Another Judge Possibly Targeted
Roy Den Hollander, a self-described "anti-feminist" lawyer who received media attention including appearances on Fox News and Comedy Central for lawsuits challenging perceived infringements of "men's rights," was found dead Monday in Sullivan County, New York, two officials with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press.
The FBI said Den Hollander was the "primary subject in the attack" at the North Brunswick home of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas and confirmed he had been pronounced dead but provided no other details. Found among his personal effects was information about another judge, New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, a state court spokesperson said.
"We were alerted that her photo and name were in his recovered effects," said the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen, confirming a detail first reported by the New York Times.
A day earlier, a gunman posing as a FedEx delivery person went to Salas' home, and started shooting, wounding her husband, the defense lawyer Mark Anderl, and killing her 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl.
Salas was at home but in another part of the house and was unharmed, said the officials, who could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
There was no FedEx truck involved, and the suspect used a civilian car to make a getaway, sources said.
Den Hollander's body was discovered in a vehicle by a municipal employee in the town of Rockland. New York State Police were on scene and the FBI was called.
A package addressed to Judge Salas was found along with Den Hollander's body, the officials said.
Death of California Lawyer
The FBI is also investigating whether Den Hollander may be connected to the death of Marc Angelucci in San Bernardino County, California earlier this month.
Angelucci, 52, was an attorney who also described himself as "anti-feminist," according to law enforcement sources.
Angelucci was gunned down at his Crestline home on Saturday July 11 around 4 p.m. Deputies responded to a reported shooting and found Angelucci there, unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is believed the shooter was wearing a FedEx uniform.
Angelucci was a men's rights activist and board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Coalition for Men.
Ronda Kennedy, a congressional candidate who was friends with Angelucci and served as co-counsel with him on two cases, praised his legal work and said his court battles will serve as a lasting tribute.
"He was such a good guy," Kennedy told our sister station KABC. "I can't think of anyone in this entire world that would want to harm him."
PRESS RELEASE: Kennedy Praises Slain Attorney Marc Angelucci As True Fighter of Constitutional Rights pic.twitter.com/qVl1LohVKU— Ronda Kennedy (@Ronda4Congress) July 14, 2020
Investigating Den Hollander
On Tuesday morning, authorities left with boxes of evidence from the New York apartment of Den Hollander.
Den Hollander was involved in a lawsuit, filed in 2015, that was being heard by Salas involving a woman who wanted to register for the men-only military draft. In writings posted online, Den Hollander derided the judge as having traded on her Hispanic heritage to get ahead.
He was replaced last June as the woman's lawyer before the case was fully resolved. The court docket did not indicate a reason for his replacement, and the woman's current attorney could not be reached.
In a screed Den Hollander posted online, he also wrote of posing as a FedEx delivery person to speak with a young girl, the same tactic the gunman apparently used at the door to the judge's home.
Den Hollander was best known previously for unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of "ladies night" promotions at bars and nightclubs. In 2017, he wrote a letter to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in which he complained of living under "Feminazi" rule. His litigation, and willingness to appear on television, earned him spots on ABC News, The Colbert Report and MSNBC.
Another lawsuit argued night clubs were violating human rights by charging men hundreds of dollars for bottle service. In 2008, he unsuccessfully sued Columbia University for providing women's studies classes, saying they were "a bastion of bigotry against men."
He was also recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Den Hollander's writings also point to a possible connection to the area where he was found dead. He described going to a family cabin in the Catskills community of Beaverkill, about 40 minutes by car from Liberty.
Den Hollander filed for bankruptcy in 2011, citing more than $120,000 in credit card debt, as well as rent and other expenses. In the filing, Den Hollander estimated he made about $300 a month from his work, with the bulk of his income coming from a $724 monthly Social Security payment.
The Salas Family
Daniel Anderl, Salas' son, was remembered Monday night during an online mass at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C where he was a rising junior and named to the Dean's List this spring.
"I was shocked last night to hear news of Daniel Anderl's tragic death Sunday evening in New Jersey. Daniel was a rising junior, enrolled for classes beginning in the next few weeks," university President John Garvey wrote on Twitter. "He turned 20 last week."
Several college friends had spent the weekend visiting Daniel for his birthday, leaving just hours before the shooting, neighbor Marion Costanza said.
"These are people that will never see their friend again. Then to think of Esther losing her only child. It's just devastating," said Costanza, a lawyer who watched Daniel grow up, and had dinner plans this coming week with his parents.
Salas, born in California to a Cuban immigrant mother and Mexican father, spent most of her childhood in Union City, New Jersey. After helping her family escape a devastating house fire, she acted as her mother's translator and advocate, foreshadowing her career in law as she argued her family's case to welfare officials, according to a 2018 magazine profile.
In the profile, Salas spoke of her son possibly following his parents into the legal profession.
"He's been arguing with us since he could talk - practicing his advocacy skills," Salas told New Jersey Monthly. "I don't want to dissuade him, but I was pulling for a doctor."
Salas, seated in Newark, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed in 2011.
"A brazen and cowardly act of gun violence at their home in North Brunswick," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said. "We give our full support to Judge Salas and her husband at this most trying time. This is an unconscionable tragedy."
Just last week, Salas was appointed to hear an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor "high-risk" customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Her highest-profile case in recent years was the financial fraud case involving husband-and-wife "Real Housewives of New Jersey" reality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice, whom Salas sentenced to prison for crimes including bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. Salas staggered their sentences so that one of them could be available to take care of their four children.
In 2017, she barred federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against an alleged gang leader charged in several Newark slayings, ruling the man's intellectual disability made him ineligible for capital punishment. Salas later sentenced the man to 45 years in prison.
The investigation is being led by the FBI, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police, North Brunswick Police, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
Judge Salas has received threats in the past, sources say, and she is now receiving 24-hour protection from the US Marshals.
Attorney General William Barr said in a statement Monday that the FBI and the U.S. Marshals will continue investigating the shooting, adding: "This kind of lawless, evil action carried out against a member of the federal judiciary will not be tolerated."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.