“Joran van der Sloot is the man who killed Natalee Holloway,” says the former girlfriend of one the Dutchman’s closest friends. In an interview on Dr. Phil, which aired on April 16, Emily Heistand, 23, says that her former boyfriend, John Ludwick, told her that Joran van der Sloot was the man behind the killing of Natalee Holloway in Aruba in May 2005.
In March 2018, Heistand stabbed Ludwick to death in North Port, Florida, in what police called an act of self defense.
When talking about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, Heistand said that Ludwick told her about van der Sloot’s alleged actions about two or three months into their relationship. Heistand told Dr. Phil, “He told me that Joran did do it, and hid the body. John told me that Joran got this girl Natalee all drunk at a bar and Joran took her to the beach and they were having a good time and she started seizuring and foaming at the mouth… Joran called his dad and helped him dispose of the body.”
Joran van der Sloot is serving 28 years in prison in Peru after being found guilty of murdering college student Stephany Florez Ramirez in the country in 2010.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Heistand Says She Was ‘Creeped Out’ By Ludwick’s Apparent Role in Holloway’s Murder
Heistand told Dr. Phil that she broke up with Ludwick after he told her about his alleged role in Holloway’s murder. She describes being “creeped out” by Ludwick.
Authorities said that Ludwick, who had become estranged from Heistand, tried to kidnap her at knifepoint from her own driveway in March 2018.
Heistand told Dr. Phil, “He was waiting at my house. I just pulled into my house, took my keys out of the ignition, put them in my pocket and I was texting my boyfriend, “Have a good day at work. I love you.” Then, Heistand says she encountered Ludwick, “I think he jumped out at my car and ran at me. I saw him and immediately I knew, “Oh God, that’s John… He got on top of me, I was screaming, he had a knife to my throat. He was shoving something into my mouth and I can’t talk and he was able to shove me into the passenger seat. He got in and he has a knife to my throat with his left hand. And he goes to start the car and realizes the keys aren’t in the ignition.” Heistand continued, “He’s not letting go, so I swung the knife back slowly at him a couple of times and I realize it’s him or me.”
2. Heistand Said in a 2017 Interview that Ludwick Didn’t ‘Have the Balls to Kill Anybody’
There are multiple videos of Emily Heistand being questioned about Ludwick and his connection to Natalee Holloway. The interviews are done by documentary film maker Gabriel Madrigal. In one video, Heistand is asked why she liked Ludwick to which she responds, “I don’t have anyone else to hang out with.” Later, Madrigal says, “I warned you not to mess with John… What about if he kills you?” Heistand answers, “Good, please. He doesn’t have the balls to kill anybody, little old John, little old John… I think John’s a good person he just did some stupid s***.”
After Ludwick’s death, Madrigal told WFTS in Tampa that Ludwick’s death had nothing to do with Holloway. Madrigal believes that it was Ludwick’s obsession over Heistand that led to his death. In the above video, you’ll see Heistand talking about not caring about Ludwick’s alleged involvement with Holloway’s murder.
3. Heistand Facebook Profile Photo Show Her With a Man
Heistand’s Facebook profile photo is dated from February 10 and shows a man kissing her. In their report, the Daily Mail identified that man as John Ludwick.
4. Ludwick Said in 2017 that He Helped Van Der Sloot Dispose of Holloway’s Body
In an interview with the Oxygen network in 2017, Ludwick said he destroyed Natalee Holloway’s bones to the point where they could no longer be recognized as human so that he could cremate her. Ludwick added that Holloway’s skull was cremated by the rest of her bones were not.
Ludwick also said that van der Sloot said Holloway’s body was buried in a park that was close to the hotel where the teenager had been staying. Ludwick said van der Sloot’s father, Paulus, helped his son dispose of the body.
That confession from Ludwick led to a search of the area around the hotel. Although bone fragments were found in the vicinity, they were not a match to Holloway’s DNA.
5. Van der Sloot Got Married While in Prison in Peru in 2014
In July 2014, van der Sloot married Peruvian woman Leydi Figueroa in prison. The couple met while she was selling items within the prison. At the time of their marriage, Figueroa was seven months pregnant with their child. She gave birth to their child, a girl named Dushy, in Lima in September 2014.
Van der Sloot confessed ot the killing of Stephany Flores in August 2010 after he said she grabbed his laptop without his permission. That was how Flores learned of van der Sloot’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of Holloway. NBC News quoted van der Sloot as saying, “I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life… she didn’t have any right. I went to her and I hit her. She was scared, we argued and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her.”