The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway (2017) s01e05 Episode Script

The Burial Site

1 If we can identify where we think the remains were, that's the perfect world.
Let me ask you all this.
Do you think this is real? Yeah.
What is your plans when you get here? I'm going to go to where he removed the body.
I am just so fed up.
It has to be John's way.
And if we don't do John's way, then we ain't gonna get nothing.
When I spoke with Gabriel, he was totally stressed out.
If we don't have John to show us this location, we're dead in the water.
Kathy, let me know when he calls you and tells you the GPS has been placed.
Okay, they're moving again.
Yeah, he's on the move.
The battery is down to 1%.
We need to get to the scene so we can still find that GPS.
Let me go with them.
I'm guessing they left.
Let's go, let's go, let's go.
It's showing zero battery life, but it's still throwing out a signal.
It's gonna be real close.
- Okay.
Okay, right here.
Right now we have a GPS that may or may not still be emitting a signal which supposedly will mark the actual burial site.
It's showing zero battery life, but it's still throwing out a signal.
We're heading to where John took Gabriel.
John brought him to a cul-de-sac within ten minutes walking distance of his aunt's house.
That is really close to Natalee's grave, evidently, and we're gonna bring the dog there and see if Chance can pick up the scent.
So I hope this is it.
Yeah, I think that battery died about 15 minutes ago.
We just got word that the GPS died, so we're gonna meet up with Gabriel, and he's going to actually take us to the spot.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC] Wow, yeah, this fits, totally.
[EXHALES] Holy crap.
Didn't even bother, because I didn't want to sketch him out, you know? Now that we've found the right cul-de-sac, we've got to consider two things.
First is, is it plausible that they could have buried her in this area? The dirt is soft enough to actually bury someone there, because a lot of the island is a lot of rock and hard soil.
Secondly, we have to consider is, can a cadaver dog pick up a human scent at that location? It's this right here, this location.
This pathway is exactly where he told me he went.
From this point on, you go around.
We have to go beyond that line of cactus, Okay.
And then you can go in that way.
- How far is it? - 1,000 feet.
- 1,000 feet? - Yeah.
Beyond that line right there.
I have a video I took video.
Uh-huh, okay.
Seven years of growth.
The area changed a lot.
He seemed like he wasn't sure that he would be able to find the exact place.
I'll bring Chance in just to see if he picks up anything.
All righty, young man.
Chance, come here.
[CHAIN CLINKING] Chance, hunt.
Come on, Chance, please.
I just hope and pray that it all works out how we have it planned.
And I hope that we can bring Natalee home.
Oh, come on, Chance, do your thing.
Even if the spot is marked and the dog doesn't hit on it, it's still something that you probably are gonna have to dig down, because, having been in the ground that long with a tropical climate, just over time, the likelihood, it's not great.
Here's a soft spot, right here.
I saw him sit down over there a couple of times.
If Natalee's remains were still there, a cadaver dog would find them, no problem.
But because we think she was moved, we'll have to pinpoint the exact location so that the cadaver dog can hit on any residual DNA.
Chance, hunt.
Has to be here, it just has to be.
I come here, and it's changed, and I almost get lost.
You know, seven years is a long time, especially with vegetation and all that kind of stuff.
Here's an opening right here.
I'm looking at an opening.
Yeah, there's one right here too, Eric.
There's two big cactus right here.
Okay, that makes sense.
So if that's 10, from there to 10, and then, from there, go out 20 feet.
Two trees, right there, boom, boom.
You can go under them a little bit.
There's a rock.
I mean, that's a really good possibility.
That fits everything.
Yeah, everything that he said, it fits right here.
He said the sand was soft.
Yeah, this is pretty soft.
Okay, guys.
Based upon the response of the dog when he sat over there, that tells me he's picking up minute scent.
- Mm-hmm.
- So it could be another 50 yards that way or another 50 yards that way.
We might be off a little.
Maybe some of those places, the brush overgrew, and, you know, the dog didn't go that way.
- Could be.
- You know? There are a lot of locations that fit John's description of the burial site.
We're working off of a seven-year-old memory, so we may have to search the surrounding areas as well.
Go out to that site, and you kind of get disappointed that the dog did not find the exact location.
But I think, at this point in time, we need to involve the Aruban authorities to tear up that whole hillside.
All right, let's go.
There are several locations that match John's description that we've identified.
And it's time for us to compile the information and turn it over to the Aruban authorities.
Here's what I want to happen.
I want to take this information to the Aruban police and see if we can get an investigator today.
I want to put the investigation in their hands, what we have, because I feel confident John was part of this conspiracy to take your daughter up and take her and have her cremated.
Dave has been living this for 12 years, and he's scared.
He's scared of another letdown.
I've got to keep his emotions, his spirit up and let him know that I'm on board with him.
We have done everything there is to gather information.
We have three days of video of John telling Gabriel he was was involved, not only with Joran van der Sloot, but has implicated Paulus van der Sloot of being part of the shindig.
In this investigative notebook, we have laid out everything we've discovered in the past 18 months about John Ludwig's involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
We have several hours of taped confessions, including a video at the site where he claims he dug up Natalee's remains.
We have proof that John was on the islands in 2010 and had a relationship with Joran van der Sloot.
We're handing off more than they need to bring John in for questioning.
The Aruban authorities have an obligation to take what we have and to do something with it.
They don't want to get caught up in another 2005.
They need to clear their name, and they need to bring closure to your family, okay? So you're complete.
Yes, and we're ready to rock.
- Okay? - All right, let's go.
Let's get it.
John and Gabriel are leaving the island here in the next few days, and we don't know whether or not the Aruban authorities are gonna bring him in for question before they leave or not.
And the issue becomes, is, if they don't bring him in for questioning, that it causes a lot more difficulty if they have to extradite him back from the United States.
We continue to work with the Aruban authorities and it stirs up the emotions that we had back when the investigation first started.
It was bad in the beginning.
In 2005, we're up here getting ready to do a search, and a police vehicle with two uniformed officers sped down through here.
They positioned the vehicle just behind one of those big rocks, And then they both got out of the vehicle, searched around the rocks a little bit.
They opened the trunk.
And I couldn't really tell from this vantage point what they were doing, but I knew that they were putting something in the back of the police vehicle.
They slammed the door, took off.
The chief of police was Paulus van der Sloot's best friends.
You start putting all those clues together, and it kind of makes sense "that," Let's send a patrol car down here "and pick up whatever we need to pick up before somebody else finds it.
" You know, those things start running through your mind after you figure out what's happened in the background.
At some point in time, you end up losing respect for the entire investigation.
But then you think, okay, well, who else are you gonna lean on, you know? It's the police.
You know, those type people, you could screw them in the ground, they're so crooked.
We're going to meet with Chief Richardson and his team.
You know, we had a poor investigation from the very beginning, until the current police chief, Chief Richardson, took over.
I think Richardson is up and up and sincere and wanting to resolve this case.
- You got your book? - Yeah.
I got everything.
All we can do now is see what happens.
You feel good about it, Eric? Yeah, I don't think they'll let this slip away, do you? No.
After we get through this stuff today, they're gonna go snatch their asses up.
John and Gabriel are scheduled to leave the island in 48 hours.
We need to bring the authorities on board so we can get them taken into custody before they leave.
They're not gonna let them get off the island.
Yeah, we'll see.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC] After we get through this stuff today, they're gonna go snatch their asses up.
They're not gonna let them get off the island.
Yeah, we'll see.
Our last card is going to the Aruban police and then getting them to force the issues.
You can't bring back my daughter, but you sure can continue to press forward to finally get justice and to find out what happened.
Joran needs to serve his time for Natalee's murder.
You know, I'm not gonna stop until we finally get justice for Natalee.
That's just all there is to it.
I'm not gonna stop.
All right, let's do this.
Let's see what they say.
[TENSE MUSIC] Good morning, Mr.
Ward, how are you, sir? Good, how are you doing? - Welcome.
- Yeah.
Thank you.
So how do you feel, Dave? I thought it was a very good meeting, and I think they were excited, and we're all kind of excited that, you know, this might go down.
Yeah, I mean, he was real receptive, and I felt real good about it.
They're going to get an order right now to get the car that's at the aunt's house.
There should be DNA in the aunt's car.
And that's all we need to prove our case.
And I told him the time restraints that we have with the informant and the perpetrator leaving the island on Tuesday afternoon.
So they're gonna have to move swiftly to get this thing done.
Yeah, they got their work cut out to do, so I think once they get an opinion from the prosecutor, then they can go out and grab John.
- Yeah.
- Hold him for a week, ten days, however they plan on holding him.
The ball is in their court.
And we shared with them for three hours this morning and turned that notebook over to them, plus all what we did since we've been here.
And I know they're probably in the process right now of taking that car.
Oh, I hope so.
And we have handed not only the informant but the parties involved for them on a silver platter in hopes that law enforcement will take action and move quickly with a lot of credible evidence.
[CELL PHONE RINGING] Yeah? Can we meet you there? All right, why don't we meet you there at 5:15, at the big white house? It's right there in that cul-de-sac.
We'll see you in about 45 minutes.
All right, thank you, sir.
This might be in then.
I mean, if they can come in and start excavating We'll see.
- Ready? - Yep.
My level of confidence in the new administration is fairly high, but you still have the doubt.
When we met with the police chief, they seemed to be telling us things that give us confidence that they're wanting to solve the case.
We are heading to the site with the Aruban authorities.
Our job is to gather enough evidence for them to reopen the investigation.
If the site checks out to be plausible, the Aruban authorities have the ability to check the area with more aggressive tools than we have access to.
He said they're gonna go through, and they got equipment that they can locate - Clear it? - Yeah.
I'm interested in knowing what kind of equipment they got.
I don't know.
Maybe they got something we don't know about.
Here comes another vehicle.
Is that them? Hey, hey.
- Good, good.
- Yeah, good.
- Right over here.
- Yeah? - Let's go.
- Hey, what's going on? Tracy, you want to take them in there? - Yes, sir.
- Okay.
Yes, sir.
This morning, John brought Gabriel out here.
They went to the rock, and he said, "Yeah, see this heart-shaped rock? Go ten paces.
" And he said, "Yes, it's right here.
" "and only me you and van der Sloot "are the only three people in the world that know this location.
" - Okay.
- So this is the only location that John has positively identified.
I do, yes, sir.
Realistically, if you're trying to dig and you're digging quick, this would make sense.
Ground is soft.
Yeah, oh, yeah.
And there's no reason he This would be right around ten.
Right in front of big cactus.
- Big rock.
- Big rock.
- Two big rocks.
- Yeah.
- Sure.
Great, thank you.
That's dig-able.
That's a low spot, there.
- Poor man.
- Yeah, it's heartbreaking.
Yeah, David.
We desperately want some physical evidence, like a bone, some DNA.
And Dave's walking around, and your heart just breaks, because everybody so desperately wants closure for him.
We had a forensic guy come out here.
He said don't totally rely on the dog, so Yeah.
Oh, really? Okay.
I've got to hand it to the Aruban chief of police.
We witnessed that they showed up at the alleged crime scene ready to try to solve this case.
You know I'll be in there every time.
People say, "Why don't you just give up?" I can't give up, I can't.
No, I ain't either.
Sounds good.
Hear Dolfi be so insistent that he's going to solve the case makes me feel like we've made the right decision in turning the investigation over to them.
Yeah, we'll put them under surveillance.
- Yep, yep, we'll do that.
- Yeah, if that's what you want.
While the Aruban authorities begin the next phase of the investigation, Kathy and Eric both will be conducting physical surveillance on the perpetrator to give law enforcement a little more advantage and a little more notice if they want to bring an arrest.
We've got joint cooperation with law enforcement.
On top of that, the commissioner of police is out here also, and they've just summonsed a crime scene unit to analyze some of the information that we've turned over to them.
I feel good about law enforcement's aggressiveness, them sending a crime scene unit out when it was almost dark, and started doing work.
This is the number one thing on their plate in Aruba right now.
Commissioner has responded very quickly from the information.
He said it was very orchestrated and put together very well.
They've turned my investigative notebook over to the Attorney General.
They said they got what they need, and they're gonna filter through it.
And what their plan is tomorrow morning, to take all of them in custody All of them.
I think law enforcement will proceed to arrest John and take the girlfriend and Gabriel into custody also and get the whole story.
They haven't shut this thing down.
- He wants this thing solved too.
- Yeah.
John and Gabriel are leaving the island tomorrow morning.
Time right now is a factor.
- That's where we are.
- Good job.
We'll see what happens in the morning.
You know, it's in your court to do what you have to do.
Just call me and let me know, if you would.
I appreciate it.
- All right, thank you, sir.
- - That was Dolfi? - Yeah.
He said right now the prosecutor would check the car.
If they find something in the car, then they're gonna issue an arrest warrant.
Chief of police is confident, if there's something there, if he gets his hands on the vehicle that John claims that he transported Natalee's remains in and there's still evidence in the trunk of that car, that is going to be a big piece of the puzzle.
I can't bite the hook until you show me that DNA sample matches Natalee's samples.
The police have no obligation to keep us informed of what their plans are, but I'm confident, what we handed off to them.
There's no way they're gonna let this guy leave the island when we have so much on him.
I suppose we're gonna do a little surveillance this morning? Yeah, gonna go down and see if they're at the airport, see if they're at the hotel.
Well, after what happened last night, it would be very interesting to know if they're still buddy-buddy.
Last night, Gabriel picked a fight with John.
He was so upset that we haven't found any evidence yet, that he told John that he was tired of him being a deadbeat, and when he gets home, he wants him out of the house.
There's no reason of putting up with John if he's not gonna take us to the location.
That'll tell me a lot.
They have not made up.
- How do you know? - How do you know? As of when? As of when I spoke to them last night.
Because he wants to leave his butt here.
Remember, I was reading the texts.
He wants to just leave him here.
Dave, what do you think? Should I tell Gabriel to do it if he feels comfortable doing that? - Yeah, oh, yeah.
- All right.
All right, well, we'll ride down, and John and Gabriel are supposed to be leaving, so we'll go down to see if they've kissed and made up and heading to the airport.
We're on our way to Brickell Bay, and we're gonna watch them leave to see what the situation is.
Mm-hmm, bye.
Catch them coming out, see where they go, see how they act.
295, it might be this white Mitsubishi right here.
That one, right there, yeah, in the middle.
When you are involved in a surveillance, you don't call the shots.
Your subject dictates where you go, when you go, and how long you go.
We got a little security guy giving us the snake eye.
It's just a matter of trying to maintain them, trying to keep an eye on them.
When the Arubans have a chance to review everything in detail, they might issue some type of arrest warrant that'll be served in Aruba.
[CLEARS THROAT] [TENSE MUSIC] - Is that them? - Yeah.
I don't see John and his girlfriend.
Are they leaving them here? Left his butt here.
[LAUGHING] What's he gonna do? He's gonna have to start gambling to try and earn money, but he doesn't even have any money to start with.
He'll prostitute his girlfriend.
He'll prostitute himself.
[TENSE MUSIC] Their flight leaves soon.
He could be stranded here in Aruba, which would be great for us, because we can use every second we can get.
Sitting outside the Brickell Bay Beach Club, waiting for John and his girlfriend to depart Aruba, heading back to the States.
So if John misses his flight, doesn't he have to do a reschedule fee? John is stuck here.
We can only speculate what he's gonna do.
I mean, what is he gonna do? He's gonna have to start gambling to try and earn money, but he doesn't even have any money to start with.
Gabe leaving John and his girlfriend here gives the Arubans more time to pick them up and get information out of him.
There he is, there he is.
They are running.
We're gonna circle around and see.
Okay, he's got a ride somewhere.
Oh, here's the taxi.
I was like, "Oh, my lord, he's getting away.
" He's in a taxi; He's getting away.
" [TENSE MUSIC] He ran like a bat out of hell.
Oh, f We've given the police all of their flight information.
They know when they leave.
All we can hope is that they're waiting for them at security at the airport.
Oh, he's hauling ass.
Oh, she got plenty of money.
Yeah, guys, they're running around, trying to figure out where to check in.
[PLANE WHINES] Well, they were able to scurry in and get through Get through customs and check in.
So they're on the plane with Gabriel.
Just kind of sad that we've come this far and hit another dead end.
But the only saving grace is, maybe kick-started for the Arubans.
They might be able to get some trace evidence and be able to implicate John, get him back here.
But as it stands right now, we move on.
[ATMOSPHERIC MUSIC] When do you y'all think y'all will be leaving? Well, I don't know yet.
So we'll see.
Hey, they're back.
Hey, guys.
- What's going on, folks? - Oh, hi, there.
What's going on? What's going on? It's been a crazy day.
Eventful morning.
We went to the hotel.
Gabriel and his girlfriend came out by themselves.
And they got in the car and left.
- Alone.
- Alone.
And right around 8:00 or a little bit after, John and his girlfriend came out running.
I mean, they came out running.
And just happened to be a taxi they waved down.
So Gabriel left them? He left them.
He surely left them.
They must have told this taxi driver they'd give him extra money, because he was driving like a bat out of hell.
I mean, he was flying.
They made the flight.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC] Absolutely feel like he slipped right through my fingertips, because we were so confident that he would at least get called in for questioning.
It's very deflating.
Of course I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised.
I've been down this road too many times to get my hopes up.
If this turns out to be a hoax, then that's a very sick person.
But, you know, his time will come.
There'll be some tough times for that guy.
You saw what happened to Joran van der Sloot.
He's serving 28 years at a horrible, horrible prison.
He's living in horrible conditions.
Inside his cell, his bed, a mattress on a slab of cement.
His sink and toilet, little more than a hole in the floor.
There's no electricity, no heat, no air conditioning.
It's just brick walls and bars.
And he said in the wintertime, it gets down below freezing.
If you don't have a roommate that you can snuggle up with, you'll freeze to death.
Even though it's not for Natalee's justice, but just knowing the fact that he's behind bars in a very difficult environment gives you some sense of satisfaction.
That was part of the healing process for us, just knowing he was locked up in a horrible prison.
That gave us some closure.
His sentence was 28 years.
So it's been seven now, so he's got 21 more to go.
And after 21 years, he'll come to the United States to face those extortion charges, where he faces up to 50 years.
So, according to the FBI, he'll never get out of the prison system.
But, you know, that still does not resolve the issue of, you know, where's Natalee? What did they do with her? And what exactly happened? We are here in the Sarasota office of the Florida FBI office.
And John is gonna do the right thing.
We are here in the Sarasota office of the Florida FBI office.
And John is gonna do the right thing.
My f ing heart is pounding.
Huh? Heart's pounding.
You need to relax, man.
It's gonna be okay.
You just need to relax.
Okay, today is Sunday March 26, 2017.
I'm here with John Ludwig.
You're here on your own accord? - Yes.
- You know I'm recording it.
You know I'm filming it, okay.
And I hope that you'll be truthful to me, what your involvement is and what you know, what Joran van der Sloot told you, - okay? - Okay.
How long have you known Joran van der Sloot? Since 2010, February, when his dad died and he moved back to Aruba.
- Okay.
- I was living there at the time.
And we happened to just run into each other at a gas station.
Why were you in Aruba? - My aunt has a house there - Okay.
So I was taking care of the property.
And she had a real estate company there.
Okay, what did he tell you about Natalee Holloway? I never approached him on my own about what happened to Natalee, blah-blah-blah.
- Okay.
- Because I honestly wanted to be a friend.
And he eventually confided in me.
Tell me what you know or what he told you about Natalee Holloway.
The first night he ever opened up about it, about the May 30th night, was, we were at my house one night, and the Lifetime movie came on.
So we watched it.
And throughout the movie, they're doing different things and stuff, and he started telling me, "That's bullsh" That's not even true.
" He was picking the movie apart, telling me, "Yeah, that's true.
" That's bogus, that's true, that's bogus.
" So that's how he started talking to me.
Eventually, after the movie ended that night, he started talking about it and said, "You know, John, I want you to know" "that bad things happen to good people.
Accidents happen.
" So what happened? I know he shared with you about him meeting Natalee.
There was all her friends were there too - Yeah.
- When they were at Carlos'n Charlie's.
He had a system where he'd give friends money to help him pick girls up.
Okay, he tell you they put drugs in her drink? Specifically, that night, he didn't say, "I roofied her.
" But basically he said that the combination of stuff she was on, "If they think we had sex and stuff and they tested her," it could make it look like he tried to rape her.
Where'd he take Natalee that night? I'm not sure exactly where he took her.
But I know that he said, "I had help", and it wasn't Deepak and Satish.
" - Who helped him? - He never said Paulus' name, but he implied it was his father.
So, after something happened to her on the beach, he called Paulus? - Yes.
- And then what happened? I guess Paulus came and helped him figure out how to get rid of evidence.
What did they do to get rid of Natalee? In detail.
Um Oh, man.
He said his dad helped him cover it up.
- Huh? - His dad helped him cover it up.
Where did they take the body after they got her off the beach? His dad got everything disposed of.
I believe before sunrise, that they Where'd they take her? There's a cul-de-sac there on the top of the hill.
It's desert area, cactuses and thorn bushes.
And nobody goes up there.
The only house in view wouldn't be able to stumble upon them.
But it's kind of like a mound of boulders.
Not a mountain, but probably, like, maybe 10 about 10, 12 feet tall? And shaped kind of like this, with big boulders.
Could you pick that spot out again? Okay, let's talk about 2010.
Okay? Do you remember what night it was that he asked you to get involved after he's told you all about what was going on? It was in the timeframe that he had just The news was talking about how he gave some confession, saying he threw her in a barge.
And then some tourists found some jawbone on a beach.
And then some other set of tourists that were scuba diving took what they thought was a photo of a skeleton on the ocean floor, but they were never able to find that area.
So he was getting paranoid about new searches starting back up.
At what point in time did he ask you and tell you about doing something with the remains of Natalee Holloway? What did he want you to do? Well, he knew I was heavily hooked on heroin at the time, and I didn't have the resources to keep it up daily.
So he said, "I'll give you $1,500 for your help.
" Did he, in fact, give you $1,500? - Yes, he did.
- Okay.
Did you go by yourself? Under his instruction Did he go with you? No, because he was I want you to think about that.
Did he go with you to dig the remains up? [TENSE MUSIC] Did he go with you and to dig the remains up? Yes.
Did he go with you? - Yes.
- He went with you, okay.
And y'all went out to his place up on the hill in the subdivision.
What time did you go out there, in the early morning hours or late at night? It was right at sunrise, really.
Barely able to see.
All right, so y'all went out there and got the remains, okay.
And what happened? The burlap sack was wrapped in a blue tarp.
So it was kind of keeping stuff from seeping out, basically.
Did you open it up? - Did you look in there? - Yeah.
Okay, what'd you see? Very messy-looking.
Like, blackish, brown dried, like, matter.
How did you feel? I'm serious.
How did you feel when you saw that? I almost threw up right away, just from the gas, the odor.
It took me aback.
What were you thinking when that happened? What were you thinking? And Joran is there with you too.
So what are you thinking? That I knew I wasn't there when she died, and I'm not responsible for the death.
There's nothing I can do with that.
All I can do at this point was to try to prove my friendship.
Where did you take her? Where'd you take the remains? To my property.
To your aunt's house? Originally, he had discussed getting it cremated, but at that time, it wasn't legal.
But apparently some places would do it for pets.
And what'd you do? The idea was to crush everything to the point where it's not recognizable as arm bones or skull or anything like that.
Did you do something with the remains before you broke them up? Or did you do something with the remains after you broke them up? Did you burn them? The only thing that got burnt was the skull, to burn the hair fibers.
It was doused in gasoline in a fire pit in a cave.
And where was the fire pit? In the cave.
In the cave on your aunt's property? No, it's about 150 yards to the right of my aunt's property in the desert.
When did you do this? The same night that you went out and got it? Or did you wait? - It all happened in one day.
- The same night? It was recovered at daybreak, and these things happened during the day.
And then, by that night, it was disposed of.
Okay, then what did y'all do after that? Pummeled it throughout a few hours.
What'd you do with the remains after that? What was left? We paid a local fisherman to borrow his boat for the night.
Let me ask you a real sensitive question.
How do you feel today about Dave Holloway, Beth Holloway? I feel bad that if I had an opportunity for them to uncover the remains, that I let that slip through the cracks, and now they're never gonna be able to bury her.
I was obsessed with my friendship at the time.
I understand.
And I was under the influence of heroin at the time.
And I want you to think differently about how you would feel if this happened to you.
- I will.
- Okay? If the Aruban authorities want to know what happened, are you gonna be honest with them and tell them what happened, as you told me today? - Would you tell them the truth? - Yes.
FEMALE NARRATOR: For more information on "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway," go to oxygen.