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Ira Einhorn Trial: 1993

An Abusive Relationship Leads To Murder

Einhorn met Helen "Holly" Maddux in October 1972. She was an intelligent, attractive, slightly built young woman of 25. Maddux had grown up in Tyler, Texas, and entered Bryn Mawr as a freshman in 1965. She experienced difficulty in adjusting to the profound differences between life at the elite eastern liberal arts college and that of her small east Texas hometown. She was drawn to the popular counterculture lifestyle of the late 1960s; her academic career suffered, and she did not complete her degree until 1971, at which time she apparently had very little idea of what she wanted to do with her life. She began living with Ira Einhorn in his modest apartment on Race Street in the Powelton neighborhood of Philadelphia soon after their first meeting. It was an open and uncommitted relationship, as befitted the lifestyle they had both adopted. There were several acrimonious separations over the next few years, followed by reconciliation. Mutual friends were aware that Einhorn was physically abusive of Maddux on occasions, but the relationship lasted for almost five years.

In the summer of 1977, however, it appeared that this relationship was about to end, or at least to undergo a significant change. Maddux had become involved with a man, Saul Lapidus, whom she had met on Fire Island a year earlier, and she was planning to move into an apartment of her own in Philadelphia. In September she returned to the city from a visit to Lapidus, and disappeared. Maddux's parents and her friends in Philadelphia became concerned when they heard nothing from her for several weeks. Einhorn told them the same story: she had been with him in September, but one day had gone out to buy some groceries and had not returned. A couple of days later she had called him and told him that she was alright, but he should not try to find her. She said she would call him regularly, but she had not done so. As more weeks went by, including the passage of several family birthdays, which previously Maddux had always remembered, Maddux's parents became increasingly disturbed. In early 1978 they hired a private investigator to try to find her. After more than a year of tracing her movements and interviewing neighbors and friends, the private detectives took their findings to the Philadelphia police, who then obtained a warrant to search Ira Einhorn's apartment at 3411 Race Street. There, on March 28, 1979, they found the decomposed and partially mummified body of Holly Maddux in a locked steamer trunk in a locked closet in the back porch of the apartment. Ira Einhorn was arrested at the scene and charged with murder later the same day.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Ira Einhorn Trial: 1993 - An Abusive Relationship Leads To Murder, Defendant Flees The Country, A Trial Without The Defendant Present