My friend Sheila sent an email asking if I’d seen Joran van der Sloot’s five-part interview with Greta Susteren. No, no I hadn’t. But we’re both sort of into psychopaths – she loves serial killers, I get fixated on certain special crimes like the Brand Dividian massacre, the Columbine shooting, the Oklahoma City bombing and a couple of others. Anyway, on the subject of Joran, our interests intersect.
I was fascinated with him during the Natalee Holloway hullabaloo because he was just way too calm. He never got upset, never seemed particularly bothered by the death of the young blond high school graduate. It was chilling to see, but also luridly fascinating.
Then when he was caught in Peru, the same thing happened. He began uttering these outrageous stories, expecting that police would believe him (example: a thief killed Stephany Flores.) Again, incredibly creepy and transfixing.
And yet as creepy as I know he is, I also know that if I had been a young girl, eighteen or twenty-one years old, and a man like Joran began to talk to me… Yep, I’d have been head over hills. I’m not proud of this, I’m only pointing out that for young girls who are inexperienced, his good looks and charm would have been irresistible.
That glib charm is part of the psychopathy profile. And I have not one iota of doubt that Joran van der Sloot is a psychopath. I was confirmed when I took Sheila’s advice and watched the five part series. He was just so calm, with that weird flat-effect. It’s a paradox because I say that I would have been charmed by him, but seeing him on screen, I feel goosebumps. It’s the same reaction a cat has when she arches her back and hisses. The message is clear: stay far away from me.
So I’ve been watching Nancy Grace and reading various newsreports, but I already know what happened. The most fascinating thing for me is to watch him walk through the media. He is utterly calm.
It’s also a weird little reminder that Tim McVeigh, for all his faults, was not a psychopath. Tim McVeigh was stone-faced, and looked hard the first time the media saw him. I am talking about this sequence:
In the McVeigh Tapes, he said that when he was preparing to leave the jail, he intentionally held his back straight, kept his eyes straight ahead, and refused to acknowledge any of the media. He was hard, rigid. Compare that to van der Sloot:
That is a smile of contempt. A smirk that says I did it and I’m gonna get away with it. He’s completely relaxed, and maybe even enjoying the attention.
He completely freaks me out.
My conjecture is that he was a budding serial killer. I think killing two women in a five year period qualifies for some kind of serial offender status. The first rumor for motive that came out of Peru was that he had found Stephany on his computer, and she had discovered something incriminating about his involvement with Natalee Holloway. I believe it. I can see him losing his mind in a rage and beating her to death. No problem whatsoever with that imagery. And I think if he’d not been caught, in a few years we would have heard stories about other women, victims of his aggression.
I am sorry that Stephany was murdered, but I am happy that Natalee Holloway’s family might finally get some peace. They won’t have justice because it is unlikely, in my opinion, that he will be tried for Natalee’s murder unless he makes a full confession (I know he already has, but he’s withdrawn it; he might make another.) But maybe, with Joran locked up now, they can sleep.
I’m also pleased that Joran won’t be housed in some Aruban jail with tropical breezes and the smell of salty sea-air. No, he’ll be in Peru, with all that entails.
I will be curious to see watch the journey to justice this young man will endure. I have the unsettling suspicion that he will indeed rather like it. The blog Raising A Psychopath is about a couple who adopted a psychopath. They had to institutionalize him, and he loves being institutionalized. He’s calm and generally obeys the rules. I can see Joran enjoying it the same way.
How do you punish someone who you can not punish? I doubt seriously anyone can ever make Joran feel bad about what he did to those two women. That lack of remorse is fascinating and horrifying. I like the safety of studying it from a distance – and while he is behind bars.