Ira Einhorn, who was convicted of killing his former girlfriend, Holly Maddux, in a high-profile Philadelphia murder case, has died in prison at 79, the New York Times reports. Einhorn was the darling of Philadelphia’s counterculture in the 1960s and ‘70s. After Maddux disappeared, police found her mummified remains almost a year and a half later in a steamer trunk in his apartment. He was charged in 1979, but he fled to Europe and married a wealthy Swedish heiress, Annika Flodin. More than two decades later, after lengthy negotiations, during which he became a human rights cause célèbre in France, he was sent to Philadelphia to stand trial. A jury convicted him and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Einhorn ended up serving nearly 18 years in prison. “The chapter is finally, for real, closed,” Elizabeth Hall, one of Maddux’s sisters, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He became part of the city’s consciousness in an ugly way.” Maddux left Einhorn in 1977 and moved to New York. He demanded that she return to Philadelphia to retrieve her belongings. She did come back, and then vanished at age 30. Einhorn denied any involvement in her disappearance. He was represented by Arlen Specter, the former district attorney and future U.S. senator. Specter got Einhorn’s bail reduced to $40,000. He paid $4,000 and was released. Einhorn was convicted in absentia, and then tried again after his extradition. At that trial, he said that the Central Intelligence Agency had killed Maddux and planted her body in his apartment.