This page is point of reference for a growing list of documents on the life of Holly Maddux and the quest for justice on her behalf.

Version française

Holly's Gallery
Holly with her family
FAQ, (in English)FAQ, (in French)


Now in reprint, the exhaustively researched and still authoritative account of this case, The Unicorn's Secret by Steven Levy (now senior editor at Newsweek), first published in 1988.

News stories
Latest news (as of April 6th, 2000):

Theresa's Odyssey, to deliver 4,064 petitions to the French prime minister, to meet Jack Kevorkian who has come for Einhorn, and to visit Champagne-Mouton ...
An official of the prime minister's office after being informed about this affair: "Did she die of natural causes?"

The French minister of justice, Elisabeth Guigou, is reported to have signed the extradition order. This decision was likely taken in close consultation with the prime minister, and we might expect that he will make his own decision based on the same arguments.

Einhorn press conference, March 3, 2000 "Fighting extradition, Einhorn says he speaks for all on death row"

Petition pro extradition

La pétition d'Einhorn «Américain menacé d'extradition, condamné pour un meurtre qu'il nie, il bénéficie d'un fort comité de soutien.»

December 17, 1999 : Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has acted on a plea from Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham to urge the French government to move quickly in extraditing Ira Einhorn to stand trial on murder charges. The deputy press officer of the French Embassy in Washington, DC says: "U.S. officials have no right to say that the French government is in anyway contributing to Mr. Einhorn's status as a fugitive, ... It is a democracy in our country and everything possible under the law is being done to work with the United States in this matter."
Philadelphia Inquirer
E-mailing a Murderer

In France, Einhorn has few worries

The December issue of Esquire magazine has an article on Ira Einhorn, featuring an interview and a provocative nude picture of him
Philadelphia Daily News, November 12, 1999

The extradition dossier has been mislaid!
The Cour de Cassation, France's supreme court, ruled on May 27th that Einhorn may be returned to the United States to stand trial. Next the Prime Minister was to sign the order within two weeks, but now his office says they have no such file. If this act is ever done, then there is an appeal to the Conseil d'Etat. Meanwhile, Einhorn remains at liberty.

Lionel Jospin alerté, Sudouest, 23 septembre
Lettre au Premier Ministre, envoyée le 25 septembre en réponse à l'intervention de Me Delthil

Ira Einhorn loses a round in extradition appeal, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 28th

Radio interview brokered by Uri Geller, Einhorn blames all but self, Ph. Daily News

Ira Einhorn civil trial begins Law News Network
Einhorn jurors' grisly moment, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28th
Death-smell lingers in trunk where cops found body in '79, Philadelphia Daily News, July 28th
Jury awards Maddux family $907 million, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28th

On May 9 and 10, NBC aired a miniseries "The Hunt For the Unicorn Killer", based on the book by Steven Levy. This is a fictionalized account which, among other variances from the facts, presents an ambiguous image of Fred Maddux, the victim's father, as maybe a Nazi and/or KKK as well as gives the impression that Einhorn was a founder of Earth Day. See letter to NBC
Einhorn's tale on the tube Philadephia Daily News, May 7th
Family's mission for justice to air as TV movie, Seattle Times, May 9th

February 18, 1999: The request for extradition has been approved by the court in Bordeaux, on condition that Einhorn be allowed retrial and that the death penalty not be applied, conditions already assured. Cour de Cassation is next step (see above).

Burden of Proof, transcript of CNN program, February 26. Participants: Steven Levy, author, Meg Wakeman, sister of Holly Maddux, Mandy Deroche, comparative law professor, Jim Feinerman, and defense lawyer Kenny Robinson
What's going on?, Newsweek International, March 1, 1999
Einhorn lawyer Dominique Tricaud pins his client's hopes on a groundswell of support by the French people, goaded by an anti-American press and political rabble-rousers.
Dispute over killer sends Franco-Philly relations to new low, Philadelphia Daily News
anti-American sentiment blossomed among some French journalists covering the case
Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 19, contains the judges' comments: it is not for France to judge US constitutionality, the death penalty does not apply since the crime was committed before its reinstatement, and they saw no political character to the crime. The article also sketches the next procedures in what can be a two-year judicial odyssey.
Legal talk from the Inquirer (Feb. 19): preparing for a retrial, but how assure that Einhorn doesn't flee again?.
The strange case of Ira Einhorn nears its denouement, Time magazine, Feb 23 (a comprehensive article)

La France protÞge un meurtrier, VSD, 11-17 février, six pages sur l'affaire
Le Yankee des Charentes, traqué par un cadavre, Libération 18 février, 1999
Les derniers jours d'Ira, Journal du Dimanche, 14 février
L'extrade en suspens, Figaro (quotidien) 19 février
Attention ! Ces quatres articles contiennent des néfastes erreurs. VoirFAQ,

"A Plea to France ..." The International Herald Tribune, 14 Jan 1999, an authoritative article with comments on Le Vrai Journal
Le Monde, 12 janvier, dernière nouvelle de Bordeaux plus l'histoire en bref
French court delays Einhorn decision, Philadelphia Inquirer, 12 January

Le Vrai Journal, satirical/sensationalist TV program, translated to English, shows French press treatment of this affair
Newsweek, Dec. 14, 1998, The Wine Country Fugitive
Le quotidien Sud Ouest: rapport de l'audience, 2 décembre 1998
First report after the hearing, "judgement on January 12, 1999"
Statement from the real organizers of Earth Day
Their commentary in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Larry King Live, December 2, 1998 (transcript)

29 septembre 1998, L'ancien gourou New Age Ira Einhorn remis en liberté
en attente d'un décision le 1er décembre (AP)
Sept. 23, 1998: Awaiting a ruling, Einhorn seeks bail (Philadelphia Daily News)

Mar 98: French Supreme Court rejects appeal for extradition
Mar 98: Petition by US Attorneys General
Jan 98: Pennsylvania governor signs provision for Einhorn retrial

A comprehensive article: A Guru Goes Free by Steven Levy
from Newsweek International, December 15, 1997

Petition for Ira Einhorn, an unauthorized translation of a handbill circulated by Annika Flodin (Einhorn's wife)
Extraits du journal d'Ira Einhorn

see also

Background information on Ira Einhorn and his world

Time magazine, September 29, 1997:
The search for the Unicorn

Le Monde, 23 septembre 1997
La cavale d'Ira Einhorn, un ancien hippie que les Etats-Unis réclament
Le Monde, 6 décembre 1997
La cour d'appel de Bordeaux refuse l'extradition de l'ancien leader hippie Ira Einhorn
(et un court article de Libération du 5 décembre 1997)
Seattle Times, February 19, 1998
When men batter ... by Carey Quan Gelernter, Seattle Times staff reporter
The Elisabeth Freeman Center, a cutting edge organization on domestic violence, with a Holly Maddux initiative
A portrait of Einhorn, by Maralyn Lois Polak who knew him way back when

Crime-writer's version


These pages, and others to come, concern themselves with three themes:

We hope by this presentation to shed some light onto several important topics of discussion, that is: abusive treatment of women, gurus and sects on the Internet, and the workings of the judicial system in France.

Holly is the forgotten one in this drama, too easily dismissed as just another of those weak-ego groupies, like the ones who surrounded Charles Manson. In fact she was quite the opposite, an achiever, the oldest of four sisters and one brother who assumed the role of mother-surrogate. In her Tyler, Texas high school, she was salutatorian as well as cheerleader, that rare mixture of intellectual, artist and athlete that made her stand out, that led her from small-town conservatism into Philadelphia's Bryn Mawr College and the social turmoil of the 1970s.

With her healthy interest in the issues of the day, it was only natural that she became acquainted with activists of the Philadelphia scene. Many of us have had the experience of coming into this new social milieu, with our simple tail-wagging attitude, only to find that there is a nefarious underside to all this talk of peace and social justice. Holly had the misfortune in 1972 to meet Ira Einhorn who had become a celebrity by picking up on the counter-cultural issues and making himself a leading advocate. He touched on Holly's caring instinct and made her his servant.

Great men have often been described as difficult, especially toward their own family, and so Holly accepted what was in stark contrast to the dignity of her upbringing. Einhorn was endorsed and even idolized by the cream of Philadelphia's mainline and counter cultures, which encouraged Holly to accept this relationship. Nevertheless, she begin to see through it all and in 1977 made the final decision to break off the relation.

The Internet has no lack of visionaries like Ira Einhorn, though their words are lost in the cacaphony of forums, not given unmerited attention as Einhorn enjoyed from the 1970s radical-chic of Philadelphia. True, Einhorn made an impression on learned and respected thinkers with his avant garde ideas and knowledge of many things, derived from voracious reading. But a true visionary has a solid basis in reality and the technical knowledge to speak authoritatively.

The recent expansion of sects shows how seemingly well-educated young people can still fall under the spell of a person who expouses irrational ideas, leading them into a rejection of their existing human values. The guru must control the sensory input of his acolytes, else they won't follow his line of thought. But he himself falls victim to his own increasingly irrealist ideas. He acquires a sense of impunity which leads him to derive enjoyment from arbitrary and harmful treatment of those under his spell.

Einhorn revealed his limitations and lack of self-confidence by, for example, refusing an invitation for Holly and himself to visit France, where he would be dependent on Holly who spoke the language fluently, that he himself never acquired even after four years in the country - a great mark of shame for an intellectual.

Some insight into this person's sadistic nature are found in his personal notes, presented at

The French legal system became involved in this story as a result of the dogged efforts of the chief of extradition at the DA's office who finally traced Einhorn to this country. The extradition should have been a routine matter, except that Einhorn benefitted from the services of pricey lawyers who knew what buttons to push, those that would get to the French judges.

France prides itself for its written germano-roman law and the quasi-mystical republican values. They are typically contrasted with the values of the common law countries, notably the USA, which are alleged to be inferior and even barbaric. Since these two systems are coming more and more into conflict, it is worthwhile examining the differences.

See for a Newsweek article on the story up through the refusal on appeal of the extradition request. The French press gave very little coverage to the story, even though it involved important judicial principles, and they certainly didn't question the righteousness of the decision. The appeals judges considered only the argument that Einhorn would not normally get a retrial on return, thus supposedly in conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights. The governor of Pennsylvania has signed a bill permitting a retrial of Einhorn, but the French are not obliged to reconsider a decision of their appeals court. We will analyse this in more detail as documents become available and also examine the inconsistency with which France applies this Convention and its own Code of procedures. Note that France allows no appeal on the merits of a case if tried before the assises (jury trial), the one jurisdiction for serious crimes (though this may change). The French courts also allow behavior by prosecutors which would result in a mistrial if held in the USA. The absence of a written transcript (and the strict prohibition of recording) encourages aberrant proceedings.

If you wish to participate or at least be kept up to date, contact

Tips for writing a letter to your congressman

Return to Amgot home page