Petition for Ira Einhorn

opposing a demand by the USA for extradition from France for the murder of H*** M*****
Following is an unauthorized translation from French to English of a handbill circulated by Annika Flodin (Einhorn's wife) opposing the demand for his extradition. The original French text

 Various articles on this case and its current status

(original document printed JAN-20-1998 13:34)

computer-aided translation with post-editing by Roger Wiesenbach
Our comments are in italics

IRA EINHORN, AMERICAN CITIZEN, CONDEMNED IN 1993 IN ABSENTIA FOR MURDER TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT IN HIS COUNTRY, RISKS BEING RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES TO PURGE HIS SENTENCE WITHOUT THE RIGHT TO DEFEND HIMSELF. HE IS INCARCERATED AT THE PRISON OF GRADIGNAN, AND THE TRIBUNAL OF BORDEAUX IS EXAMINING AT THIS TIME THE DEMAND FOR EXTRADITION,

This first extradition request has since been rejected on the grounds that Einhorn would not be retried on return to the USA and that otherwise his legal rights as exist in France would not be respected under the US judicial system

Who is Ira EINHORN?

Born in 1940 to a Jewish family in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), gifted pupil then brilliant student in Literature, he abandoned his studies at the University of Philadelphia to join in the American dissent movement born in the early 1960s. He became one of the leaders of the American counter-culture, friend of Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, he militated against the war in Vietnam and organized peaceful demonstrations (Be-in's) the more famous of which was in 1967 at the Pentagon.

Einhorn has definitely inflated his role in these movements: though he could count Rubin as a friend, this was not so with Abbie Hoffman - whose widow describes Einhorn as only a passing acquaintance.

He participated in the creation of the Free University of Pennsylvania in 1964, taught English literature at Temple University in 1964 and 1965,

He was a part-time instructor of freshman English

as well as at Harvard (Institute of Politics, J.F. Kennedy School of Government).

A fellow for one semester, post not renewed.

Fervant ecologist, antinuclear militant, inventor and organizer in 1970 of Earth Day in Philadelphia,

The four genuine organizers of Earth day wrote a letter to Time magazine in 1997 explaining that Einhorn literally took over the podium that day and would not let anyone else speak (delaying a US Senator's speech) until forced to do so.

then of Sun Day,

He did organize a modest local event called Sun Day, while the body of his victim was decomposing in his closet.

he was also a social activist and served as mediator in conflicts of motorcyclists and revolts of bands of young blacks, and was comic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia in 1971.

At the same time, he developed a network of several hundred correspondants, a sort of Internet before its time, to which he freely provided weekly information on the future of the planet through the intermediary of Bell Pennsylvania and lavished his advice on futurology to different multinationals (AT&T, Seagram, Bell, etc). His friends and companions were Allan Ginsburg, Ed Mitchell (astronaut), Arthur Koestler, Peter Gabriel, Philip K Dick, Gene Roddenbery (Star Trek), Andrija Puharich, Jacques Vallee, Tom Kuhn, Al Toffler, Frank Herbert (Dune), and Bill Cashel (Vice President of AT&T).

Einhorn met or communicated with varied and illustrious persons, but he exaggerated his relationship with most of them. Some who were scholars but unfamiliar with a particular field were quite impressed with his erudition. Others who had expert knowledge welcomed this person who could popularize their work and pass around information. Many just idly scanned his postings - as we have learned to do with the noise on the Internet.

His centers of interest greatly exceeded the framework of hippy culture, society and its changes, spreading to the paranormal, telepathy, transmission of thoughts even to extraterrestrials, and he was enormously interested in the more obscure aspects of science and in particular the experiments of Nicola Tesla (Yugoslav, inventor of alternating current in the beginning of the century) and psychic and physical effects of electromagnetic waves at very low frequencies (ELF).

He has demonstrated a capability to talk about people and events, certainly part of any discussion of science, but the rigor and competence to analyse technical subjects is absent.

His network soon spread to 26 countries and beyond the iron curtain to the Soviet Union, very advanced at the time in this research. He participated in seminars for foundations and centers of research (Esalen Institute, Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies, Institute for the Study of Human Potential) where there would be off-beat scientists, moviemakers, artists and intellectuals as well as agents of the CIA who would make vain attempts at recruitment.

The significance of any (unsubstantiated) efforts at "recruitment" by any intelligence organisation, CIA or KGB, is debatable

This subject bothered the intelligence services of the two power blocs, which saw possible applications in psychotronic armament and mental manipulation. Several of his friends and correspondants of the period were victims of aggression or unexplained foul play.

His files, available under the freedom of information act, reveal nothing more than information on his early anti-war activities in the 60s. Nothing in the mostly declassified files of the CIA or KGB considered him worthy of attention. Many of the people with whom Einhorn had contact, including Puharich, dismissed the idea that Einhorn would be considered a CIA or KGB target. The fire in Puharich's house was apparently started by a former resident, nothing to do with government agencies. Puharich in his later years lived openly in North Carolina.

If there were really a conspiracy, Einhorn has had 20 years and the support of many well-placed friends to offer some basis for this allegation.

On 28 March 1979, the police found in his Philadelphia apartment the remains of his girlfriend, Helen Maddux, native of Tyler, Texas, where her father was a notorious pro-Nazi. The young woman had mysteriously disappeared 18 month earlier in September 1977, and Ira Einhorn was the last person known to have seen her alive.

Einhorn asked friends to investigate a "pro-Nazi" angle of Fred Maddux, who parachuted into France on D-Day. They found nothing.

For those who would like to think that there was some kind of plot, an error, an accident or an unfortunate and temporary loss of control on his part, the well-established trial testimony shows, first that the perpetrator inflicted many deep skull-crushing blows and then dumped the (perhaps still-living) girl into a steamer trunk in a grotesque manner that indicated no compassion for the fact that this was a human being.

This trial testimony revealed that, just after the victim's disappearance, Einhorn tried to get help to dump the trunk into the river, that he thereafter refused to let anyone approach the enclosed porch and closet from which the foul odor emanated. He continued with his carefree manner, showing no signs of being haunted by this act.

There were two previous incidents in which he gravely assaulted girls, see Phillynews (search for "Bennington"). He then wrote lyrically about this in his diary, drawing upon his extensive readings in nietzschean-type philosophy, implying that he was entitled to this behavior. Extraits of his diary, translated to French

 An investigation led by two private detectives, ex-agents of the FBI, paid by the family of the missing, led to the arrest.

In order to get the search warrent, Philadelphia police painstakingly reproduced the research in the detective report, as was their duty when presented with evidence of a murder.

Immediately placed in detention and liberated on bail several days later, Einhorn denied having done it, affirming that he was victim of a plot aimed at his social, professional and intellectual elimination and to the annihilation of 20 years' work. He maintained that the trunk in which the body had been found contained confidential soviet documents on psychotronic armaments and refused to let his two successive attorneys plead guilty.

From this day Einhorn became the object of a hysterical media coverage that eclipsed even the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island which occurred the same day. The manipulation of the media transformed the recognized and appreciated citizen into a demon.

There was local reporting of the crime when he was first arrested in 1979, but no more than any other horrendous murder. There was no publicity again until he fled in 1981 and hardly any until he was captured sixteen years later. Actually, the treatment he received was quite favorable considering the strong evidence against him. His bail was incredibly low. His friends, ignoring the strength of the evidence, gave him the benefit of the doubt, and believed him when he told them that the truth would come out in court. He was represented by the former Phila DA (soon to become a US senator). He was hardly monitored during this bail period, no limitations on his travel.

With the odds of obtaining an equitable trial dwindling as the trial neared, where favorable evidence was systematically neglected or hidden, and fearing for his life (the death penalty was re-established in 1978), in January 1981 Ira Einhorn left the USA for Europe some weeks before the trial date.

At no time was he in danger of the death penalty nor was there any future risk, facts fully known by him.

In 1988, an American journalist wrote a book on Ira Einhorn considering only his guilt, illegally using 63 volumes of his diaries seized by the police at the same time as all his personal papers.

Steven Levy began his book "The Unicorn's Secret" with an open mind. But after 30 months of research and talking with hundreds of people, it became evident there was no mystery but only the case of a violent person reacting when someone rejected him. Einhorn's own diaries, consulted legally by Levy (and by some of Einhorn's former friends who saw them before seizure by the police), reveal this violent streak.

Since his departure from the USA, deprived of public activities, Ira Einhorn has devoted himself to literature. He has written four novels, one a philosophical novel on the Holocaust and the suppression of memories, to which he devoted six years of research. None have been published because of clandestinity, and his arrest has interrupted the writing of a fifth book.

He had one book of dadaesque ramblings published in the 1970s, a flop.

An event extremely rare in the USA, Ira Einhorn was judged in absentia in 1993 at Philadelphia, recognized as guilty of murder and condemned to life imprisonment. His absence has lost him all right of appeal.

Eight other states have trials in absentia. In 1998 the Pennsylvania law was changed allowing a new trial. Note that there is a vital difference between a US trial in absentia which follows fully the rules of procedure as in a normal trial and a French trial par contumace, where the mere absence of the accused is taken as confession of guilt, where there is no jury and no hearing of witnesses or defense which case obviously calls for a retrial. France is known to refuse retrial after such a conviction 'par contumace'.

After a manhunt of 16 years, Einhorn was found by Interpol in June 1997, in France where he lived the last four and a half years with his Swedish wife, Annika Flodin, who has shared his life for nine and a half years in Sweden, Great Britain and then in France.

He is currently incarcerated at the prison of Gradignan as a result of a demand for extradition by the American authorities that is presently being examined by the Tribunal of Bordeaux.

After being liberated in December 1997 (the first extradition demand being rejected) he was rearrested on September 22, 1998 and then freed a week later pending a hearing on December 1, 1998. A judgement was scheduled for January 12, 1999 but the court postponed it to February 18 without giving any reason, thus inconveniencing all those who had travelled from afar.  See the main Einhorn page for the latest news (the extradition demand was finally accepted, the Cour de Cassation rejected Einhorn's appeal, and the Prime Minister has finally signed the decree for extradition).

If Ira Einhorn were extradited, he would pass the rest of his days in prison, without possibility of parole or appeal. By contrast, French law grants a new trial to those who have been convicted in absentia. All avenues of redress being exhausted in the USA, the condemnation to prison for life is applicable immediately and in its totality.

Although a fugitive forfeits his right of appeal, he can file to have it reinstated. This is usually granted.

Without prejudging the culpability or the innocence of Ira Einhorn and considering the breach of fundamental human rights for an equitable trial and elementary rights of defense, we ask the French justice to refuse the demand for extradition presented by the American authorities

A simple examination of the case shows that Einhorn has benefitted from full respect of his rights by any standard, US or French.

COMMITTEE OF SUPPORT AGAINST THE EXTRADITION OF IRA EINHORN

Annika FLODIN:
Moulin de Guitry,
Champagne-Mouton 16350
Tel & Fax: O5 45 30 01 05

His attorney in Paris is Me Dominique TRICAUD.
Tel: 01 40 64 00 25 Fax: 01 42 79 84 14
His attorney at Bordeaux is Me Dominique DELTHIL.
Tel: 05 56 44 44 51
 

end of translated text


1997 1980s

FAQ (in French)
Einhorn main page
Amgot home page