Einhorn to take stand, attorney tells jurors
Posted on Mon, Sep. 30, 2002
Einhorn to take stand, attorney tells jurors
By Jacqueline Soteropoulos
Inquirer Staff Writer
The men and women who will judge the guilt or innocence of Ira Einhorn will
get to hear from the former hippie himself, his attorney said today.
Einhorn plans to tell jurors that the mummified corpse of his former
girlfriend found inside a locked steamer trunk in his apartment was planted,
possibly by government agents, defense attorney William Cannon said during
Einhorn, 62, is expected to testify that he never brutalized Holly Maddux.
He will explain why he disappeared on the eve of trial in 1981 and lived a
life on the run in Europe for two decades, Cannon said.
He also will probably explain to the jury that his own interest in
"psychotronic mind-control weaponry" may have invited the government
interest that ultimately led to Maddux's death, Cannon told the jury.
Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen told reporters at the conclusion of
the first day of the high-profile trial that he could hardly wait for
"I'm looking forward to asking him some questions," Rosen said.
This is Einhorn's first time inside a courtroom to stand trial in Maddux's
death. His chair remained empty for the first trial where he was convicted
in absentia. Rosen was the prosecutor who convinced a jury that Einhorn was
responsible for the death of the 30-year-old Maddux.
To secure Einhorn's return, the Pennsylvania legislature granted a new trial
to the fugitive, who once called himself the "Unicorn." The trial began
today before Common Pleas Court Judge William J. Mazzola.
"It's a huge relief to get this show on the road - to actually testify,
actually moving forward, actually having him in the courtroom," said
Maddux's younger sister, Buffy Hall of Everman, Texas. "Now it feels real."
Hall was the prosecution's first witness. She recalled a visit in 1974 when
her eldest sister brought Einhorn to Texas to meet the family.
"It did not go well," Hall testified, calling his behavior "shocking."
"While we were eating, he at one point put his bare feet up on the dinner
table ... and began to scratch (his legs)," Hall said.
During the same meal, Einhorn began eating before others were served and
while the family prayed, she said.
Holly Maddux - a sunny and confident girl who was salutorian of her high
school class and went on to exclusive Bryn Mawr College - was submissive to
Einhorn, Hall said.
"She got quiet ... kind of withdrawn, her eyes downcast. She just shrank
into herself," Hall testified.
Hall and three other witnesses described a stormy relationship between
Maddux and Einhorn, corroborating comments made by Rosen in his opening
"It's a case of domestic violence. It's a case of murder by a jilted lover,"
Rosen had told the jury of six women and six men. "This defendant believed
in the use of violence when ending a relationship."
Years before Maddux and Einhorn became lovers, Rosen said, he allegedly beat
a girlfriend with a Coke bottle and tried to strangle her.
"He did not kill, but he came pretty close," Rosen said, pulling out a copy
of a poem titled "An Act of Violence," penned by Einhorn.
The two-page, handwritten poem - seized from Einhorn's Powelton Village
apartment after Maddux's corpse was discovered - describes the dispute
between Einhorn and the girlfriend after their morning coffee.
Rosen called the evidence against Einhorn "overwhelming," despite the 25
years that have elapsed.
"Justice has caught up with him now. He was brought back here not
voluntarily, but kicking and screaming, to face you ladies and gentlemen,"
Rosen told the jury.
He promised jurors that he would bring in the steamer trunk in which
Maddux's body was found.
"I don't know what's more of a smoking gun than your girlfriend's body found
in a trunk in your apartment," Rosen said.
Cannon told the jury that he would present expert testimony that Maddux's
body did not decompose in the steamer trunk. Forensic evidence, he said,
indicates that her body decomposed elsewhere.
Einhorn has long contended that someone else killed Maddux, planted her body
in his apartment and framed him.
Einhorn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and once taught a
summer class at Harvard University, Cannon told the jurors. He was active in
the first Earth Day, and the city's corporate leaders sought his counsel,
"Mr. Einhorn is a very bright fellow," Cannon said. "One of the things that
attracted Holly to Ira was this great mind that he had - not a mind that was
stupid enough to keep a body in his closet.
"The issue in the case is: Who killed Holly? When was Holly killed? Who put
Holly's body in the trunk?" Cannon said.
He said three people will testify that they saw Maddux alive months after
her family and friends said she vanished in 1977. They include a former
Philadelphia police officer who believes he saw her during his surveillance
of the radical group MOVE in 1978, the attorney said.
Today, for the first time, Einhorn's younger brother, Stephen, sat in the
front row of the crowded courtroom.
"He's a brilliant, intellectual man who tried to help the city," said
Stephen Einhorn, 58, a former stockbroker who lives with their 91-year-old
mother in Glenside. "He's the most gentle person in the world. He would
never hurt Holly."
The 12 jurors and three alternates are being sequestered for the length of
the trial, which is expected to last until late October.
An Oak Lane man, who was originally chosen to be Juror No. 6, left the panel
during the weekend after a death in the family. He was replaced by one of
four alternates selected last week.
Contact Jacqueline Soteropoulos at 215-854-4497 or