Two weeks ago a madman killed Judge Ester Salas’ son and shot her husband multiple times. Further information revealed about the madman shows that he was an “anti-feminist” who spewed hateful rhetoric online. 

Two weeks ago tragedy struck Esther Salas, a federal judge from New Jersey, when a madman shot and killed her only son and severely injured her husband, all because she apparently hindered his misogynistic plans.

On Monday, Judge Salas made her first statement since. She said, “two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same… A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house.”

The main suspect of the crime, Roy Den Hollander, killed her 20-year-old son, Daniel Salas, and shot her husband Mark Anderl multiple times; he is still in the hospital. 

The Consequences of Hate Crimes

Den Hollander staged a hoax delivery, carrying a FedEx package in his hand. When he rang the doorbell, Daniel Salas answered and Hollander opened fire immediately. Daniel’s final act, Judge Salas said, was to protect his father. 

“He took the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest,” she said. “The monster then turned his attention to my husband and began to shoot at my husband, one shot after another.”

Den Hollander escaped and later killed himself. Hours after the attack, police found Den Hollander’s body in upstate New York with a single gunshot to the head.

Den Hollander was a self-described “anti-feminist” who published his hateful views online. He was a men’s rights lawyer who brought to Judge Salas a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the male-only draft. He apparently sought to seek vengeance against Judge Salas because she did not move quickly enough on the lawsuit.

Den Hollander compiled a dossier on Judge Salas and her family. Days before, he travelled by train to San Bernardino County, California, where he shot and killed a rival men’s rights lawyer at his home. 

In his final months, Den Hollander uploaded a final version of his autobiography — a 1,698-page manifesto in which he raged against the feminist movement. He vowed to fight the “feminazis” until his last breath. 

Den Hollander was not just a men’s rights activist who held contempt for feminism, he also published blog posts calling for women to be killed. He put all his hate and vitriol online, and he mostly got away with it until he committed crimes of murder. 

In her statement, Judge Salas reminisced on her last few days with her son. Daniel just turned 20 that weekend and had several friends over for a celebration. That Sunday, Daniel skipped going to church to catch up on sleep. He wanted to be well-rested as his junior year of college approached. 

“The weekend was a glorious one,” Judge Salas said, holding back tears. “It was filled with love, laughter, and smiles.”

Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...