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Ira Einhorn

How Did the Co-Founder of Earth Day Try to Get Away with Murder?

Every year, Earth Day is extremely important because it recognizes the harm that humans are capable of causing while also demonstrating massive global support for protecting the Earth and the environment. Did you know that there is a scandal surrounding the Co-founder, how did he try to get away with it? 

Ira Einhorn murdered his ex-girlfriend, composted her body in a closet trunk, evaded capture for 23 years throughout Europe, and was eventually sentenced to life in prison.

The Making of the Unicorn Killer

Ira Einhorn or aka The Unicorn was in a five-year relationship with Holly Maddux, a Bryn Mawr College graduate from Tyler, Texas. Maddux split up with Einhorn in 1977 and relocated to New York City, where she became involved with Saul Lapidus.

On September 9, 1977, Maddux returned to the Philadelphia apartment she had previously shared with Einhorn to retrieve her belongings, which Einhorn allegedly threatened to throw out into the street as trash and was never seen again. Einhorn’s disappearance was investigated by Philadelphia police several weeks later. He claimed Maddux went to the neighborhood co-op to get some tofu and sprouts and never returned.

Einhorn’s initial alibi was called into question when his neighbors began complaining about a foul odor emanating from his apartment, raising authorities’ suspicions. On March 28, 1979, police discovered Maddux’s decomposing body in a trunk stored in Einhorn’s closet.

Police discovered Maddux’s beaten and partially mummified body inside the closet, stuffed into a trunk that had also been packed with Styrofoam, air fresheners, and newspapers.

Arlen Specter, Einhorn’s Lawyer negotiated a bail of $40,000 and was released after posting a bond of $4,000, or 10% of the $40,000 bail. Barbara Bronfman, a Montreal socialite who married into the wealthy Bronfman family and met Einhorn through a mutual interest in the paranormal, paid for this. (Source: The New York Times

The Unicorn was Caught and Caged

Einhorn skipped bail and fled to Europe just days before his murder trial began in 1981. He stayed for seventeen years and married a Swedish woman named Annika Flodin. In Pennsylvania, where Einhorn had already been charged, the state convicted him of Maddux’s murder in absentia in 1996. Einhorn was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Although Einhorn was not sentenced to death, his defense attorneys argued that he would face the death penalty if he were returned to the United States. France, like many other countries that have abolished the death penalty, France does not extradite defendants to jurisdictions that still use the death penalty unless it is guaranteed that it will not be sought or used.

 Authorities in Pennsylvania pointed out that because the state did not practice the death penalty at the murder, Einhorn could not be executed because the state and federal constitutions prohibit ex post facto law.

In his defense, Einhorn claimed that Maddux was murdered by CIA agents who tried to frame him because of his investigations into the Cold War and psychotronics. However, he lost his defense and was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of Parole.

(Source: The New York Times

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