Infamous accused killer Joran van der Sloot has yet to receive a visit from his own mother as he sits awaiting trial in a Peruvian prison, but an American stranger has made the 5,200-mile round trip to van der Sloot’s prison cell — three times.
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Not only that: 55-year-old Florida radiologist Mary Hamer has also helped foot van der Sloot’s legal bills; recorded a CD to raise money for his defense; sent him care packages, and written him missives that some might call love letters, but she insists are more spiritual in nature.
“The more I know Joran, the more I see there’s a beautiful person there,” Hamer told NBC’s Michelle Kosinski in a report that aired on TODAY Wednesday.Story: Van der Sloot’s lawyer: ‘There is no evidence’
It’s a strange case of a middle-aged American divorcee bonding with a 24-year-old who’s one of the most notorious men in the world. Van der Sloot was twice arrested in the sensational case of Natalee Holloway, the American girl who disappeared in Aruba in May 2005; then in June 2010, he was arrested for the murder of student Stephany Flores in Lima, Peru, while still facing charges in the Holloway case. Van der Sloot was last seen with Flores on May 30, 2010, the five-year anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance.
‘My Guardian Angel’
While van der Sloot has been described as anti-social by authorities, he’s downright emotional in the letters he writes to Hamer from his cell at Miguel Castro Castro maximum security prison in Lima.
Hamer showed Kosinski a letter van der Sloot had written her, reading “My Guardian Angel, Mary … I’ve got a tear in my eye as I write this letter… I love you … Joran.”
But Hamer says people shouldn’t misconstrue Joran’s words as amorous.
“He’s hurting, he’s struggling, he’s trying to improve,” she told Kosinski.
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Hamer, who said she has spent $20,000 on van der Sloot to date, plans to up that tally by attending court in court in Peru when van der Sloot’s trial for the slaying of Flores begins next month. And she believes that if justice is served, he will go free. “I know he’s innocent,” she said.Story: Holloway attorney details van der Sloot sting
According to Hamer, though she and van der Sloot discuss topics far and wide, from their love of music to spiritual leaders Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, the one thing they have never spoken about is his court cases.
Kosinski asked Hamer if she’s ever been tempted to ask van der Sloot what really happened with Natalee Holloway. “No, that’s not my role,” she replied.Video: Woman pays bills, writes song for van der Sloot (on this page)
Instead, Hamer sees herself as brokering peace between the accused killer and the families of Holloway and Flores. She says she’s reached out to both families, but has yet to receive a reply.
And also insists it isn’t a case of simply reaching out to a lonely detainee awaiting his day in court: “It’s not pity that got me involved; it’s compassion. It’s love for someone.”Story: Natalee Holloway’s family surprised by arrests
But does she worry that van der Sloot is simply stringing her along for emotional and financial support?
“No, no, I’m not,” she told Kosinski. “Even if he did, I’m an unconditional person.
“I love him unconditionally.”
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