Over the weekend, the 20-year-old son of US District Judge Esther Salas was assassinated by a man disguised as a FedEx driver. Salas’ husband was also critically wounded in the attack, which swiftly became the subject of conspiratorial speculation. The obvious reason for the attack, many believed, was because Esther was the judge on a case related to Deutsche Bank and Jeffrey Epstein.
Within 24 hours, though, the alleged assassin had been found dead and, while it can’t be certain yet, his motivation appears to be the result of a virulent anti-feminist ideology.
Roy Den Hollander, the presumed killer, was a lawyer who previously argued a case in Salas’ court. Hollander was widely known for misogynistic, “anti-feminist” views, views he shared on Fox News among other outlets.
The assassination of Daniel Anderl
The details of the attack that killed Salas’ son and injured her husband appear straightforward. After that, though, the story gets more complicated.
On Sunday, July 19, Salas, her husband, Mark Anderl, a defense attorney, and their son Daniel were at home in North Brunswick, New Jersey. That evening, Daniel answered the door to a man dressed in a FedEx uniform. That man opened fire on Daniel and Mark, who was standing behind his son. The shooting killed Daniel at the scene and injured Mark.
Daniel, who had been described as a “natural athlete,” was about to begin his junior year at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. It was believed he would follow in his parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in the judicial system.
His father, Mark, is a criminal defense attorney at his New Jersey-based firm, Anderl & Oakley, PC. He was reported to be in critical condition following the attack.
Judge Salas has been described as a “Latina trailblazer,” becoming the first Hispanic US District judge from New Jersey. She was nominated to the bench in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama. At the time of the shooting, Salas was in the family’s basement and so was not injured in the attack.
Is Salas the judge in the Epstein trial?
Almost immediately after the story of the assassination broke, people began speculating that the attack was due to Salas presiding over a case related to Deutsche Bank and Jeffrey Epstein. On July 15, days before the attack, she had been assigned the case involving Deutsche Bank investors who were suing the institution for “false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies.”
Deutsche Bank has been under fresh scrutiny after being fined by New York state for failing to sufficiently vet its financial transactions with the now-deceased financier. Epstein was a convicted sex offender who was awaiting trial in federal prison for allegedly engaging in the sex trafficking of underage girls.
However, Epstein committed suicide in August 2019 under “irregular” circumstances that have led some to speculate that he was assassinated.
Internet theories immediately linked the attempted assassination of Salas with Epstein’s death. However, as investigative reporter Scott Stedman explained in a Twitter thread, Salas was not overseeing a case directly related to Epstein and she certainly wasn’t a judge in the ongoing “Epstein case” related to his sexual crimes.
Instead, the case Salas was assigned is only tangentially related to Epstein. The lawsuit seeks compensation from the bank for failed money laundering practices, of which Epstein was able to take advantage.
As reported by the New Jersey Globe, Salas had been the target of threats leading up to the attack.
Who was Roy Den Hollander?
By Monday, federal authorities had determined their primary suspect in the assassination: Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist” lawyer and Men’s Rights Activist. Though the men’s rights movement (MRM) says its goal is creating true equality between the sexes, multiple adherents to the ideology have been linked to violent, even deadly, attacks.
In 2008, Hollander appeared on Fox News with host Neil Cavuto to discuss the question, “Are Women’s Studies courses spreading prejudice and bigotry toward men?” In the interview, Hollander explained that he was suing his alma mater, Columbia University, over their “feminazi” Women’s Studies program because the university didn’t also offer a Men’s Studies program.
In the interview, Hollander says of “girls,” “they are a suspect class: every time they open their mouths, I begin to suspect something.”
In 2011, Hollander was also featured as a “Difference Maker” on an episode of the Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report.” In the satirical clip, Hollander claims, “I am speaking for a lot of guys who are too scared to come out and say, ‘Yes, I’m tired of being pushed around, I’m tired of these feminists walking over my rights.’”
“I’m going to fight the feminists,” he insists, “until my last dollar, my last breath, and if there’s anything after death, I will fight them for eternity.”
Why would Hollander attack Salas’ family?
Hollander’s motivation for the attack appears to be laid out in a 1,700-page memoir he self-published online earlier this year. Hollander had previously argued a civil case in front of Salas. The case, in which his clients were a mother and daughter, argued that the US’s military draft was unconstitutional because it didn’t include women.
As explained on one page of his lengthy memoir, Hollander was angry with Salas for a lengthy delay in the case. Hollander believed the judge was motivated by personal animosity toward him because of his political and personal beliefs.
“Bur for the female federal judge, I was the wrong attorney. She was Hispanic, clearly hated white men who fought for their rights, and even though my client was a woman, the judge intentionally delayed and delayed the case … The judge is one of those Venezuelan socialists who hates Trump supporters, hates those who expect that judges should be competent and, as the Magna Carte[sic] says, render speedy justice.”
(Salas is not Venezuelan. She was born in California and is the daughter of a Cuban mother and a Mexican father.)
Ultimately, Hollander was forced to pass the case on to another law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, because, in his own words, “Mother Nature gave me terminal cancer.”
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