that she has found to cope with the loss of her daughter is by writing. You know that she published a book in 2007 about the ordeal, and it was titled “Loving Natalee: A Mother’s Testament of Hope and Faith.” Much of the book focuses on the struggles of coping.
Beth Holloway’s book became a bestseller, and appeared on the New York Times best seller list. It was also sold under an alternative title, “The True Story of the Aruba Kidnapping and It’s Aftermath.” However, much newer information is out there that isn’t in the book, so you will have to keep reading.
The book was so popular that it became a film. Click ‘Next’ to hear about it, but keep reading on!
Beth’s Book Becomes a Film
The book that Beth Holloway wrote became adapted to a film. The rights to the film was picked up by Lifetime, and they announced that they would portray the story with “accuracy” and “sensitivity.” They also worked closely with Beth Holloway to tell the story.
The movie first aired on the Lifetime Network on April 19, 2009. The film got the highest television ratings that the network had ever seen, and on the first night it aired, 3.2 million viewers tuned in.
Millions tuned in to the film, but what did critics say? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
The Critics Opinion
Though millions of people tuned in to watch the film version of Beth Holloway’s book, critics were not impressed. The film was described by critics as “forgettable,” “sloppy,” and “uneven.” Interestingly enough, Joran Van Der Sloot also saw the film. What did he say?
Joran Van Der Sloot watched the film, too. Though he has never publically given an opinion of the film, John Ludwick, a friend of Van Der Sloot, claimed that Joran said that parts of the film were accurate, but other parts were not.
Because of Van Der Sloot’s lies, there are many theories about what happened to Natalee. Click ‘Next.’
Was Natalee Holloway Sold Into Slavery?
One of the stories that Joran Van Der Sloot shared about what happened to Natalee Holloway is that he sold her into slavery. This might seem like a far-fetched story, but there are a number of underground trafficking rings around the world that target young women who are on vacation.
Remember, Joran Van Der Sloot admitted to selling Natalee into slavery for $10,000. Though, as with most of his stories, this just didn’t hold up as there was no evidence. Van Der Sloot retracted those claims, but the truth is, there is a slight possibility that this is exactly what happened to Natalee Holloway.
Other theories surround Van Der Sloot, too. Click ‘Next’ to learn more about him.
Joran Van Der Sloot’s Troubled Past
No one can deny that Joran Van Der Sloot was a successful, athletic student. He played both tennis and soccer, though stories from his friends and family imply that he was a troubled teen. Though he was an honor student who had dreams of playing college tennis, he also had a reputation of troublemaking.
Even Van Der Sloot’s mother had some negative things to say about her son. She said that he often fabricated stories, and that he lied on a regular basis. Van Der Sloot also was known to be a gambler, and he would often sneak out of his family home at night to visit casinos.
There is something even more frightening about Van Der Sloot, though. Click ‘Next.’
Van Der Sloot’s Violent Temper
So far, we have shared that Joran Van Der Sloot was a gambler and a liar, which makes it much more likely that he was involved in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Since he was a gambler, is it possible that he really could have sold Natalee into slavery for $10,000 to pay off some of his gambling debts? Yes, it is possible. However, there’s more.
If the gambling and lying wasn’t enough to point the accusatory finger at Joran Van Der Sloot, there have also been reports that he has a violent streak. On the Dutch talk show, Pauw & Witteman, Pert R. de Vries, a crime reporter, confronted Van Der Sloot. What was Van Der Sloot’s response? He threw a glass of wine into the reporter’s face.
What has Joran Van Der Sloot’s parents said about their son? Click ‘Next’ for the shocking answer.
Joran Van Der Sloot’s Parents Speak
Remember, Joran Van Der Sloot, himself, admitted to a violent streak when he killed Stephany Flores in Peru. His parents, too, have some things to say about him. Both his mother and father have admitted that their son has made up stories in order to get more attention in the media. He also had another problem…
The other problem that Joran Van Der Sloot had was with money. When Stephany Flores was found murdered, her wallet was also missing; it contained several thousands of dollars. Some believe that Van Der Sloot tells these stories in order to get a book deal about his experiences…which would give him even more money. There’s also another story that is quite fascinating about Van Der Sloot, and you won’t believe it.
Joran Van Der Sloot was married, and his wife was pregnant. Did she have a baby? Click ‘Next.’
Joran Van Der Sloot Becomes a Father
Even though Joran Van Der Sloot was still in prison, his wife became pregnant and he and she had a baby girl in 2014. It is the hope of everyone that this little girl will soften the heart of Van Der Sloot and help him to become a better person.
Though no one has any expectations that Joran Van Der Sloot will ever tell the truth about what happened to Natalee Holloway, perhaps a softened heart will encourage it. He is likely the only one who knows the truth about what happened to Holloway. Meanwhile, the rest of us hope and pray that she will one day be found.
Natalee Holloway is dead…at least legally dead. Click ‘Next’ to learn what that means.
Natalee Holloway is Legally Pronounced Dead
On January 12, 2012, a judge in Alabama signed a document that declared Natalee Holloway legally dead. This is confusing to some because her body has never been found and no one has been charged in her disappearance. Why did this happen? Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father, began the process about six years after she disappeared. Did her mom agree, though?
Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, did not agree with her ex-husband’s actions. She is still holding out hope that Natalee remains alive, simply because there has been no evidence to the contrary. Despite the ruling of the judge, Beth Holloway says that she will continue to pray for the safe return of her daughter.
What was the process the family had to go through to take this drastic step? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
The Process of Declaring Natalee Dead
Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father, needed closure. He was desperately losing hope that she would ever be found alive. In fact, he said that ever since the FBI told him that they were looking at the case as a homicide, he had believed that his daughter had likely been killed.
Dave Holloway’s petition was eventually pushed through, though the judge, Alan King, made some stipulations before it would become legally bound. First, Dave Holloway must publish a death notice in the local newspaper for two weeks, and then, the judge gave the public 12 weeks to come forward with evidence that Natalee could still be alive. That 12 weeks passed, and no new evidence was submitted.
Why did Natalee have to be declared dead? Keep reading and click ‘Next’ to find out.
The Reasons Natalee had to be Declared Dead
You might be surprised that Dave Holloway would want to declare his daughter dead, but there are reasons for it. According to Dave, he felt that it was time to do this, even though he is still hoping that his daughter will be found alive and well.
According to Mark White, who is Dave Holloway’s attorney, the main reason his client did this is that a death certificate can help to settle Natalee’s estate. Though Natalee was only a teen and didn’t have many assets, she had a small fund set aside for college, and was also listed as a beneficiary on her father’s life insurance policy. To access that money, and to remove her from the policy, legally, she had to be declared dead.
You might be wondering how Natalee’s friends feel about all of this. Click ‘Next’ to find out.
Natalee’s Friends Speak
You probably remember that Natalee Holloway had a very close-knit group of friends. In fact, you probably remember that as soon as they returned home from Aruba, the first place they went was to Natalee’s home. There, they held vigil and waited for news of her return.
All of her friends, including one of her best friends, Claire Fierman, said that Natalee was extremely careful and never broke, or even bent, the rules. Claire also claimed that Natalee was a cautious person who didn’t take risks.
The struggle of Natalee’s friends was a tough one. What happened? Click ‘Next’ to find out.
Natalee’s Friends Struggle With Her Disappearance
Though Natalee’s disappearance was devastating for her family, her close friends have also been struggling with the aftermath of her disappearance. Even though they were young when it happened, they still have trouble accepting it. For instance, Mallie Tucker, another very close friend of Natalee’s, says that there is a hole in her heart that will never be filled.
When Mallie talks about Natalee, she says that when she closes her eyes, she can still see Natalee’s face, plain as day. She said that it’s very hard on her, and she often focuses on strange things, such as Natalee’s handwriting, or even the hairs that were on Natalee’s arms.
Who do Natalee’s friends believe is responsible for her disappearance? Click ‘Next.’
Natalee’s Friends Point to Joran Van Der Sloot
Both Claire and Mallie, who were in Aruba with Natalee at the time of her disappearance, still believe that Joran Van Der Sloot was responsible for this. Mallie admits that she and Claire both knew in their guts that Joran did this to Natalee.
Claire also says that it was very suspicious to her that the Van Der Sloot family would not allow Beth Holloway into their home when she first arrived in Aruba. Claire also says that she and Mallie just know that Joran did something bad to Natalee…they don’t know what, but they know he did something.
Click ‘Next’ to see how Mallie and Claire coped in the days and weeks following Natalee’s disappearance.
Keeping Hope for Natalee
Mallie and Claire had feelings of helplessness in the wake of the disappearance of their friend. They believe that Joran surely had something to do with it, and they spent the next several days waiting for news. They skipped sleep and showers, just in case they missed something.
In order to deal with the grief they were experiencing, Claire and Mallie created bracelets to raise awareness of Natalee’s disappearance. The bracelets were called “Hope for Natalee Bracelets,” and the girls made thousands of them. They passed them out to locals, and even mailed some to Beth Holloway, who was in Aruba, which she then passed out.
Natalee’s friends believed they would find her in the first few days. Why? Click ‘Next.’
Natalee’s Friends Look to Other Missing Person Cases
Even as many were giving up hope, Natalee’s friends Mallie and Claire still kept hope alive. Why? Because they looked at other missing person cases, such as the Elizabeth Smart case, where she was found after nine months. You can read more about this case if you keep clicking. Mallie even admitted that when she went on a trip with her family to Acapulco, that she was expecting to see Natalee everywhere.
Natalee’s friends and family arranged for search parties in Aruba. At home, they passed out yellow ribbons and held church services for prayer, but Natalee was never found.
The lives of Natalee’s friends changed forever. Click ‘Next’ to read about how.
The Impact on Natalee’s Friends
In addition to the feelings of hopelessness and fear, Natalee’s friends also experienced other consequences. Both Mallie and Claire experienced irrational fears. For instance, because they both believed that Joran Van Der Sloot was responsible for Natalee’s death, they became afraid of men. The pair went to different colleges, but neither of them could remain in relationships because of that fear.
Claire says that when she would meet a guy at college, she would immediately become scared and would wonder if the guys would have ulterior motives. Mallie, too, says that she didn’t date in college. In fact, she never went on a single date alone with a guy. She would hang out with guys in a group setting, but never one on one.
Mallie really struggled with Natalee’s disappearance. Click ‘Next’ to see her dangerous coping mechanism.
Mallie Relies on Alcohol
Mallie had a very difficult time with Natalee’s disappearance. She was always very smart, and when she attended the University of Montavallo, she should have had no issue finishing her degree. However, she flunked out in her junior year. She couldn’t focus on studying, and experienced a lot of anxiety and guilt about Natalee’s disappearance. She also started drinking…a lot.
Mallie said that she used wine to push down her feelings. She said she drank until she was numb. Eventually, she was accepted into a substance abuse facility, Safe Harbor, which was in California. She also found a new life path as she focuses on her sobriety.
Mallie also dedicated her life to helping other people. Click ‘Next’ to find out how.
Mallie Reaches Out
Newly sober, Mallie began taking steps to heal from the tragedy she experienced. She knew that she wanted to help other people. She didn’t just want to focus on alcoholics, like herself, but also wanted to focus on those who had lost friends, been rejected, abandoned, or experienced domestic violence.
Mallie eventually when back to college, and she became a drug and alcohol counselor. She now works in Birmingham, Alabama and helps people who have experienced trauma.
Natalee’s friends finally have been able to let go. Click ‘Next’ to find out how.
Mallie and Claire Let Go of Natalee
Both girls admit to still remaining in touch with Beth Holloway, but all of these years later, they finally decided that they had to let go of the situation, and move on with their lives.
Claire’s therapist suggested that both of the girls write a letter to Natalee, telling her how much they missed and loved her. Claire closed her letter with “I’m sorry, but I have to let you go.” The girls took the letters, together, to Huntington Beach at sunset, and read them out loud. They then dug into the sand, placed the letters in it, and built a bonfire, burning the letters away. Mallie says that this was their version of a funeral for their friend, and they were finally able to feel a sense of closure.
Mallie has tips for people who are going through something similar. Click ‘Next’ to read her advice.
Mallie’s Advice for Trauma
Mallie has used Natalee’s disappearance to help others find healing. She believes if she cannot bring her friend back, she can at least use her experience to help others.
Mallie’s biggest piece of advice for anyone who has experienced similar trauma is to confront the detachment. If you have lost your friend, try to think of them each day. Look at their photos, and honor who they were. Though it won’t heal all of the pain, it will help to make the pain manageable.
How has Beth Holloway learned to heal? Click ‘Next’ for the empowering answer.
Beth Holloway and the Natalee Holloway Resource Center
One of the ways that Beth Holloway has coped with losing Natalee is to put her energy into ensuring that what happened to her daughter doesn’t happen to other young women. She worked with the National Museum of Crime and Punishment to create the Natalee Holloway Resource Center. The center helps families with missing loved ones to find resources and to create plans of action.
In 2015, the museum closed its doors, but the Natalee Holloway Resource Center remains open. The center is focused on telling the stories of others and helping families who need it. One of these stories is the tale of Elizabeth Smart.
Will the latest news related to the case open some old scars?
Will The Family Get Closure With These Latest News?
While the family still haven’t found peace with the possible D.N.A test results after alleged human bones were found in Aruba and may have been mixed up with dogs’ bones, they may be somewhat happy to hear the latest news. In a twisted turn of events, John Christopher Ludwick, the man who claimed on a TV documentary that he helped dig up and bury Natalee’s remains, was killed three days ago while he was trying to kidnap a young woman in Florida. The woman stabbed him to death while he was trying to kidnap her. Nothing could ever really bring peace to Natalee’s family, but these latest news may be comforting, even if it’s for a little while.
The woman stabbed him to death while he was trying to kidnap her. Nothing could ever really bring peace to Natalee’s family, but these latest news may be comforting, even if it’s for a little while.
The story of Elizabeth Smart helped Natalee’s family and friends. Click ‘Next’ to hear her tale.
Elizabeth Smart and Her Family
On June 5, 2002, young 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Ed and Lois Smart, along with their six children, lived in Federal Heights, Utah. That day was rather normal for the affluent family.
What had the Smart family done that day? They attended an awards ceremony at a local middle school, and when they returned home, Ed Smart took the lead and got his children ready for bed. Before he and his wife settled in, he locked all of the doors of the home, but didn’t set the alarm. He didn’t set it because if one of the children got up in the middle of the night, they might inadvertently trip the alarm.
This was a mistake that would change the lives of the Smart family, forever. Why? Click ‘Next.’
The Smart Home is Broken Into
Ed Smart didn’t set the alarm that night, and Brian David Mitchell took advantage of it. In the early morning of June 5, he broke into the bedroom of two of the Smart children, Elizabeth and Mary Katherine. Mitchell immediately went to abduct 14-year-old Elizabeth, while 9-year-old Mary Katherine pretended to sleep. She saw the entire abduction unfold before her, so she was able to describe Mitchell to the police.
What did Mary Katherine say about Brian David Mitchell? She said he was a man who was in his 30s or 40s, and that he had threatened her sister with a knife. She also described him as having dark hair. When he was dragging Elizabeth out she stubbed her toe and yelled, and Mitchell told her that she “better be quiet,” and that he “wouldn’t hurt her.” Mary Katherine also said that Elizabeth asked Mitchell why he was taking her, but Marry Katherine couldn’t hear his answer.
Mary Katherine tries to tell her parents, but is stopped. What stopped her? Click ‘Next.’
Mary Katherine is Blocked from Telling Her Parents
As soon as Mary Katherine saw Brian David Mitchell and Elizabeth leaving, she tried to run to her parents’ bedroom. However, she was stopped along the way. Why? Keep reading.
Though Mary Katherine made an attempt to tell her parents, she was blocked by Brian David Mitchell and Elizabeth in the hallway, but they didn’t see her. Frightened, Mary Katherine sneaked back into her room and hid for almost two hours before she felt as if things were safe.
Mary Katherine finally finds her courage. What does she do? Click ‘Next.’
Mary Katherine Alerts Her Parents
Finally, around 4am, Mary Katherine found her courage and went to wake her parents. She told them that a man had taken Elizabeth, but they didn’t believe her. Instead, they believed that she was having a bad dream.
To appease his daughter, Ed Smart walked through the home to look for Elizabeth. The entire time, Mary Katherine keeps saying that he wouldn’t find Elizabeth because “a man came and took her.” Though they couldn’t find Elizabeth, they still didn’t believe Mary Katherine until they went downstairs and saw that one of the downstairs windows had been cut through the screen with a knife.
The couple quickly contacted police. What did they do over the next couple of days? Click ‘Next.’
The Search for Elizabeth Smart, Begins
The search for 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart began almost immediately. The Smart family worked with the Laura Recovery Center to organize volunteers. In total, more than 2,000 volunteers began searching the area, and over the days, helicopters and search dogs joined in the hunt for Elizabeth.
Though the search turned up nothing, the Smart family didn’t lose hope because Mary Katherine had seen the suspect. Police began questioning several men, including 26-year-old Bret Michael Edmunds, who was believed to be the abductor. However, it was later found that Edmunds was in a West Virginia hospital at the time Elizabeth Smart was taken.
Other suspects were also questioned, and there was even a false confession. Click ‘Next’ to read about it.
The Police Continue to Question Suspects
The police continued to question suspects, and one of them, Richard Ricci, even confessed to taking Elizabeth. He said he had taken the girl, but soon died in jail. Elizabeth, meanwhile, was still missing, and the police discovered that Ricci’s confession was false. They had met a dead end in the investigation. However, Mary Katherine would remember something in October of 2005, which would push the case ahead.
Mary Katherine remembered the voice of the man who had taken her sister, and she pointed her finger at a man named Emmanuel, who worked for the Smart family. The Smarts would often give homeless and unemployed people odd jobs, and Emmanuel was one of them. Emmanuel, however, was not his real name. His real named was Brian David Mitchell. It wasn’t until a police sketch based on Emmanuel was released to the public that the connection was made, however. Once police discovered that Emmanuel and Brian David Mitchell were the same person, they had a focus for the case.
Before moving on, it’s important to understand how Elizabeth met her abductor. Click ‘Next.’
The Relationship Between the Smarts and Mitchell
Brian David Mitchell was no stranger to the Smart family, though they knew him as Emmanuel. The family hired him to work for them, and he made sure that the two Smart girls knew who he was. In a terrifying twist, it was later discovered that Mitchell targeted Elizabeth before he was even hired by the family.
Brian David Mitchell first met Elizabeth Smart when she and her family saw him on the street. Lois Smart, her mother, offered Mitchell $5 to do a few odd jobs on their property. What the Smart family didn’t realize, however, is that Mitchell decided that 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart would be his wife…his second of his planned five wives, in fact, and he started watching the girl closely. He took the job with the Smarts in order to get close to Elizabeth.
This story is so sensational that it was turned into a made for television movie. Click ‘Next’ to read more.
The Story Becomes a Film
The story of Elizabeth Smart’s abduction was turned into a made-for-TV film based on the book, “Bringing Elizabeth Home,” which was written by Ed and Lois Smart.
The film starred Dylan Baker, who played Ed Smart, and Amber Marshall, who played Elizabeth Smart. She was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2004 for her role in the TV movie. The film was released before Mitchell went on trial, though, and that story is coming up if you keep reading.
Brian David Mitchell was arrested, and eventually put on trial. What happened? Click ‘Next.’
The Arrest of Brian David Mitchell
Nine months after the abduction of Elizabeth, Brian David Mitchell was spotted with two women in Sandy, Utah. The man who saw them had seen Mitchell on America’s Most Wanted. He alerted the police who discovered that one of the women was Elizabeth Smart. The other was Wanda Ileen Barzee. Smart was returned to her family while Mitchell and Barzee were arrested.
It took about eight years from the time Mitchell was arrested before he was sentenced to prison. Why? Because of delays and psychiatric evaluations. You see, Mitchell claimed that he was insane, and pled not guilty by reason of insanity. Eventually, however, this was struck down by the court, and the events that would follow would turn into a circus.
Brian David Mitchell was evaluated by psychologists. Click ‘Next’ to see what was found
Brian David Mitchell’s Psychiatric Evaluation
Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee were arrested on March 12, 2003. Mitchell was sent to Utah State Hospital in order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This would be used to see if he was able to testify in his defense. The process delayed the trial over and over again.
The first psychiatrist that Brian David Mitchell saw was Dr. Stephen Goulding, who claimed that Mitchell was not competent enough to testify. The doctor said that Mitchell’s religious beliefs were delusional, not zealous. Again, this delayed the trial because the court eventually overturned his opinion.
Brian David Mitchell was declared competent to stand trial. Click ‘Next’ to see what he tried, next.
Brian David Mitchell Tries to Bargain With Authorities
Once Brian David Mitchell was found to be competent, he tried to make a deal with the prosecution. He said he would plead guilty to burglary and kidnapping if he would only get 10 to 15 years in jail. However, that would mean the charges of sexual assault, which you will read about if you keep going, would have to be dropped. Were they? Keep reading.
Prosecutors would not accept that deal, and the defense and prosecution could not make an agreement. So, Mitchell and his defense team once again tried to reach a new deal; again, without the sexual assault charges, and once again, the prosecution rejected it.
In another twist in the case, Mitchell is once again evaluated by a psychologist. Click ‘Next’ for more.
Brian David Mitchell Undergoes Another Psychological Evaluation
Since the defense and prosecution couldn’t reach a deal, Mitchell was once again mentally evaluated. This time, the doctor was Jennifer Skeem. At first, Dr. Skeem had said that Mitchell was mentally competent to stand trial, but after interviewing him again, she changed her mind.
Many people believed that Mitchell was acting psychotic, and that he wasn’t really crazy. He was acting out in court, but while in jail, he was calm. The judge, however, Judy Atherton, agreed that Mitchell was not competent to stand trial, and she sent him to a psychiatric hospital until 2008, further delaying the trial.
Lawmakers tried to push the trial forward with a bill. What was it? Click ‘Next.’
Utah Lawmakers Push for Forcible Medication
In 2006, while Brian David Mitchell was still in the psychiatric hospital, lawmakers in Utah introduced a bill that would allow doctors to medicate people unfit to stand trial, by force, in order to make them fit to testify. The prosecution tried to do this for both Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, but only were able to get it approved for Barzee.
At this point, Mitchell was struggling with his mental capacity, according to his defense team. He was once again declared incompetent to stand trial in 2006. He refused to take medication, and a request was made to the court to force the medication onto him. However, in 2008, it was ruled that doctors could not force him to take medication as it was “needlessly harsh” and “unnecessary.”
Elizabeth Smart finally gets her day in court. Click ‘Next’ to see how it happened.
Elizabeth Smart’s Case is Taken On In Federal Court
Also in 2008, after it was decided that Mitchell could not be forcibly medicated, Elizabeth Smart’s case was transferred to a federal court. For the next year, the court would hear information on the mental competency of Mitchell, with several doctors giving their opinions.
One of the key witnesses in the case was Dr. Michael Welner. He looked at years of information surrounding the case and introduced a 206-page report claiming that Brian David Mitchell was, indeed, competent to stand trial. He said that Mitchell was extremely manipulative, and he used his religious beliefs to convince people he was delusional. Finally, on March 2, 2010, Mitchell was declared competent, and the trial could begin.
Elizabeth Smart was finally able to tell her story. What did she say? Click ‘Next.’
Elizabeth Smart Tells Her Terrifying Tale
Finally, several years after her terrifying abduction, Elizabeth Smart got the opportunity for justice. During the trial, now at 21-years-old, Smart explained how Brian David Mitchell took her from her bed. She said that Mitchell told her that he would kill her family if she didn’t come with him.
Elizabeth Smart explained that she complied with the demands, and did not resist. When they left her home, she said that Briand David Mitchell led her to a campsite in the woods around three miles away.
When arriving to the camp, Mitchell’s plan was put into action. Click ‘Next’ to read about it.
Brian David Mitchell and Elizabeth Smart “Get Married”
As you might remember, Brian David Mitchell wanted to marry 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from the start. So, as soon as they arrived at the campsite, she was led into a small lean-to where she met Wanda Ileen Barzee. Barzee tried to get Elizabeth to change her clothes into a robe, and when she refused, Barzee threatened her.
Eventually, Elizabeth Smart put on the robe, and Wanda Ileen Barzee washed her feet. Brian David Mitchell then entered the lean-to, and he proceeded to perform a marriage ceremony between him and the young teen. He then raped her in order to consummate the marriage.
Elizabeth Smart suffered terrible things while she was in Mitchell’s grasp. Click ‘Next’ to learn more.
The Abuse Elizabeth Smart Suffered
Though Elizabeth Smart was only held by Briand David Mitchell for nine months, it was terrible. She was forced to always wear a veil to cover her face, and though she was almost discovered several times, she was always too frightened to say anything. She was often tied to a tree while at the camp, and was only untied when Mitchell wanted to rape her.
According to the testimony of Elizabeth Smart, Brian David Mitchell often drugged her and forced her to drink alcohol in order to lower her resistance. She also says that one time she drank so much that she vomited, and Mitchell forced her to lay in her vomit all night. She also said that he would force her to watch pornography.
This is only a small part of what Elizabeth Smart went through. Click ‘Next’ for more.
More Abuse from Brian David Mitchell
Brian David Mitchell did not call Elizabeth Smart by her real name. Instead, he called her Augustine. She was starved for days at a time, and when he tried to assault her, she bit him whenever she could.
Elizabeth Smart told her story during the trial, as well as in a book that she wrote. The details were shocking to all, including her parents, who never knew what their daughter had gone through.
Elizabeth Smart was almost found several times. Keep clicking ‘Next’ to learn more.
Elizabeth Smart Found…Almost
As you probably remember, in the days following her disappearance, Elizabeth Smart’s family formed search parties to find her. Elizabeth was only three miles away, and she said in her book that she heard the search parties yelling her name. In fact, she could hear the voice of her uncle among them. She was so terrified of Mitchell, though, that she couldn’t scream for help.
Elizabeth Smart was almost rescued again when a helicopter flew over the camp. She was tied to a tree at the time, but the helicopter’s propellers produced so much wind that the trees bent in a way that made it impossible to see her.
A police officer was also very close to rescuing Elizabeth Smart. Click ‘Next’ to see what happened.
A Cop Almost Finds Elizabeth
A couple of months after her disappearance, Elizabeth was almost rescued again. In this case, she even looked the cop in the eyes. Remember, she was forced to wear a veil, and a police detective saw her, and even looked at her. But, because of the veil, the detective couldn’t tell who it was.
What do you think Elizabeth Smart thought about this situation? She later said that she was mad at herself that she didn’t say anything, and she criticized the detective for not pushing harder to see what was behind the veil.
Elizabeth Smart wasn’t the only one Brian David Mitchell wanted. Who else? Click ‘Next.’
Brian David Mitchell Targets Elizabeth Smart’s Cousin
Remember, Brian David Mitchell wanted five wives. He already had Wanda Ileen Barzee and Elizabeth, so now he wanted a third. While he held Elizabeth Smart captive, he started targeting her cousin, Olivia Wright.
According to Elizabeth Smart, she saw Brian David Mitchell pack a bag with a stocking cap, knife, and clothing, which was what he had when he abducted her. She also said that Mitchell left the camp, and attempted to abduct her cousin. He was unsuccessful, however, because when he was breaking in, he knocked something over on the windowsill, which woke up the household.
Elizabeth’s experience was terrible. How did she find the strength to continue? Click ‘Next.’
Elizabeth Smart’s Strength
None of us can imagine what Elizabeth Smart went through, but we do know that she never gave up during her time as a captive. She admitted that the source of her strength during that time was her family.
Elizabeth Smart explained that every time she believed that she would hit rock bottom, David Brian Mitchell would do something even worse to her. She said she knew that her family would love her no matter what, and they would never abandon her, so she knew they would find her eventually. She said she just turned off part of her heart and soul because her life at that time was so horrific.
After Elizabeth Smart was found, she had to heal. Click ‘Next’ to see how she did it.
Elizabeth Smart Starts to Heal
After Elizabeth Smart was saved, she did her best to move on. Though it seems impossible to move on from something like this, Elizabeth has done it. She started studying music at Brigham Young, and she considers herself to be free of scars from her experience. She also knew that Brian David Mitchell was in prison for the rest of his life, and that he was paying for his crimes and could never hurt her, again.
Elizabeth Smart continues to say how fortunate she feels because she got through this. She says that she wants people to know that they should never give up. She also said that she is not sorry that she had to go through this because she sees it as a growing experience.
Elizabeth Smart wrote a book about her experience. Click ‘Next’ to read more about it.
Elizabeth Smart Writes a Book
In 2013, Elizabeth Smart wrote a book called “My Story.” It is a shocking account of her nine months as a prisoner of Brian David Mitchell. She tells stories of the daily abuse she went through, as well as how she managed to get through the time she was held.
Elizabeth Smart had help writing the book from a Utah congressman, Chris Stewart. The Congressman has written a number of books already, and Elizabeth hopes that her story will help other victims of major trauma find hope. She also wants people to know that she is living an amazingly happy life after the fact, and that it’s possible to move past this.
Elizabeth Smart’s dreams have all come true. Click ‘Next’ to see how.
Elizabeth Smart Had Dreams, and They Have Come True
When interviewed by People Magazine in 2014, Elizabeth Smart said that her biggest dream in life was to be a mom. She said that she wouldn’t be here today without the love of her own mom, Lois, and that she saw her mom as her hero. She said that Lois had influenced her more than anyone else in the world, and she wanted to have the same influence on her own children one day.
Elizabeth Smart married the love of her life in 2012, and in 2015, she and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, welcomed their daughter, Chloe. In April, 2017, she and Matthew welcomed a son, which she announced on Easter Sunday on her Instagram account.
All missing person cases aren’t as happy. Click ‘Next’ to read about a tale with a sad end.
The Case of JonBenet Ramsey
The Natalee Holloway case brought to mind other disappearances, and it is easy to see the comparisons between the Holloway case and other cases, including the case of JonBenet Ramsey. Young JonBenet went missing less than 10 years before Natalee Holloway did.
At Christmas in 1996, JonBeny Ramsey went missing. She was a 6-year-old beauty queen living in Boulder, Colorado, and her parents found a ransom note in their home on Christmas Day. Upon looking through the house, they found the body of young JonBenet in the basement. An autopsy was done, and the coroner found that the child was murdered.
JonBenet Ramsey’s death was terrible. Click ‘Next’ to learn more from the coroner.
JonBenet Ramsey’s Terrible Death
According to the report from the coroner, little JonBenet had a broken skull and had been strangled with a garrote. It was still around her neck when her body was found. The report from the coroner also said that she died from “asphyxia,” due to strangulation.
Like the Natalee Holloway case, JonBenet’s case caught the attention of the entire world. Here in the United States, people watched the details on television, which was aired on all major news networks. People who were watching the case speculated over who could have killed this young girl. Like Natalee Holloway, both young women had their entire lives ahead of them.
What could have happened to JonBenet Ramsey? Click ‘Next’ to read some theories
Theories About the Death of JonBenet Ramsey
Over the years, there have been a number of theories about who killed JonBenet Ramsey, but to this day, 21 years after she was found, no one has been charged for her murder. Many people believe that her parents actually killed her, and others believe that her brother, Burke, who was 9-years-old at the time, was the one who did it. Many also believe that the ransom not that was found was meant to be a decoy, and nothing else.
There are other people who believe that JonBenet was killed out of jealousy, or that someone who was associated with a beauty pageant rival of the little girl was responsible. Some of the other suspects include neighbors and family members of the Ramsey’s. Authorities have always believed that a family member was responsible for her death, but which one remains a mystery.
Like in the Elizabeth Smart case, someone confessed to the crime. Who? Click ‘Next.
A False Confession in the JonBenet Ramsey Case
In 2006, a full decade after JonBenet Ramsey’s death, John Mark Karr confessed to killing her. Karr, a 41-year-old school teacher, had been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand. He said that he drugged the young girl, and then assaulted and accidently killed her.
Though many saw this as a huge breakthrough in the case of JonBenet Ramsey, authorities were unable to connect John Mark Karr with the crime scene. It was also suspicious that he said he drugged the girl, because no drugs were found in her system. He was eventually ruled out as a suspect because his DNA was never found on her body or in the home.
Many benefitted by JonBenet Ramsey’s death. Click ‘Next’ to see what we mean.
JonBenet Ramsey’s Death Becomes Sensational
As with Natalee Holloway’s case, many people found a benefit to themselves thanks to the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Just a year after her death, the first book about her, by Carlton Smith, was released. Soon after, a book focusing on JonBenet’s mother, Patsy Ramsey, was released. Speaking of Patsy, she released her own book, too, which was put out the next year.
There were several more books and television shows that would come out over the next 20 years following the death of JonBenet Ramsey. Another book, this time published by her mother Patsy and her father, John Ramsey, was also released. Many believed they were gaining a fortune thanks to the death of their daughter.
JonBenet Ramsey’s murder remains unsolved to this day. Click ‘Next’ to learn what we know.
JonBenet Ramsey: Unsolved
Though the murder took place more than 20 years ago, there has not been anyone who has been charged with killing the 6-year-old. The public has been accusatory towards her parents and brother, and in some cases, the family has fought back with lawsuits, in order to keep their names, clear.
Even today, the JonBenet Ramsey murder still gains media attention. The case remains open, and has never been closed. As the years go by, it becomes less likely that the murderer will ever be found. Patsy Ramsey passed away in 2006, and just recently, JonBenet’s brother, Burke, appeared on Dr. Phil to talk about the case. He also sued CBS in 2016 for $750 million after a documentary claiming he may have killed his sister, aired. The suit has yet to be decided.
Will these mysteries ever be solved? Click ‘Next’ to continue.
The Natalee Holloway and JonBenet Ramsey Mysteries
We don’t know what happened to Natalee Holloway, and we might never know. We also don’t know who killed JonBenet Ramsey, and again, it might come to pass that it will remain unsolved forever. Part of why these cases have remained in the news, however, is because they are so mysterious. People are also morbidly fascinated by these tales.
Natalee Holloway’s case remained in the news for so long, and even now, thanks to the voices of her parents. This is good advice for anyone who finds themselves in the same situation as the Holloway family…always remain vocal.