FAQ on the Einhorn case
Questions and answers
The French press has too often presented Einhorn as a hero of the
people, chased with frenzy by the CIA and FBI, evidently for raisons
d'Etat. The convincing proofs of his guilt are ignored.
Our first goal is to counter these myths.
to press articles on the affair.
This document is found on the l'Internet at http://www.amgot.org/einhorn/einfaqe.htm
(revised August 5th, 2001)
Questions and responses:
What are the proofs that Ira Einhorn committed this murder ?
- The corpse was found by the local police in a trunk stashed
away in a closet in Einhorn's apartment 18 months after her disappearance.
The police search followed an intensive report compiled by two private
investigators hired by her family.
- In the months following her disappearance, neighbors and
vistors noticed a vile odor and a brown liquid emanating from the closet,
but they finally assumed it was something like a squirrel.
- Einhorn tried without success to obtain help in throwing the
trunk into a river. He then refused to let anyone approach the porch
containing the closet and trunk.
- A coronary examination confirmed definitively the presence of
a corpse well before its discovery, thus disproving the assertion of Einhorn
that there was a plot in which the corpse had been recently planted.
- Einhorn expressed no surprise or explanation at the time.
- Einhorn has had a score of years and access to well-placed persons
as well as the opening of governmental archives, both East and West, to
support his allegations of a conspiracy.
- To dissuade anyone that it involved an error, an accident, or
an unfortunate and untypical loss of control, it must be said that the
murderer struck many times with great force using an instrument which caused
fragments of the skull to penetrate the brain. He then dumped the
(perhaps still living) young lady into the truck in a grotesque position,
not considering this as a human being.
Does Einhorn risk the death penalty?
- No, never, and he knows it. The crime was committed in 1977, before
the reinstatement of the DP which is obviously not retroactive. Furthermore,
the DP does not apply to this category of crime.
Is there a question of the Rights of Man?
- Actually no. The European Convention on Human Rights says nothing
about the obligation of a new trial after one in absentia as practiced
in the USA, where all the principles of a normal trial are respected.
On the other hand, the French procedure par contumace considers the absence
of the suspect as a confession of guilt and is tried without benefit of
jury, no hearing of witnesses or defense. Naturally, Article 6 of
the ECHR would require in this latter case that after capture there be
a new and proper trial.
Is Einhorn pursued zealously by US authorities?
- No! Einhorn got only the attention which is normal in a murder
case, but he benefited from a very generous bail condition which allowed
him to travel even outside the country.
- The FBI and federal officers were very negligent in pursuing
him after he skipped bail.
- Those who know of his activites don't consider them meriting
the attention of intelligence services.
Was Einhorn a leader of the hippie and anti-war movements?
Was he the "inventor of Earth Day"?
- Einhorn attracted much attention in 1960s Philadelphia, far from
the centers of counter-culture, by his weird behaviour. Serious activists
shunned him, not wanting him to appropriate the glory for their projects.
During Philadelphia's Earth Day, an event organized in all the large cities,
the MC allowed him the mike to announce the poet Allan Guinsberg, but he
then hogged the mike, apparently hoping to be seen during the televised
Statement by the real organizers of Earth Day.
- He then used this fame to develop contacts in the world of
movers and shakers.
Could he have been framed because of his anti-war activities?
- The Vietnam war ended in 1975 and the murder was discovered in 1979.
At that time Einhorn was ingratiating himself with the Philadelphia establishment
and by no means agitating against any vested interests. Besides, his past role in
protests was quite minor and limited to Philadelphia.
Was Einhorn a professor at Harvard?
- No! He was a teaching fellow for one semester when the
univerity wanted to introduce its young gentlemen to the world of counter-culture.
His contract was not renewed.
Is he a published author?
- He got published in 1974 a dadaesque book exploiting his counter-cultural
fame. It was a flop. Editors have found his other manuscripts
unpublishable. He claims now to have completed five books but has shown no
evidence of any but the first - he's known as a procastinator (as is shown by his
failure to get rid of the corpse)
Is he a "gentle pacifist"
- He is very appealing to those who might give him recognition,
but with others he can be very abusive, as his wife knows full well.
He committed to his diary sadistic and Nietzschean fantasies at the time
he attacked and nearly killed two young women previous to this act.
Recently he suggested that these were just innocent extracts from Oscar
Wilde, but his words reveal otherwise. See
(search for Bennington).
Short notes (prompted by errors in the French press)
- The law permitting a new trial was voted by the State of Pennsylvania
in 1997-1998, not by the US Senate in Washington, DC.
- The District Attorney, Lynn Abrahams, is not a zealot for the
death penalty. Rather, she just enforces the law with vigor.
- The crime was committed in September 1977, the corpse discovered
in March 1979, a trial was set for 1981 but Einhorn skipped bail before
- A full-scale trial in absentia was finally held in 1993 to
assure that enough witnesses would still be available, and Einhorn was
condemned to life imprisonment.
- In June of 1997 Einhorn was traced to a village in France, a
first request for extradition was refused in 1997-1998 on grounds that
he wouldn't get a retrial. A law was amended in Pennsylvania to permit
such retrial, and a second request for extradition was filed in July 1998,
pleaded in December 1998, favorable decision rendered in February 1999.
The Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court) refused Einhorn's plea in May of
1999 and the prime minister Jospin finally signed the extradition order in July of 2000.
remained at liberty, a very unusual privilege even by French
In July of 2001, after rejection of his appeal to the Conseil d'Etat and refusal of the
European Court of Human Rights to take the case, he was extradited to the USA.
- The State of Pennsylvania doesn't use the electric chair, as
asserted by Einhorn. Rather it is death by injection.
- The American press is not significantly manipulated by fundamentalists
and puritans nor is it controlled by the State.
- The reward of $25,000 offered by a TV program is not meant for
bounty hunter-killers. Talk of a posse is not serious. The
producer of this program, "America's Most Wanted', started the show after
his son was killed, and it is directed to a reponsible audience.
It so happened that a Swedish lady saw the show and alerted a family member
in Sweden who then obtained police information that located the couple
in the Charente region of France.
- None of the persons connected with the effort to do justice
have advocated extralegal measures or a boycott of French products.
They wish only that France apply scrupulously its own laws and procedures.
- Americans don't generally have an aesthetic attitude toward
philosophers and artists who practice abuse and murder of young ladies.
Thus they don't see this as a crime de passion (it having been preplanned)
deserving no more than a slap on the hand.
Present your own questions and comments to Contact
For an exhaustively researched account of this case, read
Unicorn's Secret, by Steven Levy, first published in 1988, now in reprint.
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