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Ex-guru dresses up for court appearance; trial starts next week

(Wednesday, September 18th, 2002)

Picture this: Ira Einhorn in a necktie.Sketch shows Einhorn (second from left) at pre-trial hearing.

For his first pre-trial court appearance yesterday, the aging hippie - who, next to total nudity, prefers homemade Bohemian threads - looked straight out of Lands' End catalog.

Replacing the Dashiki and sandals were a khaki sports jacket, a light-blue shirt, conservative striped blue tie, dark trousers and - ready for this? - Docksiders.

The self-proclaimed planetary enzyme looked positively earth-bound.  Complementing his new duds was a ruddy tan, clear blue eyes and well-coifed silver hair.

He even shaved off that goatee.

Einhorn, 62, had slipped into something less comfortable in the courtroom holding cell just before his hearing began. Once he was sporting that Sunday-brunch-at-the-club look, Einhorn bounced into the courtroom humming.

It's no wonder Einhorn is nervous.

After 16 years on the lam and four years convincing the French that he was a peace-lover framed by the CIA, Einhorn is finally facing a new trial in the murder of girlfriend Holly Maddux. He skipped bail for Europe before his 1981 trial was to begin and didn't attend his 1993 trial in absentia.

Prosecutor Joel Rosen, who already won the 1993 conviction, will tell a new jury that Einhorn bludgeoned Maddux to death in 1977, then stuffed her body into a steamer trunk that he hid in his closet for 18 months.

Einhorn's conviction was set aside, and he was granted the new trial as a condition of his return to Philadelphia.

Einhorn's new woman, Swedish wife Annika Flodin, probably won't get to see her man looking so natty in court. Common Pleas Judge William Mazzola yesterday denied defense motions asking that she either be permitted to testify via satellite-TV or be granted immunity from prosecution if she shows up in person.

Rosen told Einhorn's defense team that he cannot guarantee that if Flodin comes to Philadelphia, she won't be arrested for aiding a fugitive. Rosen did, however, promise yesterday that he won't arrest her, but couldn't vouch for his office, state or federal authorities.

Rilliam Cannon, one of Einhorn's defense attorneys, said after the hearing that Rosen's assurances were not good enough to ease Flodin's fears.

"She will not risk it," he said.

Einhorn's attorneys also moved to declare a new trial - granted to appease the French government and ensure Einhorn's extradition - unconstitutional. Mazzola denied that motion.  Mazzola pointed out to Einhorn, who repeatedly has professed his desire to prove his innocence in court, that requesting the new trial waived his right to denounce that process.

Through it all, Einhorn occasionally jotted notes, conferred with his attorneys and listened with rapt attention to Mazzola's rulings in a series of other pretrial motions.

Every once in a while the has-been guru shot a sarcastic look toward Rosen.

"He's upbeat," Cannon said of Einhorn after the hearing. "He is contented with his environment."

Einhorn has been transferred from Houtzdale prison, in Central Pennsylvania, to the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility, in Philadelphia for the duration of the trial.

Eury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday. Einhorn is expected to wear a jacket and tie.

By Theresa Conroy
Staff Writer for
The Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2002 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.

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