November 25, 2020

Inside Roy Den Hollander’s Not-So-Silent War Against Women

5 min read

On July 19, a man disguised as a FedEx driver opened fire on the home of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, killing her husband and 20-year-old son. The FBI has identified men’s rights attorney Roy Den Hollander as “the primary subject in the attack.”

Den Hollander, who was found dead the same day from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, filed numerous “anti-feminist” lawsuits over the years and published thousands of misogynistic blog posts online. He also made derogatory comments about female judges, expressing a “personal grudge against Salas, whom he slandered repeatedly,” according to Buzzfeed News.

Here’s everything you need to know about the case.

Roy Den Hollander was a self-described “anti-feminist” attorney.

The 72-year-old graduated from Columbia University Business School with an MBA in 1997, a school spokesman told NJ.com. He was an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York in the mid-1980s, before moving to Russia to work as a private investigator, according to a resume on his website. There he met a woman, whom he married for eight months and later sued “under the auspices of a civil rico statute,” according to a 2007 profile in The New Yorker. The suit was reportedly dismissed.

“It really appeared to be a classical story of someone who felt scorned, but then took it to a delusional, psychotic level in his response to it,” Nicholas J. Mundy, the divorce lawyer who represented Den Hollander’s ex-wife, told The New York Times. “He stopped at nothing to harass you and make your life miserable. He was like The Terminator.” The Times published an in-depth investigation into Den Hollander’s divorce and how it became a catalyst for his lifelong obsession with using “the court system to address his grievances.”

More recently, Den Hollander was employed at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan from 2011 to 2014, as stated on his online resume. He was working as an “attorney and business consultant” at the time of Daniel Anderl’s death earlier this month.

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Den Hollander once described women as “the real oppressors.”

He was unabashed about his hatred of women, writing blog posts detailing what he believed to be widespread discrimination against men. Den Hollander also appeared on a Fox News segment calling women “the real oppressors.”

Over the years, he became a kind-of anti-celebrity for his sexist views, infamously filing a lawsuit over ladies’ night drink specials, which he believed were discriminatory. The legal action led to a profile in The New Yorker describing him as “a combination of Leon Phelps, Che Guevara, and Travis Bickle,” and interviews with other major outlets, including MSNBC.

Den Hollander took his dangerous musings a step further by openly fantasizing about killing his mother in his autobiography Stupid Frigging Fool. He also admitted to stalking his ex-wife after their divorce in the 1,700-page memoir.

judge esther salas

Judge Esther Salas.

Rutgers Law School

Den Hollander is suspected of murder in New Jersey.

On July 19, a man disguised himself as a delivery driver and knocked on the front door of Judge Salas‘s home in North Brunswick, New Jersey. He fired multiple gunshots, killing the judge’s 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, when he opened the door. Her husband, Mark Anderl, is out of surgery and in stable condition, according to CNN. The judge was not harmed.

Law enforcement officials said in a statement that Den Hollander is “the primary subject” in the case.

According to The New York Times, Salas was assigned Den Hollander’s 2015 lawsuit challenging the “constitutionality of the male-only military draft.” He reportedly represented a woman wanting to enlist, writing online that women should “finally know not just the benefits but also some of the real hell of manhood,” according to The New York Times, but left the case last year, telling his replacement that he had mucosal melanoma, a terminal cancer.

The outlet reports that Den Hollander initially wanted to ask Salas out on a date, but later called her “a lazy and incompetent Latina” who had worked for organizations “trying to convince America that whites, especially white males, were barbarians.” Den Hollander also reportedly referred to Salas as an example of “affirmative action” furthered by people he believed wanted “to convince America that whites, especially white males, were barbarians, and all those of a darker skin complexion were victims,” according to The Atlantic.

Salas is the first Hispanic person to serve as a federal district court judge in New Jersey, according to NBC News, and has presided over several high-profile cases during her judgeship, including the conviction of The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice.

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Den Hollander is also suspected of killing a rival lawyer in California.

The FBI is investigating Den Hollander’s suspected role in the killing of men’s rights lawyer Marc Angelucci, who was similarly shot on his doorstep in California earlier this month.

According to The Daily Beast, Den Hollander was a former member of National Coalition for Men, the same organization where Angelucci used to volunteer. The Daily Beast has a detailed report on their rivalry—and the response of the men’s rights movement to Angelucci’s murder—here.

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Den Hollander had a list of other targets.

Just hours after the New Jersey shooting, law enforcement officials discovered Den Hollander’s dead body off a road near Liberty, New York, which is about a two-hour drive from Judge Salas’s home.

A list with a dozen names was found in his rental car, according to The New York Times. Judge Salas and Angelucci were on the list, along with at least 10 other people, including New York State’s chief judge, Janet M. DiFiore, and an oncologist who had treated Den Hollander.

According to The New York Times, investigators are exploring whether Den Hollander planned to “take out” his enemies before dying of cancer.

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