Ira Einhorn, a former counterculture leader who preached peace and love while battering his lovers, was convicted today of first-degree murder for killing a former girlfriend in 1977 and stuffing her body into his closet.The above story is from October 2002. In July of the previous year, columnist Michelle Malkin gave the grisly details of Einhorn's crime and his subsequent life on the lam.
Mr. Einhorn, who fled the country and spent nearly 17 years in Europe after being arrested in the death of Holly Maddux, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
After the verdict, Judge William J. Mazzola called Mr. Einhorn, 62, ''an intellectual dilettante who preyed on the uninitiated, uninformed, unsuspecting and inexperienced.''
Mr. Einhorn's lawyer, William T. Cannon, said he planned an appeal.
After his capture, Mr. Einhorn thumbed his nose at American authorities by appearing on television shows to discuss his plight and sipping wine while posing naked for photographers in his garden.
''For the first time in his spoiled, selfish, egotistical life, he pays the price,'' the victim's brother, John Maddux, said.
Mr. Einhorn insisted he was innocent, saying he last saw Ms. Maddux, 30, as she left to make a phone call. He said he had no idea how her body had turned up in a steamer trunk inside his closet.
Prosecutors described Mr. Einhorn as a loutish womanizer and serial abuser who turned violent whenever a woman wanted to leave him. When he testified, they had him read poems and diary entries in which he wrote: ''to kill what you love when you can't have it seems so natural'' and ''violence always marks the end of a relationship.''
Mr. Einhorn, who had described himself as a ''planetary enzyme'' and a ''catalyst for change,'' told jurors he had a ''Virgo moon.''
Lynne Abraham, the Philadelphia district attorney, whose office pursued Mr. Einhorn for years, said, ''Metaphorically speaking, Ira Einhorn and his Virgo moon are toast.''
The facts are sickeningly familiar to Philly residents, but not to the rest of the nation. In the ’70s, Einhorn made a name for himself as a radical environmentalist and “counter-cultural” peacenik. He grew a ratty beard, stopped bathing, dubbed himself a “planetary enzyme,” spouted Marxism, and hogged the spotlight during the nation’s first Earth Day. Poets, scientists, hippies, New Agers, billionaire benefactors, and young women caught up in the haze of free love and free-flowing drugs all flocked to Einhorn.So, to all you eco-peaceniks out there who lionize the likes of Ira Einhorn, have a very happy "Earth Day!"
One of those women, former Texas cheerleader and artist Holly Maddux, lived with Einhorn in the City of Brotherly Love. In the fall of 1978, she disappeared. Einhorn said she walked out and never came back. Few dared challenge the Flower Power guru who hobnobbed with the rich and powerful, lectured at Harvard, and traveled the world.
It took a year before cops opened a missing persons file on Maddux. Her family pressured law enforcement to investigate Einhorn. His neighbors complained of a foul stench and brown ooze seeping from his residence. Eighteen months after she went missing, detectives discovered her body stuffed and mummified inside a black steamer trunk hidden in Einhorn’s closet.
Maddux’s skull had multiple fractures and she had shrunk to less than 40 pounds. Experts say she was alive when she was forced into the trunk. Author Steven Levy wrote that when horrified cops informed Einhorn, who was waiting in his kitchen during the search, that the corpse looked like Maddux’s body, Einhorn coolly replied: “You found what you found.”
The peaceniks rushed to Einhorn’s side and insisted he was incapable of violence — let alone the monstrous evil that befell Maddux. A parade of liberal aristocrats lavished praise on the accused murderer at his bail hearing. And Einhorn had the best legal representative in town – former district attorney and soon-to-be-U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, who won an obscenely reduced bail for Einhorn of $40,000. Wealthy socialite Barbara Bronfman of the Seagram’s liquor empire put up the measly $4,000 bond needed to spring Einhorn out of jail in 1981 before trial.
Einhorn fled. While Maddux’s family grieved, he traipsed around Europe for 20 years (partly subsidized by Bronfman). Meanwhile, two former girlfriends came forward and testified that Einhorn had nearly killed them in separate, savage attacks. A Pennsylvania jury convicted Einhorn in abstentia for Maddux’s murder in 1993.
Fighting extradition from France, Einhorn proclaimed innocence. He blamed Maddux’s death on the CIA; attracted a renewed cult following; picked up a Swedish wife (who bears an eerie resemblance to Maddux); dined on brie and savored Bordeaux wines; granted sycophantic media interviews; and won the sympathy and protection of “human rights” activists across Europe. One French supporter of Einhorn interviewed by the Philadelphia Daily News said of Maddux’s murder: “Maybe she deserved it.”
And the French call us barbarians.