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Welcome Back, Einhorn By: Michael Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 21, 2002

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out...

Given the gruesome details of his girlfriend’s murder, what dreams they must have been. Now I know what happened to the brown acid at Woodstock.

Ira Einhorn was convicted in Philadelphia on Thursday for that murder and sentenced to life without parole. He originally was sentenced to death. However, in order to have him extradited from France, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was required to pass a law making the death penalty inapplicable to Einhorn. The commonwealth was required to grant a new trial as well.

Ira Einhorn was a member of the counterculture pantheon. He was a founder of the environmentalist movement. He was an icon of the liberal intelligentsia.

However, Einhorn is also the poster boy for domestic violence. He was convicted of killing his girlfriend in 1977, stuffing her body into a steamer trunk, and keeping the trunk in a locked closet for eighteen months, before police discovered it in 1979.

At the bail hearing Einhorn was praised by a contingent of luminaries-all testifying to his character. Ivy league professors, an Episcopalian minister, corporate executives who worked with Einhorn raising funds, all stated under oath that he was of the greatest integrity.

Arlen Specter, currently Pennsylvania’s senior United States Senator, was Einhorn’s attorney. Somehow, he managed to get bail for the suspected murderer. Barbara Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, paid his bail.

Proclaiming his innocence, Einhorn told all that he was framed. It was the CIA or the FBI who committed the murder and they were trying to frame him for it because of his political activities. Some will note that another notorious Philadelphia murderer, Mumia Abu Jamal, used this defense a few years later. Like Mumia, Einhorn has no shortage of leftist followers.

So certain was Einhorn of his innocence, he left Philadelphia in 1981, before the trial. More than a decade passed when, unable to locate him, the DA’s office tried Einhorn in absentia. He was convicted in 1993.

Several years after the absentia conviction,in 1997, Einhorn was located, living in France with a new girlfriend-a Swedish woman. The District Attorney’s office in Philadelphia immediately asked to have him extradited. However, the humanistic French refused to extradite Einhorn. French officals cited the use of capital punishment in Pennsylvania and the conviction in absentia as reasons for their refusal. Of course, the compassionate French legal system is the Napoleonic Code that considers the accused guilty until proven innocent.

Einhorn’s cadre of lawyers, and patrons cleverly manipulated the French legal system. One can only guess how Einhorn managed to pay for all of this. For that matter, how was he able to finance his lifestyle-he lived in a house valued at $90,000? The Philadelphia Daily News reported in 1997 that the distillery heiress Bronfman was one of his financiers. However, while Bronfman admitting sending him money initially, she no longer did.

Einhorn was able to convince the French courts not to extradite him until he received the promise of a new trial. A Pennsylvania legislator, Dan O’Brien, introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that allowed granting Einhorn a new trial, if he asked for it, and if the French extradited him. The bill did not vacate the original verdict.

The France began extradition. Einhorn’s representatives requested the European Court of Human Rights to review the case. Einhorn’s request was not granted.

There are two ironies about the Einhorn saga. One is that the judge in the case said of Einhorn, "I think that the testimony has adequately demonstrated to my satisfaction that this particular defendant was - in the most complimentary terms that I can come up with - someone I would call an intellectual dilettante who preyed on the uninitiated, uninformed, unsuspecting and inexperienced people," Mazzola said.

I have often said that liberals are the self-righteous, led by the self-important, for the benefit of the self-serving. Einhorn is the paradigm of this.

The other irony is that Einhorn was arrested the same day the Three Mile Island accident occurred. Ira Einhorn, environmentalist, the local Earth Day founding father, was charged with murder during the same period as one of the greatest environmental crises in the United States.

Oddly enough, more people died because of the environmentalist than because of the environmental crisis.

Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of the new novel A Sense of Duty, and an ex-Philadelphia cop. E-mail him at elfegobaca@comcast.net.

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