A former hippie guru who hid out in Europe after murdering his ex-girlfriend 29 years ago has lost an appeal of his murder conviction.
A three-judge Superior Court panel rejected all 10 issues raised by Ira Einhorn, 66, who is serving life in prison without parole for the murder of Holly Maddux.
Einhorn, who spent nearly 17 years on the run in Europe, was convicted in absentia at an earlier trial but was granted a new one after he was caught in France.
He argued in his appeal that the Philadelphia judge who presided at his 2002 trial wrongly allowed prosecutors to show he abused other women; failed to sequester jurors; and refused to grant his wife immunity or allow her to testify by videotape from Europe.
“The trial court was well within its discretion to admit evidence of Einhorn’s past violence against women in order for the prosecution to prove a common scheme,” the Superior Court said in addressing the first issue. The unanimous ruling was issued late Tuesday.
Einhorn’s wife, Swedish-born Annika Flodin, declined to come to the U.S. to testify, fearing she might be arrested for aiding a fugitive. They had married while Einhorn was on the run.
Friends and family members testified that Maddux, 30, had been planning to leave Einhorn before she disappeared in 1977. Her mummified remains were found 18 months later in a locked steamer trunk in the West Philadelphia apartment they shared.
“For the sake of Holly Maddux and her family, we are very pleased by the court’s decision to reject Ira Einhorn’s appeal,” Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said Wednesday. “We are determined to counter any effort that he might make.”