../1198/space%20holder

../1198/space%20holder

Next profile | Previous profile | Jan/Feb Contents | Gazette home


CLASS OF ’61
Fugitive Convicted for
Ex-Girlfriend’s Murder

Ira Einhorn C’61, a counterculture guru who fled the country two decades ago while awaiting trial for killing his ex-girlfriend, will spend the rest of his life in prison. On October 17, after deliberating two and a half hours, a Philadelphia jury found him guilty of first-degree murder. Judge William J. Mazzola called the 62-year-old Einhorn “an intellectual dilettante who preyed on the uninitiated, uninformed, unsuspecting, and inexperienced people.”

“The blight that has been Ira Einhorn—on my life and my family’s life—has been erased,” Meg Wakeman, the sister of murder victim Holly Maddux, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Einhorn was extradited from France in 2001 following a long international legal battle after authorities discovered him living there with his Swedish wife under the alias Eugene Mallon. He had been a fugitive since 1981, skipping $40,000 in bail that was posted on his behalf by a local wealthy admirer.

In his second and most recent trial (Einhorn was convicted in absentia in 1993), the prosecution depicted Einhorn as a violent womanizer, using the testimony of a former girlfriend that he tried to choke her when she broke up with him and making Einhorn read aloud from his diary such statements as “to kill what you love when you can’t have it seems so natural.” Einhorn, who majored in English at Penn, told the jurors that these and other violent entries were merely metaphorical. Prosecutors argued his writings reflected a pattern of brutality that reached its climax in the beating death of Maddux, who had tried to leave him.

But the most glaring evidence against Einhorn was the mummified remains of Maddux that police found locked inside a trunk in his bedroom closet in 1979. In the end the jury did not believe his attorney’s suggestion that someone else could have planted her body in his West Philadelphia apartment; neither were they won over by Einhorn’s revelation on the witness stand that he has an astrological Virgo moon.

Though defense attorney William Cannon said his client maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict, the prosecution did not seem to think there was a chance of a reversal. Standing outside the courthouse, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham told reporters: “Metaphorically speaking, Ira Einhorn and his Virgo moon are toast.”

 


Next profile | Previous profile | Jan/Feb Contents | Gazette home


Copyright 2003 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 01/05/03