This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," February 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: The mastermind behind catching Joran van der Sloot on tape is right here. Yes, you will hear from Dutch crime reporter Peter De Vries. Now, Peter organized the hidden camera operation that busted Joran van der Sloot talking about Natalee Holloway. On tape, Joran says the night Natalee disappeared, she was unresponsive, shaking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - TRANSLATED ON SCREEN)
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT: All of a sudden, Patrick, like a movie, all the things she did.
PATRICK VAN DER EEM: Shaking?
VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, a lot. So I was, like, (DELETED), what's all this?
VAN DER EEM: Did you try to resuscitate her?
VAN DER SLOOT: Of course. I tried everything. I was shaking the (DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: So what did Joran do? He said he made his friend dump Natalee's body off a boat, though he was not sure if Natalee was even dead. How did Peter De Vries get Joran to talk? What else did Joran say that you didn't see? Dutch crime reporter Peter De Vries joins us live in New York. Welcome, Peter.
PETER DE VRIES, DUTCH CRIME REPORTER: Hello, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Peter, you're world famous. Everybody knows you. But just to give a little introduction to our viewers, tell us a little bit about your show in Holland and your background, sir.
DE VRIES: Well, I'm a crime reporter for more than 30 years now, Greta. I wrote several true crime books, and my show runs now for 13 years, and we solve quite a lot of murders and disappearances.
VAN SUSTEREN: So when did you first get started on sort of the Joran van der Sloot case?
DE VRIES: Well, that must have been 18 months ago. We went to Aruba and we did an investigation there on the case. And well, there it started.
VAN SUSTEREN: How many times have you actually met Joran van der Sloot?
DE VRIES: I met him a couple of times, but he didn't want to talk to me. And I can understand why, because I was asking him tough questions.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So now let's talk about the taping. How did that come about? How did you do that? Who worked with you?
DE VRIES: Well, about six months ago, a guy named Patrick came up to me and he said, I'm a close friend of Joran. I met him in a casino and we became friends, and I don't trust his story about what happened that night on the beach. Is there anything I can do for you, he asked me. Well, I said, of course you can. And then we worked out a plan with the undercover camera operation.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- how did you know Patrick?
DE VRIES: Well, Patrick came up to me because in Holland, it is known that I'm intrigued and interested in the disappearance of Natalee.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does Patrick do for a living? Who is he?
DE VRIES: Patrick is a businessman. He has his own business. He has a criminal record for 12 or 13 years ago. He was convicted for drugs possession. But after that, he became a respected businessman.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is his business, do you know?
DE VRIES: Yes, it's a technical thing. I don't know exactly what it is, but it's OK.
VAN SUSTEREN: And he met Joran in a casino?
DE VRIES: Yes, he met Joran in a casino. They both like to play poker. They both speak Papiamento, and that's how they contacted each other.
VAN SUSTEREN: So how did -- if you know, how did Patrick befriend him and get him to start talking to him?
DE VRIES: Well, that's a long process. In the beginning, Patrick pretends that he wasn't interested in the whole Natalee story. And when Joran wants to talk about it, he said, Well, I'm not interested. Keep it to yourself. It's your business. And after a few months, when we were involved, he started to ask questions about the case, after Joran's second arrest.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what was the plan? When was the first taping? I think there was a little problem with the first taping. You planned it and then Joran got arrested?
DE VRIES: Yes, that's right. The day we were planning to do it, he was arrested.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- in terms of the high tech -- I mean, I've seen these tapes, and actually, the quality is quite good. Who set up the cameras inside? How was that done?
DE VRIES: My program did it. We often work with undercover cameras. We are very experienced in that. And we were thinking where, Would Joran talk about his knowledge in the Natalee case? Not in his home. That would be a legal, a law problem for us. Not in a restaurant or a cafe. But he will feel safe in a car. And that's why we provided our man, Patrick, with a Range Rover car, and well, we equipped it with the latest sound and cameras.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much tape do you have? How many minutes or hours do you think total?
DE VRIES: Oh, we have in total, I think, 20 hours. But quite a lot of the 20 hours is spent with man talk about football, girls and things like that. And a couple of hours, they were talking about Natalee's case.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the 20 hours, that's over how many different days? I mean, is that one very long trip, or is it broken up into a number of trips?
DE VRIES: Yes, that's an important question, Greta. It's not just one conversation. It's not a slip of the tongue. We have been recording five days. So several moments, several days, and sometimes a week between it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was he smoking marijuana? Because at least it seemed that -- maybe I'm wrong, but it looked like he was smoking marijuana, or smoking something.
DE VRIES: Yes, Joran was smoking pot sometimes. That's his daily routine. He wasn't pushed to it by our guy, Patrick. We didn't aim for that. It's his daily routine. He has been writing about that in his book, too.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the marijuana laws are a little different in Holland, or at least in Amsterdam?
DE VRIES: Oh, yes, it's not illegal in Holland. It's not a crime. You can smoke pot if you like, no problem.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the actual taping, and we've heard different snippets of it, after you had the tape in the can, did you ever contact Joran and say, Well, we have this tape?
DE VRIES: No, we didn't because we had a couple of hours on tape, so there was nothing to ask because he told the whole story. It was a full confession on tape.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know how he found out about the fact that you had a camera?
DE VRIES: Yes. He learned that from television.
VAN SUSTEREN: And has he ever tried to contact you or say -- because now he's saying, of course, publicly, that that was a big lie, that he was just lying.
DE VRIES: Yes. What else could he say, Greta? Because otherwise, he's going in jail. So that's the only thing he can say, of course.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where were they driving in all those -- in the tapes we've seen?
DE VRIES: Oh, they were just cruising around.
VAN SUSTEREN: Just got in the car and go for a ride? They weren't going, like, out to casinos or going cross-country or anything like that?
DE VRIES: Yes, they were going cross-country, looking for a building and things like that.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the actual conversation with Joran, some of it -- I mean, some of it seems a little bit prodding. For instance, I'm actually concerned with the part where it says that she was shaking. That's a very -- it may be an important part of the investigation. In the tape that we see, Patrick seems to suggest the shaking. I went over our transcript today. Am I wrong on that?
DE VRIES: I didn't understand that quite well.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did -- let me back up then. What does Joran say about Natalee the night that she died?
DE VRIES: Well, what he is saying is that he was on the beach with her and that she suddenly did like this, and then he panicked. And he said, Well, she died at that moment. She wasn't ticking (ph) anymore. And then he found his friend, and he wanted to get rid of the body. And they brought her into a boat, and then she was disposed into the ocean.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, there's a lot of rumors coming out of Aruba, as you might imagine. One thing I'm hearing tonight, that we had Daury Rodriguez on last night, who was the person who's actually identified on the tapes. But now there's a suggestion that there might be another Daury. Do you know, if there's another Daury?
DE VRIES: Yes, Daury Rodriguez is not the guy mentioned by Joran. It's another guy. He's in the news. I know that. But he's not the guy who was mentioned by Joran.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Where is this other guy mentioned by Joran, who helped, according to Joran, dispose of the body?
DE VRIES: Well, we don't know. The police investigators are looking for him. But I'm not quite sure if Daury is really Joran's helper because the first day, when he was talking about his helper, Joran said, I will never, ever mention his name. I will take that into my grave. And then the next day, when our man, Patrick, was pushing a little bit on that and telling him, Well, who was it, you can trust me, then he mentioned the name Daury. But I think he's protecting somebody else.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And do you know who that somebody else is? I mean, do you have any sort of -- besides just sort of a gut reaction, do you have anything independent to suggest who it might really be?
DE VRIES: Well, that's hard to say. Then I'm starting speculating, and well, I might not do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Peter, stand by because we have much more with you in a few moments. Don't go away.
VAN SUSTEREN: Dutch crime reporter Peter De Vries is still here with us. Peter, I got an e-mail question from Julia Renfro, who's the editor- in-chief of Aruba Today, and she asked this question, which I think is a good one. "How did you know Joran was lying when others were inclined to believe him?"
Now, I guess it's a little bit of a slap at me because I said I was inclined to believe him after I met with him. But nonetheless, it's a good question. I mean, what made you right from the get-go not believe him?
DE VRIES: Well, I have been doing some investigation on the spot, on Aruba, and I read the files and I spoke to people who were involved. And well, I'm an experienced crime reporter. And almost from the beginning, I didn't believe his story. And there were some established lies about Natalee dropping at the Holiday Inn hotel, the way he came home, the story about the shoes. It was too much to believe.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think -- a lot of viewers send me e-mails. I have a -- we have a blog here, Gretawire.com, and they send a lot of comments. They're very suspicious that Paulus Van Der Sloot has more of an involvement than simply just the father of the man who was caught on tape. Do you have any information that in any way incriminates Paulus Van Der Sloot?
DE VRIES: Well, Joran told on tape that his father smuggled a mobile phone, a cell phone in the prison when he was the first time arrested. And he was a judge at that time, so that's -- that's a sin.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me just -- let me go to this press conference, Peter, if you can hold off for a second, in Kirkwood, Missouri. The police are talking about this shooting.
(KIRKWOOD POLICE NEWS CONFERENCE)
VAN SUSTEREN: Let's go back to Dutch crime reporter Peter De Vries, who is still with us. Peter, I want to focus now for a second on the guy who supposedly assisted in tossing the body off the boat. What efforts are being made, if you know, by the police to locate him?
DE VRIES: Well, the Dutch police is very busy with the investigation. That's what I understood. And they are looking for this guy, whoever it may be.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, do you have confidence in the Dutch police and the Aruba police in terms of this investigation?
DE VRIES: Yes. I met several guys from the team. I spoke to Hans Mos, the head prosecutor, and I'm confident, quite confident, that they will solve this case finally.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything on that tape that you did not show for whatever reason that you think would be particularly important to the investigation?
DE VRIES: No, no, no. You have seen all relevant scenes, and I think what we didn't broadcast is more of the same, you could say.
VAN SUSTEREN: And boy talk, as you described it, or guy talk or something.
DE VRIES: And boy talk, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, when you showed that tape to Hans Mos, the chief prosecutor, what did he say to you?
DE VRIES: Oh, he was, of course, very happy. And there was also the police commissioner, Dolph Richardson. And when he was looking at the tape, he said to me, Can you please pinch me in the arm because this is what we are waiting for.
VAN SUSTEREN: What about an arrest? Did they mention anything about -- you know that there was an effort to try to arrest Joran van der Sloot. The judge turned them down. It's now on appeal. Do you have any more information on that?
DE VRIES: No, what I know now is that Joran van der Sloot made a statement to the police investigators today. I don't know what he said, but there was a statement. And well, that's a great development because until now, Joran van der Sloot refused to talk to the police and didn't say a word. So now he's talking, and let's hope that he is answering all the questions.
VAN SUSTEREN: What prompted him to toss that wine in your face on that TV show? Did you say something to him, or what was that all about?
DE VRIES: Oh, he was frustrated about me because I was asking questions all the time, and I was saying -- I was telling the audience that Joran lied several times, that he couldn't answer simple questions, and that he was always keeping silent to the police. And well, that frustrated him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you already have in the can the tape and know what was on the tape, or was that -- or didn't you at that point?
DE VRIES: Pardon?
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you already have your tape completed at that time, the undercover tape?
DE VRIES: No, no, no. It wasn't completed. The undercover operation was running at that moment.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Both his parents -- were they both present for that?
DE VRIES: Yes, they were present. Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did Joran's parents say anything to you at that point or even after the show?
DE VRIES: After the show, they apologized for what their son did. And I think his mother is a good mother. She loves her son, but she doesn't know what he is doing, I think. And well, his father, I have some special thoughts about him.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And I hope you'll come back, Peter, as you develop more information on those special thoughts, if, indeed, you get some more information on them. Peter, you're always welcome back here. So thank you, Peter.
DE VRIES: OK. You're welcome, Greta.
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