Homicide Confirmed: As an update to the sad news of the death of 70-year-old Berlin, PA yogi Sidharman, the latest police reports reveal it was murder. Not sure why it took forensic science, but after an autopsy they found cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds from a small caliber weapon. It gets worse:
33-year old Joel R. Snider of St. Louis, Missouri was taken into custody this morning in Maryland charged with criminal homicide in the death of Sudharman. According to court papers Snider had e-mailed a Swami associate of his and Sudharmans, who lives in Virginia, and stated to her in two e-mail messages, the latest one from July 4th, that he wanted to assassinate Sudharman and another man.
What a horrifying and chilling scenario. There’s no further word on motives, but if we’ve learned anything at all from this terrible news it’s ‘if you see something say something’, especially if it’s a death threat, or threat of any kind for that matter. Our hearts go out to the family of Sidharman (also known as Joseph Fenton) yogis and non.
UPDATE 7/8/10: Good grief, more details to this sad wacky story.
In the months leading up the Sudharman’s killing, Snider sent a series of three e-mails to Swami Karunananda. According to her Facebook page, Swami Karunananda serves as vice president of spiritual development at Yogaville, Buckingham, Va.
In Snider’s e-mails to Swami Karunananda, he intricately outlined his plans to assassinate Sudharman and [Andrew] Cohen, founder of EnlightenNext.
Sudharman was a founding member and graduate of Yogaville and learned under the direction of Swami Satchidananida, as did Snider. In his e-mails, Snider mentions that Sudharman attempted to recruit Snider to teach in the Integral Yoga Center of Pennsylvania at 428 Market St., New Berlin. This appears to be the link between Snider and Sudharman.
In the three emails Snider sent he mentioned details of his malicious plans, and in the third message confirmed his arrival in PA ready to carry them out, only 24 hours before Sidharman’s death.
He wrote: “Is this the fruition of when I asked for your help regarding Sudharman and Andrew way back when? That took a long time to get me ready, huh? In PA now. If the opportunity presents itself there will be a great celebration of independence. May God’s might be swift and strong. May evil be utterly destroyed where it is lurking. May all be set free from the clutches of evil, for good, for all time.”
This is some terrible stuff. The strangest part of the story is that Swami Karunananda hasn’t contacted the PA police. “We were not contacted and were unaware of any threats against Sudharman,” State Trooper Matthew Burrows said.
Full report at TheDailyItem