Hulu’s latest psychological thriller series, “Saint X,” which premiered on Hulu on April 26, is inspired by high-profile true crime cases in the media. Based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Alexis Schaitkin, the series centers on the mysterious disappearance and subsequent death of a young woman while vacationing with family on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint X. timelines of her last moments in life. Still, her younger sister is persistent in finding answers.
Given the viable storyline of “Saint X”, audiences anticipating the series were curious to see if the series is based on a true story. While not based on a single true event, the show parallels the real-life case of missing 18-year-old college student Natalee Holloway, who disappeared while vacationing in Aruba in 2005.
Here’s a look at Natalee Holloway’s true story and where her case stands today.
Who is Natalee Holloway?
Natalee was born on October 21, 1986 to parents Dave and Beth Holloway in Mountain Brook, AL, an affluent suburb of Birmingham, per E! News. After her parents divorced in 1993, Natalee lived with her mother and became an honors student and active member of the dance team at Mountain Brook High School. After graduating, Natalee had plans to study premed at the University of Alabama on a full scholarship, as reported by Good Morning America.
But before heading off to college in the fall, Natalee — like many young adults her age — wanted to celebrate the important milestone by going on a group trip. No one could have foreseen that she would disappear without a trace just six days after graduating on May 24.
What happened to Natalee Holloway?
Holloway and 124 classmates traveled to Aruba on May 26, 2005 for a postgraduate trip. The vacation was filled with fun on the beach, spending time with friends and partying at the local clubs. Natalee’s friend Claire Fierman told CBS’s “48 Hours” in 2006, “It was so much fun. We’d wake up, go like, brush your teeth, go straight to the beach. We’d literally stay in the water all day because it was so perfect. We just hung out with our friends on this beautiful island. It was a really nice trip.”
As the students prepared to go home on May 30, 2005, Natalee did not show up at the airport for the flight back to Alabama, which immediately tipped off her friends, who noted that Natalee was never late for anything and that it behavior was unusual. But friends hadn’t seen Natalee since the early morning of May 30, when she was last seen leaving Carlos ‘n Charlie’s – a bar and restaurant frequented by tourists – with three young men, 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot, 21-year-old Deepak Kalpoe, and his brother, 18-year-old Satish Kalpoe, at around 1 a.m., according to Biography.
After chaperone Jody Bearman called Natalee’s mother, Beth, with the surprising news (via Vanity Fair), she immediately flew to Aruba with Dave in search of their missing daughter. Meanwhile, detectives on the island scrambled to report Natalee missing and compile a timeline of events and persons of interest. On June 1, a search team was launched, which initially consisted of tourists and islanders and was later expanded to include the Aruban police, a volunteer team from Texas and even F-16 fighter jets.
On June 9, 2005, Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers were arrested, but the Kalpoe brothers were eventually released on July 4, 2005 due to insufficient evidence. Van der Sloot was released in September 2005, but inconsistencies in his story and the story of the Kalpoe brothers aroused suspicion among Natalee’s loved ones. The trio were arrested again in November 2007 after new evidence emerged and identified them as the prime suspects, but they were eventually released again a month later in December 2007. In February 2008, Dutch journalist Peter de Vries secretly recorded a conversation between Van der Sloot and his friend, Patrick van der Eem, in which Van der Sloot revealed that he and Natalee had had sex on the beach the night of her disappearance, but that she lost consciousness afterwards, which led him to ask a friend to dispose of her body. sea, by E! News. Unfortunately, this was never used in the case, because Van der Sloot later claimed that everything he said in the conversation was a lie.
Where the Natalee Holloway case stands today
In January 2012, Van der Sloot was found guilty of the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez in Peru and sentenced to 28 years in prison. According to Nola.com, Van der Sloot committed the murder on the fifth anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance, on May 30, 2010. The Kalpoe brothers are said to still live and work in Aruba, while Natalee’s family is still searching for answers.
Natalee was pronounced dead by an Alabama judge on January 12, 2012, according to The Huffington Post. In 2017, Dave was the focus of an Oxygen docuseries, “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway”, starring him and private investigator TJ Ward. they followed new leads in hopes of finding the truth about what happened to Natalee. Bone fragments were found during their search, but were later determined not to be hers. Today, the case remains a mystery.
“Saint X” premiered on Hulu on April 26. Watch the trailer for the thriller series below.
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