HELEN HOLLY MADDUX - THE MADDUX FAMILY'S LONG FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
The Maddux family of Tyler, Texas went through an ordeal no family should have to experience. They were put into the position of having to do their own investigation when their daughter and sister, Helen Holly Maddux went "missing."
Once Holly's body was found they had to watch as"elite" supporters of the murderer, who mouthed the oft heard phrases, "he wouldn't do a thing like that" paraded through a courtroom. The family saw the murderer freed on bail, an act that was unheard of at that time.
Release of murder suspects before trial wasn't done back in 1979. But Einhorn was "special" to many who believed in the facade he portrayed. His supporters trusted him, only to see him take flight as a fugitive from justice.
The Maddux family was plunged into an ongoing fight of decades to bring the murderer back to the U.S. to face that justice.
Along the way during those years, Fred Maddux, a veteran, a man proud to have served his country during World War II, took his own life. No one except his family might be able to say what his reasons were, but perhaps he felt that his country had let him down or felt helpless and unable to get justice for his eldest, and loved, daughter Holly. Officials had let the murderer of his eldest daughter out on bail and when Einhorn left the country, no one in the government seemed to be able to, or wanted to, pursue Einhorn and bring him to justice.
But before he took his life, Fred Maddux did all he could to find his beloved daughter. He'd met Ira Einhorn when he came with Holly on a visit. Obnoxious, rude and boorish, Einhorn deliberately ignored family members unless he was guiding the conversation. He treated Holly as his servant, ordering her around.
Elizabeth (Maddux) Hall "We concluded that he basically came down there to try and promote a rift between Holly and my father."
Holly and Ira had a contentious relationship for five years, and long before the fifth year ended, Holly, like the women before her, had enough. Elizabeth (Maddux) Hall "After high school graduation I visited Holly and Ira in London where they were traveling on Holly's savings. She told me she was real tired of Ira and that when she got back she was going to leave him and start a business."
In the autumn of 1977 Holly grew strong enough to leave Ira and moved away to start her life over. She met a man who appreciated her and was looking forward to knowing him better. Einhorn, who didn't like rejection unless it him doing the rejecting, phoned and threatened to throw Holly's belongings into the street and knowing his temper, Holly decided to retrieve them and calm him down. As she boarded the plane Holly told Saul she'd be back. Holly disappeared from sight.
Ira told anyone who asked, or would listen, that Holly had "gone out to the local food co-op and never came back."
When a few weeks had gone by with no word from Holly, her parents, Fred and Elizabeth Maddux were worried and contacted police. Holly had always checked in with them and had never let weeks go by without touching base with them. The Philadelphia PD (Police Dept.) made a cursory check, but Holly was an adult and there didn't seem to be a reason to suspect anything had happened to her.
Suspicious of Einhorn's explanation and unhappy with the lack of action by the police, they hired Bob Stevens, a private detective who was also retired FBI. He and another FBI retiree, J.R. Pearce from Philadelphia worked for a year to try and find out what happened to Holly. At the end of that year, they turned their findings over to the Philadephia PD.
What they had found was chilling. In 1977 at the time of Holly's disappearance, a "blood curdling scream" and heavy banging heard by the students living below Ira Einhorn's apartment. Then came the putrid odor and dark brown liquid ooze that came down from the ceiling. The detectives discovered that Einhorn arrogantly and adamantly refused to allow the landlord, plumbers, or anyone else into a padlocked closet which matched the location of where the liquid had oozed down from the ceiling.
1979 - March 29 - 9 A.M. - Philadelphia PD Homicide Detective Chitwood entered Einhorn's apartment and made straight for the closet. In the closet he discovered a steamer trunk, an inside were the remains of Holly Maddux.
After his arrest, and out on bail, Einhorn skipped. He headed overseas. It was then that the Maddux family began using every opportunity and every avenue possible to get Ira Einhorn back inside a court for trial. During those decades, the Maddux siblings lost their father Fred, and then later, their mother Elizabeth.
"He developed a following over there (France). The press over there never mentioned his crime or his victim. And some people said, 'Well, he hasn't killed anyone in 20 years, so let's leave him alone."
Meg, Elizabeth and John made three trips to France and conveyed to the French public that the extradition of Einhorn wasn't "political" in nature, nor was he a romantic character who happened to be an unjustly accused fugitive. They showed photos to the French people, photos of their beloved Holly, whose life had been cut short by Einhorn. Assistant District Attorney Joel Rosen "That was key. If the family does not go to France and does not put a human face on the crime and the victim, then Einhorn probably never leaves France."
They'd fought hard and long but they'd succeeded in winning a court ruling that prevents Einhorn from profiting from Holly's death in any form. When it finally happened that Ira Einhorn was extradited and convicted this is how the family expressed their feelings:
Meg (Maddux) Wakeman "The feeling of relief and justice is so incredible. As of now, Ira Einhorn is no
longer anything I need to worry about." "As the lead juror read the verdict, we knew we weren't supposed to high-five or anything. So we patted one another's knees surreptitiously, so no one would see us."
"I'm not disappointed that he's exempt from the death penalty. We've had 25 years without Holly, Now he should do at least 25 years."
Buffy (Maddux) Hall "Einhorn looked like hammered shit." (The phrase was one of their father Fred's favorite expressions.) Buffy was asked "What message would you give to Einhorn?" "See ya, wouldn't want to be ya."
John Maddux "You know that life without parole is a terrible punishment, worse than being executed. We want him in an environment where every day will be longer than the previous one, and where he'll know that he'll never leave but feet-first. And we hope he lives another 30 years. For the first time in his spoiled, selfish, worthless, egotistical life, he pays the price."
I'll finally be able to drop the thing, I'll just try to relax, hang loose, watch some TV, read some books and try to become accustomed to the idea that we don't have to think about Ira Einhorn anymore. Along with the rest of the world, we can forget him."
"We are going to have a party tonight (smile across his face). "I might even have a drop or two."
"One of the best things about the verdict is that we can separate Holly from Ira now, in a sense that Holly is where she belongs and Ira is damn well where he belongs. It was a long time coming."
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