The Hippie Killer

We use the expression “getting away with murder” liberally these days, but there is one man I know who murdered his girlfriend, is living high in a French villa, and no one in the world can bring him to justice. His name is Ira Einhorn. I knew Ira well years back when we were both “famous long ago,” as the saying goes. And there is no one who wants him brought to justice more than me.

Ira’s story was highlighted last week (July 6) on A&E’s Investigate Reports, which profiled him as “The Hippie Killer.” But my own story with Ira goes back to 1967 when I first met him, through 1972 when I last saw him and his beautiful but fated girlfriend, Holly Maddux.

Ira was the hippie guru in Philadelphia, where I published an underground newspaper for 10 years. Many of Ira’s fantastic screeds appeared in the newspaper, and we became friends. Ira possessed shoulder-length hair, a long beard, piercing baby-blue eyes, and a charm that was unrivaled.

But there was always something wrong with Ira. He collected beautiful, rich women (usually blondes) whom he insisted wait on him and pay his bills. He treated them as house servants. Years later, I recalled that he never looked at females when he talked or allowed them to express an opinion. My wife, and other female friends, quickly turned off to him and urged me to stay away.

In 1978, 18 months after Holly disappeared, police broke into Ira’s apartment and found her mummified body stuffed into a trunk on his back porch. Yet, such was the power of his charm that he was represented at his bail hearing by current U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and was released on a mere $4,000 bail — despite the brutality of the crime and the overwhelming evidence against him.

Ira promptly skipped bail and left the country. When he was finally tracked down by an international community of justice, he was living in France, married to — what else? — a beautiful, rich woman named Anika Flodin. Yet, France refused to extradite him back to the U.S. Today, Ira lives free.

The A&E show brought me back to a dinner at Ira’s house many years ago. There were four of us at the table — besides me and Ira, there was Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman (the pride of Worcester, Mass.) and his wannabe, Jerry Rubin.

I remember thinking that I was indeed in elite company. Abbie and Jerry had just become famous for creating pandemonium on the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills off the balcony. Abbie’s “Steal This Book” was on the bestsellers’ list. Jerry had just done a turn on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Ira was the power broker in the middle. And me? Who was I?

But how ironic is life. Today, Abbie is dead of his own hand, having died a destitute drug addict in a rented house in New Hope, Pa. Jerry tried to make the transition to the same Wall Street he had ridiculed years earlier, but he died in his 40s of a heart attack. Ira is wanted on a murder warrant, disgraced and unable to return to his homeland.

And me? I’m living in a great waterside community, with a wonderful family, and a job that I love. Not exactly the stuff of fantasy, but it’ll do.

For, who, I thought, is the successful one now?

(note: Since this article was written Ira Einhorn has been extradited and is now serving a life sentence for murder.)

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