Accused killer claims he was inspired by biblical 'stoning of gays'

Sun. March 20, 2011 6:23 AM by News Staff

Philadelphia - John Joe Thomas of suburban Philadelphia said he had a good reason for beating his friend Murray Seidman to death with rocks: Thomas told cops that stoning is what the Bible says you should do to gays.

Thomas, 28, is accused of killing Seidman, 70, in January, and then hiding the body for days. Seidman was a retired grocery store worker who was enjoying his retirement. He had been struggling with brain damage since birth, but had made an independent life for himself, filled with friends.

Thomas was one of those friends. said that Thomas was Seidman's "constant companion" and was the executor of his will.

"I stoned Murray with a rock in a sock," Thomas allegedly told police on Wednesday, after first claiming he had just "found" the body. Thomas now claims that Seidman had tried to hit on him.

Thomas was charged Friday with first-degree murder.

The police chief in the Philadelphia suburb where the murder took place seemed shocked by the whole thing.

"He is a deeply religious man. Or so he says," Lansdowne Police Chief Dan Kortan told