A young couple reportedly partied at a bar after allegedly murdering a 19-year-old girl, then argued about how to dispose of her corpse in text and Facebook messages!
“Friend of Joran van der Sloot” – it’s not a title most people would be proud of, but for the murder suspect’s self-proclaimed American friend, John Ludwick, it’s one that he seems to embrace. The way Ludwick tells it, the two met at a gas station in Aruba and became fast friends, gambling at a local casino most nights.
But what drew this 25 year-old to an individual suspected in one of the world’s most famous unsolved cases? Was he star struck or was it just morbid curiosity? Ludwick tells me he in fact admitted to Joran van der Sloot that he was star-struck when he first met him, so I believe it was a little of both. Regardless of why, I was very curious to find out what, if anything, he knew about the Holloway case and if he saw any signs which foreshadowed the violent acts van der Sloot allegedly committed.
John Ludwick told me he never asked his friend about the Holloway case “flat out” because “If I pushed him he would think I had other motives”. While most, including I, would find that hard to believe, it’s a point he remains firm on. He said the two did eventually discuss the case after they watched a Lifetime movie about the case one evening. Van der Sloot told him certain parts were true, while others were not. When I pressed Ludwick for more details, he remained tight-lipped. Interestingly, Ludwick who was house-sitting in Aruba, would leave the island on May 10th – just 2 ½ months after they first met and the same day Joran would meet Beth Holloway’s attorney, John Q. Kelly, as part of an alleged plot to extort money from her. Ludwick says van der Sloot never mentioned the alleged plot but he told him about a call van der Sloot got around that time where he was “trying to work out a deal for some money” and it was about the “Holloway situation.” Again his details were slim and when I pressed for more and he failed to elaborate. Also on May 10th, Joran would text his friend saying he was “done” with Aruba. Ludwick speculates maybe Joran was leaving because he knew he was set to meet with Kelly later that very day. Joran would indeed leave Aruba a few days later for his ill-fated trip to Peru after extorting $25,000 from Beth Holloway, according to the FBI.
John Ludwick says never thought van der Sloot to have a violent temper and never saw him in a state of rage. He told me the two did encounter their fair share of angry tourists when they were out and about. Frequently, Ludwick says they would taunt van der Sloot, shouting things like “why do you make up all those stories” but he never saw him throw a punch. And while Ludwick never saw him hostile, he did witness what he believes is an obvious gambling addiction. According to Ludwick, the two would spend most nights at the poker tables and van der Sloot would win big but then loose it all – “he could never just stop.”
While John Ludwick’s brief time with van der Sloot offers up some interesting insight into the alleged killer’s life right before the murder in Peru, it also poses some interesting questions I’m afraid I can’t answer. The most curious–why would you be friends with someone accused of being a murderer? I think John Ludwick will have just a hard of time defending his friendship with Joran van der Sloot, as the suspect may have at beating a murder wrap.