Police have arrested an Upper Darby man who they say confessed to stoning to death 70-year-old Murray Seidman, a developmentally challenged hospital worker, because he claims Seidman was making "homosexual advances." In his interview with police this week, John Thomas, 28, cited the Old Testament in explaining the murder, police say. Seidman was found dead in his Lansdowne apartment in January.
"I stoned Murrary with a rock in a sock," Thomas told police, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint states: "John Thomas stated that he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned in certain situations. The answer John Thomas received from his prayers was to put an end to the victim's life. John Thomas stated that he struck the victim approximately 10 times in the head. After the final blow, John Thomas made sure the victim was dead."
"He is a deeply religious man. Or so he says," said Lansdowne Police Chief Dan Kortan.
Several days later, Thomas, who is the executor and sole beneficiary of Seidman's will, returned to the apartment and pretended that he had just discovered Seidman's body, police say. He said he ditched his bloody clothes and the bloody sock in a Dumpster.
Delaware County Medical Examiner Fredric Hellman ruled that Seidman had been dead for five to 10 days before Thomas started banging on doors in the apartment hallway Jan. 12. Thomas, who police found sitting in the hallway crying, said, "I'm not going down there again, there is too much blood," court documents state. Seidman was face down on the living room floor.
Thomas, who lives on Sunshine Road in Upper Darby, had no comment as he was led out of the Media courthouse today. Seidman, who previously lived at Elwyn Institute, was a longtime worker in the laundry department at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where he was "very popular," Kortan said.
"As far as we are concerned, he was a model citizen," Kortan said.