Is van der Sloot a Psychopath?

on September 22, 2010 in Psychology, Serial Killers by

The Psychopath Awareness Blog takes a look at whether Joran van der Sloot is a psychopath. While the focus on van der Sloot is a bit limited, the article gives a solid overview on the definition of a psychopath.

It also raises the interesting question as to whether van der Sloot is a serial killer. He is suspected in the death of Natalee Holloway and is accused of the murder of Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez. Assuming he is guilty in both, he would fit many people’s definition, with multiple murders with a cooling off period between them (five years, in this case).

And even if you insist on at least three murders to meet the definition of serial killer, it is reasonable to assume that he would have committed another at some point, or may have already been involved in other murders.

While little is known about Holloway’s ultimate demise, if van der Sloot was involved, it certainly indicates that he is an organized offender. A disorganized offender would be unlikely to cover his tracks so well.

Flores, however, was found bloodied and with a broken neck in a Lima, Peru hotel. In his confession, van der Sloot said he discovered Flores reading articles about him on his laptop, and grabbed her by the neck.

I didn’t want to do it. The girl intruded on my life.

This unexpected rage and blitz attack in this killing indicates a disorganized offender, and illustrates the limitation of the organized-disorganized categorization. Too many offenders fall into the mixed category.

Not enough information has been made publicly available to make a assessment of visionary, mission-oriented, hedonistic, or power/control-oriented.


  • Brian, thanks for your comment about my recent
    article on Joran van der Sloot on my blog, psychopathyawareness. I took a look at your website as well, and it seems impressive. It’s reminiscent, in many ways, of the crime library, before it got incorporated into and branched out in many new directions. Claudia

    • bpcombs says:

      Thanks, Claudia!

      The Crime Library/TruTV is certainly one of the inspirations for what I’m hoping to do here, but I agree with you that they’re trying to do too many things. I plan to stay focused on serial murders and related topics (such as psychopathy).

      I’ve got a bit more reading to do, and then I plan to start rolling out the podcast itself.

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