It’s all too easy really… too simple. In a way, it’s too Shakespearean… “Two houses both alike in dignity…” But there “The Bard’s” story ends, and Joran’s own tragedy begins.
On May 30, 2005, American teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared from Aruba while celebrating her high school graduation. In short order, it became quite apparent that Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot was a prime suspect. As time, lies, and his father’s influence (Paulus van der Sloot was a powerful lawyer in training to become an Aruban judge) slithered by, it became painfully obvious that Joran was guilty as hell (just think O.J. Simpson or Teddy Kennedy). Many believe that the only thing that kept Joran out of jail was his daddy’s influence.
Fast forward five years to the day of Natalee’s disappearance… Once again young Van der Sloot murders a young woman. (He just confessed.) But this time, the role of Important Father has swung 180º. Papa Van der Sloot is dead, and the father of the murdered victim (Stephany Flores Ramirez) is none other than Ricardo Flores, a retired race car driver, powerful businessman, and twice Peruvian presidential candidate. Just as before, Joran Van der Sloot’s fate lies in the hands of an influential paternal figure, but this time Joran isn’t smirking. The plot thickens.
In 1979 Peru signed on to the “Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica” and in doing so virtually abolished the death penalty. However, the Peruvian government did reserve the right to kill terrorists. Depending on how one defines “terrorist” (serial killer?), and how much sway Mr. Flores wields, Young Joran may face Old Sparky (or its Peruvian equivalent) yet.
But even beyond that twist, lies the Peruvian penal system – not exactly a home away from home.
And there you have it. Modern Shakespeare in all its ignoble irony… Ultimately of course, the importance of the fathers in the tale will dim to nothing. It was too simple… And ultimately Joran Andreas Petrus van der Sloot will meet a gruesome end, one way or another. But perhaps, just perhaps, he should have pondered these words:
…[W]e petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.