Friday, April 3, 2020

Tales From The Archive: Bringing The Unicorn To Justice

By Ralph Cipriano

From Courtroom Cowboy, The Life of Legal Trailblazer Jim Beasley

Federal Express was making an international delivery to an old stone millhouse in the South of France. The man who answered the door was husky and middle-aged, with a weathered face and a wispy white goatee. He signed the delivery slip by scrawling only one word, “Einhorn.” 

Ira Einhorn was Philadelphia’s most notorious fugitive killer, a former hippie guru who, after 16 years on the lam, was now living the life of a country squire in a rural region of France known for its fine brandies and cognacs. But when he opened his FedEx envelope on Jan. 2, 1998, Einhorn discovered that Jim Beasley was still after him.

Beasley was inviting Einhorn to return voluntarily to his hometown of Philadelphia, to stand trial in a wrongful death suit brought by the family of his murder victim, Helen “Holly” Maddux. Beasley filed the suit to prevent Einhorn from cashing in on a book or movie deal about his grisly murder of Maddux, and subsequent life on the run.

Einhorn had jumped bail and fled to Europe in 1981, rather than stand trial in Philadelphia on charges that he bashed in the skull of his former girlfriend, and then stashed her corpse in a steamer trunk.

There was no chance that Einhorn would ever willingly leave France, where a panel of judges had just refused America’s attempt to extradite him, and where Einhorn had a team of lawyers to defend him, as well as his own support group.

Einhorn was having too grand a time living with his wealthy new Swedish wife at their provincial estate known as Maison de Guitry, where he went skinny-dipping every day in a couple of streams by his house, and where he ate fresh pomegranates 
and strawberries plucked from his back yard. But that didn’t stop Beasley from trying: 
“Dec. 30, 1997 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Maison de Guitry 
“France 16350 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 
“Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“Enclosed is a copy of the order which states that a Case Management Confer­ence for the above-referenced matter will be held on January 14, 1998, in Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania. You are invited to attend. Please call me when you expect to arrive and if necessary, I will ask the Court to continue the Case Management Conference to a date that suits your schedule. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley”
Maybe the audacity of Beasley’s letter got to the equally audacious Einhorn. Six days later, the killer sent back a cheeky, autographed reply: 
“Moulin de Guitry 
“16350 Champagne-Mouton 
“Jan. 8, 1998 
“Dear James E. Beasley, 
“My present judicial status does not permit travel. The situation, according to my lawyers, will probably not be resolved before the end of the year 1998, if then. Thus it is impossible to give you a date. I hope this does not inconvenience you. 
“Very truly yours, Ira Einhorn”

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Before he became an international embarrassment, Ira Einhorn, who died in prison Friday of natural causes at 79, was Philadelphia's most famous counterculture icon. Back in the 1960s and 70s, he was  a bearded, pony-tailed, dashiki-wearing free spirit who didn't bother bathing, and didn’t always wear pants when he answered the door. 

He was a New Age intellectual who read widely and could pontificate on any subject, whether it was quantum physics, UFOs, or the beneficial effects of LSD. He organized a “Be-In” in Fairmount Park, and taught a popular free course in “psychedelics” at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. 

When Philadelphia held the first Earth Day in 1970, an event televised around the globe, Einhorn walked on stage as master of ceremonies along with the cast of the Broadway musical Hair, and then he joined them in singing,“Let the Sun Shine In.” 

Einhorn attracted even more attention when he ran for Philadelphia mayor in 1971 under the campaign slogan of “Let Them Eat Organic Cookies.” 

Since his last name in German meant one horn, Einhorn dubbed himself the Unicorn, and during the Age of Aquarius, he seemed to know everybody who mat­tered. His cosmic pals included radicals Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. 

The Unicorn had mesmerizing blue eyes and was a legendary schmoozer who could talk a corporate executive out of his discretionary funds just as easily as he could seduce a liberated woman out of her bell-bottoms. Establishment types saw Einhorn as a spokesman for the counterculture, a group they wanted to woo, so they hired him to give speeches, mediate labor disputes, and set up neighborhood development corporations. 

The suits loved Einhorn because he was such a forward thinker. Decades before the Internet, Einhorn developed a pioneering information-sharing network for more than 350 business executives, government officials and media members in 20 countries. 

Every week, Einhorn would bundle together esoteric gleanings such as newly declassified U.S. government documents on UFOs and papers on Russian mind-control experiments. Then he would dispatch the gleanings, along with his own musings, to an influential list of contacts that included author Alvin Future Shock Toffler, Seagram’s heir Charles Bronfman, and Stewart Brand, publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog. The network didn’t cost the Unicorn a dime: all copying and mailing costs were picked up by Einhorn’s corporate sponsors at Pennsylva­nia Bell. 

Reporters in Philadelphia treated Einhorn as a celebrity, referring to him as “the city’s oldest hippie,”“town guru” and resident “hippie philosopher.” The cops used Einhorn to mediate protests; local ministers saw him as an apostle of peace and nonviolence. So in Philadelphia, the Unicorn functioned as a one-man bridge between the establishment and the counterculture. 

The Unicorn’s favorite hangout was La Terrasse, a French restaurant on the Penn campus, where corporate executives were so anxious to pick his brain that Einhorn ate lunch there every day without ever picking up a check. It was there on Oct. 7, 1972, that Einhorn met Holly Maddux, a 5-foot-7 blonde, 110-pound former cheerleader and straight-A student from Tyler, Texas, who had the physique and grace of a ballerina. 

Friends and family wondered what the ethereal Holly saw in the unkempt Ein­horn, who at 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, resembled a fuzzy bowling ball. But the small-town girl from East Texas who came East to study at Bryn Mawr College had never met anybody like the Unicorn. Holly Maddux, her siblings said, was also naïve, and had never encountered evil before. 

And underneath his image as a fun-loving pacifist and tree hugger, Ira Einhorn was a serial abuser of women. As revealed in Steven Levy’s The Unicorn’s Secret, Einhorn choked one girlfriend until she passed out. And then he wrote in his jour­nal, “Violence always marks the end of a relationship.” He throttled another girl­friend and broke a Coke bottle over her head. And then he wrote in his journal, “To kill what you love when you can’t have it seems so natural.” 

Maddux lived with Einhorn for five years in an on-and-off relationship marked by mental and physical abuse. Then she made the fatal mistake of running away and moving in with a new boyfriend. Einhorn lured Maddux back to his apart­ment by threatening to throw all her belongings out on the street. He also talked her into going out on one last date. 

On Sept. 10, 1977, the couple saw Star Wars with some friends, and then Holly Maddux was never seen again alive. When a city detective visited Einhorn, he said that Maddux had simply gone out to the local food co-op for some tofu and sprouts and never came back. 

Holly Maddux’s parents, however, knew that Einhorn was abusive and had threatened their daughter with violence. The Madduxes also were upset with the attitude of local authorities, who treated their daughter’s disappearance as a missing-persons case. The Madduxes suspected foul play. So four months after their daughter disappeared, Fred and Elizabeth Maddux hired two former FBI agents to investigate.

The former FBI agents interviewed two onetime neighbors who had lived below Einhorn’s apartment and had complained to the landlord about a sicken­ing odor, and a thick, sticky brown stain on their ceiling. When roofers went up­stairs to investigate the source of the leak, Einhorn wouldn’t let them inspect a locked closet near his bedroom. One of the former neighbors also told the agents he had heard a “blood-curdling scream” as well as “several sharp thuds” the night Holly Maddux was last seen alive. 

The agents also found two sisters, who said that a few days after Maddux dis­appeared, Einhorn had asked them to help him dump a steamer trunk into the Schuylkill River. Einhorn claimed the trunk was filled with secret documents, but the sisters were suspicious, so they refused. 

The former FBI agents finally brought the evidence they had gathered in a year­long investigation to police. On March 28, 1979, the cops showed up at Einhorn’s apartment with a search warrant. They broke open Einhorn’s locked closet and found Maddux’s corpse in a steamer trunk buried under four inches of Styrofoam packing, old newspapers and plastic dry-cleaning bags. Holly Maddux’s jaw was broken, her skull fractured at least 10 times. After 18 months of decomposition, the body weighed only 37 pounds. 

“Hippie Guru’ Held in Trunk Murder” was the banner headline on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News. But the resourceful Einhorn told everybody it was the CIA or the KGB that killed Holly Maddux, and planted her body in his steamer trunk to frame him. They did it, the Unicorn said, because he simply knew too much about government mind-control programs and what he claimed was a worldwide conspiracy to cover up the existence of UFOs. Besides, Einhorn told his friends, would anybody as intelligent as the Unicorn be dumb enough to kill some­body and then stash the body in his own apartment? 

In the era of Watergate, when conspiracy theories were rampant, Einhorn was able to peddle his cockamamie story to many of the city’s influential types. Enough backers came forward to enable Einhorn to hire former Philadelphia District At­torney Arlen Specter, a future U.S. Senator, as his lawyer. Specter promptly got Einhorn’s bail reduced from $100,000 to a paltry $40,000. Barbara Bronfman, the socialite wife of Seagram’s heir Charles Bronfman, put up the bail deposit of $4,000. The Bronfmans were subscribers to Einhorn’s information network, and shared the Unicorn’s interest in the paranormal. 

But the future senator and the socialite weren’t the Unicorn’s only supporters. At Einhorn’s bail hearing, a parade of Philadelphia’s elite took turns extolling Einhorn’s virtues, insisting that he wasn’t a flight risk. A man of “excellent” char­acter, said a corporate attorney. “The highest level of integrity,” said an Ivy League lecturer. “A man of nonviolence,” added an Episcopalian minister. So many “upper­crust professionals” showed up to testify on Einhorn’s behalf, the newspapers said, that the judge didn’t have time to hear them all, so he simply asked all of Ira’s supporters to stand. 

Einhorn left them all hanging. On Jan. 14, 1981, two weeks before his murder trial was supposed to start, the Unicorn fled the country. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ira’s pals weren’t the least bit surprised. Einhorn had even told a reporter, Greg Walter of Philadelphia magazine, in a tape-recorded inter­view, “I’m not about to spend my life in jail. It’s as simple as that.” 

“The only ones caught unprepared by Einhorn’s disappearance,” the Inquirer reported in 1984, “were the legal system that allowed him to run free after posting $40,000 bail and the host of agencies that have been trying to find him ever since.” 

A Philadelphia jury convicted Einhorn in absentia of first-degree murder in 1993, and sentenced him to life in prison. He remained at large, successfully eluding Interpol, the FBI, and investigators from the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. 

Then, on June 13, 1997, Einhorn was sleeping in the nude inside his French cottage when he was arrested by a dozen gendarmes brandishing high-powered weapons. For the first time in 16 years, the world knew where the fugitive killer was hiding, and what he looked like. The old hippie had gone gray, whacked his pony­tail, trimmed his beard, and lost some weight. 

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On Nov. 18, 1997, a Federal Express delivery truck arrived at the Maison D’Arret Gradignan Jail in Bordeaux, where Einhorn was a guest. 
According to the terms of a U.S. international treaty with France, Beasley’s civil complaint against Einhorn had to be translated into French and served on Ein­horn.  

“I sent it FedEx,” Beasley told the Philadelphia Daily News. “He signed for it.” 

In the complaint, Beasley described Einhorn as “a vicious animal” whose “conduct was so malicious, outrageous, atrocious and so extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” 

“I think he envisioned him [Einhorn] as an animal who needed to be caged,” James J. McHugh Jr., then a Beasley associate, said. “It was almost as if he was prosecuting him.” 

Beasley also sent Einhorn 43 interrogatories, asking him to admit or deny in writing specific allegations that he murdered Maddux, as well as physically and mentally abused her. 

Although Einhorn signed for the papers, he did not reply to the interrogatories. Back in Philadelphia, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss entered a default judgment in the case, meaning that since there was no legal dispute, Beasley’s claims against Einhorn would be admitted in court as facts. “Even though he was in France, all he had to do was get a piece of paper and write ‘denied’ and fax that in,” Beasley told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He had an opportunity to respond to everything I sent to him. He was kept fully aware by me.” 

Beasley said he intended to try the case whether Einhorn showed up or not. “I don’t want him to make a mockery out of this family’s loss.” 

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Einhorn's wealthy new wife hired a team of lawyers to defend him. The lawyers creatively argued that the Unicorn was not some fugitive murderer, but a politi­cal prisoner who was the victim of a barbaric American human-rights atrocity. Since Einhorn didn’t attend his in absentia trial in Philadelphia, his lawyers pointed out, he didn’t have an opportunity to defend himself. Einhorn’s lawyers also noted that the European Convention on Human Rights opposed in-absentia trials. Einhorn, speaking in his own defense, rambled on in English for 15 minutes about Star Trek, and how he was framed by the CIA. Maybe it made more sense when an interpreter translated it into French. 

On Dec. 4, 1997, a three-judge French appeals panel decided that France did not recognize Einhorn’s in-absentia conviction, and after six months in a French jail, the Unicorn was a free man. Photographers snapped pictures of the gap-toothed Einhorn kissing his wife outside the courthouse; then the Einhorns drove back to their country estate to celebrate. 

Back in Philadelphia, District Attorney Lynne Abraham began work on a new attempt to extradite Einhorn. Pennsylvania’s General Assembly passed a law that legislators freely admitted would benefit only one man, Ira Einhorn. The new law promised that if Einhorn ever did return to Pennsylvania, he could petition the courts for a new trial. 

Meanwhile, Jim Beasley was still writing letters to the Unicorn. 

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“SEPTEMBER 2, 1998 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Maison de Guitry 
“France 16350 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 

“Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“As in the past, I am keeping you informed as to what is going on in your case — a case, as you know, where you are a central player. I am going to a pre-trial conference on October 26th at 9:45 a.m., in Courtroom 253, City Hall in Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania. 
“Do you have a travel agent who can make arrangements for your transportation here? If you want, I will try to make the necessary arrangements. Just let me know. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley” 

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Beasley wrote about 20 letters to Einhorn, all sent by Federal Express. Most of the letters were signed for by Einhorn, or Annika Flodin, the Swedish woman he married while on the lam. The letters were always about the same subject, the Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn, the civil case Beasley had filed on behalf of Holly Maddux’s brother, John, and sisters Meg, Buffy and Mary. 
The Maddux siblings carried a heavy burden. Their older sister had been brutally murdered more than 20 years ago, but her killer was still on an extended European holiday. 

Holly’s siblings blamed Einhorn not only for the death of their sister, but also for hastening the death of their parents. Fred Maddux, who always referred to Ein­horn as the “king of the pig people,” blamed himself for not saving his daughter, and he committed suicide in 1988; his wife, Elizabeth, passed away two years later. 

“My parents died thinking that Ira had beaten them,” Elisabeth “Buffy” Mad-dux Hall told a reporter. “Well, I want to go put some roses on my parents’ graves and tell them,‘We got the bastard.’” 

Holly’s three sisters flew to Philadelphia on the Labor Day weekend of 1997 from their respective homes in Texas, Seattle and Massachusetts. The Maddux sis­ters planned to interview a trio of Philadelphia lawyers, in hopes of talking one of them into pursuing a civil case against Einhorn.  The first lawyer they spoke with, however, said no, and the next two said they would have to think it over. 

“We didn’t have a clue” about what was involved in chasing Einhorn in the civil courts, Buffy Maddux Hall said in an interview for this book. All the Maddux fam­ily knew was that Einhorn had taken advantage of his newfound media celebrity to shop a proposal for a book and movie deal. 

“We were very discouraged” about the chances of stopping him, Hall said. The three Philadelphia lawyers that the Maddux sisters talked to all gave them the “pat on the head, sorry for your troubles” treatment, Hall said. They wouldn’t say why they weren’t interested in the case, but Hall said,“I’m sure it was cost-prohibitive.” 

Then, well after lunch, the Maddux sisters got a phone call from a friend who was still trying to recruit a Philadelphia lawyer.  The friend said that Jim Beasley, who had been flying his Mustang that morning, was on his way to his office and would meet the Maddux sisters in one hour. 

“He was quite the cowboy,” recalled Hall, a retired nurse and former quarter horse breeder from Ft. Worth, Texas. “He came in with the belt and the boots and the jeans.” Hall recalled thinking, “You were born in the wrong century.” 

Sit down, let’s talk, Beasley told the Maddux sisters. Tell me what you want to do. Hall was struck by how much the “ramrod-straight” Beasley reminded her of her father, a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper at Normandy who “could talk to anybody.” 

“Daddy would have loved this guy,” Hall remembered thinking to herself. “They would have gotten along like a house on fire. They were just the same kind of straight-shooting, no-bullshit, force-of-nature kind of guys.” 

Jim McHugh sat in on the meeting with the Maddux sisters. “It was an emo­tional situation,” McHugh recalled. The sisters described Holly as “the free spirit” of the family who was never replaced. At one point, Mary Maddux, the youngest sister, looked as if she was about to cry when Beasley reassured her with a pat on the arm. “He really was as soft as I can ever remember,” McHugh said. 
What happened next was why they called Beasley the people’s lawyer. He didn’t have to talk it over with anybody; he didn’t have to think about it for one more minute. 

Beasley told the Maddux sisters he was “personally offended” by Einhorn’s crime, and the stain it had left on Philadelphia. He would take the case, he said, and handle it personally. “We can’t pay you,” Hall cautioned. Don’t worry about that, Beasley said. 

We’re going after that SOB, Beasley said, and we’re going to spend whatever it takes to make sure “this monster” doesn’t profit from the murder of your sister. With any luck, he told the Maddux sisters, we’ll get that chateau in France. Over the weekend, Beasley’s lawyers began drafting a civil complaint against Ira Einhorn. 

“It still blows me away that anybody that big in the legal community would bother,” Hall said in an interview for this book. She wondered if the meeting with Beasley had been arranged in heaven. “We think it’s Daddy that lined up the appointment. We walked away from that meeting completely relieved because we knew we were in good hands.” 

“Our whole family adored Mr. Beasley,” added Margaret “Meg” Maddux Wake-man, a high school nurse from Seattle. “You could just tell that this man respected everything about human rights in the Constitution. And the fact that our sister’s human rights were trampled on did not sit right with him.” 

Whenever he wrote Einhorn, Beasley always copied all four of Holly’s siblings. The family looked forward to Beasley’s letters. “I was laughing my ass off,” Wakeman said. “It helped take the edge off the pain.” 

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“MARCH 19, 1999 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Maison de Guitry 
“France 16350 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 
“Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“Enclosed is a copy of the Notice of a Trial Scheduling Conference which I received from the Court. As you can see the conference is on April 20, 1999 at 
10:00 a.m. here in Philadelphia. “Your attendance would be appreciated. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley” 

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“APRIL 20, 1999 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Maison de Guitry 
“France 16350 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 
Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“I missed you at the Trial Management Conference, which was held today be­fore Judge Sandra Mazer Moss. 
“For your immediate information and to assist you in preparing for the up­coming trial, I am enclosing a copy of the Trial Management Order which was en­tered today. First, your case is scheduled to start trial at 9:30 a.m. on July l2, 1999. The jury selection for the July 12 trial date is July 9. . . . If you have any questions concerning the Order, please feel free to have a lawyer of your selection contact me, or you may contact me yourself, and I will help you in any way I can. 
“I hope to see you on July 9, 1999. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley” 

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“JUNE 30, 1999 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Maison de Guitry 
“France 16350 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 
“Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“Well as you know, the trial is rapidly approaching and we are to pick a jury on July 9, 1999…. If you have any exhibits that you feel are relevant to your defense, if you will let me know what they are we will make arrangements to have them marked as defense exhibits. “Of course, it goes without saying, if you have any questions do not hesitate to call or write. Hope to see you on the 9th, or the day that we select the jury. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley” 

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Back in Philadelphia, Jim McHugh kept track of all the FedEx delivery slips to Einhorn, to document that Beasley had kept him notified of every stage of the legal process. 

“We were surprised that knowing that the case was going forward against them, that they had the audacity to continue signing for” Beasley’s letters, McHugh said, as if it didn’t mean anything, “as if they were delivering chocolates.”

The correspondence between Beasley and the Unicorn also made an impression on the judge in the case. 
“I think he was a complete sociopath,” Judge Sandra Mazer Moss said of Ein­horn. “He was matching wits with him [Beasley]. He wasn’t afraid to sign for that stuff. He didn’t care.” 

When the case went to trial on July 26, 1999, the defense table in Judge Moss’s courtroom was empty. Einhorn didn’t show, and he didn’t send a lawyer, so the trial went on without objections or interruptions. The media, however, was well represented, so the Maddux family seized the opportunity to lob a few bombs at Einhorn. 

“This is a preemptive strike to prevent him from exploiting murdering my sis­ter,” Buffy Maddux Hall told the Inquirer. “We’ve been hearing rumors that he’s shopping his story around. We hear that his wife, Annika Flodin, is writing their love story. There is no way in hell he is going to profit from murdering my sister.” 

“We want to show you the suffering and pain for punitive damages,” Beasley told the jury in his opening statement, as he pointed to a large color 30-by- 40-inch blowup of Maddux’s battered, mummified skull. “You must know what Holly went through.” 

“We can legally attach any earnings of Einhorn or his wife. If he can spend it, we want it.” 

Beasley had the steamer trunk that served as Holly Maddux’s coffin brought into the courtroom and placed directly in front of the jury box. He asked former Philadelphia Detective Michael J. Chitwood, now the police chief of Portland, Maine, to take the stand. Chitwood took the jury back 20 years, when he first knocked on Einhorn’s door with a search warrant. Chitwood recalled that Einhorn wore a bathrobe when he came to the door. 

Chitwood told the jury that he used a crowbar to crack open a padlocked closet, after Einhorn told him he didn’t have the key.  Then Chitwood discovered a padlocked trunk and pried it open. “I saw a hand,” he told the jury. “It was mummified. I saw a blue flannel shirt. I went down to the elbow, then I stopped searching.” 

The wrinkled, leathery hand looked as if the victim had been trying to claw her way out of the trunk, Chitwood said. “She may have been placed in there alive.” 

Chitwood told the jury he turned to Einhorn and said, “Looks like we found Holly.” 

“You found what you found,” the former detective quoted Einhorn as saying. 

Beasley asked Chitwood to come down off the witness stand and open the trunk.What was it like, Beasley asked, to see the trunk again. “After all these years,” Chitwood said, “there’s still that faint smell of decomposition.” 

The dusty, battered trunk sat in the courtroom all day while Beasley tried the case. It was the first time the Maddux siblings had ever seen it. “I was 15 when they found her,” said Mary Maddux, a photographer, musician and artist from Stockbridge, Mass., in an interview for this book. “And so the fact that she was ba­sically buried alive was not something that was told to me.” 

Einhorn wasn’t in the courtroom to give an alibi, so Beasley played a videotape of an ABC News 20/20show from 1998, when Connie Chung had obtained an exclusive interview with the Unicorn. On the tape, Chung asked Einhorn who killed Holly Maddux. 

“As far as I can tell, one of the large intelligence agencies” did it, Einhorn replied. 

Beasley presented an actuarial report to the jury that assessed Maddux’s lost earning capacity as a result of her premature death. Holly Maddux was only 30 years old when she was murdered. She was the 1965 salutatorian from John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas, out of a class of 426 students, a straight-A student voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Her SAT scores were 722 Verbal, 624 Math. 

She attended language and art classes at Tyler Junior College in 1966, then transferred to Bryn Mawr College, where she graduated in 1971, majoring in lan­guages. She was an artist, dancer, and seamstress, and also held a brown belt in judo. Holly Maddux had aspirations of developing her own clothing line. If she had lived a normal life and retired at age 70, the actuary said, she would have earned $4.2 million in salary and fringe benefits. 

Beasley entered as an exhibit a 30-by- 40-inch black-and-white blowup of a photo of Maddux as a smiling high school cheerleader, doing a split. Other blowup ex­hibits were gruesome photos of the corpse as it lay in the steamer trunk, covered with Styrofoam packing, as well as close-ups of the mummified hand and skull. 

Beasley told the jury how Einhorn had struck Holly Maddux so many times that he had literally crushed her skull. Can you imagine, Beasley asked, the pain that Holy Maddux felt with the first blow? But that wasn’t enough for Einhorn, Beasley said. He had to hit her again and again and again. 

Beasley told the jury he wanted them to see how small the trunk was, and how Einhorn had to “distort the body” to stuff it into the trunk. Beasley talked about how “this man bludgeoned this woman to death,” and then he covered the body with Styrofoam and even went to the extent of putting three air fresheners in the trunk, because he knew the body would putrefy. 

“Within 10 feet of his bed lay the coffin of Holly Maddux,” Beasley told the jury. “What type of individual can spend 18 months within 10 feet of a corpse that he put in a trunk?” 
Beasley told the jury that Maddux was still alive when Einhorn put her in the trunk, and that her last breath was taken there. 

“Her mummified hand was reaching up, to push the lid, or perhaps she was reaching up to God for help,” Beasley told the jury. “And that moment, that must have been when death grabbed her. That must have been the moment that God took her.” 

He also pointed out to the jury that by keeping the body imprisoned in his apartment, Einhorn had also stolen from the victim “any dignity of a decent burial.” 

Because Einhorn had chosen not to dispute any of Beasley’s allegations, the jury did not have to determine guilt or innocence; all they had to do was assess damages. Beasley asked the jury to return a verdict “so substantial that it has meaning and gets attention around the world. You are going to announce to the world what you think of Ira Einhorn.” 

“He has mocked American justice,” Beasley said. “He took my requests for ad­missions and this complaint and he laughed, and he and his wife enjoyed a glass of wine.” 

“You can feel Holly Maddux in this courtroom,” Beasley said. “She is no longer silent. She has had an opportunity to let you look at her life and the horror of her death.” 

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After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury came back with a verdict that made the Maddux siblings gasp. It was the largest jury verdict ever handed down in Philadelphia: $155 million in compensatory damages, and $752 million in punitive damages, for a total of $907 million. 

“This verdict will be a shot heard around the world,” Buffy Maddux Hall told the Inquirer. “It’s a psychological blow to Ira. I hope it hurts.” 

The jurors appeared shaken as they left the courtroom.“It was very emotional,” jury foreman Don Wilent told the Philadelphia Daily News.“I just wanted to make sure I did the right thing. My conscience’s good. I can answer to God.” 

“Several [jurors] were crying,” Buffy Maddux  Hall told the Daily News.“Every­one shook our hands and hugged us. One of the jurors said there wasn’t enough money in the world to give us.” 

The judge also hugged the Maddux siblings. 

Reporters reached Einhorn at his home in Champagne-Mouton, but he de­clined comment. On a syndicated radio show in Washington, however, Einhorn said, “I’m not really interested in making money out of someone else’s misery.” 

Einhorn told the interviewer he would continue to fight extradition to the United States. “I was a superstar in Philadelphia with incredibly good press. Overnight, I was turned into a demon.” He vowed to stay in France and avoid his home country, where there’s been “a witch-hunt that’s been going on for 20 years against me. 

“I would also like to write a book,” Einhorn conceded on the radio show recorded before the verdict was announced. “That would be a very difficult thing to do because I can’t publish the book because of the civil suit that’s under way right now.” Once again, Einhorn declared that he was framed. “I’m innocent of the crime as charged. I will declare that until my dying breath.” 

Einhorn’s “dying breath” quote was replayed on Michael Smerconish’s radio show that afternoon. The in-studio guest, Jim Beasley, couldn’t believe it. 

“It’s just an incredible thing to say,” Beasley told Smerconish.“Innocent people don’t flee to foreign countries.” 

Smerconish asked Beasley what had attracted Maddux to Einhorn in the first place. 

“I think she found him intellectually attractive,” Beasley told Smerconish.“He cer­tainly wasn’t physically attractive. After he abused her, that attraction lost its charm.” 

Smerconish asked Beasley if Einhorn had any assets to go after. 

“Strangely enough, a man who’s supposed to be this bright has never worked a day in his life,” Beasley said, adding, “I doubt very much if he has any assets.” 

In the next morning’s Inquirer, Norris E. Gelman, the lawyer who defended Einhorn during his 1993 in-absentia murder trial, complained that the $907 mil­lion verdict was excessive. “More than the gross national product of many coun­tries,” the lawyer griped.“Even if he [Einhorn] were to get a job and make $50,000 a year, he would pay this off in 18,000 years. You figure the math out.” 

Beasley was interviewed that same morning on NBC’s Today show. “The size of the award was somewhat surprising,” Beasley admitted.“But I said upon reflection, it could just as easily be justified.” 

The Today Show wasn’t the only national media outlet pursuing the Unicorn. Russ Baker wrote a lengthy profile of Einhorn for Esquire’s December 1999 issue, which featured a nude photo of actress Sharon Stone on the cover and, inside, a nude photo of Ira Einhorn skinny-dipping in a stream near his French country retreat. 

Author Baker was at a fine French restaurant when he recorded Einhorn’s reaction to the Philadelphia verdict. A friend had treated Einhorn to an evening of champagne and foie gras and strawberries in cognac. After his belly was full, Einhorn scoffed at the jury award: 

Ira thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s ever heard, great material for after-dinner mischief. “I guess I’ll call Mom to ask her to lend me a billion,” he says, laughing. Then, in French, he pronounces it crazy: “C’est fou.” 

“It’s obscene,” Annika says. 

Ira and Annika clink glasses. “To a billion dollars!” Ira cackles. He shows all of his teeth and wails with laughter, a great, heartfelt fuck-you belly-laugh. 
As far as Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham was concerned, the verdict wasn’t high enough. 

“Given the arrogance of Einhorn and the fact that he literally stood naked in the pages of Esquire and thumbed his nose at everybody, especially the Maddux family, I thought that the harshest verdict possible in the civil court was the best verdict, so it could have been 10 trillion for all I cared,” Abraham said in an inter­view for this book. 

“It was well deserved after what he put that family through for 25 years,” said Abraham, who referred to Einhorn as a “condescending, self-aggrandizing publicity-seeking individual” who “deserved to get really whacked.” 

Beasley made sure the judgment against Einhorn was filed in compliance with international law, so it would be applicable around the world, Abraham said. The district attorney described Beasley as “Philadelphia’s version of the king of torts,” and said she was proud of him for taking on the civil case against Einhorn. Beasley did the case pro bono, and it cost him more than $20,000 in expenses. 

“Everybody needs to tilt at windmills,” Abraham said, before looking around her office for a favorite statue. “Where’s my Don Quixote that I got in Spain?” 

                                        *                                  *                                 *

The Maddux family had to wait until 2001 for all the appeals in France to be exhausted, before Einhorn could finally be extradited to the United States. Before it was over, District Attorney Abraham would have to buttonhole Presi­dent Clinton at a political fund-raiser, and convince him to personally intervene with French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. 

When Einhorn found out the French prime minister had finally signed the extradition order, he took a kitchen knife and, in front of reporters, sliced his throat. It was a bloody, but not life-threatening wound. His wife termed it a “political act.” 

On July 26, 2001, after 20 years of freedom, Einhorn was sitting in solitary confinement in a Pennsylvania jail cell when he received a first-class, certified letter from James E. Beasley: 
“Ira Einhorn 
“Number ES6859 
“C/o Graterford Prison 
“Graterford, PA 19426 
“Re: Estate of Helen Maddux v. Ira Einhorn 
“Dear Mr. Einhorn: 
“Welcome home. 
“Enclosed please find Interrogatories in aid of execution of the judgment of $923,732,217.46 against you (verdict plus interest). Please be advised that you are entitled to thirty days to respond to these questions which must be accompanied by the attached verification. 
“Please advise your present counsel of these documents. 
“Very truly yours, James E. Beasley” 

                                        *                                  *                                 *

Although he never got that book or movie deal, Ira Einhorn did get a new murder trial, and a chance to testify in his defense. Once again, he rambled on about conspiracies involving intelligence agencies. On Oct. 17, 2002, after 21/2 hours of deliberations, a Philadelphia jury convicted Einhorn of the first-degree murder of Holly Maddux. 
Einhorn served a life sentence at the State Correctional Institute in Houtz­dale, Pa., where he resided in a 12-foot-by-7-foot concrete cell. He wore a brown prison uniform and worked as a janitor on his cell block for a salary that varies between 19 and 42 cents an hour. 

The Maddux family spent two decades chasing Einhorn across two continents, and, according to Buffy Maddux Hall, not many people were sympathetic to their plight. Besides the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, Hall said, only Jim Beasley took notice of Holly as a person. 

“There was such validation for us because for the first time Holly was as important to somebody outside of the family as she was to us,” Hall said. “That was a huge thing for me. And Beasley did it on such a huge scale and he made it per­sonal. That’s something I’ll never forget, and I could have never have thanked him enough for, the validation that Holly was worth this effort.” 


  1. Your haunting in depth Profile of the Unicorn omitted a few salient issues which include that many people familiar with Ira questioned his sense of loyalty at a very early point in his climb for fame and notoriety.

    In his days hanging out with up and coming Celebrities and Future Media and Tech Tycoons, he befriended Steve Jobs and was an early booster of his burgeoning "black box" Enterprise which allowed users to circumvent the cost of long distance charges in application at Pay Phones. He parlayed that relationship with Jobs into a very close and beneficial consultant opportunity with Bell Telephone at the time.

    Many people in the Counter Culture knew Ira from his days as the Concession Manager of the Electric Factory where he sold and brokered a wide assortment of illegal drugs, most notably LSD in small to very large quantities.

    That may have been his earliest contact and relationship with then Narcotics Officer Michael Chitwood who was a daring and resourceful Police Officer who was most aware of Ira's Dealings and his Associations with various Crime Groups.

    His relationship with Notables that were named in your Profile such as Abbie Hoffman were questioned by many because of Hoffman's wild ride for Media Attention and the distinct recognition that Revolutionaries like many in the Weather Underground, Anti-War Activists like the Jesuit Berrigan Brothers, and Black Panthers, recognized that Ira was proven to be an informant who would trade others to save himself.

    Ira's close relationship with former DA Arlen Specter and his Partner Norris Gelman was considered by many in the Underground as a clear sign that there were pay backs for Ira's hidden contributions to the D.A. FBI and Police in taking down a lot of people in circles Ira gravitated towards.

    He was an evil and manipulative genius who was always comfortable on the Big Stage and there were many drawn to him who had no idea how cunning and ruthless he really was.

    Unfortunately for Holly, she learned the hard way and stayed around far too long.

  2. Einhorn is no different from Wolf and Levine who have put the state towards bankruptcy by shutting down all life-threatening businesses and throwing millions unemployed to combat the Coronavirus pandemic without consulting with finance and those with corporate ok leadership experience.

  3. It's Earth Day, when first celebrated on Belmont Plateau, I'm reminded of the Time when Ira took Command of the Stage just as Abbie Hoffman had done at Woodstock.

    Einhorn and Hoffman were part of a Nuclear Kernel who's Aim was to Disrupt Shake and Rattle the World.

    In the Generations that followed the Threat or Promise of World Wide Revolution was in the forecast and promised as we live Today in its Prophetic Aftermath.

    This Pandemic is the Product of a Vision to inject LSD into reservoirs to Change the Minds and Lives of the Population.

    Chemical and Biological Warfare has now advanced that Plan and we will see if Humanity is equipped to meet this Assault.


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