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Brooklyn woman abandoned by ‘phony nun’ seeks her true identity

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BROOKLYN (PIX11) – Malondya Holt was called “Millie” as a baby, but she still doesn’t know her real date of birth.

Holt reached out to PIX 11 News, after watching our series, “Secrets of the Sisterhood,” which investigated reports that up to 23 people vanished from a single house in Brooklyn in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The house was owned by a self-styled bishop, Devernon LeGrand, who sent women into the subways—dressed as nuns–to solicit money for his “church.”  LeGrand was later convicted of stomping to death two, teen sisters and one of his wives.  He was suspected of ordering many more murders.  LeGrand died in prison in 2006.

Malondya Holt was told that in 1975, her biological mother left Malondya, as a baby, with another friend, because the young mother feared her little girl would be snatched.

Holt said her mother was turning tricks and turning money over to one of LeGrand’s sons.

“They wanted me for payment of what my mother owed,” Holt told PIX 11, quoting her mother’s friend.  When asked why her mother, known as Lisa, owed the LeGrands money, Holt responded, “She was a working girl.”

Malondya and mother

According to Holt, her mother “would be a nun by morning and she would be a prostitute by night.”

Holt broke down, when talking about the pain of not knowing anything about her mother or an older brother and sister.

Her mother’s friend raised her and took good care of her, but Holt noticed at a young age that she looked nothing like the friend’s two sons and a younger sister.

Over the years, stories emerged about her biological mother’s  fate.  “I heard they took her and a bunch of other women to a dude ranch that the LeGrands owned in upstate New York and killed a lot of these girls,” Holt recalled.

Having no, valid birth certificate has made life difficult for Holt, at times.  When she was 16, she wanted to go on a high school field trip to Canada and couldn’t, because she couldn’t get a U.S. passport without a birth certificate.  Five years ago, she finally managed to get a driver’s license, at the age of 35, from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Now, Holt is seeking information about any relatives who might have known her mother, Lisa, or her two siblings.

The mother of two is also dreaming of getting a passport, so she can go on vacation with her own two daughters: 12 and 18.

“I want to go to the Bahamas,” Holt said.  “I got to get to the Bahamas.”

And when asked her greatest hope, Holt responded, “To find out who I am….who my mother was.”

1 Comment

  • iona

    Your still my big sister no matter what. Just because we are not blood doesn’t mean we are not related. Just know that I am not going anywhere sis & I love you.

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