PHILADELPHIA — After 20 years as a fugitive in Europe, ex-hippie guru Ira Einhorn returned to the United States in handcuffs today and entered a prison cell where the convicted murderer will await a new trial in the 1977 bludgeoning death of his girlfriend Holly Maddux.
The goateed 61-year-old radical, who once hobnobbed with 1960s luminaries including Abbie Hoffman, stepped uneasily down the gangway of a U.S. government-chartered jet shortly after 4 a.m. EDT at Philadelphia International Airport. He walked tensely to a waiting U.S. Marshal Service squad car wearing a blue bullet-proof vest.
"Justice for Holly Maddux!" a passer-by shouted angrily as Einhorn — still wearing a white bandage around his neck after slashing his throat last week — approached the vehicle before being whisked away in a police motorcade.
He was taken to Graterford state prison, a maximum security facility 25 miles from Philadelphia.
Einhorn, who claims he was framed by the CIA because of his anti-war activities, disappeared just before he was scheduled to go to trial in 1981. He was discovered living in France with his Swedish-born wife Annika only four years ago.
A Philadelphia jury convicted him in absentia in 1993 and sentenced him to life in prison on charges that he murdered Maddux and stuffed her body into a trunk in his apartment, where it remained until police discovered it 18 months later.
U.S. officials were able to persuade France to extradite him only after Pennsylvania passed a law allowing him to have a new trial.
The Maddux family reacted to the extradition with elation. "Yes! In your face, Ira!" Buffy Hall, a sister of the slain woman, said in an interview with a Philadelphia television station. Maddux's three sisters and brother, frustrated by the four-year extradition battle, took Einhorn to court in a 1999 civil suit and won a $937 million verdict to prevent him from profiting on the story of his life.