The new wife of Joran van der Sloot claims that he was stabbed two times in a prison attack. CNN is reporting that Peru’s leading prison official denies the report, saying that the convicted killer’s wife is a “compulsive liar.”
Van der Sloot has been a notorious figure in the United States since 2005, when he became the prime target of investigators in the vanishing of teenager Natalee Holloway, 18, of Alabama. He was one of two men spotted with Holloway exiting a club in Aruba just before she went missing. The case of the missing teen, who went missing while on a vacation to Aruba to celebrate her graduation from high school, remains unsolved and her body has never been recovered. The Dutch suspect denies having had anything to do with Holloway’s disappearance.
Van der Sloot, who is Dutch, received a prison sentence of 28 years in the Miguel Castro Castro Prison in Lima, Peru, after he admitted to beating, strangling and suffocating Peruvian Stephany Flores in 2010 after they met in a casino, an act which occurred five years after Holloway disappeared. At the time of her death, Flores, 21, was studying business.
Prison officials report that van der Sloot was moved to the remote Challapalca prison close to the Bolivian border in Puno Province in August. The transfer was made after he threatened to kill the warden of the Lima prison in which he was serving his sentence.
In July, van der Sloot married Peruvian Leidy Figueroa, who had their daughter in September. Figueroa visited her husband in prison where, according to her, she saw stab wounds to his waist and shoulder that were approximately three-quarters of an inch in depth. She told the CNN Netherlands affiliate, RTL, that her husband had been “seriously injured” in the attack and that she had taken his polo shirt, stained with blood, and smuggled it out of the prison.
The lawyer for van der Sloot, Maximo Altez, spoke with Reuters and confirmed Figueroa’s account. Altez claims that on Oct. 27, his client was stabbed three times, which was followed by another stab wound to his kidney which he said occurred on Sunday. He gave no other details of the attacks.
The director of the National Penitentiary Institute in Peru, Jose Perez Guadalupe, quickly refuted the claims of Figueroa. He also called into question the character of a woman who would marry the highest-profile murderer inside of a prison. He was quoted in La Republica, the local newspaper, as saying, “Absolutely nothing has happened to him, that woman is lying.”
The murder sentence given to van der Sloot will keep him in prison for 24 more years. After his release, he faces extradition to the U.S., where he is charged with federal counts of wire fraud and extortion. The charges result from a scheme by van der Sloot in which he provided untrue information regarding the fate of Natalee Holloway, whose desperate mother, Beth, gave him $25,000 in the hopes that he would tell her something concrete about what happened to her daughter.
By Jennifer Pfalz