Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ira Einhorn: The Unicorn Killer

Justice at Last

By Rachael Bell

Joel Rosen
Joel Rosen

During the prosecution's opening statements in September 2002, Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen told jurors that that he had "the smoking gun" that he believed would prove Einhorn's guilt. Moreover, he "promised to show jurors the trunk which contained Maddux' body, describing it as the "most powerful" physical evidence you could possibly have in a case, United Press International reported. The evidence proved to be very powerful indeed.

Helen 'Holly' Maddux
Helen 'Holly' Maddux

That December, the prosecution followed through on their promise when they presented to jurors huge photographs depicting the trunk where Maddux' mummified remains were found. The trunk had been surrounded by foam pellets and newspaper dated from September 15, 1977. It was clear she was stuffed into the chest soon after death because her body was frozen in a position that fit its contours. Moreover, the dated newspapers further supported his theory, which were dated just four days after she was last seen alive.

Ira Einhorn, recent
Ira Einhorn, recent

Some former friends of Maddux' also gave evidence at the trial. They testified "about the telltale marks and bruises they observed on their friend in the years before she vanished in 1977," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The prosecution suggested that Einhorn was not only abusive on a regular basis but turned murderous shortly after he learned that Maddux met another man, which was believed to have been the primary motive. Afterwards, they further suggested that he tried to cover his tracks by hiding her body and when his crime was discovered he fled not out of fear but because of guilt.

The evidence against Einhorn was just too strong and he knew it. So did the jury, who found him guilty of first-degree murder in December 2002. Einhorn's story, which primarily blamed the government for framing him because of psychic control research he conducted in the 1960s, just didn't hold water.

Maddux' siblings were pleasantly surprised about the jury's decision, especially after fighting so hard to get Einhorn extradited to America after fleeing to Europe some 20 years earlier. Their happiness was further compounded when they learned that he would be sentenced to life in prison with out the possibility of parole. His new home in Houtzdale Prison will undoubtedly be a stark contrast to that which he was living while on the lam in France.

 

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