The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, October 10, 2002  

Loony Tunes Witnesses Play Poorly in Philadelphia Court Room

The defense in the murder retrial of megalomaniacal bail jumper Ira Einhorn moved from desperate to deranged this week, with the has-been hippie’s attorney misguidedly calling friends and associates of the self-styled “planetary enzyme” to the stand.

Among those testifying yesterday was Anne Cavers, a former ballerina and now a “psychic archaeologist,” who claims to have something called “spontaneous clairboyance” and the ability to “detect the nature of objects,” a talent that I presume extends beyond categorization as animal, vegetable, or mineral.

According to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News, “Ira’s Defense Triggers Titters,” by Theresa Conroy, Cavers believes Einhorn was framed in the murder of his former girlfriend, Holly Maddux, because of the sensitive nature of his supposedly cutting-edge “psychotronic” research. Despite her purported psychic and clairvoyant abilities, Cavers has refused to say who killed Maddux.

Also on the stand, Eleanor Huddle, the self-proclaimed author of six books—a search on turns up no titles, let alone six—who, according to Conroy, “seemed dazed and befuddled on the stand.”

A third woman, Dorothy McComb, the only one of the Twilight-Zone trio who was not sleeping with Einhorn before or during the time Maddux’s remains allegedly decomposed in a trunk in the apartment, also testified yesterday. McComb said she stayed in Einhorn’s Philadelphia apartment during his absence in August 1978 and testified that she did not notice any unusual odors while resident there.

“After making that point, McComb went off on a rambling, nearly incomprehensible description of peeking inside the locked trunk on Einhorn’s porch and finding only newspapers. She said that although the trunk was locked, she was able to lift the lid partially,” according to Conroy’s account of the session.

“She also said that one night she had seen several big glass jars filled with a brownish liquid in his bathroom. But by the next morning, the jars, which contained a substance similar to the fluid that dripped from the trunk into a downstairs apartment, had disappeared, she said,” the Daily News reports.

Defense attorney William Cannon put McComb on the stand to establish that Maddux had been killed somewhere outside the apartment, possibly by the CIA or the FBI, but, as Conroy reports, “It was clear her testimony had missed the mark. Several jurors burst into laughter as she rambled on. One juror even turned her back to the witness stand in an effort to hide her giggles from McComb.”

I wonder if the French are at all embarrassed by the extraordinary efforts they went to protect Einhorn during extradition proceedings. And by the way, what ever happened to Einhorn’s friend and devoted supporter, married-into-it heiress Barbara Bronfman?

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