News on Ira Einhorn

This is a selection of news articles on Ira Einhorn last updated 19DEC99, refresh browser for latest additions at end of this page


http://www.phillynews.com/daily_news/99/Dec/03/local/MUMI03.htm

Philadelphia Daily News
December 3, 1999

Are 'Free Ira Einhorn' rallies next?

Could we have another Mumia on our hands?

Ira Einhorn probably wouldn't complain if he became a cause celebre the way Mumia Abu-Jamal has. In fact, the fugitive guru raised the comparison himself in a recent article in a French newspaper.

"Here, the ambiance is nothing like Philadelphia and its terrible cases, the Mumia Abu-Jamal's, the black journalist wrongly accused of having assassinated a policeman and whose death was promised for this Dec. 2," Einhorn told a reporter for Sud-Ouest Dimanche, the Sunday edition of a large newspaper in Bordeaux.

"His case was reviewed, the international community has mobilized itself, [French President Jacques] Chirac and [Prime Minister Lionel] Jospin are intervening, next to Clinton. In these conditions, how can I not have entire trust in France?"

Einhorn and his Swedish wife, Annika Flodin, have attempted - and, so far, failed - to stir widespread support for Einhorn's "human rights" in France. Although Einhorn has received favorable press in some French journals, no groundswell of support has occurred.

In 1998, Flodin printed an on-line petition, pleading for support to keep Einhorn from being extradited to the United States.

At first, Einhorn's extradition request was denied by French judges, but an appeals court finally granted the U.S. request to return Einhorn to face a possible new trial. Before Einhorn can be returned, Jospin must sign his extradition papers.

- Theresa Conroy

1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.


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http://www.phillynews.com/daily_news/99/Dec/03/local/IRAA03.htm

Philadelphia Daily News
December 3, 1999

Ira wants a new image

Convicted killer seeks better PR

by Theresa Conroy
Daily News Staff Writer

Now Ira Einhorn wants to talk.

After years of running, hiding and refusing interviews, the fugitive guru is shopping his story to about 300 reporters.

In a three-page e-mail distributed this week, Einhorn - writing from his quaint cottage in the South of France - invited an "honest journalist" to document "his side of the story" of the 1977 murder of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux.

It was unclear yesterday whether Einhorn's urgent attempt to find a friendly reporter was inspired by hurt feelings or fear.

Einhorn is angry about all his press coverage, most recently an Esquire magazine article that portrayed him and his naked body extremely unflatteringly.

He also may be getting scared about being sent home to Philadelphia.

Sources in France said they believed French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin will soon decide to sign Einhorn's extradition papers.

Jospin's officer in charge of foreign affairs could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Einhorn has fought extradition for more than two years. One of his main complaints - and the issue that angered French judges - was that Einhorn was convicted in absentia in 1993.

"It was a stupid thing for the DA to do and has never been adequately explained," Einhorn wrote.

After Einhorn reached out by e-mail, the Daily News reached back. Einhorn, however, has not replied.

Since Einhorn's capture in June 1997 - after 16 years on the lam in Europe - the grizzled hippie has been demonized by the American media, Einhorn wrote in the e-mail.

He is now seeking someone to investigate his allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and unconstitutional behavior on the part of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

"The media . . . came to the conclusion that I was guilty and then resolutely refused to deal with any evidence that contradicted their original assertions, but did deal with the shopping habits of my wife at Friday market in Champangne-Mouton, [France] so that the people of Philadelphia could read about my dinner the same day that I was eating it," Einhorn wrote.

"I didn't know him from Adam until a couple of months ago," said David Crockett Williams, who distributed the Einhorn e-mail. Williams corresponds with Einhorn and others in a quantum physics chat group that often discusses UFOs and CIA conspiracies.

"I said, 'It seems like the people are trying to roast you in the media over here, maybe you should consider doing something of a concerted effort to reach out and tell your story,' " Williams said.

"Over the last couple of weeks he said, 'I'm going to work up something and I'll send it to you,' " he said. "Why he's gotten to that point, I don't know. Maybe he's prompted by 'Esquire,' or what, I don't know. It may just be coming to a point in his legal case that he feels that he has to get off the dime and do something."

Einhorn has maintained that he did not bludgeon Maddux to death, then stuff her body into a steamer trunk where it sat - mummifying and stinking - in his apartment for 18 months. He has said that he believes the CIA or some other powerful governmental agency killed Maddux to silence Einhorn about his knowledge of psychic weaponry.

In his e-mail, Einhorn outlined areas of the case against him, pointing out areas where the DA's office had delayed turning over favorable forensic tests to defense attorney Norris Gelman.

Einhorn said that tests showed no blood or human protein was found in the steamer trunk or in Einhorn's Powelton Village apartment.

"That's all true," Gelman said yesterday.

"They got nothing at all. They got no protein, no blood," Gelman said. "They also went all through the other areas of the apartment."

"So, after they got the FBI reports, they turned them over to me, but it was a long time after Ira's arrest. Maybe eight months or so, maybe more."

Prosecutors at the time said that 18 months of decomposition may have left no viable traces of blood or protein in the trunk. And, forensic tests at crime scenes in 1979 were not as refined as they are today.

"Let's do a DNA test, let's do something today," Gelman said. "Every time I asked that question in the absentia trial in 1993, [Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen] objected."

Einhorn also pointed the finger at former Assistant District Attorney Barbara Christie, who was assigned to prosecute Einhorn in his original murder trial. Einhorn fled the country just before his trial was to begin.

"Barbara Christie built a career on such fraudulent practice which is coming back to haunt her," Einhorn wrote.

Christie, once the city's top homicide prosecutor, has been accused by the courts of prosecutorial misconduct that resulted in some overturned cases. Christie left the DA's office in 1996 and now works as general counsel to the Pennsylvania State Police.

She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

District Attorney Lynne Abraham said through a spokeswoman that nothing Einhorn says has any value to it.

"Ira Einhorn is a convicted murderer," said DA's spokeswoman Cathie Abookire. "Nothing he says is of any value to us. Nor should anyone believe a word he says."

Send e-mail to conroyt@phillynews.com
1999 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.


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U.S. Fugitive Relaxed on Extradition

.c The Associated Press AP-NY-11-09-99 1824EST

By HOPE YEN

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Fugitive killer Ira Einhorn is counting on support from the French people to keep him from being brought to justice for the 1977 slaying of his girlfriend and having to pay a $907 million wrongful death judgment against him.

``They're supporting me - they're freaked about the situation,'' the ex-hippie guru told Esquire magazine in an interview to be published in its December edition. ``It has nothing to do with guilty or innocent. It has to do with the way I'm being treated. And they're just so shocked.''

The Associated Press received an advance copy of the magazine Tuesday.

Einhorn, a flamboyant figure in Philadelphia's counterculture in the 1970s, jumped bail in 1981 rather than face trial for the bludgeoning death of Helen ``Holly'' Maddux, whose mummified body was found stuffed in a trunk in a closet at his home. He was convicted in absentia in 1993 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Einhorn was tracked down and arrested at his home in the French countryside in June 1997. However, a French court refused to extradite him because French law does not allow for trial without the defendant being present. After Pennsylvania passed a law promising a retrial, Einhorn was rearrested in September 1998.

In February, a French court ordered him extradited provided that he be retried and not face the death penalty. Einhorn remains free in France while appealing the extradition order.

Einhorn, who spends his days tending a fruit and vegetable garden, swimming in one of two streams on his property, or e-mailing his Internet UFO group about government conspiracies, has said little since his arrest in 1997 and has refused most interviews.

``It's an utter delight to live here because of the quality of life,'' he said. ``Some things I miss, but I'm willing to put up with it to live here for the rest of my life.''

The 59-year-old former anti-war activist, futurist and adviser to Philadelphia's rich and powerful maintained his innocence, blaming Ms. Maddux's death on a conspiracy involving ``large intelligence agencies.''

``Ira Einhorn is a convicted murderer and no one should give credence to anything he says, especially when he's hiding out in France,'' Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham told AP on Tuesday.

AP-NY-11-09-99 1824EST

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.


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http://www.lawstreet.com/journal/art990226einhorn.html

LAWSTREET JOURNAL

Ira Einhorn May Finally be Extradited

- The Elusive Flight of the Unicorn

February 26, 1999
Web posted at: 18:00 EDT (2200 GMT)

Bordeaux, France -

Ira Einhorn jumped bail in 1981 after he was charged with the death of his girlfriend, Helen "Holly" Maddux. Since then, he has lived in Ireland and Europe as a genteel expatriate. This week, a French court finally agreed that he can be extradited. He remains free pending an appeal of the French decision, and some fear he will flee again.

When Einhorn jumped bail nearly two decades ago, he left behind his lawyer, soon-to-be-senator Arlen Specter, and a social circle that included Philadelphia's liberal elite. Einhorn was the icon of a peace-loving hippy, traveling globally as a leader in the peace and environmental movements, and calling himself "the Unicorn." But when the badly beaten body of Maddux, who had disappeared at the age of 30 in 1977, surfaced in a trunk in Einhorn's apartment, that image began to unravel.

In the early days of 1981, Einhorn sold his car and withdrew what was left of his bank account. He fled to Ireland and then Sweden in the '80s, and eventually settled in the Champagne-Mouton region of France with a new bride, wealthy Swede Annika Floden. There he has remained, defeating every effort of Philadelphia authorities, who caught up with him in 1977, to bring him home for trial. Einhorn's legal team has exploited a combination of French pride and opposition to the death penalty to defeat extradition.

Einhorn was convicted in absentia in 1993 by a Pennsylvania court and sentenced to death. In December of 1997, a French court ruled that Einhorn could not be extradited because Philadelphia could not promise him a new trial if he was returned to the United States.

Pennsylvania responded by passing legislation guaranteeing fugitives in such circumstances a retrial upon their return. Einhorn was re-arrested by the French last year, and his case reheard. The three-judge panel of the Chambre d'Accusation of Bordeaux's Cour d'Appel -- a midlevel regional court -- ruled that if the United States agreed to grant that trial, Einhorn should be returned to the United States. The court added three conditions:

1) Einhorn must indeed be granted an "equitable" new trial, if he asks for one;
2) he must have the right to appeal;
3) and he must not be executed if found guilty.

The last point is moot, since the crime was committed prior to the passage of Pennsylvania's death penalty statute. In the ruling, the court rejected assertions by Einhorn's French attorneys that the Pennsylvania law granting Einhorn a new trial was unconstitutional and that he could face the death penalty once he was returned to the United States.

Einhorn's attorneys have five days to appeal yesterday's ruling to a superior court, the Cour de Cassation, which can "break," or reject, the decision if it finds that the Bordeaux panel followed improper procedure.

Such a rejection would be quite unusual, however. France's Ministry of Justice and Premier Lionel Jospin would have to agree to sign an extradition decree formalizing Einhorn's extradition. Einhorn could still appeal to the Council of State, France's highest administrative body, but it is considered unlikely that the council would overturn the decree. Einhorn lawyer Dominique Tricaud pins his client's hopes on a groundswell of support by the French people, goaded by an anti-American press and political rabble-rousers.

It may be two years before a final ruling, giving Einhorn plenty of time to go underground once more, and many expect that he will. "He has the money to flee and the wherewithal to flee - what does that tell you?" says Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham.


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Nude Ira Einhorn Enrages US State Department and Philly DA

Dear News/Editor:

The article about the frustrated extradition of Ira Einhorn in today's Philadelphia Daily News, "It's too much to bare - Angered by Ira pix, DA turns to feds", would almost be funny if it were not so serious. The DA has a psychotic episode over a naked man photo and "the tabloids" lap it up and spew it out.

Transparently "yellow journalism" articles like this one incite the American lynchmob mentality fostered by the Philly DA, Lynne "Faulty Information" Abrahams, who is also misrepresenting the truth on other very important aspects of this case according to attorney John W. Packel, Chief of the Appeals Division of the Philadelphia Public Defender Office for 30 years. In one of several notarized affidavits he has filed on the Einhorn case, on November 27, 1998, he responds to Abraham's affidavit "guaranteeing" that Einhorn will receive a new trial (a reported prerequisite for Frances' extradition permission) and her overtures to the State Department by saying:

"Frankly I am appalled, but not surprised, by the District Attorney's 'guarantee' which refers to the statute granting a new trial but makes no reference whatsoever to the controlling decisions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unequivocally holding that any such statute is invalid [because] the legislature has no authority to impair or overturn a judgement of the courts. Furthermore I am surprised and disappointed by the State Department's blind endorsement of this misleading document. ...the District Attorney ignores, making absolutely no reference to, clear and compelling authority establishing that the statute it drafted is unconstitutional, unenforcable, and invalid."

What's going on with the Philly DA and the US State Department that they are resorting to unconstitutional means and misrepresentation to close the case on the Maddux murder by trying to extradite Einhorn under false and illegal pretexts?

This is but one example of the witch-hunt, Inquisitional, McCarthyism kind of practices of the American "Judged by the Media" mentality manifest in Philadelphia where the US Constitution is flaunted by increasing numbers of in-absentia trials disallowing the accused to confront his/her accusers.

If Einhorn was framed for this crime, as he claims and piles of affidavits from prominent witnesses in his attorney's possession evidence, all this may indicate the potentially high levels of complicity to silence Ira Einhorn, the person described in the Daily News on April 14, 1978, as "Philadelphia's tireless activist and warm-hearted humanist".

If the ignored evidence on file, gone unreported and disallowed at Einhorn's in-absentia trial, does prove that he was framed, then Philadelphia should hire a DA more psychologically stable and honest to find Holly's real murderer.

Oh well, whatever sells newspapers is the name of the game, at least so claimed Theresa Conroy of the Daily News in her recent phone conversation with me.

David Crockett Williams 661-822-3309
Tehachapi, California, December 17, 1999

PS Keep checking links at http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/agenda.html for regularly updated inputs of additional overlooked facts and comments about this case and related issues, some forwarded to me directly by Ira Einhorn from France.

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http://www.phillynews.com/daily_news/99/Dec/17/local/IRAA17.htm

Philadelphia Daily News
Friday, December 17, 1999

It's too much to bare
Angered by Ira pix, DA turns to feds


by Theresa Conroy
Daily News Staff Writer

Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham is getting some help in hauling fugitive Ira Einhorn back home.

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has taken action on a plea Abraham sent to Albright in a Dec. 1 letter.

"The secretary did receive the letter that was sent by Lynne Abraham. It arrived Dec. 6," Philip Reeker, a State Department spokesman, said yesterday.

"She directed that a cable be sent to the embassy in Paris instructing them to go in at senior levels at the [French] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice to express our serious concern about the lack of progress for the resolution of this important extradition case," he said.

Abraham said yesterday that she sent the three-page letter to Albright to "move the process along."

Einhorn - a fugitive for more than 16 years - was discovered and arrested in France in June, 1997. He has been fighting extradition back to Philadelphia, where he was convicted in absentia in 1993 of killing his girlfriend, Holly Maddux.

Abraham sent a copy of her letter to the U.S. ambassador to France.

"I want France to live up to its treaty obligation," she said.

Abraham told Albright in the letter that she was recently disturbed by an Esquire magazine photo that showed the paunchy fugitive - in all his naked glory - playing in a stream that runs along his country home in Southwestern France.

"There is really no earthly reason why Mr. Einhorn should be able to cavort in the nude while the extradition order sits unsigned," she said.

"His performance in that pond on his home was disgusting," she said.

In May, a French appeals court agreed to send Einhorn home, but his extradition papers must first be signed by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

Jospin has the option of refusing to sign off on the extradition, although international experts have said this might inspire strained diplomatic relations between France and the United States.

Abraham said this was her first direct plea for Albright's help. She also said that she heard from "reliable sources" that Einhorn's extradition papers have not even been delivered to Jospin.

But Abraham's information from France has been faulty in the past.

Abraham said in May that the prime minister was required to take action on the extradition within two weeks. It has been nearly seven months - there was no such requirement.

Abraham also maintained at the outset of Einhorn's extradition hearing that the case in France was safely in the hands of a French prosecutor assigned to represent Philadelphia in court.

In fact, that prosecutor went on vacation, passing the case on to another in his office. In turn, the new prosecutor went on vacation and passed the case onto a woman who appeared to have almost no knowledge of the case.

It was after that courtroom debacle - during which Einhorn's attorneys misrepresented facts without question by the prosecutor - that a Bordeaux court at first refused to return Einhorn.

The case has limped along since that initial wounding.

Abraham yesterday declined to reveal the sources of her information on Einhorn's case.


Send e-mail to conroyt@phillynews.com
[note: above letter to editor was sent because Conroy acknowledged in her phone conversation to me that she is aware of details of illegality of a new trial for Ira Einhorn but has not reported these or many other facts contraindicating Einhorn's guilt of murder and she has apparently chosen instead a decidely hostile policy of their ommission in favor of "selling newspapers" via the hystrionic inflammatory provocative half-truth "tabloid" journalism style]
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ttp://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/99/Dec/19/front_page/IRA19.htm


Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunday, December 19, 1999
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The convicted killer reads, gardens, and works on the Internet.

In France, Einhorn has few worries


Ira Einhorn, 59, was convicted in absentia of murdering ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux in 1977. He has been a fugitive from Philadelphia for 16 years. (Daniel Rubin/Inquirer Staff) [photo]


By Daniel Rubin

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

CHAMPAGNE-MOUTON, France - He has no passport, no driver's license, no wallet even.

"I am the wallet," his wife says, looking up from the lamb bourgignon she has been preparing for three hours at Moulin de Guitry, the century-old mill she bought with $100,000 from the sale of her Stockholm apartment.

His last paycheck? "Harvard," he says. "In 1978."

Ira Einhorn. Convicted in absentia for murdering his former girlfriend, Holly Maddux. A fugitive from Philadelphia for 16 years. A prisoner, for now, of the French countryside.

Their abundant garden between the rivers L'Argent and L'Or has helped the couple keep their expenses down to $1,100 a month - again, her contribution.

What he provides is "the brain food," as he calls it. He devours between 300 and 500 pages a day, from as many as 10 books at once. On his night table at the moment: a Mark Helprin novel; a history of psychosomatic medicine; philosopher Henri Bergson; Nabokov in English; Proust in French.

He does most of his reading in bed, lying on his back. He needs little sleep.

His window on the rapidly changing world is the Internet. As part of negotiations with ABC for last spring's Connie Chung interview, the network bought him a top-of-the-line Dell computer. It allows him to correspond with old allies in the battle for information about UFOs, genetic engineering, drug policies, pharmacology and the environment.

For such an information animal, there are many gaps in the Philadelphia landscaped in his mind. No skyscrapers soar past Billy Penn's hat in the city he remembers. He is shocked to find Frank Rizzo dead, Edmund Bacon still active.

Ira Einhorn is a bull, a Taurus, charging from idea to idea, while having to stay put. Nothing turns him on more, he says, than when discussions rev up into such a state that friends are firing half sentences at each other.

"I don't think," he says. "I'm totally intuitive."

He gets little of this sort of exchange at home now, and this is good, too, he says. He has learned to slow down, be patient, be present. He talks a lot of presence, how the French in this farm community "get it." No cell phones in cars, no 3 a.m. wake-ups to check the Tokyo Exchange, no pagers, beepers, call-waiting.

"They know it would be rude," he says, "to interrupt a conversation to answer the phone."

Philadelphia still runs through him, from the way he pronounces atty-tood, to Super Bowl Sundays, when he and his wife check into a motel that has a television. She bakes him soft pretzels.

"I also make blintzes," Annika Flodin Einhorn says, her voice a soft Swedish lilt, as though she is talking about feeding a homesick child. "He also talks about hoagies - not all the time, but enough."

He rarely listens to the radio, doesn't have a TV. He owns all of Mahler's symphonies on CD and was writing a novel about the composer when arrested in June 1997. That would have been his sixth book written on the run.

Now that Holly Maddux's family has won a $907 million civil wrongful-death verdict, it is unlikely that a publisher would take a chance on his writing, he realizes.

Yet he seems at peace with his current life. Dinner at the Einhorns last weekend included beet root and avocado salad, pate, a sampling of local cheese, baguettes, the lamb bourgignon, and pears in a warm ginger-honey sauce - all washed down with a 1996 Rothschild Bordeaux. "As good as the last one," he pronounced.


A dinner date with Einhorn at Moulin de Guitry begins with a dance, a seduction. There are messages through his lawyer, then phone conversations and e-mail messages - all conveying his desire to talk about the issues he says his case raises:

The hollowness of the U.S. promise that he would get a new trial. Problems with the prosecution that resulted in his conviction in absentia and a life sentence. How his decades of activism have been reduced, by a prosecutor's phrase, to his being "a bum who Xeroxes things."

He promises to entertain all questions. "I'm at my best," he says, "when pushed."

"My wife asks that you come for three or four days."

First, there is a meal at home. Nothing too ambitious for the first visit. Get to know each other. Find out what makes each other tick. His eyes never waver.

At 59, he is robust, a man described by a French reporter as having the back of a Siberian wrestler. His chest measures 58 inches. He proudly carries the V-shaped torso of the Central High School running back who won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.

The ponytail and bard's beard have been replaced with cowlicky white locks and a wispy goatee with a few wild hairs.

Only on the second night, when he gets into the passenger seat for the ride to dinner and the crescent moon plays on his face, electrifying his blue eyes and outlining the point of his beard, is there anything chilling about his countenance.

Annika, meanwhile, is tall, lovely, patient, red-haired and gracious. "Not," he says firmly, "another Holly."

He corrects her English, she corrects his memory. She is good on details. They met at a friend's in London in 1987, and within 10 days had decided to travel together to the Canary Islands. She was running the fabric department of her mother's three haute-couture stores in Sweden. She was 11 years younger, without higher education.

After a month of travel, he moved to her apartment in Stockholm, and when he feared an old friend was about to tip police to his whereabouts, he told her his name and that he was falsely blamed for the murder of his girlfriend.

She hid him, whisked him off to other apartments, lied to police and, years later and still on the run, looked into her mother's eyes and swore she knew nothing about the American fugitive who had been in the newspapers.

Her mother returned her gaze, saying: "I understand if you did it out of love."


For three days, he has talked - the ghastly steamer trunk, the safe house, the secret rooms and plain luck that allowed him all those years of good living and accommodating women.

But now Annika wants to say something, and he falls silent, watching his wife across the dining room table, bathed in afternoon light.

The question is, did she ever think that maybe the story was true, that the man who preached peace and love in the '60s had killed his girlfriend in 1977, stuffed her body into a trunk, and buried it in his back-porch closet?

"Of course," she says slowly. "I had to. I had to face the possibility: Was my love for him conditional? Conditioned on the fact I perceived him to be innocent?"

He was in prison at the time - her mistake. The gendarmes came with guns drawn in June 1997, after she had listed their address on a Swedish driver's license application.

While Einhorn was behind bars, playing bocce with gangsters and the fallen ex-mayor of Angouleme, Annika began to wonder whether he'd been lying to her all the time.

Three times a week, she rose at 4 a.m. and drove the 130 miles to La Gradignan, a medium-security facility outside Bordeaux, bearing new books and fresh laundry. For half an hour, she would grill him.

After a visit one Friday, she steeled herself and sat down with the American newspaper clippings a friend had sent as well as excerpts from The Unicorn's Secret, Steven Levy's book detailing the bludgeoning death of the Bryn Mawr-educated, blond Texan.

"That night, I went to bed, and I was clearly and definitely married to a murderer."

The words hang for a moment, and her voice drops to a whisper.

"The impact of the accusations of all that came through from the papers was so negative. I woke up the next morning and thanked God that I was married to Ira, and not to the person described in those pages."

He leans back, breathes. She is not done. She says that she concluded two things: that she loved him either way, and that he did not do it.

"I cannot say with 100 percent certainty that he didn't kill Holly. He knows."


His story has not changed. Five times Connie Chung asked him whether he killed Holly. If Annika had not been napping during the taping, he says, she would have stopped the interview.

Once he assaulted a woman, he says. He lost it, and that was wrong. OK. But ask him whether he's a murderer, and his answer is the same as it's been for 20 years, since police opened his trunk to find the mummified body of the woman who 18 months before had told friends she was going to leave him for good.

"No, I didn't kill Holly," he says, his voice calm.

Then who did? This is that part that gets vague, and he understands that his answers sound as far-out as ever: CIA. DIA. KGB. Someone who wanted to discredit his work uncovering psychic warfare. He says he cannot say more, because he does not yet have all the "data."

"If there was a body in that apartment, I wouldn't have been able to live there," he says. "I'm not talking about psychologically. I'm talking about the actual physical smell."

His wife adds: "If you have a dead mouse in your floorboard, you're very uncomfortable."

"All I can say is," Einhorn continues, "I'm not an idiot. The impulse would not have been to move the trunk. The impulse would have been to wrap the dead body in something and carry it out of the apartment. I had a car. . . . I had a friend who owned lots and lots of places for burying things. . . . And I'm also not squeamish - as far as I know. I've never really handled dead bodies, maybe that's unfair for me to say, in terms of getting rid of something."

There are things worth looking into, he says. Three people working at a North Philadelphia bank told a private investigator that they saw Maddux half a year after she disappeared, but that information was not initially given to his lawyer, Norris E. Gelman.

A judge ordered a hearing into the matter but found no fault. The prosecutor, Barbara Christie, said the lapse was an accident. At the 1993 trial, Gelman was able to produce only one of the witnesses, a security man who became less certain under cross-examination. Gelman says he didn't have the money to stage a proper defense. By then, Einhorn had jumped bail, and Gelman defended an empty chair.

Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham has a rejoinder for Einhorn.

"Fine," she says. "Come back and raise these issues at a new trial."

The French courts said they would extradite Einhorn only if he could be assured of a second trial. So the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law granting him one.

Gelman and Ted Simon, Einhorn's other American lawyer, say the Constitution prevents the legislature from undoing a decision by the judiciary.

"It's a great irony," Simon says. "He is this 'horrifying' person they love to hate, yet he stands for a proposition that is very important."

The place to argue these matters is in American courts, Abraham says. "Let him talk about the CIA to a jury here."

Papers ordering his extradition await the signature of French Premier Lionel Jospin. The court battle ended last summer, but the Ministry of Justice has not sent over the paperwork. Earlier this month, Abraham wrote to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, asking her to apply diplomatic pressure.

How worried is Einhorn? He has been working hard, planting rosebushes in his garden. He expects to see them bloom.

"He's really convinced everything that's gone against him is so highly unethical," says Meg Wakeman, a Seattle nurse who is the oldest of the surviving Maddux sisters. "There is no room in his mind for the victim, because he's made himself the victim."


At Chez Jacot, a dark cafe in town, the legal and diplomatic complexities of the Einhorn case seemed lost on the five men who sat around the table drinking wine. They were more concerned with the identities of those who betrayed the Resistance in World War II, or terrorists who have set bombs recently in Paris.

"We don't care about their past," a retired mechanic named Jean Dumas, 75, said of the Einhorns as he sipped white wine with a dash of peach syrup. "All we see is that they are ordinary people in an ordinary town."

Annie Devarrieux, a retired literature teacher who spends summers near the Einhorns, says that the arrest shocked the town, "but little by little, the people were conquered by the kindness of Annika and her intelligence."

"They were a lot more suspicious of Ira."
But then Mayor Jack Jouaron let everyone know he supported the couple, she said, and he began a petition drive to oppose extradition. "The whole population is with them."

Hans Das is not so sure. He and his wife, Maria, had been friends of the couple - until the arrest, and the Dases' media interviews. Das says Annika Einhorn made it clear she no longer wanted to see them.

At best, Das says, locals treat the Einhorns with indifference. On Monday afternoon, the Einhorns were walking to town, where twice a week he must sign in with gendarmes. The couple accepted a ride to nearby Ruffec for shopping.

In a gift shop, Annika spoke animatedly with the proprietress. The woman complimented her on her French, and Annika explained that they had been living in the country eight years. They wished each other a merry Christmas, and the woman asked whether Ira was British.

"Absolutely charming," Annika said, smiling, as she walked out into the rain. The conversation had been so pleasant. "She must not read the newspapers."

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Daniel Rubin's e-mail address is dan.rubin@phillynews.com


For information on Einhorn's legal situation and issues:

November 27, 1999, "Facts for Openers", by Ira Einhorn
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/facts.html

DECLARATION of evidence Einhorn was set up and framed for murder:
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/declaration.html

Review of NBC movie on Einhorn, "Hunt for the Unicorn Killer"
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/hunt.html

Continuing selection of newspaper articles on Einhorn/Unicorn case
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/ienews.html

Continuing selection of commnents on Einhorn/Unicorn case & issues
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/comments.html

Ira Einhorn's letter of support for Global Peace Walk 2000 "An Agenda for Peace"
http://www.angelfire.com/on/GEAR2000/agenda.html


For ease of posting, some additional news articles and more detailed comments over time will be accessible at http://www.egroups.com/group/ira-einhorn where those interested may also subscribe to a list to receive updates by email on postings to this site and other comments related to Ira Einhorn case and related issues.