Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

What Caused Faith-Rage Attack against Three Elderly Mennonites?

Dereck Holt on Facebook

A 22-year-old posed as an insurance salesman to gain entrance to a home of three elderly Mennonite sisters and then proceeded to bind them, use a stun gun against them, and deface their property all the while railing against their religion. He then left them for dead.

The assailant, Dereck Taylor Holt, was sentenced Thursday to 12 to 40 years in prison by a Lancaster County, PA judge. The attack occurred in December in Clay Township, PA. Holt will receive psychiatric care during his sentence.

Police say Holt taped up the sisters, aged 84-90, punched them and then ransacked the house. He also sprayed household chemicals around the house and on his victims. The attack went on for at least two hours. While the attack occurred Holt told the sisters that he had previously been a member of the Mennonite faith.

Holt’s Facebook page shows himas a healthy, bike-riding Lancaster County native who moved to Arizona last year. A video shows him counting $25,000 in cash and he talks about his intention to buy a Volvo.  Holt apparently inherited the money from his Grandmother and used it to buy the car that was then inexplicably reported stolen. An arrest warrant for Holt was issued last year in AZ for a vehicle theft shortly before the incident in Lancaster occurred.

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