The gunman who shot the husband and son of a federal judge in New Jersey is believed to be an “anti-feminist’ lawyer who was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later.
Roy Den Hollander, 72, was discovered by a cleaning crew in the upstate New York town of Rockland, two law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast. He had with him a package addressed to U.S. District Judge Esther Salas—as well as papers that contained the name of another men’s rights lawyer, Marc Angelucci, who was gunned down at his home last week, the sources said.
Den Hollander had a case—a challenge to the military’s male-only draft—pending before Salas, according to court documents. And in an essay posted online last year about his battle with melanoma, he made clear his animus toward the trail-blazing jurist, referring to her as “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge.”
On his website and in bilious screeds posted in various places online, Den Hollander spewed invective about women and anyone else he felt had wronged him. “Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left,” blares his website, which also contains a compilation of misogynistic comments under the heading “Jokes.”
The Daily Beast was the first to report that Den Hollander was the suspect in the ambush at Salas’ home, but the FBI later confirmed it. His family could not be reached for comment.
The Manhattan attorney’s emergence as the suspect was a shocking twist in the Sunday evening shooting—when a man possibly dressed as a FedEx delivery driver showed up on Salas’ doorstep in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
Daniel Anderl, 20, the judge’s only child, who was home from college, was shot through the heart and did not survive the attack. His father, criminal-defense lawyer Mark Anderl, 63, was said to be in critical condition after surgery.
NBC New York reported that Salas—whose caseload has included cases involving Real Housewives celebs and Jeffrey Epstein—was in the basement and was unharmed when the gunfire erupted shortly after 5 p.m.
At 8:15 a.m. Monday, two Sullivan County Department of Public Works employees were doing storm clean-up when they saw a blue Toyota drive past, heading towards a dead end, sources told The Daily Beast. When they finished work, they saw the car parked on the shoulder of the road and found Den Hollander on the passenger side with a gunshot wound to the head.
Inside there was a .380 pistol and the FedEx package, which investigators believe the lawyer may have intended to use to get face-to-face with the judge, the law enforcement sources said. The sources did not know the nature of the papers that mentioned Angelucci, an attorney who worked on similar cases and was shot dead at his house in California a week ago. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office said Monday that no arrests have been made in Angelucci’s death but had no further comment.
The case Den Hollander was involved in as co-counsel that ended up in Salas’ courtroom was filed in 2015 on behalf of the mother of a 17-year-old New Jersey girl. It argued that the Selective Service System’s policy of barring females from registering for the draft while making it mandatory for males was illegal.
A self-published memoir, first reported by NBC News, recounted his involvement and his hatred of Salas in typically sexist terms.
“The case began over the July 4th weekend of 2015, and was assigned to this hot Latina Judge in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey whom Obama had appointed. At first, I wanted to ask the Judge out, but thought she might hold me in contempt,” he wrote before going on the blast her various rulings in the case, maligning her ethnicity and inspiring life story along the way.
Salas, the first Latina to serve on the New Jersey federal bench, was appointed as a magistrate judge in 2006 and a district judge in 2010. Raised in New Jersey, she previously worked as a county prosecutor and then a federal public defender.
Last Thursday, Salas was assigned to be the judge on a lawsuit brought by investors against Deutsche Bank and its CEO over its business dealings with the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
But prior to Sunday, Salas was probably best known as the judge who presided over the fraud case of Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice; she sentenced the couple to prison after a tongue-lashing in 2014.
She met her husband in 1992 when the both worked in the same prosecutors’ office. Their only son, Daniel, was about to start his junior year at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he played golf and was on the dean’s list. He had plans to apply to law school.
Den Hollander’s life, meanwhile, was by his own account one filled with disappointments.
According to his website, his foray in the controversial and often toxic men’s rights movement was sparked by his marriage to a Russian woman he met while working for the investigative firm Kroll Associates in the late 1990s; he alleges she was really a prostitute who swindled him.
In a GoFundMe account under his name and his online writings, Den Hollander revealed he was battling incurable cancer and was angry about his medical care, posting a jeremiad about doctors who he felt were not responsive or were trying to push certain treatments on him.
Over the years he had filed numerous lawsuits that alleged women get unconstitutional special treatment, and had pushed to outlaw Ladies’ Nights at bars and nightclubs and women’s studies programs at universities.
In 2016, he also filed a ludicrous suit against reporters from CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, PBS News Hour, The New York Times and The Washington Post, claiming their stories on President Trump amounted to a violation of the anti-racketeering statute used to prosecute mobsters.
In a 2013 interview with the New York Daily News about the latest in his string of legal defeats, Den Hollander expressed frustration.
“I’m beginning to think it’s time for vigilante justice—civil disobedience,” he said, telling the newspaper that he “may pull a Carrie Nation on the Ladies’ Nights clubs.”