[sixties-l] Ira Einhorn may be smart, but he did some very dumb things (fwd)

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Date: Wed Oct 16 2002 - 04:17:08 EDT

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    Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 22:21:30 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Ira Einhorn may be smart, but he did some very dumb things

    Ira Einhorn may be smart, but he did some very dumb things


    Oct. 10, 2002
    By Jill Porter

    THERE'S AN old saying that goes: If you're so smart, how come you're not

    The corollary for Ira Einhorn is: If he's so smart, how come he's not free?

    And I'm not just talking about the fact that Einhorn was so arrogant that he
    never bothered to move Holly Maddux's body out of his closet.

    I'm talking about the fact that he fled the country on the eve of his trial
    in 1981, when he had a better chance at getting a sympathetic hearing than
    he does today.

    Because, fortunately, the society that's prosecuting this delusional
    psychopath now is far different from what it was 21 years ago.

    It's far less susceptible to tales of government assassination conspiracies.
    It's far more hostile to batterers and far more aware that a woman is most
    at risk when she decides to leave an abusive relationship.

    Not to mention that with the support of the high-profile personalities who
    believed in Einhorn's innocence then, he'd surely have inspired an
    international protest, a la Mumia Abu-Jamal, if he had been convicted.

    Einhorn would have been elevated from guru to martyr. He'd have been
    celebrated as a political prisoner and inspired demonstrations all over the

    His writings would have been broadcast over radio stations, embraced as
    gospel on campuses.

    But if he's sent to prison now, Einhorn will be just another psycho killer
    the world can - and hopefully will - ignore.

    In 1981, the imprint of the '60s and '70s hadn't entirely dissipated and
    Einhorn's wacko theories might have had a political currency they never
    could now.

    Conspiracy theories had been a load-bearing pillar of the counterculture.
    And even though the first wave of boomers was already middle-aged by then,
    the distrust of government lingered like an aftertaste.

    The FBI/CIA had killed Marilyn Monroe and Karen Silkwood to spare the
    goverment embarrassment, hadn't they? They'd given intentional drug
    overdoses to Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison to undermine our
    generation, hadn't they?

    I was among those who never entirely relinquished those suspicions even as
    we abandoned the other assumptions and suppositions of the Sixties.

    And so Einhorn's theory that Maddux was killed to discredit his research
    into mind-control weapons might not have seemed so grandiose and ridiculous

    But the federal government today, especially after 9/11, is seen as our
    salvation, not a sinister presence in our midst. There may be political
    dissent and policy disagreement, but there's no internal ideological war.
    We're all on the same side now, united by our real enemies.

    In today's world, Einhorn's attempt to implicate the government in the death
    of an innocent woman has no resonance whatsoever.

    And then there's the drastic change in society's attitude toward domestic
    violence that occurred while Einhorn was a fugitive.

    Although ignorance about the issue has by no means been eradicated, back in
    1981, domestic violence wasn't even a commonly used term. And it was
    considered a private matter.

    "People were just in a 'bad relationship,' " remembered Cynthia Figueroa, of
    Women Against Abuse.

    And although the organization had already opened the first shelter as a safe
    haven for victims in 1979, it was still considered controversial.

    "When it opened, we were accused of breaking up families," remembered Carol
    Tracy of the Women's Law Project.

    But research in the mid-to-late 1980s helped educate the public about
    domestic violence, particularly to the fact that a victim is in danger of
    being murdered when she infuriates an abusive mate by trying to end the

    Jurors back then might have assumed that Maddux's decision to leave wouldn't
    have enraged Einhorn to the point of homicide, since he had sexual
    relationships with other women at the same time.

    But if they've been paying any attention at all over the past couple of
    decades, they know better now.

    And while Einhorn may well have been found guilty in 1981, it's possible
    he'd have been convicted of something less than first-degree murder and been
    out of prison by now.

    So, Ira Einhorn, it seems, isn't quite the brilliant thinker he portrays
    himself to be.

    If he was, he'd have have disposed of the trunk with Holly Maddux's body in

    And he'd have gone to trial in 1981, when society might not have seen him
    quite as clearly as the evil killer that he is.
    Send e-mail to porterj@phillynews.com

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