Facsimile Release

(For immediate Release)

Date: November 27, 1998

From: Meg Wakeman 206 783 4824 (voice)

To: Interested members of the Press

Subject: Important New Information about Ira Einhorn, accused murderer of my sister, Holly Maddux, and the fiction he created about his involvement in the first Earth Day.

Background:

Like most of the national and international media, you have probably carried one or more stories in recent months about the "hippie guru," Ira Einhorn, the recently captured fugitive who fled the United States twenty years ago after being indicted for the murder of my sister, Holly Maddux, and who was convicted of this crime five years ago by a Philadelphia jury. You probably also carried a story reporting that after Einhorn was apprehended in 1997 in France, authorities there refused to extradite him to the U.S. on the basis that the French disapproved of the fact that Einhorn had been tried in absentia. You may also know that the Pennsylvania legislature recently passed a law that provides that Einhorn can get a new trial if he is returned to the U.S. and that the Court in Bordeaux is going to hold a hearing next week to reconsider whether to extradite Einhorn in light of the new law. Finally, like many other members of the Philadelphia and national press, you may have stated or implied as part of your background information about Einhorn in your previous coverage that he had been an organizer or even "the organizer" of the first Earth Day in Philadelphia in 1970. That claim is false.

New Information:

Attached is a letter, which unequivocally asserts that Einhorn was not one of the organizers of Earth Day in 1970, which I just received from nine former members of the Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia, the group that actually did organize that historic event in 1970.

When my sister announced over twenty years ago that she was going to bring her boyfriend to dinner with my family in Tyler, Texas, she introduced Einhorn as the organizer of the first Earth Day, an assertion Einhorn did not contradict in our presence, but one about which Holly had no personal knowledge. It is no secret that my family reacted very negatively to Einhorn. My parents, in particular, thought Einhorn was a fraud and did not believe, among other things, the Earth Day story, but at that time they had no information to the contrary.

My family and I believe that this self-serving "do-gooder" fiction about Einhorn’s and the first Earth Day, which he successfully perpetrated about himself, probably also played a role in convincing many respected Philadelphians to support Einhorn’s release on bail twenty years ago. We are also concerned that it may even be playing some role now as the French authorities reconsider whether to extradite him. Therefore, when my family and I travel to France next week to attend the December 1st extradition hearing, we will provide the French authorities and the French press copies of the attached letter. For more information call Ed Furia, 425 688 1216 or Austan Librach, 512 451 7171.

 

November 27, 1998  

©1970 Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia

To whom it may concern:

We are former members of the original 1970 Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia. Our group, which was made up of 33 members and 92 sponsors, organized the first Earth Day and Earth Week in Philadelphia. We were inspired to undertake this activity because of a speech that was given in 1969 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day. His idea was implemented not only in Philadelphia, but also in thousands of communities across America in 1970. This was an event designed to publicize the environmental problems that our society was facing as well as the means to address those problems. Philadelphia’s Earth Week in 1970 is widely viewed as having been the most successful such event in the country, having involved world famous scientists, educators, business people, political leaders, and most importantly, thousands and thousands of ordinary people. We are proud to say that Earth Day in Philadelphia effectively focused attention on environmental problems in a very positive way and contributed to the groundswell of public concern that led to the passage of the landmark environmental legislation of the 1970’s.

Much to our dismay, we now find that the self-styled hippie guru and alleged murderer of Holly Maddux, Ira Einhorn, has been taking credit for initiating and/or organizing Earth Day. He is not telling the truth. A group of very dedicated young people worked very hard to organize Earth Day, but Einhorn was not one of them. In fact, Einhorn was asked to leave several meetings of the organizing committee which he attempted to disrupt. He was not welcome there, nor did he contribute in any material way to the committee’s activities. Einhorn, given a small role on the stage at Earth Day, grabbed the microphone and refused to give up the podium for thirty minutes, thinking he would get some free television publicity. We just waited until he had completed his "act" and then got on to the serious business at hand, the keynote speech of U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie, author of the landmark U.S. Clean Air Act of 1970.

Again, Ira Einhorn’s claims that he was a founder or organizer of Earth Day are false. He is a fraud. His lies do a real disservice to those of us who were and are deeply concerned about our planet’s environmental problems and who have worked hard to solve them.

Yours truly,

Edward W. Furia

Project Director of Earth Day and Earth Week, Philadelphia, 1970

Austan S. Librach

Chairman, Earth Week Committee of Philadelphia, 1970

Dr. Nicholas Zill,

Chairman, Technical Symposia, Earth Week, Phila., 1970

Phil Simkin,

Director of Exhibits, Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970
 

Dennis E. Gale,

Earth Day Arrangements, Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970

Terry Hubka,

Public Symposia, Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970

John Higgins,

City Planning Commission Liaison, Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970

Elliott Curson,

Director of Advertising, Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970

Donald L. Nathanson, MD

Consultant to Earth Week Committee, Phila., 1970

For more information, call 425 688 1216 or 512 451 7171.

This letter is also reproduced in the Opinions column of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Return to Einhorn main page