THE UNICORN'S SECRET: Murder in the Age of Aquarius by Steven Levy

THE UNICORN'S SECRET: Murder in the Age of Aquarius

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The case of the Sixties activist turned New Age guru who was accused of murdering his girlfriend: dramatic, well-written true crime by Levy (Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 1984) that's also a compelling look at the darker side of the love-and-peace generation. Ira Einhorn was the widely acclaimed (if self-promoted) leader of Philadelphia's counterculture. An unreconstructed Yippie, Einhorn (who called himself ""The Unicorn"") maneuvered his way to influence with corporate, academic, and political America and developed an international network in spite of his ponytail, outrageous claims, strong body odor, and penchant for walking around naked. In 1979, he claimed government frame-up when the semi-mummified body of his former girlfriend, Holly Maddux, was found in a trunk on his porch after an investigation that lasted almost two years and was funded by the victim's parents. When Einhorn was arrested, an impressive array of upper-crust witnesses testified as to his character and integrity; freed on low bail, The Unicorn fled before trial and is still at large. Levy's book, based on news accounts, more than 250 interviews, and the private journals at both Einhorn and Maddux, leaves little doubt of The Unicorn's guilt. While disbelieving friends cite Einhorn's commitment to nonviolence, Levy reports that two ex-girlfriends were both victims of murderous assaults; neither pressed charges. Levy's portrait of the victim, a highly intelligent and motivated young woman from small-town East Texas who found herself confused and adrift after college at Bryn Mawr, is moving and disturbing. A colorful and horrific tale, then, that explores the way in which a man on the fringe rose to power; valuable as social history and more: the cultural implications of Levy's book reverberate long after the last page.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1988
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press