Inconvenient flashback: Earth Day founder killed, composted ex-girlfriend

by WorldTribune Staff, April 22, 2018

The co-founder of Earth Day, Ira Einhorn, was master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day celebration at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970.

Ira Einhorn at the April 1970 celebration of Earth Day in Philadelphia.

Today, Einhorn is serving a life sentence in prison. In 1977, Einhorn murdered and composted Helen Maddux, his ex-girlfriend.

After Maddux had broken up with Einhorn she went to Einhorn’s apartment in Philadelphia to retrieve her belongings on Sept. 9, 1977. She was never seen again.

Authorities searched the apartment 18 months later after neighbors complained that a “reddish-brown, foul-smelling liquid was leaking from the ceiling directly below Einhorn’s bedroom closet,” NBC News reported.

In the closet, police found Maddux’s “beaten and partially mummified body stuffed into a trunk that had also been packed with Styrofoam, air fresheners and newspapers,” according to NBC News.

Einhorn jumped bail and managed to elude authorities for 23 years before he was caught and extradited to the U.S. from France.

“Taking the stand in his own defense, Einhorn claimed that his ex-girlfriend had been killed by CIA agents who framed him for the crime because he knew too much about the agency’s paranormal military research,” NBC News reported.

Earth Day was created in the spring of 1970 to raise awareness of and take action on the pressing environmental issues of the time. Einhorn continues to maintain that Earth Day was his idea and he was responsible for launching it though most activists credit Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson.

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