Alex Blaze

Gay Man Beaten to Death by (Likely) Lover, who then Blamed the Bible

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 19, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Bible, john joe thomas, Murray Seidman, old testament, stoning

Near Philadelphia, an older, mentally disabled man, Murray Seidman (right), was stoned to death by a much younger man he met at the psychiatric wing of the hospital he worked at, John Joe Thomas.

According to police Thomas admitted to killing Seidman and blamed it on the Old Testament:

According to police, Thomas said Seidman had made homosexual advances toward him. He told police he decided to kill Seidman after reading in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned to death in certain situations.

"I stoned Murray with a rock in a sock," Thomas told police, according to court documents.

It's hard to believe he was angry about some "homosexual advances" made by Seidman. While it's still early and we don't have 100% of the information, it appears as though Seidman's relationship to Thomas was very close, making legal arrangements people normally associate with a long-term, committed relationship:

john-joe-thomas.pngWhile working at the hospital, Murray Seidman met and befriended Thomas, a patient in the psychiatric ward, according to Lenny Seidman.

The two soon became friends and would bowl, go to the gym, play miniature golf, and shop for groceries together.

Murray Seidman paid for everything, his brother said.

Thomas eventually had his name on Murray Seidman's bank account and could make withdrawals using a debit card, Lenny Seidman said.

"All I could do was advise him on being careful," Lenny Seidman said of his brother.

Seidman gave Thomas power of attorney, according to court documents filed with Thomas' arrest. The pair also met with a lawyer to prepare a will that named Thomas executor and sole beneficiary.

Lenny Seidman said he confronted Thomas in phone conversation around Thanksgiving after learning that the younger man was seeking more money from his brother. He said that he lost his temper and that it was the last time he spoke to Thomas.

People don't just give that kind of money and legal access to their lives if there hadn't been a hint of sexuality between them before, and being the sole beneficiary of someone's will.

Thomas himself wasn't arrested for the murder until he was arrest for another crime - he told an "unknown witness" (probably someone else in prison with him) that he had killed someone and that other person told the police.

The police haven't said why Thomas was previously arrested, but he was "charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct in an unrelated case," which are the charges usually associated with public sex and cruising. That means that, after he supposedly killed Seidman because of the Bible, Thomas was likely out looking for more gay sex.

This case is already more complicated than a someone reading the anti-gay parts of the Bible and then finding a fag to stone and we don't even know all the facts yet, but you wouldn't know that when reading some of the tabloid-esque headlines in queer media.

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Once I'd read the news story, the fact that Thomas was listed as Seidman's only heir stood out immediately.

This murder had nothing to do with either gay sex or theology and everything to do with a young man's greed.

Paige Listerud | March 19, 2011 2:13 PM

I definitely think mental illness flared up again for Thomas--fueled by literalist interpretation of Scripture and internalized homophobia it was unstoppable. The whole story makes me devastatingly sad.

This is what happens when anti-gay religious bigotry is an ingrained part of your life thanks to zealots and nutjobs.

Note to self: do not pick up tricks or boyfriends in mental hospitals.

What's with the masochism of the LGBT community? Voting for Democrats and expecting change? Picking up tricks from mental hospitals?