Friends of Holly Maddux in Tyler have followed this case from the start. This week they watched closely as the trial unfolded in Philadelphia. There was a sense of relief once the verdict was finally read.
"I believe justice was a long time coming but he has finally gotten what he deserved," says Sheryl Penn. Penn, of Tyler, was a long time friend of Holly. As she remembers fond memories of Holly, she clutches her school yearbook, signed by Holly.
"She was very bright. She was articulate. She was classy and a lot of fun to be around." Holly was voted most likely to succeed, and was the class salutatorian. When she went missing in 1977, her family hired Robert J Stevens of Tyler, a retired FBI agent. Stevens describes the 70's counterculture guru as "unreal." Stevens went to Philadelphia to talk with Einhorn four months after Holly disappeared.
"My gut feeling was I thought we had a problem." This week, Stevens traveled back to Philadelphia for Einhorn's murder trial. "He's got lots of strange ideas and they killed him in the trial."
Stevens goes on to say he was not surprised by the guilty verdict. "I don't know how they could have come to any other conclusion. I think this is the strongest evidence that I've ever seen in a criminal case since the 28 years I was in the FBI, or ever since I've been working."
Publicity about this case has been world wide. Like Penn, dozens joined a letter writing campaign to have Einhorn extradited from France to stand trial for Holly's murder. There was also a book and a move written. Holly's family made sure this case stayed alive right to the end.
"Through their efforts, they're the ones who really deserve the credit for Ira getting justice and I know her parents would be very proud of them," says Penn solemnly.
Holly is now buried next to her parents in a Tyler cemetery. They passed away during the 25 years it took to bring this case to trial. Meeting with Robert Stevens this week, Holly's family says it's now time to finally move on.
"They're ready, they're going to be satisfied, this is going to be the closure."