Did a hero of the counter-culture murder his ex-girlfriend?
Ira Einhorn was a counter-culture hero. During the 1960’s in Philadelphia, he was the symbol of opposition to the war in Vietnam. In 1970, he organized Earth Day, a pro-ecology festival still celebrated every year. Einhorn also palled around with peace movement superstars like Abbie Hoffman. He even ran for mayor of Philadelphia.
However, there was a side of Ira Einhorn the crowds and news cameras never saw. In private, he was jealous, abusive and self-centered. And in 1979, Einhorn became the prime suspect in the disappearance of his one-time girlfriend, Holly Maddux. According to author Steven Levy, Holly was seduced by Einhorn’s charm:
But before long, the relationship became abusive. Andrea Boyce worked with Holly in a neighborhood co-op:
By July of 1977, Holly Maddux decided she had enough. She walked out on Einhorn, without even bothering to pack her belongings. Holly ended up at a beach resort near New York City, where she began a romance with Saul Lapidus:
But according to Joel Rosen, who was Philadelphia’s Assistant District Attorney at the time, Einhorn went ballistic when he learned of Holly’s new beau:
Holly never returned from Philadelphia. Consequently, Saul Lapidus and some of Holly’s other friends reported her absence to authorities. According to Joel Rosen, detectives in Philadelphia were quick to interview Ira Einhorn:
The Maddux family hired two former FBI agents to investigate. Their ambitious report filled hundreds of pages, contained dozens of interviews, and detailed the events surrounding Holly’s disappearance. The investigators located a couple who had gone to the movies with Ira and Holly during the weekend Holly went to pick-up her belongings. It was the last time she was known to be alive.
A few days later, Einhorn tried to convince friends to help him dump a large trunk into a nearby river. He said it was filled with secret Russian documents. Finally, the tenants in the apartment below Einhorn’s told one of the investigators about a choking stench, seeping into their apartment. That report brought Detective Michael Chitwood of the Philadelphia Police Department to Einhorn’s apartment:
Einhorn soon came up with an explanation. He claimed the FBI and CIA had framed him by planting Holly’s body in his closet. Einhorn’s attorney pulled off the impossible—bail for Ira Einhorn. It was a crushing blow for Detective Chitwood and the rest of the Philadelphia Police Department:
In January of 1981, two days before the start of his trial, Ira Einhorn fled the country. Twelve years passed. Finally, Philadelphia authorities tried Einhorn in absentia for the murder of Holly Maddux. It took the jury only two hours to find Ira Einhorn guilty.
In 1997, Interpol tracked Einhorn down to a farmhouse in Southern France. He had been living there for several years under an assumed name. Four years after he was captured, Einhorn was extradited to the United States and re-tried for the murder of Holly Maddux. He was found guilty and is currently serving a life term without the possibility of parole.