The past may have finally caught up with the Unicorn. Counterculture guru Ira Einhorn came a step closer to the dock Thursday after a French court agreed to send him to the U.S. to stand in a new trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux. It's a small step -- Einhorn's lawyer is already readying an appeal, a process that could take up to two years and go all the way to the French equivalent of the Supreme Court. But it's an important one for Maddux's family, who have seen the man they believe is her killer elude justice for two decades.
It's been nearly 20 years since Philadelphia police, clued in by the awful smell, found the remains of Holly Maddux inside a steamer trunk in Einhorn's apartment. The Unicorn, as he liked to call himself, maintained his innocence -- and then went on the lam as a court prepared to try him for the grisly murder. Sometimes just hours ahead of police, Einhorn moved around Europe for 16 years. In that time, Holly Maddux's parents died, a court convicted the Unicorn of the crime in absentia, and one detective doggedly continued to press the case. And one fine June morning in 1997, police finally caught up with Einhorn, who was living as Eugene Mallon in a small farmhouse in the south of France with a Swedish wife who resembles nobody so much as she does Holly Maddux.