▶ Watch Video: Joran van der Sloot admits to killing Natalee Holloway in 2005

Joran van der Sloot’s confession that he killed Natalee Holloway ended the nearly two-decade-old mystery about what happened to the Alabama teenager who disappeared on her high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005. The 36-year-old Dutchman made the admission as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors over van der Sloot’s 2010 attempt to extort a quarter-million dollars from Holloway’s mother in exchange for the purported location of her daughter’s remains and other details.

“The never-ending nightmare is over, and to me, that’s better than closure,” Beth Holloway told CBS News correspondent Janet Shamlian after Wednesday’s proceedings at the federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama.

How did Natalee Holloway die?

As part of the plea deal, van der Sloot had to provide information about Holloway’s disappearance in exchange for a 20-year sentence in the extortion scheme, which he will serve concurrently with his prison sentence in Peru in another killing. Van der Sloot was interviewed by his attorney on Oct. 3, and in the interview, he revealed graphic details about how he killed the 18-year-old from the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Natalee Holloway

Personal photo

Beth Holloway watched the recorded interview in another room, Shamlian reported.

According to a transcript of the interview in court documents, van der Sloot said he and Natalee Holloway were walking on a beach at night on the way back to her hotel. They laid down on the beach and started kissing.

When van der Sloot started touching her, Holloway said no and told him she didn’t want him to touch her, according to the transcript. He continued anyway.

“She ends up kneeing me in the crotch,” van der Sloot said, according to the transcript.

Beth Holloway told the Associated Press she reacted to learning about that by saying, “That’s her.”

“She fought like hell. I think she fought like hell with her killer. She stood her ground,” Holloway told the AP.

Beth Holloway walks out to speak to reporters after Joran van der Sloot’s appearance in the Hugo L. Black Federal Courthouse, Oct. 18, 2023, in Birmingham, Ala.

AP Photo/Butch Dill

In van der Sloot’s interview, he told his attorney he got up and kicked Natalee Holloway “extremely hard” in the face.

“She’s laying down, uh, unconscious, possibly even, uh, even dead, but definitely unconscious,” van der Sloot said, according to the transcript.

Van der Sloot then spotted a cinderblock nearby on the beach, and he hit Holloway in the face with it.

Seeing what he had done to Holloway, van der Sloot then said he decided to dispose of her body in the ocean.

“I walk up, uh, up to about my knees into the ocean, and I push her off into … into the sea,” van der Sloot said in the interview. “… After that I-I get out. I-I walk home.”

Joran van der Sloot is seen being transferred in a police car from a jail in Lima, Peru, June 8, 2023.

Ernesto Benavides/AFP via Getty Images

Beth Holloway said it was “shocking” what van der Sloot admitted to in the interview.

“It’s almost as if it just blisters your soul when you hear it,” she told Shamlian.

Where did Natalee Holloway disappear?

Natalee Holloway was in Aruba on a chaperoned trip with seniors from her high school celebrating graduation. The legal minimum drinking age in the Caribbean island nation is 18.

According to the FBI, she and a group of students went to Carlos ‘N Charlie’s Nightclub in Oranjestad, Aruba. When the club was closing, some in the group went back to their hotel and others went to bars in the area.

Holloway was last seen with van der Sloot and two other young males leaving the area in a car.

When was Natalee Holloway murdered?

The group left the area at around 1:30 a.m. on May 30, 2005, according to the FBI.

In van der Sloot’s interview earlier this month, he told his attorney Holloway at some point said she wanted to go back to her hotel.

“I was just trying to get dropped off a little bit further away from her hotel so we could, uh, walk back to her hotel and I might still get a chance to-to be with her,” van der Sloot said, according to the transcript.

Was Natalee Holloway’s body ever found?

Natalee Holloway’s remains haven’t been found. She was legally declared dead in 2012. According to a grand jury indictment in the 2010 extortion scheme, van der Sloot said in an email that the information he provided about Holloway’s remains was “worthless.”