From ABC News: Judge Esther Salas’ son shot and killed, husband injured in attack at their NJ home


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62 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    The killer was wearing a Fed Ex uniform… which implies some degree of premeditation.

    It looks like there won’t need to be a trial, though.


  2. veronica d says:

    I just hope this turns out to be a random nutter with a personal grievance and not something QAnnon or Epstein related, because my conspiracy quotient is full for the year.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

      Apparently the judge was assigned to an Epstein-related case 4 days ago.

      But I’m sure that that’s just a coincidence.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yeah. But the one article suggested the gunman was a lawyer who had a case before her a few years back. So perhaps it is a personal grudge.

        Of course, nothing will stop the conspiracy folks from theorizing. It’s just a question of seriously we take them.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

          Do lawyers hold grudges to that degree? I can understand, say, a plaintiff or defendant hating a judge… but do lawyers?

          I mean, I guess. This guy went to the judge’s house and shot her loved ones (and killed one of them).Report

          • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

            I guess it will depend on the nature of the case. I assume that most lawyers don’t hold grievances in most cases. However, there are some really nutty lawyers out there.

            It’s fun to follow Ken White’s Twitter. He seems to be a magnet for nutty lawyers — for some reason. It’s inexplicable.Report

          • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

            Plenty of lawyers are incredibly nuts. Don’t really have enough to go on just based on an old case.

            4 days ago? So. She wouldn’t have had a chance to rule on anything or even possible set a hearing date yet. Another judge will be assigned. This a stretch. A very stretchy stretch.Report

    • Philip H in reply to veronica d says:

      based on wider reporting i think its more probably related to cases she tried years ago against an NJ organized crime outfit with a too cute by half name. If that’s the case then who knows how the hit came about, but more and more it looks like a definite hit.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    The Daily Beast has identified the guy.

    The gunman who shot the husband and son of a federal judge in New Jersey is believed to be a lawyer and men’s rights activist who was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later, two law-enforcement sources told The Daily Beast.

    Roy Den Hollander was discovered in the upstate New York town of Rockland, the sources said. He had a case—a challenge to the military’s male-only draft—pending before Salas, according to court documents.

    Not only did he have a case years back, he had a case coming up.Report

    • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:


      Well, crazy “men’s rights activist” will confirm all of my priors, so I shall read this for the sweet, sweet feelings of having my priors confirmed. Or something.

      Jimminy fucknuggets, that poor family. Dammit can’t people just, like, not murder other people.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      Oh sweet Cthulhu, a MRA.Report

    • Damon in reply to Jaybird says:

      Assuming this is true…why would you kill yourself after you failed in your alleged task? The judge escaped. I doubt the cops were hot on his tail……he had time maybe to strike again.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Damon says:

        The judge was wounded, right? Perhaps he thought he had succeeded, or perhaps his goal was to inflict emotional pain on her, which he certainly has achieved. Moreover, while we imagine a sociopath will think rationally after committing a terrible crime, most people will not. He just murdered someone. He watched them die from his own gun. Moreover, he killed a dude, which in his mind means he killed a human being and not a “femoid.”

        Anyway, nothing about any of this suggests a collected, rational mind at work.Report

        • veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

          Correction: I guess the judge wasn’t injured, as she was in the basement during the shooting. In any case, the remainder of my logic still applies.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to veronica d says:

          “Moreover, he killed a dude, which in his mind means he killed a human being and not a “femoid.””

          I couldn’t help but note the irony of the MRA guy going after a female judge killing/hurting two men.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Kazzy says:

            Eliot Roger likewise killed more men than women, although it seems he intended to kill more women. Anyway, incompetence is a common feature of this set.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Damon says:

        People are weird psychologically and this guy feels very bitter. There was another sensational murder in New York last week. A young tech C.E.O. was murdered in his apartment and the murder was made to look like something out the movies complete with dismembering the victim. The suspect is the C.E.O.’s former assistant who was caught embezzling tens of thousands of dollars. The C.E.O. wasn’t going to press charges and came up with a repayment plan but the former assistant still felt it was necessary to commit murder.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          The news is starting to get to me. I think I’ll try some easy reading to cheer me up. Perhaps a light hearted romp by Dostoyevsky.

          What the fuck is wrong with people?Report

    • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

      Just grist for the mill, another west coast MRA lawyer guy was found murdered recently:

      A cursory google search showed no connection between them, but it’s hard to believe that two MRA lawyers wouldn’t have at least sort of known each other, from conferences or whatever. It is a pretty small subculture.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      Apparently this is the dude. From Techdirt in 2016:

      He sounds waaaay out there. Apparently all the media did a RICO. (call out to ken white fans)Report

      • veronica d in reply to greginak says:

        Ah Rico. Someone send up the Popehat signal.

        Or maybe don’t. That guy gets enough bullshit.Report

      • veronica d in reply to greginak says:

        From the points in the article: I do think that women should have to register for the draft, the same as men. More precisely, I don’t think anyone should have to register for the draft, but if men do, then women should also.

        Regarding “lady’s nights” at bars — I mean — the nightclub scene runs according to a kind of busted logic, but on the other hand, I don’t care much about dudes who are salty because the hotties in little black dresses won’t talk to them.

        Which is to say, the hotties in little black dresses won’t talk to me either, but I handle it like a grown up.

        Suing universities over “women’s studies” — what an absolute fucktrumpet.

        All that said, “male disposability” is a real thing. Like, watch any action movie. Dudes will get mowed down by the dozens, but if one woman gets hurt, it is almost always a major plot point. Moreover, if you compare the male versus female suicide rate — well it’s not great, not great at all. In fact, I’d say it’s kinda bad, and maybe we should do something about it.

        I don’t think having emotionally stunted dipshits suing women’s studies departments is going to help very much. Nor is murdering the families of judges.Report

        • North in reply to veronica d says:

          I don’t quite see how the logic is busted for lady’s nights at bars. Bars are ferociously competative businesses. Guys, who pay full frieght for drinks, tend to go to wherever the ladies are. Ladies can be enticed to go to places that offer them a better deal on drinks.
          You take a small loss (or even just a smaller profit, drinks are very high margin) by giving cheaper or free drinks to ladies and lure a lot of them and then your bar will be packed to the gills with guys paying full freight for drinks. Profits ensue until the other bars follow suit.Report

          • veronica d in reply to North says:

            I’m not questioning the economic logic. I get it. I’m questioning the cultural logic.

            Like, everyone at a night club is a human being with emotional needs. On the one hand, dressing up and having a few drinks and dancing can be quite fun. On the other hand, desperate lonely people exist. Anyway, so you mix booze and loud music into a somewhat narcissistic society, and you throw it all together. It becomes rather dysfunctional.

            Ask the douchebags dudes who go to clubs a lot. They talk about it in a predator-prey dynamic. Talk to the women. They talk about chilling with their girlfriends, but they also talk shit about the dudes.

            Like, a short guy can show up at a club and be literally mocked and laughed at. Meanwhile women get stalked by weirdo guys. A lot of clubs have little signs in the women’s restroom about how to safely notify security if some guy is dangerous.

            So yeah, I understand how clubs make money under capitalism. I care about the people.Report

      • veronica d in reply to greginak says:

        More on this guy:

        On why he won’t reveal his age to women (he was 66 at the time):

        “If I’m hitting on some young girl at the club – and I won’t be hitting on an older one because they don’t look as good – if she knows how old I am I’m not going to be able to exploit her infinite capacity to delude herself into thinking I’m younger,” he said.

        Which is pretty pathetic, honestly. Of course, it’s also terrible game. Some young women like dating older people. Just find those women.

        Also from the article:

        Hollander said the defeats were starting to get to him.

        “I’m beginning to think it’s time for vigilante justice – civil disobedience,” he said, elaborating that he “may pull a Carrie Nation on the Ladies’ Nights clubs.”

        Carrie Nation, who died in 1911, was a radical member of the temperance movement who vandalized bars with a hatchet.

        Granted vandalizing bars with a hatchet is nothing like murder, but still.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:

          I’ve never been much of a club person and the one time I went it was an unmitigated disaster for a wide-variety of reasons but the I could never understand all the middle-aged guys there trying to hit on women in their 20s. Totally gross. These guys are gross.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Honestly though, I don’t like being judgmental that way.

            There is a whole conversation about power relations and how older men often seek out emotionally dependent younger women and abuse them. It’s definitely a red flag. On the other hand, I know people in “age-gap” relationships who seem quite happy.

            Full disclosure: I’ve dated people quite a bit younger than myself. In one case it was really awful for both of us. And yes, there were a lot of red flags. She and I both showed poor judgement. On the other hand, my best relationship ever was with a younger woman. Sadly, she passed away recently. (I’m okay. Long story. Please no sympathy. It would make me feel awkward.)

            In any case, my policy is this: unless I see specific signs of abuse, I don’t judge. If an older person (including men) likes night clubs and dancing and meeting women — then that’s fine. All are welcome who welcome all.

            And sure, midlife crises — it can be pretty cringe, but I don’t judge.

            Anyway, if a guy comes across as super creepy — well I guess at some point security should step in.

            Maybe. I’m not sure. It’s really complicated. Trying to apply simple rules to complicated things doesn’t make them less complicated.

            All that said, this guy was a definite creep. How can I tell? Mainly the dishonesty. He was trying to fool women. Fuck that.Report

            • veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

              So the plot congeals. Evidently this choad was bitter because his (I’m not kidding) Russian bride accused him of abuse:

              He also filed a complaint claiming that the Violence Against Women Act, which allows immigrant women who were abused by their spouses to obtain citizenship, is unconstitutional. A judge dismissed the case. [His ex-wife, a Russian citizen, once used the Violence Against Women Act against him. He writes on his website that the act grants citizenship to women “falsely accusing their American husbands,” and he told us that on top of it all, he didn’t know that his wife was actually a “Russian mafia prostitute.”]


              Funny story, I was once at a bar and this really attractive Russian lady started hitting on me. Anyway, she started telling me about how her husband was some big deal back in Moscow, and how she needed to go back soon, but she didn’t want to. She wanted to see me again and take me out to dinner.

              Needless to say, I was suspicious.

              Note, I was well known at this bar. People knew where I worked. People also had a sense of how much money I made.

              I did agree to let her take me out to dinner, just to see what would happen. Plus, she was attractive. Anyway, I set a rule for myself: as soon as she comes up with some weird situation where I need to give her money, I would cut her loose.

              She stood me up for the dinner date. No one ever heard from her again.

              I do wonder what the story was. I suppose she could have been a lonely Russian lady who wanted some tr@nny on the side, but I’m suspicious. I wonder if her people ran my credit or something and decided to go after another mark.

              Inquiring minds …

              Anyway, salty dudes and Russian brides — this story is rather cliche.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:

                The guy spent some time working in Russia after he left Cravath. The whole resume reads like a decline. Apparently not an uncommon on though. Cravath is famous for practicing up or out promotion. Out usually happens between years four to six. This is a weird level where someone is making good money but because of the weird ways Big Law works is not knowledgeable or senior enough to be a lead on his or her own case. A lot of them apparently end in doc review purgatory or hanging their own shingle.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Over on Twitter his Russia connection is generating conspiracy theories at a rate of 37 QAnnons per second.

                Evidently his hot Russian bride worked for some modeling agency that also hired out under age girls.

                Also someone linked to some random screenshot that stated that this dude once did some legal-finance work at an unnamed Atlantic City Casino.

                So yeah, strap yourself in folks, we’re on conspiracy train.

                On the other hand, at least one article mentioned tentative links to the murder of Angelucci, the MRA guy murdered recently. That would take some work to fit into the conspiracy.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to veronica d says:

                One of the things that is so delightful about the Coen brothers’ movies (Fargo, Burn After Reading, etc.) is how often multiple people’s lives collide, each of them operating out of a frantic sense of purpose without some grand narrative connecting them all.

                Like, people love to imagine themselves a part of some big adventure filled with noble purpose, but in the end they are just sad deluded people who somehow manage to cause a lot of chaos and damage.Report

              • greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Sometimes Fate or Grand Narrative is just a stump grinder and nothing more.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Yeah, the Cohen Bros comparison is very on point.

                This guy is a mass of idiocy and cringe. On the other hand, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him over the hot Russian bride thing. Yeah, he was a sexist dipshit and an easy mark, but I’ve gotten into relationships I shouldn’t have, ignoring every red flag. Beauty can make all of us stupid, especially if you feel a lack.

                Anyway, It’s easy to laugh at cringe, but two, maybe three, people are dead over this. It’s just horrible.Report

            • Damon in reply to veronica d says:

              I’ve dated a one or two women in their early 30s when I was @ late 40s. Frankly, the drama was off the charts. Everything was a production. I never dated many since the probability of women having young kids at that age was high and I was/am not interested in being a step dad. Of course the addition to social media is just was bad at the age is it seems to be at all other ages. “sigh”Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

              The partner dance scene contains everybody from their eighties down to their teens. You generally dance within a wide age range and groups of people. Getting told by high schoolers that you are amazing dancer is both flattering and worrisome.Report

        • greginak in reply to veronica d says:

          Even when MRA types get in the vicinity of reasonable complaint they douse it in toxic bull shit. 66 year old guy hitting on young women at clubs!? Ugg. If that is his game then you gotta understand the deal: you are going to get shot down upwards of 99% unless you are famous or very rich. But clubbing at that age sounds so f’n sad. I’m sure it works for a few people if they have a strong community. This dude, he was magnetically attracted to getting shot down and blamed the world. Classic MRA.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

      Holy f**k! I know the guy. I had cases against him, including the one mentioned in the Daily Beast about his constitutional challenge to women’s studies programs. I knew he was nuts, but never thought he was this nuts.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

      I knew the guy, had cases against him, including opposing him in the lawsuit claiming that funding women’s studies programs was unconstitutional. I knew then he was nuts, but I never figured he was this nuts.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

        Dude, that’s nuts.

        Does counsel ever talk to the other side during a trial? During a smoke break or whatever? Or is that something for only when the trial is over?Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

          This case never went to trial. I got it dismissed. But yes, usually lawyers do talk to each other all the time. Sometimes, communication breaks down, but if a case goes on for any length it is almost impossible not to talk to each other — though e-mail has replaced a lot of phone calls.
          Den Hollender was nuts, but that didn’t really change much. I’ve litigated against lots of nuts in my time. They don’t bother me, I can handle them, and often I find them amusing. Unfortunately, my supervisors seem to have noticed. I get more than my fair share of the nut cases.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

            I guess I’m wanting to know how nuts and what flavor he was and if you gleaned any of that. Did he steal your lighter? Did you steal his? That sort of thing.Report

            • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

              He’s best summarized as “Agreed to go on Colbert” nuts:

              This is all way too weird. Honestly, the conspiracy theories seem rather plausible when set beside the evident facts.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

                I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist. I know that human beings suffer from an inability to plan more than 5 minutes ahead and the military can’t keep its soldiers from telling strippers state secrets. On top of that, it’s one thing when you’re keeping secrets that are good (like, we’re making a bomb that will end the war) and another thing when you’re keeping secrets that are evil (there is a group of pedophiles in the halls of power) and it’s *EASY* to keep secrets that are good and only true sociopaths/psychopaths wouldn’t instantly be reviled by evil secrets and drop hints to law enforcement.

                But there are too many damn coincidences and too many things that we ought to know by now that we don’t.Report

              • veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m totally willing to say that this guy was likely involved in something conspiratorial. The situation is just too batshit. I won’t, however, speculate on which conspiracy.Report

              • JS in reply to veronica d says:

                I get the impression a lot of people are “involved” in conspiracies that they pretty much invented out of whole cloth.

                Or the bulk of the conspirators are the extra voices in their head.

                Real, actual conspiracies are small, mostly involve money and sometimes power, and generally fall apart swiftly.

                Turns out people like to talk and brag a lot.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                This is what it looks like when a high-trust/high-collaboration society moves away from that point.

                Because one of the things you get in high-trust/high-collaboration is the idea that someone won’t just up and decide to get a gun and shoot you. There’s all kinds of things we do because that’s true, because for most people, “someone out there might want to shoot me” is a problem with a vanishingly-small likelihood of occurrence. Things like “don’t bother locking exterior doors every time you go through them”, or “when someone with a delivery-company uniform knocks on the door, open it to see what they want”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Let’s say I wanted a FedEx uniform. Where would I get one?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                Describe a FedEx uniform, right now, without Googling it.

                “Um, white…shorts? A purple shirt and a hat that says FEDEX on it?”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I would have gone “Dark Shorts” and “Purple Shirt with FedEx Logo prominently displayed” and “FedEx hat”.

                The hats are, apparently, available for $20 on Etsy. Shirts for $20 as well.

                If he had a pair of cargo shorts in his closet, he just needed $40 to complete the look.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                FedEx operates an online store and will sell you a variety of clothing in their colors, with their logo.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

              He obviously had had problems gaining the favor of women. Most straight men do, of course*, but his problems were more clearly self-created than the problems most straight men have. It didn’t help matters any that he had a very warped sense of what favors he could legitimately hope to gain if he got lucky. Probably explains the mail-order bride business. He blamed women for everything wrong in his life, which was considerable, and spun out bizarre legal theories challenging everything in society that he thought gave women unfair advantages. (An explanation of the lawsuit we tangled in would be long, and I’ll spare you unless you really want it.) Given his needs, I always thought he was foolish to oppose ladies’ nights at bars, since the entire purpose of them was to stock the pond for men on the make, like Den Hollander.
              He was a sex-obsessed crank, but I never saw anything that suggested he could become homicidal.

              * I’ve often wondered what it’s like for the rare ones that don’t. For example, I’ve never heard anything to suggest that George Clooney used anything more nefarious than his good looks, fame, money, and charm, but for about two decades he had to know that whenever he was bored he could shower, dress up, go out, and be 99% sure of having the willing company of a beautiful woman before the night was out. Would being aware of that warp your character?Report

              • JS in reply to CJColucci says:

                “Would being aware of that warp your character?”

                Depends on how you were aware of it. Some attribute success to their innate awesomeness, and others attribute it to those around them and/or pure luck.

                Clooney has always struck me as the more humble sort, like Keanu Reeves. It’s probably work to stay grounded like that, although I suspect things like direct charitable work helps (constantly seeing those less fortunate and helping them is one way of maintaining empathy).

                Or perhaps it’s just an innate character trait — are you more predisposed to believe “I DESERVE X” or “I’m lucky I managed to get X”.

                I mean it’s possible to go too far the other way and utterly lack drive or the thought you have agency, but in general it seems there’s a pretty bright line between those wanna-be Alpha types that scream at the world to give them what the deserve or ELSE, and those who work hard but acknowledge that chance and support played a major role.Report

              • veronica d in reply to JS says:

                I think the sate of “being a narcissist” is not correlated with actual quality. I know very beautiful people who are also very humble and down to earth. I know rather unattractive people believe they are God’s gift to humanity. I know people who are the opposite in each case.Report

              • JS in reply to veronica d says:

                I didn’t mean to imply it was correlated.

                I’m aware success, money, fame, etc can make you arrogant, but it’s not the only reason people become arrogant.

                And there are people out there that have achieved significant success and stayed humble.

                How much is them, how much is their support network — nature and nurture questions again, I suppose. 🙂

                I’d like to think that, if suddenly became a billionaire, I wouldn’t turn into an a**hole, decide to trade up on spouses, and start throwing my money and new weight around. But I don’t have a billion dollars, so I don’t know.

                Would wealth change me? Or would I have hidden and unpleasant depths wealth uncovered? I don’t know.

                I hope not. But who knows until you’re tested? I’d like to think I met the tests life has thrown at me so far — my wife seems to think so, and I trust her opinion a lot, but she’s a bit biased when it comes to me. 🙂Report

  4. Kazzy says:

    My sister worked with the judge back when she was a federal public defender. Called her a rockstar.Report

  5. CJColucci says:

    The FBI now likes Den Hollander for the murder of a California mens’ rights lawyer who, in Den Hollander’s view, was horning in on his legal territory by bringing in California a case he wanted to bring in New York.Report