In the new Hulu drama Saint X, a young woman named Emily (Alicia Debnem-Carey) chooses to look into the rape and murder of her elder sister Alison (West Duchovny) during a trip in the Caribbean twenty years before.
Episodes are narrated from the perspectives of many characters over multiple time periods, adding complexity to the plot as Emily’s quest for answers progresses.
With its principal story being that of a young white lady killed on vacation, Saint X’s premise has a “ripped from the headlines” air that may lead some to believe that the eight-episode series is modeled on the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. This is what we have learned:
Is Saint X Based on a True Story?
The film Saint X is based on the 2020 best-selling book of the same name by Alexis Schaitkin. The novel is not based on the true story of Holloway, the Alabama teenager who went missing in 2005 while on vacation in Aruba. The focus it received seems to have been the source of its motivation.
The cultural and racial ramifications of the media’s sensationalized coverage of the disappearance of a white, wealthy visitor are explored in Saint X (both the novel and the series).
The narrative of Saint X and that of Holloway are not identical in many respects. To begin with, the island of Saint X does not exist outside of the program; similarly, none of the people or events shown on the show are real. Holloway’s body has never been located, although Alison’s is found shortly after she goes missing in Saint X.
What Happened to Natalee Holloway?
On the 26th of May, 2005, Holloway took a post-graduation excursion to Aruba with 123 of his former classmates. The trip was jam-packed with activities like hanging out at the beach and at local bars and clubs with pals. Claire Fierman, a friend of Natalee’s, said in 2006 on CBS’s “48 Hours”: It was so much fun.
The routine went something like this: get up, clean your teeth, and head to the beach. The water was so pleasant that we often spent the entire day submerged. We did nothing but enjoy the company of our friends on this idyllic island. The trip was a lot of fun.
On May 30, 2005, as the students were getting ready to return home, Natalee did not show up at the airport for the flight back to Alabama. This instantly raised suspicions among her friends, who knew her to be punctual for every appointment and activity.
According to Biography, Natalee’s friends had not seen her since 1 a.m. on May 30, when she was seen leaving the tourist hangout Carlos ‘n Charlie’s with three men, the 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot, the 21-year-old Deepak Kalpoe, and his brother, the 18-year-old Satish Kalpoe.
Beth, Natalee’s mother, traveled to Aruba with her husband Dave after receiving the shocking news from Natalee’s chaperone, Jody Bearman (via Vanity Fair). Meanwhile, on the island, authorities were rushing to confirm Natalee’s disappearance and identify any potential suspects. Beginning on June 1 with tourists and island residents, the search effort grew to include the Aruban police, a volunteer team from Texas, and even F-16 fighter planes.
Insufficient evidence led to the release of the Kalpoe brothers, who had been arrested alongside Van der Sloot on June 9, 2005. Van der Sloot was released in September 2005, but many close to Natalee were suspicious due to discrepancies in his account and the story of the Kalpoe brothers.
New evidence emerged in November 2007 implicating the trio as the primary suspects, leading to their rearrest; nevertheless, they were released again in December 2007. E! News reports that in a conversation with his friend Patrick van der Eem, Van der Sloot admitted that he and Natalee had sex on the beach the night she disappeared, but that she became unconscious afterward, prompting Van der Sloot to ask a friend to throw her body into the sea.
The conversation was recorded in secret by Dutch journalist Peter de Vries in February 2008. Unfortunately, this was never presented in court since Van der Sloot denied telling the truth during the entire conversation.
Check whether the movies based on a true event or not, are available below for you:
- Is Snowfall Based on a True Story? An Essential Tale to Tell
- Is Bridgerton Based on a True Story? What Is The Great Experiment – Did It Really Exist?
Current Status of the Natalee Holloway Investigation
Van der Sloot was found guilty in January 2012 and sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, in Peru in 2010.
According to Nola.com, Van der Sloot murdered Natalee on May 30, 2010, which was the fifth anniversary of her abduction. While Natalee’s family continues to look for answers, it appears that the Kalpoe brothers are still based in Aruba.
An Alabama judge reportedly ruled Natalee deceased on January 12, 2012, as reported by The Huffington Post. In 2017, Dave and private investigator T.J. Ward were featured in an Oxygen docuseries titled “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” in which they explored new leads in an effort to discover the truth about what happened to Natalee.
Bones were discovered during the hunt, however, they weren’t hers. It’s still unclear what happened in this situation.
On April 26th, “Saint X” debuted on Hulu. Below is the teaser for the TV show.
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