LANSDOWNE, Pa. — Police in suburban Philadelphia have arrested a man and charged him with murder in the brutal beating of an elderly man. The suspect told police he killed his victim using a sock stuffed with rocks because the Old Testament refers to stoning homosexuals.
John Joe Thomas, 28, of Sunshine Road in Upper Darby, spent almost every day with 70-year-old Murray Seidman at Seidman’s Lansdowne home, police say. Days before Seidman’s body was found on Jan. 12, Thomas allegedly beat Seidman to death with a sock full of rocks.
Thomas told authorities that he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned to death. When Seidman allegedly made homosexual advances toward him over a period of time, Thomas said he received a message in his prayers that he must end Seidman’s life, according to court documents.
Though the relationship between the two men is still unknown, Thomas was
the sole executor of Seidman’s will and knew how much money was in Seidman’s bank accounts, police say.
Thomas also told police he had spent nearly every day with Seidman, and he had the power of attorney over Seidman’s affairs.
Lansdowne police Chief Daniel Kortan said the break in the investigation
came when Thomas allegedly told a witness he beat an older man to death.
Thomas allegedly described for the witness how he placed batteries and rocks in a sock, and hit Seidman in the head at least 10 times.