Murder of Longtime Congregant Shocks Rodeph Shalom Synagogue Community

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Body found in home on Mole Street in Philadelphia on August 15, 2014. (credit: John McDevitt)

Body found in home on Mole Street in Philadelphia on August 15, 2014. (credit: John McDevitt)

Mark Abrams Mark Abrams
Mark Abrams is a versatile part of the KYW Newsradio family, serving...
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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Philadelphia homicide detectives continue to search for clues in the death of a center city man who was found murdered inside his home just days  ago, members of Congregation Rodeph Shalom are strugging with the loss of a beloved, longtime member.

Rodeph Shalom rabbi Jill Maderer says 65-five-year-old Lee Stanley had deep ties to the synagogue and its activities.

“His father was a legendary cantor here.  And Lee had a great love for Judaism, for Jewish prayer, for Jewish history and Jewish music,” Maderer tells KYW Newsradio.

She says many members of the congregation looked after Stanley.

“So, if he were ill, if he were hurt, our congregants were the ones to visit him.  He didn’t have family of his own anymore in these last years, and the congregation was really his family.”

Homicide detectives are canvassing the neighborhoods near Stanley’s home, on Mole Street, looking for video and possible witnesses.  Stanley was found dead by roofers last Friday, a white powder covering his body and a fire extinguisher nearby.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide and listed his cause of death as blunt chest trauma.

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